Pickling Spice Article - Allrecipes.com
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Pickling Spice


A spice blend used in mixtures to pickle various foods, as well as to season certain dishes, the blend used can differ greatly according to the manufacturer. Pickling spice ingredients (usually whole or in coarse pieces) can include allspice, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mustard seeds and peppercorns. Pre-packaged pickling spice mixes are sold in most supermarkets.


Pickling spice not only adds characteristic flavor to pickles, it adds complex flavor to braised meats, stews, beans and rice dishes. To infuse recipes with the multi-dimensional taste of this blend, create a sachet by placing pickling spice in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter and tying it tightly with a long piece of string. Leave a few inches of extra string on the bundle so it's easy to remove after cooking. Drop the flavor sachet into the pot and enjoy the distinctive taste and aroma this blend provides.

Flavor Trend

Who would have thought that Grandmother's pickling spice would become trendy? It's a delicious combination of "in" flavors--cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chile peppers, cloves, black pepper, mace and cardamom. The blend is a perfect complement to slow cooker recipes for pot roasts and stews, braised meats, soups, and rice dishes. Pickling spice is not just for pickles anymore!

What The Experts Say:

Chef Allen Susser, of Chef Allen's in Miami, serves a warm shrimp cocktail which is poached in pickling spice.

    Perfect Flavor Partners Include:

    apples, black pepper, citrus, cumin, fennel, garlic, pears, raisins, saffron, sea salt, sugar, thyme, turmeric, and vinegar


    Golden-brown coriander seeds and mustard, black peppercorns, and gray-green bay leaves are the main components of pickling spice.

    Flavor & Aroma

    Both sweet and spicy

    Sensory Profile

    The blend of spices creates sweetness and tanginess

      Find recipes that include pickling spice as an ingredient.

        Aug. 5, 2009 1:05 pm
        thank you so much! I was looking for a way to keep going on my pickling without having to trudge all the way to the market for commercially prepared pickling spices!!
        Aug. 14, 2009 11:41 am
        I'm looking for a receipe for 1/2 sour pickles,,can anyone help me,,,,IRV
        Oct. 19, 2009 8:23 am
        Oct. 18, 2009 11:21am Thanks so much for the homemade pickling spice recipe. I am making a Turkey Black Bean Soup today. I have all the other ingredients, but no pickling spice that it calls for. I did find another homemade pickling spice on the CDKitchens site, but I am trying this one first. This is their recipe: 1 Tbsp.Mustard Seed; 1 Tbsp. whole allspice; 2 tsps. black peppercorns; 2 tsps. whole cloves; 1 tsp. ground ginger; 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes; 2 small bay leaves, broken; 2" stick of cinnamon, in small pcs.; 1 tsp. cardamon
        Nov. 24, 2009 1:07 pm
        thanx for the great suggestions above. I know nothing about pickling but found a recipe that calls for brining a turkey in pickling spice! (plus garlic, onion, salt).
        Apr. 24, 2010 7:45 am
        I live near a large indoor Farmer's Market and I buy all of my herbs and spices at $1.00/oz. I priced a bottle of pickling spice at a supermarket at over $3.00 for way less than an ounce. I can buy enough to can all the pickles, make up packets to corn briskets and have left overs for about $8.00. If you have an herb/spice seller near you, do take advantage of it. You'll never buy bottles and jars again. And invest in a spice grinder, buy whole, and grind them yourself. What a difference!
        May 6, 2010 3:10 am
        Great ideas to make your own pickling spice. I make Rusian Cabbage soup and it calls for pickling spice. I will make my own from now on. Thank you all so much THELBERN
        Nov. 6, 2010 12:09 pm
        The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving has a homemade pickling spice and also recipies for Italian spice blend, Mexican spice blend, and Cajun spice blend that can be used for canning whole tomatoes and I have used it for seasoning other dishes.
        Nov. 17, 2010 10:27 pm
        I have a question. When a recipe calls for '1 box whole pickling spices', how much are they talking about? I am unable to contact the person who wrote the recipe.
        Jul. 30, 2011 9:51 am
        This is great to find a recipe for pickling spices. I knew I had all the right spices here at home to put together just didn't know what measurements. Now I don't need to run to the store (22 miles away).
        Jul. 1, 2012 10:02 am
        Thank You. Was very helpful :)
        Jul. 23, 2012 3:17 pm
        Thanks Michi, your comment saved me five dollars at the supermarket.
        Aug. 13, 2012 3:59 pm
        I am so glad everyone has enjoyed that recipe! I found that in my "goto" canning bible. Best purchase I ever made! "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving". Has over 400 recipes in it, and they are all so useful and good! (lol, I dont work for any of those companies, I just LOVE the book!) Happy Canning!
        Nov. 25, 2012 8:36 am
        thank you! this is just what i was looking for! debbie
        Mar. 17, 2013 1:12 pm
        Thank you so much for posting this. It came in very handy when I realized I had everything BUT pickling spice when it came time to cook my corned beef.
        Jun. 26, 2013 5:36 pm
        THANK YOU, so very much!!
        Feb. 3, 2014 4:08 am
        I noticed that under the heading of Flavor Trend in the aryicle above, mace was included as an ingredient. I just want to mention that mace is the outer gratings from a whole nutmeg - sort of like the zest from an orange. Cheaper to do yourself than buy 'mace' from a supermarket - If they stock it!
        May 18, 2014 1:19 pm
        I'm such a dork, I lost my pickling spice recipe but thought it was here... Does anyone have the comment that I had posted on my pickling spice the recipe? Thank you so very much! I cant view it anymore :(
        Dec. 11, 2014 3:56 am
        Just found the answer to how many ozs are in a box of pickling spices. The Durkee brand box held 1-3/4 ozs. I found it on Ebay under "vintage pickling spices box".
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