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Pickling okra can be a tasty way to preserve and enjoy this bountiful crop through the colder months, and there are certain tips for pickling okra to ensure a successful final product. Sanitation of all equipment is a necessary component in pickling and canning okra, as is the collection of the appropriate ingredients such as okra, water, vinegar and salt. Adding herbs and spices, such as dill and garlic cloves, aids in the overall flavor of the canned and pickled okra. It is also best to prepare pickled okra in non-metallic heating utensils and jars, as metal can impart an undesirable flavor in the okra.
Many gardeners and okra enthusiasts enjoy taking advantage of okra's abundant crop during the summer months by pickling the vegetable to preserve it so it can be eaten throughout the fall and winter. The first step in pickling okra is to make sure all utensils being used are thoroughly sanitized by placing them in boiling hot water. This ensures that very little bacteria will interfere with the processes that occur during pickling. Most people use glass jars to store the pickled okra, as these jars can be cleaned and sanitized quite easily without fear of destruction when exposed to heat.
Pickled okra requires the same amount of water as it does vinegar, so ensuring equal measurements of both ingredients is crucial for pickling okra successfully. Most okra recipes use apple cider vinegar for a more distinct flavor, yet any kind of vinegar will ensure the same results. Another important ingredient that needs to be supplied in adequate amounts is pickling salt, as salt is crucial for developing flavor and preservation. It is important to use pickling or canning salt when pickling okra rather than regular salt, as regular salt contains additives that might prevent it from being fully dissolved.
Recipes for pickling okra require that the water and salt be slowly heated over a medium boil on the stove to ensure that the salt fully dissolves. Using glass or a non-metal pot is often recommended, as metal can react to the vinegar solution and make the final mixture appear cloudy. Metal utensils may also impart an undesirable flavor to the pickled okra, especially if the utensils are older varieties. After placing the okra and vinegar solution in glass jars to sit for a few days, many cooks place garlic cloves or dill with the okra to enhance flavor and aroma.