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How to Make Pickled Gherkins

How to Pickle Gherkins

Pickled gherkins are a popular pickled food consisting of small cucumbers pickled in a solution of vinegar and spice.

The names for this pickled gherkin recipe are varied as are the types of cucumber used. The pickled recipe is known round the world as Pickled Gherkins, Cornichons, Pickled Cucumbers, Pickled Dills, Kosher Pickles and just simply Pickles.

There are really two types of cucumbers used in pickled gherkin recipes. The Burr pickle which a West Indian small cucumber and the garden cucumber.

glass jars for pickles 

Recipe Ingredients for Dill Pickles
Fresh cucumbers
pickling salt
jalapeno peppers
whole peppercorn
whole garlic cloves (peeled)
fresh dill sprigs
white wine vinegar or white vinegar
(5% distilled - commonly sold in stores)
small onions (optional)
Glass Jars

Some Pickled gherkin recipes are made in brine which uses the cucumbers natural bacteria to sour it and others use a mixture of brine and vinegar which both sours and preserves the gherkins.

In this canning recipe we are using baby cucumbers and vinegar brine as this is easier to make and preserves better in the glass jars.


1. Put the glass jars and lids in boiling water and soak thoroughly. Empty the jars and put them upside down in the oven for 10 minutes at 100 degrees C to dry.

2. In a large pan, combine two litres of water, 4 oz of salt, and 1 and a half litres white vinegar (5%). Bring the mixture to a boil until all the salt is dissolved.

3. In each sterilized jar place: one large sprig of dill weed, 1 medium jalapeño pepper (sliced length-way), 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn and if you like a couple of baby onions as they will pickle with the cucumbers and add a new flavour.

4. Wash the cumbers in cold water and fill your jars with cucumbers and a few baby onions. (Previously washed in cold water) and Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the glass jars to within 1 inch of top.

5. Seal the glass jars and store out of the light for at least 2 weeks.

What is a Pickled Gherkin?

A pickled gherkin is made from a particular type of cucumber known as a West Indian or Burr Gherkin (Cucumis anguria). The Garden Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) produces much larger fruit than the Burr Gherkin. Pickled Gherkin has largely become the generic name for both pickled gherkin and pickled cucumber.

What is a Cornichon?

Cornichons are sharp tasting French pickles made from gherkins pickled with vinegar and tarragon. They are not expensive to buy already in usually in glass jars. They traditionally accompany pâtés.

Some advice on Glass Jars

Vinegar is an acid and will react with certain materials, so leave some vinegar in the pickle jar over night to see if will take the pickling challenge.

Metal lids will go rusty with vinegar so place some plastic wrap between the jar and the lid when you seal them.

Kilner glass jars make excellent air tight storage for all types of pickled recipes. Glass Jars can also be re used for other pickled foods.



Recipes - Experiment and enjoy!