This homemade pickling spice recipe is a basic blend of warm flavors perfect for making your favorite pickled vegetables.
What is Pickling Spice?
Pickling spice is a mix of savory dried spices that are used to flavor pickling brine. When food is pickled, it is preserved in brine that infuses its flavor into the food over time.
You can purchase pickling spice at the store, but if you do a lot of picking, it makes sense to make your own using fresh ingredients. Plus you can customize it to your liking.
You can also grow some of the ingredients in your garden. I let celery, dill, mustard, and cilantro plants go to seed every year, so I can gather a fresh supply. I also dry lots of peppers to use whole, or crushed into red pepper flakes.
Basic Ingredients Usually Include:
- Bay Leaves
- Black Peppercorns
- Coriander Seeds
- Mustard Seeds
Optional Add Ins:
- Allspice Berries
- Celery seeds
- Dried Red Chile Pepper (Whole or Flakes)
- Dill Seeds
- Fennel Seeds
- Ginger Powder
- Juniper Berries
- Star Anise
- Turmeric Powder
How to Make Pickling Spice
Pickling spice is the base for all your pickling needs. This is my go-to pickling spice for home canning pickled foods and preserving refrigerator pickles. Start with this basic recipe and add additional flavors depending on what you like.
- Gather: Grab all the ingredients. I like to line the individual jars and packages across the counter in the order that I will use them.
- Crush: Break up whole cinnamon sticks by crushing with a meat mallet. Crumble the bay leaves with your fingers, or grind briefly with a mortal and pestle.
- Combine: Follow the recipe, measure, add each ingredient to a small bowl, and mix to combine.
- Store: Pour the pickling spice into a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep in a cool, dark place. Use within one to two years. You can still use it beyond this time, but the flavor fades over time.
Ways to Use Pickling Spice
- Easy Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables
- Kosher-Style Dill Pickles
- Bread and Butter Pickles
- Sweet Cucumber Relish
- Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
- Pickled Jalapeño Rings
- Pickled Dilly Beans
- Sweet and Sour Zucchini Pickles
- Zucchini Relish
- Pickled Garlic Scapes
Homemade Pickling Spice
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks about 4 inches long
- 5 whole bay leaves
- 2 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dill seeds
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- Crush the cinnamon sticks and crumble the bay leaves.
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well to combine.
- Add the pickling spice mixture in a small 4 to 8 ounce jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Label, date, and store the jar in a cool, dark place away from direct light. Flavor begins to fade after a year.
- Shake to re-distribute before using. Makes about 1/2 cup.
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