Can you use regular cucumbers instead of pickling cucumbers to make pickles?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to making pickles, using regular slicing cucumbers instead of pickling cucumbers is possible, but there are a few factors to consider. Pickling cucumbers, also known as Kirby cucumbers, are specifically bred to have a firm texture and a small size, making them ideal for pickling. Regular slicing cucumbers, on the other hand, are typically larger and have a higher water content, which can result in softer pickles.

While it is possible to use regular cucumbers for pickling, you may end up with pickles that are not as crisp as those made with pickling cucumbers. The higher water content in regular cucumbers can cause them to become softer during the pickling process. However, if you prefer a softer pickle or if you are making a relish where texture is not as important, regular cucumbers can still be used without hesitation.

To help mitigate the softer texture, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure to chill the cucumbers well before starting the pickling process. Cooling the cucumbers helps to retain some of their crispness. You can also consider adding ingredients such as grape leaves or calcium chloride to the pickling brine. These additives help to maintain the crispness of the cucumbers during pickling.

In my personal experience, I have used regular slicing cucumbers to make pickles before. While the resulting pickles were not as crisp as those made with pickling cucumbers, they still had a delicious flavor and were enjoyed by my family and friends. I found that chilling the cucumbers and adding grape leaves to the brine helped to improve the texture to some extent.

Using regular slicing cucumbers instead of pickling cucumbers to make pickles is possible, but you may end up with a softer pickle. However, if you are making relish or prefer a softer pickle, regular cucumbers can be used without hesitation. Chilling the cucumbers before pickling and adding ingredients to help maintain crispness can also help improve the texture. Ultimately, the choice between using regular cucumbers or pickling cucumbers depends on personal preference and the desired outcome of your pickling project.