Pickling is a fantastic way to preserve a large crop of cucumbers and to improve on a great harvest with the power of fermentation. A good pickling kit is a key component to proper pickling. We’re here to help you choose the best!
Check out our roundup of the best pickling kits and find out what sets them apart from the rest.
Our Top Picks
Easy Fermenter Fermentation Kit
Pickling Kit on a Budget:
Klemon Fermentation Lids
Pickling Kit with Complete Toolset:
JUNLIN 15Pack Canning Supply Kit
Easy Fermenter Fermentation Kit
This kit is the height of convenience! No need to wrestle with burp lids or seal your jars with boiling water or in a crock. The fermentation lids in this pickling kit remove all the hassle and guesswork…simply remove the oxygen from the airlock valve to start the pickling process, and you’re good to go.
This pickling kit includes four fermentation lids that will fit onto any wide-mouthed Mason jar.
As an added bonus, you can use the date dial on these fermentation lids to track precisely how long your contents have been pickling. When it comes time to enjoy your homemade pickles, simply release the tab, let off the pressure, and enjoy.
- Easy to use, includes a user guide
- Great for beginners
- Includes 100% money-back guarantee
- Kit does not include Mason jars
Pickling Kit on a Budget
Klemon Fermentation Lids
It’s no surprise that pickling can be a pricey venture. You still want a reliable pickling kit to get the job done without breaking the bank, even when money is tight. That’s why we’ve ranked the Klemon Fermentation Lids as the best pickling kit on a budget.
This standard, straightforward pickling kit comes equipped with six fermenting lid sets that will fit most wide-mouthed Mason jars. Each set includes an airlock, a silicone grommet, and a silicone ring.
With these sets, you can remove the air from your mason jars using the airlock and place the silicone stopper over the hole. As simple as that, your fermenting process will begin! Then, when it’s time to eat, simply remove the stopper to let out the gas, remove the lid, and enjoy.
- Affordable at just under $16 per kit
- Rudimentary. It does not come with Mason jars or any other tools besides the fermentation lids
- It may not be straightforward to use for some
- The silicone grommets can be torn if not handled carefully, compromising the seal
Pickling Kit with Complete Toolset
JUNLIN 15Pack Canning Supply Kit
Sometimes, when it comes to searching for the best pickling kit, you want to go all out. And maybe you also want to try pickling the classic way…no fermentation lids are required! If this sounds like you, we recommend the JUNLIN 15Pack Canning Supply Kit to meet your pickling needs.
This pickling set is as classic as they come! It comes equipped with everything you will need to can the old-fashioned way, using boiling water to seal your Mason jars. Items in this kit include a canning rack, tongs, a bottle brush for cleaning, a bubble popper, a wrench, and even the Mason jars themselves!
This kit eliminates the need to scrounge pickling tools in your kitchen. With the JUNLIN 15Pack Canning Supply Kit, everything you need for a successful pickling and canning experience is right there, all in one place.
- The kit comes with Mason jars
- Comprehensive includes all necessary tools for classic pickling
- Affordable cost for the full kit at under $40
- It’s meant for more involved, hands-on pickling
- It may require some skill level and prior experience with canning and pickling to be worth the value
Fermentaholics Certified Organic Pickling Kit
It may not be the most popular gift out there, but a pickling kit can make a great gift for the gardeners in your life. If you’re looking for the best pickling set to give as a gift, we recommend the Fermentaholics Certified Organic Pickling Kit.
This pickling kit is the perfect size for giving as a birthday or holiday gift. It also comes set with everything the recipient would need for an easy pickling experience: a Mason jar with a gasket, sea salt, pickling spices, and a recipe book with steps that are easy to follow.
All in all, this Fermentaholics pickling set is the perfect gift for a small, easy, and effective pickling experience. Who knows—this might be the gift that gets someone in your life really excited about pickling and canning their own harvest!
- Compact, easy-to-use kit
- It comes with all the essentials—pickling spices, a jar, recipes, a jar marker
- It only comes with enough seasoning for a couple of uses. You will have to supply your own seasonings beyond that.
- Suppliers do not always package well. Occasionally, kits have arrived with the jar broken
Things to Consider When Choosing The Best Pickling Kit
How to Use a Pickling Kit
The use of pickling kits often varies from kit to kit. Some kits, such as our picks for the Best Overall Pickling Kit and the Best Pickling Kit on a Budget, use fermentation lids.
These are custom lids for Mason jars designed with a valve; using the proper tools, these lids let out enough air to seal the jar and set off the fermentation process.
Other pickling kits, like the JUNLIN and the Fermen, require a more hands-on approach. These are the kinds of pickling kits you would use for the steps in our pickling cucumbers guide; they require boiling water to seal the jars, which necessitates the use of more tools.
Having All the Necessary Tools
Part of selecting the best pickling kit for your pickling adventure is knowing precisely what you need out of your kit!
Many folks already have some of the basic tools needed for pickling—things like stainless steel tongs, Mason jars, a basket or rack that can be used for canning, etc. You may also have seasonings already on hand that are perfect for the kind of pickling you want to do.
It’s good to take inventory of these things before selecting the best pickling kit to suit your needs. Be mindful that many pickling kits do not include Mason jars, for example, and others do not contain pickling spices.
These are important factors to keep in mind as they may affect which pickling kit you need to purchase in order to ensure you have everything you need.
When choosing the best pickling kit, you also want to bear in mind how many times you intend to use it. Some pickling kits are intended for repeated, yearly use. Others are for one-time pickling sessions, providing just enough content for a single pickling, and will not be reusable after that.
Pickling is a varied process, and there are all different kinds of factors that play into it. Everything from jar shape and size to the kind of food you want to ferment should be taken into account.
Before you purchase a pickling kit, review the specs and ensure that it is truly the best pickling kit for the kind of food you want to ferment. There’s no disappointment like having the wrong pickling kit for your specific needs!
Pickling FAQ – Common Questions About Pickling
Pickling vs. Fermenting — What’s the Difference?
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference between foods that are fermented versus foods that are truly pickled.
In brief, the process of pickling requires foods to be soaked in an acidic liquid (a brine, such as one based in vinegar) to achieve that soured pickle flavor.
Fermentation, on the other hand, achieves that flavor by simply relying on the chemical reaction that occurs when the sugars within the food encounter natural bacteria.
The good news is the pickling kits on our list will work with both processes. So whether you are using a standard pickling brine or letting fermentation do its trick, these kits can work either way.
What Are Some Foods You Can Pickle (Besides Cucumbers)?
There are actually far more foods that hold up well to pickling than just cucumbers! Some of these foods include beets, peaches, horseradish, eggs, cabbage, asparagus, okra, onion, garlic, carrots, and even avocados!
Another unexpected pickling ingredient? Pickled bologna. Yes, it’s a thing!
What Are the Best Mason Jars for Pickling?
Determining the appropriate size for a Mason Jar for pickling often comes down to the size of the food you plan to pickle.
If you are pickling asparagus, eggs, or large cucumber spears, for example, you may prefer a taller Mason Jar. For small pickling cucumbers, on the other hand, a half-pint Mason jar may suffice.
More important than the size of the Mason jars you use is the shape. Typically, a wide-mouthed jar is best; in fact, you need a wide-mouthed jar for the fermentation lids on our best pickling kit list.
The reason these wide-mouthed jars are ideal is that they usually lack the “shoulder” where smaller-mouthed Mason jars curve upward. This curve in the jar can cause pressure to build up at the mouth of the jar, which can be tricky and even dangerous in the long run.
Your best bet is to go for a Mason jar that is straight-sided and wide-mouthed to optimize the effectiveness and safety of the pickling process.
What Should I Do if My Pickling Brine Turns Cloudy or My Food is Slimy?
Slimy pickled products and cloudy water with a pinkish tinge can be indicative of yeast growth. This is, unfortunately, a sign that you need to throw out the batch. This yeast growth can be harmful to the human gut and should not be consumed.
What Should I Do if My Pickling Brine Has Turned Colors?
Occasionally, when pickling with garlic cloves in the mix, you may find your brine turns a blueish color. This can be the result of certain chemicals such as aluminum, iron, or tin present in your water reacting to the garlic pigments. It may also be the garlic itself, having been immature at the time of pickling.
In either case, these pickles should be safe to eat.
At times when pickling with dill, you may notice your brine turning a pinkish color, similar to when yeast is present. However, if no yeast growth is evident, the pink water may simply be a result of overmature dill. In this case, pickled food is still safe to eat.
Wrapping up the Best Pickling Kits
Choosing the best pickling kit is just one part of the process! You also want to ensure you’re growing the right cucumbers for pickling.
Ready to continue discovering these funky fresh vegetables? Then learn more about cucumbers by checking out my planting guides, recipe tips, brand suggestions, and more!