This simple pickling spice recipe is great for making pickled peppers or other pickled foods, perfect for quick pickles and canning pickled vegetables.
Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe
Are you pickling your peppers and other garden grown vegetables this year, my friends? I am! I pickle loads of chili peppers every year, along with several other veggies.
Pickling is a great way to preserve your peppers so you can use them throughout the year, but also because of the flavor.
Pickling uses a salty brine to preserve your foods, which imparts a tasty tart-vinegary punch, but you can really upgrade that flavor with a great Pickling Spice combination.
Pickling spices help give your preserved pickled peppers, pickled vegetables and other pickled foods an additional, multi-dimensional flavor. A typical pickled pepper recipe consists of chili peppers, of course, with a salty vinegar brine and pickling spices added in.
While you can certainly pickle your peppers and other foods without the pickling spice, it is that combination of spices that brings nuance and flavor to your final product.
There are many spice blends available to you, depending on your personal tastes, although some go better in combination with others. There is no right or wrong combination. It is up to you to choose which flavors mingle best and what suits your personal palate.
There are so many ingredients you can use to make your own. I've included a recipe for you, but feel free to adjust ratios and use your favorites to customize your own pickling spice to your own palate. Play around with ingredient mixtures. Experiment. You may just find the next best pickling spice recipe ever.
Let's talk about how to make pickling spices, shall we?
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
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Coriander Seeds
- Dill Seeds
- 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'll 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'll never get that combination anywhere else.
How to Make Pickling Spice - the Recipe Method
Grind or Crush Larger Ingredients. If using cinnamon sticks or bay leaves, crush them up with a mortar and pestle into small pieces or use a spice grinder.
Combine. Mix to combine your chosen ingredients in a small bowl.
Store in an Airtight Container. Store your pickling spice mix in a sealed, airtight container like a glass jar and keep in a cool, dark place. Makes about 1/2 cup.
Aside from pickling vegetables, try this combination to make corned beef! See my corned beef seasonings recipe.
How Long Does Pickling Spice Last? Storage Information
Your homemade pickling spice blend will last for a year or longer, though it is best when used within the first month. After a month, the seasonings begin to lose potency and flavor. I usually only make just enough that I need for the batch that I am making.
How Much Pickling Spice Should I Use?
Use 1-2 teaspoons per 1 quart batch of pickled foods, such as pickled peppers, pickles, pickled radishes, or others. You can use more for a more pronounced flavor of spices.
How to Use Pickling Spices
Learn how to use pickling spices with the following pickling recipes.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe
- 1 Cinnamon Stick ground or coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Allspice berries
- 2 Bay Leaves crushed
- 1 tablespoon Cardamom
- 4 Cloves coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Dill Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional, for heat)
- Grind or Crush Larger Ingredients. If using cinnamon sticks or bay leaves, crush them up with a mortar and pestle into small pieces or use a spice grinder.
- Combine. Mix to combine your chosen ingredients in a small bowl.
- Store in an Airtight Container. Store your pickling spice mix in a sealed, airtight container like a glass jar and keep in a cool, dark place. Use in any pickling recipe.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 8/29/23 to include new photos, video and information. It was originally published on 10/15/15.