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 author and Home Economist, is fanatic about growing and preserving food for her family. She blogs at, and

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