Can you use aluminum cookware when pickling?
It’s pickling season here in the Mid-Columbia. My favorite local farmer is now taking orders for pickling cukes. Actually, his advertisement originally said “tickling cukes.” Obviously the newspaper’s classified ad designer is not a home canner!
So, whether you are putting up pickling cukes, tickling cukes, or any other kind of pickle, you may notice that the recipes says this: heat vinegar, spices, et.al. in a non-reactive pan.
Which leads to the questions:
What is a non-reactive pan? and
Why do I have to use a non-reactive pan when making pickles?
A non-reactive pan (pot) is made of:
- stainless steel
So your good quality stainless cookware is non-reactive. If you, like me, have any of the old glass Corning Visionware pots still hanging around, they too are non-reactive. Enameled cast iron (like Le Creuset) or general country-style enamelware are also non-reactive. All of these pots would be perfect when making pickles.
Because a reactive pot:
Leaches into the pickles, giving them a metallic taste. In other words, vinegar reacts with metal, and causes the metals to “leave” the pot and join the vinegar “party.” Reactive pots are those made from:
Aluminum pots – ok for everyday cooking, best avoided when making pickles.
Stainless steel pots – great for everyday cooking, great for making pickles.
Copper pots – perfect for making chocolates, not so perfect for pickles.
Glass pots – ok for everyday cooking, great for making pickles.
Cast iron pots – excellent for everyday cooking, best avoided when making pickles.
Enameled cast iron – great for everyday cooking, great for making pickles.
Is it a great day for pickling where you are?
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