View Full Version : pickling
09-09-2009, 02:46 PM
hi, does anyone have any advice on a cheap way to pickle? i cant afford a pickle tank is there a cheap option i could use that isnt too dangerous? I think a friend of mine uses a plastic tub, is that advisable?
09-09-2009, 03:15 PM
Hi unhindered plastic is not advised i just use a pyrex dish with a meths burner, but lots of people on here use a slow cooker you can buy them quite cheaply so its on my list of things i need to get:)
I use a Pyrex dish too - it's about 6" in diameter and has a plastic lid to seal it when not in use. I use citric acid and nuke my solution in the microwave - so the cost outlay was minimal.
After a suggestion here, I've been putting the warmed solution on a tea-light plate warmer to keep it warm and that works a treat. So I've managed with stuff I had to hand and a 49p packet of citric acid. Although it's not easy to buy on the high street now as it is used to cut with drugs (apparently), so I've been asked to prove what I'm using it for more than once now.
09-09-2009, 09:58 PM
So I've managed with stuff I had to hand and a 49p packet of citric acid. Although it's not easy to buy on the high street now as it is used to cut with drugs (apparently), so I've been asked to prove what I'm using it for more than once now.
Well i just dont believe it what next just tell them you are descaling a babys bottle steamer lol x
09-09-2009, 10:02 PM
you can also buy alum from chemists, about 70p a pack. I have a £20 slow cooker from argos. But you could use a hot water from a kettle in a glass jar.
10-09-2009, 05:44 PM
I asked this on an american forum too and they also mentioned about slow cookers, sounds like a good idea, can I just use the pickle solution on cooksons in it? and is it ok to leave on constantly when in use? Sorry for all the questions, i've just finished uni so I had everything I needed there and I'm trying to set up a little workshop at home!
10-09-2009, 05:53 PM
I leave mine on the 'keep warm' (lowest) setting all day. I do top up with water to keep the solution dilute enough. However, I only use safety pickle rather than acid.
10-09-2009, 06:17 PM
I use a slow cooker with alum. (I use alum because it doesn't react with enamel).
10-09-2009, 07:46 PM
Mine's alum too (sorry, should have mentioned that)
Apart from the enamel already mentioned - does alum offer any advantages over citric acid? As I pickle in the kitchen I chose citric acid for safety's sake, but was also on the look out for alum too, but never found any. I'm happy enough with citric acid, but if it proves harder to find, alum would be a suitable kitchen-friendly alternative.
10-09-2009, 08:10 PM
George Weil/Fibrecrafts (http://www.fibrecrafts.com/Level2.asp?Level1=1&Level2=56&Level3=0&PID=0&Action=) are a good source for alum. It is used extensively as a mordant in textile colouring.
I can't comment on its relative advantages/disadvantages over citric acid as I've never used citric acid!
10-09-2009, 08:14 PM
You can also get it from t4j, either on ebay or through the website.
My local independent chemist will order it for me, and a lot of barber's shops have it available (it's what styptic pencils are made from).
10-09-2009, 08:20 PM
myslow cooker was under £10 from tescos
12-09-2009, 12:54 PM
Thanks for all your help guys :D Ive managed to get hold of a free slow cooker from my local freecycle :D I'm gonna look into what acid to use a bit more coz we had what I think was citric acid at uni (blue stuff haha) and id never even heard of anything else but if it does a better job/doesnt smell so bad and wont sting me or make holes in my clothes I guess its a winner! haha
Citric acid isn't blue unless you pickle a lot of copper, then it gradually turns blue, as does any other pickle I would imagine.
Citric acid is odorless and clear and along with alum, that both have food uses, safe to use domestically.
Thanks for the alum links earlier - I meant to return and comment - the site was down at the time, but I've bookmarked it to look at when my citric acid gets low.
12-09-2009, 07:31 PM
I'm slightly confused by your note George. Is alum the same thing as safety pickle?
12-09-2009, 08:50 PM
There are several types of safety pickle Linda - my preference is for alum. Sorry if that was confusing, I know I can be at times :)
13-09-2009, 11:24 AM
Ah yes that makes sense, alot of copper was used at uni! Does any one know any differences between the two, pros and cons? And what is the full name of the alum one as on the link someone has posted above there are two alums
13-09-2009, 05:35 PM
If you are having trouble finding citric acid try a winemakers or beermakers shop. I make a fair bit of wine in winter and will order extra citric acid on-line the use it as pickle. I think a fair few members use salt and brown vinager as well and there are a few other threads dotted about the forum on this subject as well so it might be worth doing a search to see what other information is about. :Y:
13-09-2009, 11:08 PM
hey, do you know what the pickle is that they sell on here? I'm not sure if it says or not... I may just try that for now and see how it goes
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