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Yield: 4 half-pint (8 ounce) jars (you can double or triple this batch)
Click here for a PDF print version (coming soon)
Making and canning your own zucchini pickles or pickled zucchini is very easy and inexpensive with this traditional and tested (USDA / Ball Blue Book) recipe. Anyone with a garden knows you will soon have more zucchini that you can eat or give away, so here's a way to preserve (pickle) them to enjoy in the cold winter months. And it's less than $1 per pint jar! Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. It is much faster than the old method your grandmother used with tons of pickling salt and de-scumming the brine! Ugh! This method is so easy, ANYONE can do this! It's a great thing to do with your kids!
If you want to make bread-and-butter zucchini pickles click here, or cucumber bread and butter pickles, see this page instead or click here for a bread-and-butter zucchini pickle recipe. And see this page for a great and easy Zucchini Bread!
Just slice of 1/8 inch from each end, then slice them lengthwise, into quarters. Slice the ends off the onions and cut them into quarters (it's not a problem if the quartered onions then fall apart)
Combine the sliced zucchini and onions in a bowl with the 1/4 cup of canning or pickling salt. Add enough cold water to cover them. Let the mix stand for 2 hours.
Drain (and discard) the liquids from the zucchini and onions. Rinse the zucchini and onions thoroughly in a colander or drainer.
In a large stainless steel, enamel, or lined pot, combine the
and bring to a boil.
Add the zucchini and onions and simmer for 10 minutes.
Fill the jars with zucchini/onion mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. then fill the void (air space) with the hot pickling solution from mixture up to the 1/2 inch headspace. Some people like to add a tablespoon of Ball "pickle crisp" to each jar now, to help the pickles remain crispy.
There are two methods to can the pickles, the usual water bath and a low temperature pasturization method. The latter method produces more crisp pickles, but is more involved.
Put the lids and rings on the jar, gently snug-tight, put them in the rack and lower into the water bather canner, which should be about 2/3 full of boiling water at a full boil. The jars should be convered by at least an inch of water. Bring the water back to a boil (if you have it on high heat, that shouldn't take but a minute or two) and then start timing, according to your altitude (at sea level up to 1,000 ft, 15 minutes).
Remove from the canner
Remove the jars, let them cool in a draft-free place, and then store in a cool, dark place. They will be good for up to a year. After that, the taste declines, but they're still safe, if the seals are intact and there are no signs of spoilage. spoilage.
The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage.
From left to right:
You can get all of the tools in a kit here:
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. you will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Zucchini Pickles - makes 12 pint jars, 16 oz each*
|Item||Quantity||Cost in 2019||Source||Subtotal|
|Zucchini||30-36 (about 2 small per pint jar)||free from the garden or a neighbor, or $3.00 at a PYO||Pick your own||$0|
|Canning jars (pint size, wide mouth), includes lids and rings||12 jars||$7.75/dozen||Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.)||$7.75|
Publix, Kroger, grocery stores
|Spices, sugar||See above||$3.00||Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.)||$3.00|
or about $0.98 per jar INCLUDING the jars - which you can reuse!
|* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars! Many products are sold in jars that will take the lids and rings for canning. For example, Classico Spaghetti sauce is in quart sized jars that work with Ball and Kerr lids and rings. Note that the Classico's manufacturer does not recommend reuse of their jars: see what they have to say on this page:|
This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning,"
Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2006.
Reviewed May 2009.
Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book