Non-Reactive Pots and Pickling

Filed in Canning and Preserving by on August 18, 2015 0 Comments

Can you use aluminum cookware when pickling?

cooking pot

Courtesy Pixabay

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, 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
  • enamelware
  • glass

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
  • copper
  • brass
  • iron

To Recap:

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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About the Author ()

Renee Pottle, an freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

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