We need more pickled vegetables on our plates!
- Timm Kuster
Note: The following article is an edited transcript from the video.
That's a good comment because I also think pickled vegetables are great.
I didn't do much pickling until my last cookbook Amazing Food Made Easy: Healthy Sous Vide. In that one I did 2 different pickled vegetable recipes and it showed me just how easy it is to use sous vide for pickling.
For one I did a normal cucumber dill pickle recipe that I cooked at about 140°F (60°C) to 145°F (62.8°C). At that temperature it doesn't really tenderize the cucumbers much, so they retain their crispness while absorbing the pickling flavors.
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The second was a spicy carrot recipe. Here I used 183°F (83.9°C), a temperature high enough to start to tenderize the vegetables.
For more information on different types of pickling methods, check out my recipes on How to Pickle.
The biggest benefit of using sous vide for pickling is the ability to easily select how much you want it to be tenderized. The longer you leave it in the water bath, the more tender the vegetables will become. That makes it easy to follow a normal pickling process.
I haven't made recipes for canning yet because I haven't done enough research to feel comfortable producing shelf-stable pickles with the canning process and the temperatures it uses. But for normal vinegar pickles, sous vide works great. You make a normal pickling brine, fill a container with carrots or green beans or any vegetable, add the brine and sous vide it for 40 to 60 minutes depending on the vegetable. You're going to end up with crisp, flavorful pickles. It's a good way to make pickles with very little cleanup; I always consider that a big benefit!
So, I agree ... put more pickles on the plate and use sous vide to make them!
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