Pickles are meant to be made in a barrel... or the modern equivalent... a bucket!
Finding a bucket... Canning can be tedious. Much easier to start with a food grade bucket. The easiest way to pick one up is from a bakery. Many of the large scale baking ingredients come in 1-3 gallon buckets. Mine are from costco's bakery where they use 28lb buckets of frosting.
Modified bucket... A recent pickling post shows uses the same bucket I put together here. The only difference in the recipe is that I instead of the traditional dill recipe I use taco seasoning. The results are fantastic!!
Step 1: Airlock: Drilling a Whole
The first step is to drill a whole in the bucket's lid. I use a forstner bit from the workshop. To clean up the edges I simply used a razor blade to deburr.
Step 2: Airlock: Installation
The airlocks are a simple tool. It allows for air to vent while keeping out contaminants. I use this same setup for many projects. Simply sterilize the airlock in bleach or vinegar before use.
---there is also the one piece s-type. If I was buying today I'd probably spend the extra couple dollars for the one piece s-type. Either version should last.
Step 3: Fill + Weight
Fill the bucket... make enough brine to cover the cucumbers. See my recipe in the earlier pickling post. ---in this version... 1gal water, 10tbsp salt, 3tbsp taco seasoning)
Weight the bucket... the idea of using ceramic tile samples comes from the traditional way of using stones to weigh down kimchi. Could just as easily use a small ceramic plate (or two). I was frustrated by the picklers I found online who either used a layer of cabbage or cucumbers at the surface they would later dispose.
Step 4: Day 1 and Day 10
The fermentation process takes 10 days on the counter. Simply leave the bucket in a place where it won't catch direct sunlight. When you open the bucket on day 10 all pickles should still be under water and there is a pleasant smell.
Adding vinegar... I add about 1/4 cup white vinegar when I transfer to the fridge on day 10.
Step 5: From the Garden
Hope you enjoyed the approach to pickling and feel more confident to get started!
Content creators I find online try to make things sound more complicated. Pickling is so simple and the product is hard to mess up! If you like a good pickle it's easy to get started today! --follow for more @jprussack
Grow your own? Four plants provide me 2+ lbs per day from July 15 - Sept 15... that's a lot of pickles!
---look anywhere long enough and you'll find a cucumber :)
Fresh from the garden: