I am really into BBQ. Truly great barbecue experiences happen when you are in the right place, with the right main protein, and the right sides. A common garnish/side you will see with your BBQ plate is pickles. BBQ meals are rich and the pickles help you cut through the sweet and intense flavors and bring some balance to the experience. Sauces are spicy and hot. Pickles are cool. The proteins are tender. Pickles are crunchy.
My normal approach is to buy some pickles off the grocery shelf. Sometimes I splurge and buy expensive pickles especially if they come in a fancy jar with a plain label. I am a sucker. Recently, I started making my own pickles. Turns out it is super easy to make your own pickles at home. I started off by using a 10-minute pickle kit that has been sitting in our pantry for a few years.
It’s easy to get started and experiment. As per usual, I have some tips for you venturing into pickling.
Start small. Just because you are going to make your own pickles, doesn’t mean you are going to have to stock up on canning supplies and vegetables and convert your basement into long-term storage of your mason jars.
Heterogeneity. Cut your vegetables with some small variations. This yields interesting bites and some unexpected results. Some will be mushy. Some will be crunchy.
Experiement. The recipe is straightforward… slice vegetables, boil water and vinegar with pickling spices, pour into a mason jar, seal, and store in the fridge for a while. Each step has a lot of room to tweak. You can change any of the steps and get different results. Have fun. And, almost no matter what you do, you have pickles in the end.