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Homemade pickling spice recipe

Homemade pickling spice recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Herb and spice
  • Spices
  • Coriander seeds

Mix up this blend of spices and seasonings so it's ready to use when you start pickling and preserving your vegetables.

101 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 6 whole cloves

MethodPrep:10min ›Ready in:10min

  1. Place mustard seeds, allspice berries, whole coriander seeds and chilli flakes into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to combine. Add ground ginger to seeds and shake again. Sprinkle crumbled bay leaves over spice mixture and place cinnamon stick halves into the jar. Seal and shake to combine. Mixture can be stored in the tightly sealed jar for up to 1 month without loss of flavour.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(15)

Reviews in English (10)

by Mixit

I'm giving this 5 stars based on two criteria; first the spices are (largely) the same ingredients found in commercial pickling spice and secondly, I boiled some on the stove and the smell was wonderful (like a good pickling spice should be.) Not sure of the economics of making it, that would depend where you buy spices. I had ran out of the bottled variety and made this in a pinch.-06 Aug 2013


Had an abundance of cucumbers in the garden and decided to make some pickles. I didn't have any pickling spice made up and this recipe was just the ticket!! Thanks for posting. Great recipe!-20 Jul 2014

by cahelwig

I used this pickling spice to make Pop's pickles (recipe also on this The farmer's market was out of pickling spice, so I pulled up the first recipe I could find on Google and bought all the ingredients. Two weeks later the first jar of pickles was opened, and my friends declared them "Christmas pickles" because they taste like Christmas. This was a bit too cinnamon-y for both myself and the BF, so next time I'll try and leave out the sticks. Overall, though, this is a pretty decent recipe.-02 Sep 2014

Homemade Pickling Spice – Never Buy It Again!

It&rsquos time to ditch store-bought pickling spice and make your own!

Making it is super easy and there is no need to worry about if it is safe for preserving. Actually, pickling spice has nothing to do with the actual pickling process, rather its sole job is to add the spice and flavor to your pickling brine.

So instead of letting some company determine what flavor that your pickles will absorb, make your own and rest assured that the flavor is one that both you and your family will enjoy.

One word of caution: many companies that make commercial pickling spices and many homemade recipes add broken or crushed cinnamon sticks to the ingredients. Although we enjoy the subtle flavor of the sweet spice, we steer away from adding cinnamon to our own pickling spice as the cinnamon tends to lead to less crisp pickles.

The recipe below is our basic &lsquogo-to&rsquo recipe. These ingredients can be adjusted according to your individual taste. If you wanted to make a spicy pickle you could add more red pepper flakes. However, if you don&rsquot want any heat in your pickles at all, you could leave them out.

When you go to make your pickles, the actual spices will be tied in a cheesecloth bag and cooked with the brine to release the flavors. It will then be removed before canning, so there will be no need to fish out floating spices as you go to can your pickles.

Check out our recipe page dedicated to our Pickle and Relish Recipes.

This Page Includes:

Pickling Spice Ingredients:

How to Make Homemade Pickling Spice

Crush the cinnamon sticks into pieces and crumble the bay leaves.

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Use in your pickle recipes as directed.

These ingredients can be adjusted according to taste. If you wanted to make a spicy pickle, you could add some more red pepper flakes. Or if you don’t want any spice, you could leave them out.

That is the beauty of a homemade recipe like pickling spices. You control the flavors. Experiment and see what you come up with.

I must add that I priced seasonings from a supermarket, and I don’t really know that this would be any less expensive that just buying the spices already mixed.

BUT if you have access to spices in bulk, I’ll bet you could make your own more economically.

Homemade Pickling Spice Blend

My Homemade Pickling Spice Blend is made with a lot of spices already in your pantry and other are easily available in most markets. This is THE pickling spice blend. The aroma when simmered for a brine is amazing, especially in my Corned Beef recipe!

Warm spices like cinnamon, clove, star anise and cardamom get broken down in a spice grinder, but the other ingredients like mustard seed, allspice, juniper berries, coriander seeds, bay leaves and dill stay whole.

Mix these all together with black peppercorns and store in an airtight jar.

This is my go to whenever I make my own Corned Beef from scratch.

Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe

Try this homemade pickling spice recipe — since the spices don't contribute to the pickling itself, you can change up ingredients to suit your preferences.

By Cathy Barrow
From "Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry"
December 2014

Total Hands-On Time: 5 min

Preparation Time: 5 min

Yield: 1/3 cup

Learn how to preserve everything you might find at a farmers market &mdash or in your own backyard &mdash with the clear, easy-to-follow directions you&rsquoll find in Mrs. Wheelbarrow&rsquos Practical Pantry (W. W. Norton & Company, 2014) by Cathy Barrow. Recipes for delicious ways to eat up your stores are interspersed throughout the canning, smoking, curing and brining instructions, which progress from the easiest to the most complex recipes. The following homemade pickling spice recipe is from chapter 1, &ldquoThe Basics of Water Bath Canning: Answering the Siren Call of Seasonal Abundance.&rdquo

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry.

While pickling spice is available in every grocery store spice aisle, I encourage you to make your own. There are very strong flavors at work here. For every pickle maker out there, one loves allspice and hates cinnamon. Another wants a pickle without red pepper heat, and another prefers to swap black mustard seeds for yellow. There really are no rules, as the spice does not contribute to the pickling action, it only flavors it. So, alter these ingredients to suit yourself. (This is an exception to the "no changing the ratios" rule of water bath canning.)


&bull 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
&bull 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
&bull 1 tablespoon allspice berries
&bull 1-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
&bull 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
&bull A 3-inch cinnamon stick
&bull 2 bay leaves
&bull 4 whole cloves


1. Crush the seeds and berries with a mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife or the bottom of a heavy drinking glass. Transfer to a small bowl and add the red pepper, if using, and ginger. Crush the cinnamon stick with a heavy pan or mallet. Crumble the bay leaf. Add both to the bowl.

2. Funnel the spice mix into a jar, cover, and shake well. It will be fragrant for 1 year.

Homemade Pickling Spice

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of the sunlight.

Use as is when making pickles or place in cheesecloth for easy removal.


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Homemade Pickling Spice Ingredients

Typically, pickling spices are used whole or coarsely chopped, and include any combination of some of the following spices:

  • Allspice Berries
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cloves
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Dill Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mace
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Peppercorns (black peppercorns, white, pink)
  • Dill Seeds
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

This is not an exhaustive list. Again, it depends on your own palate and preferred flavors. You&rsquoll get a stronger flavoring with a pickling spice combination, and of course vary up the ratios to your liking. There are also pre-packaged pickling spice mixes available in many grocery stores as well, or you can order one online.

However, it is so much more fun and interesting to make on your own. You&rsquoll never get that combination anywhere else.

Homemade Pickling Spice

Now you can actually buy all of the seasonings you will need ready made in a bag. If you don&rsquot have most of the ingredients necessary I would just buy this instead. It will be cheaper than purchasing every single one individually.

How do you make spicy pickles from scratch?

You can use a few drops (or more) of your favorite hot sauce like Tobasco. Alternatively or in addition to, red pepper flakes will add quite a bit of heat depending on how much you add. The thinner your pieces are sliced too, the hotter they will taste.

Some swear by adding some dry mustard seeds into the mix too. I mean you can tweak it to fit your taste buds for sure but the primary base is listed below. You can take it from there. 😉

What is pickling spice made of?

There are slight variations depending on what recipe you use but the core ingredients are:

  1. Sprigs of dill
  2. Sugar
  3. Peppercorns
  4. Red pepper flakes
  5. Salt
  6. Garlic or minced garlic for a bolder flavor
  7. Or you can just buy this already made instead

White vinegar and water are the liquids you&rsquoll add to your spice mix and pour into your mason jars. Make sure yours seal well. I like the ones with a bit of a rubber seal (photo at the top). Use these directions if you are canning pickles.

Can I put a cucumber in pickle juice?

Meaning, can you buy a few small cucumbers, slice them, and put them into a jar with leftover brine. For sure. If you have finished all of your store bought jarred pickles, save the liquid and you can certainly use that if you&rsquod like.

What kind of cucumbers are used for pickles?

The style is called Kirby. They are small and usually sold in bunches. In our store you can buy a clear bag full with about 12 in each one. Some people also use the Persian variety but those have thinner skins.

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Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe

Schedule your weekly meals and get auto-generated shopping lists.

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf crumbled
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • 2 tablespoons mustard seedshopping list
  • 1 teaspoon ground gingershopping list
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspiceshopping list
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakesshopping list
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seedsshopping list
  • 1 bay leaf crumbled shopping list
  • 2 whole clovesshopping list
  • 1 cinnamon stickshopping list

How to make it

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The Cook

The Rating

Easy enough. Made a quarter cup. Just enough to go in a cheesecloth bag for a recipe I'm making.
See Homemade Pickling Spice for comment link.

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Easy Pickle Recipes and Tips

Pickling encapsulates the crisp flavors of peak summer produce. A splash of vinegar, a spoonful of salt, and a heavy pinch of spices transform any backyard bounty of cucumbers into a long-lasting treat.

Quick pickling is a simple technique every cook should learn. Once you have the basic pickle brine recipe down, you can pickle just about anything and everything at the farmers’ market. Maybe skip the bar of artisanal lavender soap, though?

Which Vinegar Can I Use for Pickling?

White vinegar is the standard for making quick homemade pickles. It has a high acidity content, which is necessary for preserving vegetables. White vinegar also has a sharp, clean taste that takes on the flavor of other ingredients.

Apple cider vinegar is another good choice, especially for bread and butter pickles. Cider vinegar has an easygoing flavor and adds an attractive color to your pickle.

White wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and rice vinegar also work well for pickle brines. Balsamic vinegar is not ideal for pickle recipes, unless you’re just adding a splash for flavor.

Popular Vegetables for Pickling

In the United States, cucumbers are synonymous with pickled vegetables. The Kirby or “pickling” cucumber is the top choice for a firm, crunchy pickle. Parisian cornichons, aka gherkins, are also a favorite. Longer varieties such as Persian and English hothouse cucumbers are less desired for pickling as they often become mushy if the seeds aren’t removed. When pickling any cucumber, slice off the blossom end as it contains an enzyme that softens pickles.

Aside from cucumbers, you can pickle pretty much anything. What follows is a short list of the most popular pickling ingredients besides cucumbers: Carrots, beets, radishes, onions, scallions, garlic cloves, chile peppers, lemons, olives, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon rind, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cabbage, celery, fennel, green beans, zucchini, okra, and, grape leaves. Whichever ingredient you choose to pickle, select vegetables that are at their peak ripeness.

Popular Spices for Pickling

Spices and aromatics are an essential part of any good pickle. The standout spices and herbs for any delicious pickle brine are bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seed, caraway seed, dill weed, allspice berries, dried chiles, turmeric, horseradish, cinnamon, and cloves. For an all-encompassing flavor, try using our pickling spices blend. You can also browse our entire collection of pickling spices to pick out your favorites and try your own blend.

With the exception of ground turmeric and horseradish, whole spices are the preferred choice for making pickle brines. Ground spices will affect the appearance of your pickles and can overpower the flavor.

Salt and sugar are also important ingredients. It’s best to use salts that have no additives, like coarse Mediterranean sea salt or coarse Himalayan sea salt. White cane sugar, brown sugar, and even maple syrup can be used to sweeten a jar of pickles.

Pickle Brine Recipe

Equal parts white vinegar and water form the most basic of brine recipes. From there, you can add your favorite spices, herbs, salts, and sugar to the recipe. For salt, a good place to start is a tablespoon per cup of brine. You can also salt the vegetables separately and rinse them before brining. This extra step draws out moisture in the vegetables, making for improved texture and flavor.

An easy pickling recipe to follow is the 3-2-1 method three parts water, two parts vinegar, and one part sugar. This 3-2-1 pickle brine is on the sweeter side, making it great for bread and butter pickles or spicy pickled beets. For a more savory pickle, use less sugar.

Once you have determined an ideal ratio of ingredients, combine them all in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir the brine so that any salt and sugar is completely dissolved. Once the liquid begins boiling, turn off heat. The brine is now ready to pour over your soon-to-be pickles. Make sure the vegetables are completely submerged in the brine. Once the brine cools to room temperature, the jar can be placed in the refrigerator and be kept for weeks.

Be careful when pouring warm or hot brine over certain vegetables as they can overcook and become too soft. If you are worried about this, let your brine cool to a lukewarm temperature before using. The pickles will be ready to eat after 24 hours, but get exponentially better after one week.

Watch the video: How to make Home made Dill Pickles. Easy steps, PICKLING SPICE BLEND and PICKLING BRINE (January 2022).