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How to Make Pickled Onions - Easily! With Step-by-step Directions, Photos, Ingredients, Recipe and Costs
Pickled Red, White or Yellow Onions
Yield: About 6 half-pint (8-ounce) jars
here for a PDF print version
Making and canning your own pickled red (or white) onions is easy, safe and allows you
to grow more onions that you can eat fresh, and have them in the cold of winter!
This is based on the traditional recipe as seen in the Ball Blue Book.
- 3 pounds (1.4 kg) red, white or yellow onions
- 4 cups red wine vinegar (5%)
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled, crushed, or pureed)
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
- Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling
water where you sanitize them. ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page)
- Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page)
- 1 large pots; teflon lined, glass or ceramic.
- Large spoons and ladles
- 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars
filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.). Note: we
sell many sizes and types of canners for all types of stoves and needs
- see canning supplies
- Pint canning jars (Ball or Kerr jars can be found at grocery stores, like Safeway, Publix, Kroger, grocery stores, even online - about $9 per dozen jars including the lids and rings).
Be sure to get wide mouth jars to fit the pickles in! Pint size
- Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with
a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They
may only be used once.
- Rings - metal bands that secure the lids
to the jars. They may be reused many times.
Pickled red onions - Directions - Step by Step
New photos are coming! (these show white onions, which can be pickled
like this also!)
Step 1 - Get the
jars and lids sanitizing
The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle.
I get that going while I'm preparing everything else, so it's done by the
time I'm ready to fill the jars. If you don't have a
dishwasher, submerge the jars in a large pot (the canner itself) of
water and bring it to a boil.
Be sure to let it go through the rinse
cycle to get rid of any soap!
Get the canner heating up
Fill the canner about 1/2
full of water and start it heating (with the lid on).
Start the water for the lids
Put the lids into
the small pot of boiling water for at least
several minutes. Note: everything gets
sanitized in the water
bath (step 7)
anyway, so this just helps to ensure
there is no spoilage later!)
Need lids, rings and replacement jars?
Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!
Step 2 - Peel the onions
With your hands rub the onions and remove any loose dry outer skins.
You can then either peel the onions with a knife and cutting board or by
immersing them in boiling water then cold water.
To peel onions by immersion, place a few at a time in a wire-mesh basket or
strainer, (or lacking those, simply dump them in) into a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and place in
cold (preferably icy) water for 30 seconds. Cut a 1/16th-inch slice from the root end,
and then remove the peel and 1/16th inch from the other end of the
onion. The tough outer layer should slide off easily now.
Step 3 - Slice the onions
Slice the onions 1/4 inch thick and then separate the slices into rings.
Step 4 - Heat the vinegar and garlic
- 4 cups red wine vinegar (5%)
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled, crushed, or purreed)
in a large pot (8 quarts or larger) and bring to boil and simmer
gently for 5 minutes.
Step 5 - Add the onions and simmer
Add onion rings
and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and heat until the
onions are half-cooked (about 5 minutes).
Step 6 - Fill jars with onions, pickling liquid and seal
Discard the garlic (if in a clove form). Fill hot jars with the hot
onions, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover with hot pickling liquid,
leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if
needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; adjust
two-piece metal canning lids.
Step 7 - Process (boil) the jars in the water bath canner
Process in a boiling water canner, as recommended in the
|Ball Blue Book recommended process time for
pickled red onions
in a boiling-water canner.
||Process Time at Altitudes of
|Style of Pack
||0 - 1,000 ft
||1,001 - 6,000 ft
||Above 6,000 ft
Step 8 - Done!
Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals. Allow pickled onions to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before
consuming for best flavor development. The jars should be good for
about a year if stored in a cool dark place.
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