Watermelon Rind Pickle Recipe and Other Pickling Techniques

If you are new to pickling, check out these techniques before you try pickling for the first time, and try the bonus watermelon rind recipe.

  • rinds
    You can pickle more than cucumbers as you will see here with the Watermelon Rind Pickle Recipe.
    Photo by GettyImages/DebbiSmirnoff
  • preserving
    “The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard, has many recipes and directions for those looking to can smaller amounts.
    By Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

  • rinds
  • preserving

The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard is a useful tool for new canners. Find basic canning techniques as well as helpful hints to make the process easier. Small-Batch Canning is perfect for a small family or harvest, the fruit and vegetables can still be preserved for later use. It also works if you have a large harvest but want to keep some fresh. Find this excerpt in Chapter 6, “Pickle Perfection.” 

Pickling can be traced to India, over 4,000 years ago. Today, more than ever, we can revel in the marvelous versatility of pickles which is reflected in the variety of vegetables—and even a few fruits—in our recipes, includ­ing Madras Pickled Eggplant, which harkens back to the origins of this condiment.

North Americans are said to eat more than 20 billion pickles each year. The Japanese even eat them for dessert. While it will no doubt be a long time before the cucumber loses its popularity, we weren’t surprised to learn that peppers account for more than 20% of specialty pickle sales. Fire-Roasted Pickled Sweet Red Peppers are one of our favorite specialty pickle recipes since they have so many uses.

Many fruits and vegetables find their way into a pickle. Cucumbers, cauliflower and beets are favorites, but asparagus, sweet cherries and lemons offer interest­ing variety. Slightly less common, but in our opinion absolutely wonderful, are oranges, pumpkin and watermelon rind. All these can be made in sweet, sour or hot versions and flavored with such herbs as dill, mustard seeds, bay leaf, or peppercorns—the possibilities are endless.

Remember that you need perfect produce for perfect pickles. This means the very freshest produce available. Too long between harvest and preparation can result in hollowed or shriveled pickles. Most pickles need a few weeks to mellow before they are ready to eat.

Techniques for Producing the Perfect Pickle.

  • Fresh produce is a must when making a batch of pickled anything.
  • Always use pickling salt.
  • Salt vegetables before making them into pickles. This draws out some of the moisture, producing a firmer pickle.
  • Cut a thin slice from the blossom end of cucumbers to remove an enzyme that may cause pickles to soften.
  • Process pickles in a boiling-water canner to destroy organisms that can cause pickles to soften.
  • Check the label on vinegar to make sure that it has at least 5% acetic acid.
  • Store prepared pickles a few weeks before sampling.
  • Serve pickles cold and refrigerate pickles after opening.

Serving Suggestions:



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