I want to learn how to pickle, can I use store bought veggies?

Joined Apr 3, 2009

I am really interested in learning how to make homemade pickles but I do not have a garden to grow fresh veggies ( I don't even have a lawn). I thought about buying the veggies at the local store but then I thought about the wax that they put on cucumbers and who knows what else so I figured I cannot use those. Should I buy from the organic section? Would Whole Foods be best to buy veggies from?


Joined Feb 1, 2007
You've actually posed several different questions.

The general answer is, yes, you can certainly use store-bought veggies. Keep in mind, though, that they are not the best quality, and your pickles etc. will reflect that. Buying organic in a supermarket will have no significant effect on that.

You're better off buying at a farmer's market. I see you're in Seattle, and there are several such markets operating there. It's well worth the effort seeking them out. You get farm-to-table freshness. The veggies are actually field ripened. And you're better able to buy in quantity. And at the peak of the season.

Wax on cukes is a cold-storage technique. Cucumbers sold in season do not have that covering. Waxed cukes are also slicing types, and the best pickles and relishes are made with pickling types.

We're I you I'd start by doing a search, here, under canning and preserving. JustPJ has written several how-to articles, and they're a good beginning.

I'd also be sure and get a copy of the latest Ball Blue Book, which is the bible of home canning. And, when you're ready to start, buy a canning starter kit, which will have everything you need except for the canning kettle and jars. You'll have to buy those separately.

One cautionary note: Canning (as well as other food preservation techniques) can be addictive. So bear that in mind as you start your new culinary hobby.
Joined Apr 30, 2010
Try a local farmers market and if you can't find one the cukes in the store should be just fine as long as you wash them with some type of vegetable wash or you could probably just use plain soapy water as long as you rinse them very well.

That's what we did growing up and we canned a lot of vegetables from our garden.

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