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A vast array of pickling supplies is available from a variety of sources, including from friends and family, retail stores, and the Internet. Many individuals who pickle fruits and vegetables utilize a variety of hand tools such as jar and lid lifters, funnels, and racks. Canning jars and lids, fermenting crocks, and large pots might also be used. Supplies such as books, mixes, or additives are sometimes available for those looking to try something new or research the process.
Unless one plans to ferment in addition to pickling, the only pickling supplies usually needed are canning jars and lids, a large pot, and ingredients in a recipe. A variety of pickling recipes are available from sources such as books, magazines, and the Internet. Typically the process involves mixing the brining solution together, soaking fruits or vegetables in jars, and boiling the jars and lids. Using a method other than this might result in less crispy pickles or other undesirable results.
The use of pickling supplies like jar and lid lifters, racks, and funnels usually helps the process become easier or safer. Lifters aid in the safe removal of lids and jars from boiling water. Racks accomplish a similar purpose, but several jars are placed on a rack at a time and lifted out at once. Funnels help guide liquids and other ingredients into the jars, thereby avoiding potential spillage.
Canning jars and lids come in a variety of sizes and represent two of the most important pickling supplies. Certain recipes might call for a specific size or lid type, while others do not. Many retail and grocery stores, as well as Internet sites, sell jars and lids, which may also be recycled for repeat use.
Fermenting crocks are usually considered specialty equipment, since they are not always necessary pickling supplies. If an individual chooses to make sauerkraut or another fermented dish, the use of this type of crock might aid in safe fermentation. One of the main purposes of this type of supply is to keep bad bacteria out of the food. For most pickling, a pot large enough to boil water and jars will suffice.
Many resources have been created to help make the process a bit easier. Books, mixes, and additives have all been created to aid in producing great pickles. Mixes are usually comprised of different spices to flavor the pickles. Additives help keep the pickles crisp and firm. A range of books have been written to facilitate effective pickling and to introduce new recipes and techniques.