The Tip Crunchy Pickle Fans Need To Know

Pickles are pretty perfect. Whether you enjoy them on your favorite classic fried chicken sandwich, eat them fried to crispy perfection on a hamburger, or like to snack on these briny, preserved cucumbers after a workout and drink the pickle juice, they add just the right amount of savory and sour to the palate. According to, pickles have been in culinary rotation for over 4,000 years. Great names in history like Cleopatra and Napoleon liked to eat pickles and thanks to Christopher Columbus' trip to the new world, pickles also found a home in America. 

The history site goes on to explain that the pickle has long been lauded for not only its taste but its shelf life. Experts at Healthy Canning reveal pickles can last up to two years past their expiration date, that is "if you pressure canned them according to USDA directions and the seal is unbroken." However, they also caution that the crunchy quality of the pickle that we know and love may or may not be up to par if you wait that long to eat them. But speaking of crunchy, if you are going to can your cucumbers yourself and make your favorite homemade dill pickles, we have a tip for crunchy pickles that fans of this food will want to know.   

Think thick

According to Food & Wine, if you are making your own pickles the most important step to ensure they are crisp and crunchy is making sure you slice up those pickles into thick slices, quarters or whatever your favorite pickle shape might be. The food experts say thick cucumbers lead to longer-lasting crispiness when it comes to pickles. Another pro tip they offer is to make certain you cut off the "blossom end" of the cucumber as it contains a protein that can contribute to softening of this vegetable. How much exactly should you be cutting off?

Exploratorium suggests eliminating 1/16 of the blossom end to ensure crispness. The site goes on to explain that it is also important to choose the right cucumbers, meaning the same cucumbers you use in your favorite salad are likely not the same you would use for pickling. You also want to avoid using those cucumbers that have been waxed as wax serves the purpose of keeping your briny pickle juices from being absorbed. 

Additionally, The Prairie Homestead shares canning your pickles right after you pick them or keeping them cool in an ice bath for a few hours until you are ready to start the process, is also key to crispy pickles. The blogger also suggests adding grape or tea leaves to the brine, noting that the tannins will help preserve the crispiness, but will not resurrect a cucumber that has already softened.