Carrot Pickles


It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love pickles. LOVE pickles. I’ve been known to eat an entire bowl of  sauerkraut just as an afternoon snack.

So when we got an epic harvest of carrots this year, storing them seemed like such a waste of potential crispy pickled awesomeness.  I also had fresh dill from the garden, just waiting to shine in a simple brine. (Oh dear that was some egregious rhyming)

I started out my afternoon of pickling by reviewing the Ball Blue Book. It’s always good to refresh yourself on the basics if you haven’t canned in awhile.


After cleaning and chopping the carrots in 3/8″ sticks, I heated up a brine solution of 2 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar, 3 TB sugar and 3 TB pickling salt.

This is worth buying because the anti-caking agents in standard salt will make your brine cloudy (kosher salt without additives and sea salt also work) I brought it to a boil, and then set the timer to let it simmer for five minutes.


I sterilized my jars in the oven, as suggested by Amy Pennington in her fantastic Urban Pantry cookbook. Then I added garlic, dill and a pinch of red pepper flakes to each jar.


In the meantime, I got my big soup pot up to a rolling boil and dropped a handtowel in the bottom to prevent the jars from knocking together.

Yes, you could use a canner, but I don’t have a lot of room in my kitchen and for small-batch preserving this works just as well.


From there it was time to pack the carrots into the jars nice and tight. When the brine was ready, I carefully poured it into each jar leaving 1/4 ” headspace. This is the unfilled space from the top of the food in the jar to the lid. It’s important because it allows for expansion during processing

Once the lids were on, I processed the jars for 15 minutes in boiling water. Using my handy kitchen tongs, I pulled them out and left them to dry. After some time, you should hear little pops as the jars seal.

Don’t panic if you don’t hear the pops. Wait 24 hours. If the jars aren’t sealed by then, you can re-process them. To check that they are sealed, take the bands off and gently push the lid up with your finger.

I say gently because some of us have weirdly strong hands and if you push too much you will open jars that were in fact sealed. Not that this happened to me. Okay it totally did. But I re-processed it 24 hrs later and they are all sealed nice and tight now.


Aren’t they pretty? The perfect spicy snack for cold blah-wintery days.

A few things to keep in mind if you are new to canning:

1. Be careful about altering recipes. I like to experiment as much as the next person BUT this is one situation in which you really just want to stick to the recipe. If you change the amount of low-acid ingredients, such as garlic, celery etc. you could end up with unsafe food. Same for adding substantially more spices. Just don’t.

2. You can buy fancy old school canning jars with cute little latches on the side, or you can save yourself some grief and just get the modern ones with standard lids for now. They are easier to get a seal on, and you can get all turn-of-the-century on your next canning adventure.

3. Be sure when you process the jars that they are covered by at least one inch of boiling water. I usually go for 1 1/2 or 2 inches just to be safe.

And lastly, the recipe:


{Spicy Pickled Carrots}

Yield: 8 half-pint jars


2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut 3/8 ” thick

8 small garlic cloves

dill sprigs

hot pepper flakes

2 cups water

2 cups white vinegar

3 TB sugar

3 TB pickling salt


Probably start by getting your soup pot full of enough water to go about 2″ over the top of your jars. Get it heating while you do the following. It will need to be at a rolling boil when it’s time to process. After sterilizing your jars, add the garlic, dill and red pepper flakes. Then pack tightly with the carrots. In the meantime, heat up your brine. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 5 minutes. When it is ready, pour the hot liquid over the carrots, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Put the lids on and gently twist. Hopefully, your boiling water is ready now. Process them in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. Check to make sure they are sealed before storing them in a dark, dry place.

If you have any questions at all about my process, feel free to leave them in the comments section. Hope you enjoy these. YAY carrots!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...