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Jul 20, 2012 04:36 AM

Pickling: Should all the pickles be covered in pickling liquid??

I just canned 5 pints of zucchini pickles. When I was packing the jars to process them, I realized there wasn't going to be enough pickling liquid to cover all the pickles. I managed to get 4 pints of fairly covered jars of pickles, but the last jar I didn't have any liquid to cover the pickles. That last jar I just put in the fridge, but now I am wondering if the 4 pints of pickles that I canned are going to be okay, since a few of the pickles at the top of the jar are not submerged. Will bacteria grow on these? Could I get sick eating them? What is the protocol for covering pickles with liquid before canning? Help!!

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  1. Anything that's not covered by the pickling liquid could go bad enough to make you sick. I would make another small batch of the liquid, top off each one of the jars to cover the zucchini completely, and reprocess them.

    2 Replies
      1. re: ricepad

        D'accordo! (I agree!) I pickle green tomatoes at the end of the growing season that will not ripen on the vine. The pickling solution is that for bread and butter pickles given to me by our daughter, and I make sure that each slice is covered by the pickling solution. The pickled green tomatoes are a good condiment for beef burgers.

      2. Hey thanks everyone. I guess I will have to make some more pickling liquid. I have never reprocessed anything before, I assume I just follow the exact same instructions as I did the first time and put new lids on all the jars? Yes? Thanks again!

        2 Replies
        1. re: lbaat

          Yeah, if you wanted to be absolutely safe. OTOH, since you pickling is it's own preservative method, I'm not sure you even need to process them again, TBH. I don't process my pickles at all, and I'm not dead yet. ("I'm feeling much better!"