Re the safety of Chases Pickle recipe from another thread

laceyvailAugust 31, 2012

This comment, in reference to another recipe, is from the Harvest forum. Please do not make the pickle recipe from the Chases Pickle recipe thread.

"That recipe meets the MINIMUM safe level of vinegar for cucumber pickles - 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water."

So the MINIMUM safe ration of vinegar to water for cucumbers is 1:1. The Chases pickle recipe does not meet that minimum standard.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for pointing this out AGAIN.
Sharon generously (and often reluctantly) shares this recipe
only when asked, and I know her feelings are hurt when people start bashing it ad nauseum.

Yes, it is an old recipe, probably from when vinegar was 50% acid or better. Most all of the people who use it are aware of the risk, but use it anyway, because of the tasty crispy pickles it produces.

So, yeah, the pickle police and Allrecipes don't approve of it as originally written, but many people still feel the product is low enough risk that it is a perrenial favorite.

Thanks again to Sharon, a well respected member here. I know you cringe every time this is rehashed.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 6:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sharon is very forthcoming that her recipe is not "approved".

I don't know what "expert" said 1:1 is the minimum safe amount, but as I'm typing I'm looking at a recipe from Ball that has 2.5 cups vinegar to 6 cups water. Pretty close to Sharon's proportions. Which leads me to question just how expert that expert is.

If I'm ever lucky enough to receive one of her jars of pickles again, I'll eat every one and then drink the brine, just like I did last time. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: See the Kosher Dill recipe

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 7:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been lucky in that I have enjoyed Sharon's pickles, sent directly from her. They were wonderful and I'm still here (I didn't die) to tell about it. I think I have saved Sharon's recipe several times and may finally get around to making it this year.

I'm linking the post from the Harvest Forum that was quoted, since the real question was about adding cauliflower and carrots to Sharon's recipe.

There are many, many canning recipes on the web that are not tested for safety. I also agree with the Harvest Forum on their stance of only promoting tested recipes, I don't blame them for that and it does make the HF a great resource of information that you can trust. That said, I have canned myself for many years and take some advice with a grain of salt. I am very food safety conscious but would never start a thread bashing a well known poster.


Here is a link that might be useful: Harvest Forum

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lacyvail, your comment on the other thread was ignored for good reason. Sharon has always pointed out that the recipe is not "approved" There was no need to start a new thread.

Sharon has been a valued member here for more than 10 years and has shared this recipe often. It is probably one of the most popular CF recipes.

Those of us that have tried Sharon's dills will tell you that they are the BEST.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lacy, I appreciate your concern and know it is well intended but , as mentioned, I always indicate that this recipe is not approved by the "canning police".

I am very comfortable with the recipe but I don't push it and I'm perfectly OK with others not wanting to use it , your choice just as it is mine to use it and share it when asked.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have also made Chase's dill pickles, they were my Dad's favorite.

I'm fully aware of the canning guidelines and how the recipe does not meet current USA approved guidelines.

I'll also point out that those guidelines are simply that, guidelines. The recipe has not been tested by the U.S. Government and so no one here can say whether they are safe or not, only that they are not tested and approved.

I also eat raw eggs and very rare beef. I know the chances and it's my choice to try them or not. Sharon has been very open about the fact that her recipe has not been tested and approved by the U.S. Government. Anyone who chooses to make them already knows that.

Many times people will post recipes and ask if they are "safe" to can. Without lengthy and expensive testing it's not possible to say with 100% surety that they are, and I'll always say that, and usually add my opinion as to whether I'd take that chance. After that they decide.

Oh yeah, and in spite of all my food safety and canning classes, I open kettle canned them. I tried changing the recipe to 50/50 vinegar and water and it was not a good idea, they were inedible. After that I usually add that the approved recipes are 100% safe, but they certainly are not always good.

I certainly would not tell someone to not make something. If the risk factors are known it's each person's personal decision, it's not my decision to make for everyone else. That's one of the reasons I no longer post at Harvest, I just got tired of hearing that someone was going to die about a dozen times a thread.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laceyvail, your 'source' (digdirt 'Dave' on Harvest Forum) is wrong because he didn't include the 'no salt' caveat.

The 1 part vinegar: 1 part water minimum ratio is for making NO SALT pickles.

Salt inhibits the growth of some microorganisms. In order to assure a safe product, no-salt pickles should contain at least a 1:1 vinegar/water ratio.

And I don't have a problem giving a source for the quotation. See the link:

BTW, it is a really bad idea to quote w/o giving a source and an even worse idea to pass on information that you personally have not sourced.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washington State Food Safety

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm another very lucky person that was the recipient of a jar of Chase's Dills. Enjoyed every single one of them - no, I didn't share! And if I ever have the good fortune to have them again, I won't share those either ;-)


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cilantro, thank you! When someone quotes without a source it drives me nuts. Am I supposed to believe whatever you spout just because you used quotation marks? When there is a source/link, I can make an informed decision.

And my informed decision about Chase's pickles is that they are delicious! I shared them with my kids and they loved them.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry I asked! I wanted to make sure of the procedure, as I want to make the famous crisp dill pickles.

I should have contacted Chase via g mail. I didn't expect a dust up. My apologies to Chase.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't apologize, Di. Perhaps there were people who wondered but didn't bother to post.

I am even more upset by undocumented "quotes"...without even bothering to include the quotation marks. Copy and paste and call it my own words! Ohhh no...that's the kind of thing that gets you kicked out of school!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not to worry Di, I'm cool....

What I can't get over is how far and wide I have shipped these pickles over the years! I'd forgotten!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Like I posted before, it's about the finished product vs. the risk. Hold your head up and be proud that you knew Mrs. Jack.

All of us experienced canners, well, we all question what we do on a regular basis. I have a chili sauce recipe, similar to yours, different spices. The kind lady that shared it, whoops she open kettle canned it. I go so far as to pressure can it, but not a possibility with pickles.
SO sorry this came back to haunt you. By now I hope you have a thick backbone ;)

Keep on pickling girlfriend!

May this thread rest in peace.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joan, what a nice post.

I particularly like the fact you mentioned Mrs Jack. She was an amazing farm lady who taught me so much about canning and baking and how to make really good food from what you had at hand. Nothing was ever too much work for her when it came to feeding those she loved.

All my favourite canning recipes are hers.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have 40 pounds of cukes on ice for a big day of pickling tomorrow. Sharon, my brother-in-law always claimed his aunt made the best pickles ever. She passed away a couple of years ago and my BIL gave the eulogy. He mentioned her pickle making and went on to say that his SIL (me) made pickles that were every bit as good and that he was so pleased that someone of our generation had taken the time to learn the art and that I had learned from someone on the internet. Your pickle making skills are becoming famous, North America wide. Mrs. Jack would be proud!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am deeply sorry for having offended everyone, especially a long time respected poster. I did not post a link because I do not know how to do so. I am a much better cook than I am a computer person.

I have been canning for almost 50 years, learned from books--not my mother, and still make a lot of pickles--fermented and vinegar based-- though I no longer pressure can. While I too eat rare meat and raw eggs, I do so only if I know the source of the meat and eggs (never industrial products), but I also have friends who make a very unsafe canning recipe--waterbathed tomates and peppers--that they are extremely proud of and I cringe every time I see it on their table.

Once again, I did no intend to "bash" anyone--just to warn people who might not know much about canning. I will never post again about the safety of a recipe.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"---Once again, I did no intend to "bash" anyone--just to warn people who might not know much about canning.---"

Your original post was not insulting, IMHO.

" ----I will never post again about the safety of a recipe. "

That is very unfortunate. as far as sharing knowledge is concerned.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seems to me nearly every thread about those pickles I've ever read addresses the safety issue. But I guess posting this to a new, separate thread helps bring those concerns to the forefront when anyone googles "chase's pickle recipe" so I guess it's served its purpose. Unfortunately in the process it unfortunately "appears" as a targeted attack. And I believe that's what many of us reacted to.

" ----I will never post again about the safety of a recipe. "

That is very unfortunate. as far as sharing knowledge is concerned.

LOL dcarch, cut, pasted and saved for the next time you duck food safety questions and tell people to do their own research and make their own decisions!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I honestly think the OP was well intended but I'm not posting this recipe again and would request that others don't post it either.

Should a request come up I will deal with it by email.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

laceyvail, I understand the posting, but as has been pointed out, it seemed like a very targeted attack since Sharon has always been very clear that her recipe is not tested or approved.

My problem with the government's "rules" is that they do not differentiate between a quality issue and a safety issue. They pronounce an item as "not recommended" but don't say that it's because the final product is strongly flavored (like rutabaga), or that the process is cumbersome and inconsistent (like paraffin wax on jelly) or that the texture leaves something to be desired. None of those are really food safety issues, but I promptly get the "you're all going to die" reaction.

I will not eat canned low acid vegetable products from any source I don't know, such as roadside markets, Amish farmhouses, etc. It was the "Don't make these pickles, they are unsafe" thing that rubbed me wrong. No one KNOWS they are unsafe because they are not tested, we only know there is a possible risk which has been very widely publicized.

Sharon, I'm sorry you are choosing not to post your recipe again. You know other people are going to post it, though, if they have not seen this thread and your request that it not be posted.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The fact that we are all here means we are not going to die eating pickles, or any other canned foods. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers (and mothers) all canned, and used paraffin wax on jams and jellies, made pickles with the "wrong" proportions of vinegar and water, made strange combinations of canned veggies, didn't (couldn't) pressure can, and in many cases didn't (couldn't) can using a hot water bath. The fact is, they lived through those "terrible" times.

That doesn't mean we can't do better and safer, but we must always take the current standards with a dose of skepticism, because the standards are always changing. The guidelines are just that, guidelines, and every recipe can't possibly be tested. And, despite the rantings of some people on the Harvest Forum, there are no canning police.

Enjoy Chase's Pickles.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

This discussion is interesting to me as I have never canned anything. Mostly because canned jams, jellies, green beans, salsas, chow chow, and even pickles don't interest me much.
However, I think someday I might can something, and this thread is adding another layer of deep storage info to be pulled out and used someday: check multiple sources, trust experienced cooks (Chase!) and don't wing it with canning.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Waay back in the Olden Days, people preserved food in a stoneware jar with a little tin lid which sat in a groove in the top of the jar and had melted bees wax poured around to seal it. Then a bit later stone jars with a little stone lid that could be sealed with a bale handle were used, then came glass jars with zinc lids and rubber sealing rings....and finally the metal tops we use today. The word was about questionable canned food, that it would give you ptomaine poisoning!...and I wonder how many people who died of appoplexy really died of botulism?

My great grandmother canned mustard pickles using cukes, green tomatoes, onion carrots and cauliflower...and she did the open kettle method. We presume the vinegar was sufficiently acedic!
My grandmother canned green beans with a hot water bath...but my mother wouldn't let me eat them.
The incidence of botulism is an average of 110 cases per year, with 70% of those cases being in breast fed infants...obviously not from improperly canned dill pickles. This according to the CDC.

I use parrafin on my jams and jellies....found a jar earlier this week that had gotten hidden way back in the shelf. Must have been easily 7 or 8 years old. Not in a jelly jar with a lid, but just in an odd glass, sealed with parrafin. Apparently the seal wasn't great, because enough had evaporated from that jar that there was half an inch of space between the wax and the jam......but there was no mold!!

And I wonder why what is deemed safe canning in Canada is not safe in the US....Does your immune system suddenly change when you cross the border? Or Canadian cucumbers different than &US cucumbers?
I was going to make grape jelly....but maybe I better find some cucumbers to pickle.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC on botulism

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FWIW - I find the search on GW very cumbersome. When I look for a recipe that I know I saw very recently I rarely find it on search. I usually have to go back through the posts or give up and google. So the OP may not have seen all the prior threads. I don't can much but my mom, sister and endless neighbors do - I never got sick from anything including my mom's pickles.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I never got sick either, but a bunch of family members got sick from eating my Aunt Midge's pickled mushrooms at a family party once. It kind of takes the fun out of an evening, watching Aunt Esther barf in the bushes.....

It does happen, although it doesn't happen often, in my experience. Some cases of botulism do come from home canned foods and some people do die, although not many. The risk is relatively miniscule. Many cases come from the same area, like a whole bunch of people in Alaska that ate badly canned salmon. Others come from commerical items like that Bolthouse Farms carrot juice and the baked potatoes at the restaurant that were wrapped in foil and left sitting on the counter for hours.

The "rules" in Canada are different than the "rules" in the United States because we are loathe to take any risk at all, IMO. The extension services do not want the liability of someone coming back and saying "you said it was all right and now I'm sick". I don't think it's necessarily the government's job to protect us from our own cooking, but many people do. The guidelines are extremely conservative, IMO, but very safe.

I do not know Canada's testing specificiations, or any other country's, for that matter, so do they know something we don't know or are they more independent or bigger risk takers? Beats me.

At any rate, there's a risk, albeit extremely small. Maybe even smaller than that, LOL. I choose to take it, and it's my choice. I'd eat LindaC's jelly too. Oh, that's right, I already have! It's the "don't" part that got my back hairs raised, I'd rather see a "did you know that it's not tested, I just thought I'd let you know" approach.

And agmss, I agree, the Search function here is abysmal, next to useless. Ugh. I don't even try to use it anymore, I just Google "gardenweb" and whatever I'm looking for.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's sort of like those sewn in tags for laundering....the more you pay for a garment, the less likely it is to say "machine wash and dry"'s a CYA thing...I have washed many many silk garments and many many cashmere sweaters....and they look better and smell cleaner than if they were dry cleaned.

As for the search function....just ask for the recipe....if it's any good someone will have it on file.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 6th year making Chase's dills. My mom made pickles the same way, so I'm okay with the recipe. This year, I woke up with the flu on pickling day, but it had to be done, so I basically sat on a chair and told my 16 year old daughter what to do. She is proud of herself and kept coming out to the kitchen to admire the fruits of her labour! Will make another batch next weekend.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yum....hope the sight of all those lovely pickles makes you feel better!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
25th Birthday Review
Hi everyone, My 25th birthday was a very special one,...
How Do You Cook Brown Rice?
Having just turned 52, it is no longer possible to...
Feta, please explain
Last week, DH and I were in New Orleans. We ate at...
Food for sore mouths..
I just had a tooth extracted - and I have a very sore...
Help with baked eggs and a new oven
Hi - we recently got a new oven (Thermador) and my...
Sponsored Products
Serena & Lily Border Frame Sham
Serena & Lily
Grohe Rainshower Jumbo Shower Arm - Infinity Brushed Nickel
Modern Bathroom
Philips | Embarcadero 4 Light Pendant Light
$468.00 | YLighting
Famous Maker 230 Thread Count Medium Weight White Down Comforter
Belle Epoque Allegro Down-Alternative Comforter - 81636
$79.98 | Hayneedle
Cornerstone Lighting Williamsport Five-Light 20'' Wide Chandelier
$138.00 | LuxeDecor
Three-Light Satin Nickel Bowl Ceiling Fan Light Kit
$42.95 | Bellacor
King 200TC Embroidered Hem Sheet Set - WHITE/PINK
$203.90 | Horchow
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™