Gain more control over the spices in your canned goods by making your own homemade pickling spice.
We have all seen those cute little bottles of pickling spice sitting on the shelves in the supermarket. They all seem to have a different ingredient list on the bottle, and one simply says “SPICE” under ingredients. I don’t know about you, but that seems scarily vague to me. What the heck is really in there?
Another popular brand admits in the ingredients that it contains “sulfiting agents”. (Ok, I admit that this is the one that I do buy in a pinch because at least they are honest with their labeling.)
But really, what is a sulfiting agent?
According to Dictionary.com, a sulfiting agent is defined as a “sulfite-containing compound, especially one that is used in foods or drug products as a preservative and that can cause severe allergic reactions in susceptible individuals: use in fresh fruits and vegetables banned by the FDA in 1986.” You can learn more about sulfiting agents on the Texas A&M website here.
While banned on fresh foods, they are still widely used in processed foods in order to preserve the shelf life. I’m not a big fan of anything processed, but as stated before, I trust the honesty of the company who admits they use them. I can’t trust someone who just says “SPICE” regardless of if they are attempting to keep their recipe secret or not. I like to actually know what is in my food.
Make it Your Own
I absolutely adore knowing exactly what I put into the foods I feed my family. I love having control of the recipe and adjusting the spices based on our personal tastes. A friend of mine adds cinnamon to this recipe when she makes it for her family because of the tastes of their individual palates. Play around with the ratios and add or remove based on what your family likes. This is just my base recipe. I do tend to add more crushed red pepper and peppercorns to my dill pickles because we like a spicier pickle. Don’t be afraid to make this recipe your own. That’s half of the joy of cooking!
Make it Cheaper
One of the companies that sell pre-packaged pickling spice advertises that buying their product is “cheaper than making your own”. I have to admit, I was skeptical about that claim. Maybe they are, but (in true Hippy fashion) I had to find that out for myself. So I got to work purchasing my own spices and having my Redneck do the cost breakdown on how much it really cost to make a batch of my Homemade Pickling Spice.
First, we checked the ounces and cost of the store bought mixture. The brand we looked at ended up being $1.65 per ounce.
Next, we figured up the cost per ounce of the individual spices I bought. Then we weighed each amount needed for a batch to get the cost per ounce for each individual spice.
Dill= $1.40 per batch
Peppercorns= $0.78 per batch
Mustard Seeds= $0.85 per batch
Coriander Seeds= $0.28 per batch
Allspice Berries= $0.37 per batch
Crushed Red Pepper= $0.05 per batch
Bay Leaves= $0.11 per batch
Final cost for a batch= $3.84
The entire batch is 2.8 oz, which is a full ounce larger than the store-bought container. So, once all is said and done, the homemade version costs $1.37 an ounce, which is $0.28 cheaper (despite their claims to the contrary). That little bit of change over the course of how much pickling spice you use over the canning season can really add up!
Not only is it more self-reliant, it will save you money! Talk about a win-win!!
Homemade Pickling Spice
Homemade Pickling Spice
- 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. mustard seed
- 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp. dill seed
- 1 tbsp. allspice berries
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 10-12 tbsp. bay leaves crumbled
Add all the spices to a small bowl. Stir to mix. Store in an airtight container.
Now that you have your own Pickling Spice, why not try it out on a batch of Memaw’s Pickled Eggs & Beets or some Spicy Garlic Zucchini Pickles?