Dill is a herb in the celery family. It’s an annual herb with feathery green leaves and is self-seeding. Dill is used for garnishing or as a spice in different dishes. It is also used as a drug in different cultures.
The most common use of dill is in pickles. Dills are pickled with fresh dill weed or dill seed. The fresh dills are either added to some vinegar brine or the simple salted one along with some additional flavored ingredients that make it more delicious. Dill pickles taste sweet and sour and have a briny taste. They are juicy and crunchy.
How to store Dill Pickle?
Storing dill pickle in the right way to avoid it spoiling it is very important.
Fermented dill pickles are susceptible to spoilage if you plan on storing them for a few months. Hence canning is the best way to store the fermented dill pickle. Water bath canner is the way of canning used or high acidity food such as pickles in which pickles are canned in a simple pot of boiling water. Canned dill pickle is ready to eat in four to five weeks.
Following are a few ways to keep pickle fresh and crunchy while canning;
- Use small, firm cucumbers with soft fresh dill.
- Jar them immediately after picking.
- Soak cucumbers and dill in an ice water bath for a couple of hours.
- Cut off the blossom end of the cucumber and ends of dill.
- Add tannins to the jar.
An unopened jar of pasteurized dill pickle needs to sit away from sunlight and sources of heat. A dark cabinet in the pantry or kitchen is a perfect choice. Once the jar is opened, you must keep it in the refrigerator covered and tight.
If the pickle is unpasteurized, it is always stored in the refrigerator because the jar bacteria are still alive, and the fermentation process is still going on. To slow down the process of fermentation, it is important to refrigerate the jar of dill pickle. If the unpasteurized pickle is stored at room temperature, the fermentation process will resume, and the veggies in the pickle will turn sour.
An unopened can of fully fermented pickles in a refrigerator may be stored for about four to six months, provided their surface scum and molds are removed regularly.
Submerged in brine
To keep the veggies fresh for a longer time, they should always be completely submerged in the brine. The taste and color of the veggies exposed to the air will change with time.
How to Freeze a dill pickle?
Dill pickles cannot be frozen for preservation as they would lose their texture and flavor because they have already undergone a cooking process that has altered their texture. Freezing the water in pickle and brine would form crystals and rearrange and break down the pickle’s fibers, making the pickle softer.
But freezing pickles as a production method works. Freezing pickles in their brine work almost the same as canning of the pickle. The only difference is the lack of heat in freezing. Dill pickle can be frozen safely for at least one week up to six months.
How long does dill pickle last?
Dill has a very short shelf life as they are straight from the garden ingredient. However, when they are pickled, they can be stored for quite a long time. Their shelf life depends on different factors such as its ‘best by date, its preparation method, and how it is stored.
Dill pickle can last a long time if stored properly. Unopened dill pickle jars on a pantry or in a refrigerated can last for almost one to two years post expiratory date, while opened pickles can last up to one year in a refrigerator. Opened dill pickle jars can also be used post expiry, provided they have been stored properly, the jar is not damaged, and there are no signs of spoilage.
The storage time of the pickle given above is only for the best quality of the pickle. After
the pickle has passed its ‘’best before’’ date, its texture, color, and taste will start changing, but it can be consumed even after that.
How to tell if dill pickle is bad?
Dill pickle usually does not spoil If the brine is intact and the veggies are properly submerged in the brine. But if any mold or organic growth shows up, throw the pickle. Also, when the color and odor of the pickle change noticeably.
Some other signs that show that the pickle has gone bad are;
- Bad smell: it is a sign of fermentation in the process, and fermented pickle is very dangerous for health.
- Bubbling in the jar: The bulging of the lid and bubbles in the canning jar signifies that the pickle has gone bad.
- Change of color: color change can indicate the presence of fungus.
- Change in brine texture: if brine becomes thin, pickle has gone bad.
- Change in taste: taste change shows that the pickle is no longer edible.
- Expiry date: if the pickle has passed its expiry date, avoid eating that pickle.