Date: May 1989 (Reviewed April 1995)
Source: University of Wisconsin
Certain varieties of cucumbers--called pickling varieties in seed catalogs--are excellent for home pickling. Some that are recommended for North Dakota are Liberty, Spartan Dawn, Saladin, and others. All these varieties are relatively disease-resistant and produce high yields. You can successfully pickle other varieties, but they may not be as disease-resistant or high-yielding.
Slicing varieties or burpless varieties are not well suited for pickling, except for use in bread and butter pickles or relishes.
For the best results, pickle cucumbers within 24 hours after harvesting. If you keep harvested cucumbers refrigerated until you are ready to process them, you will get better results. At warm temperatures, cucumbers lose moisture rapidly, and don't produce a quality product.
Cucumbers no larger than six inches long will make the best pickles. Larger ones are likely to shrivel, or become hollow or soft.
Wash cucumbers thoroughly and carefully to avoid bruising. If you plan to store them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, wash them first. Let them dry and then place in a plastic bag.
Additional information on this topic is included in the Extension bulletin HE-189, "Making Pickles," which is available at your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.
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