If you're new to pickling, the process can seem a bit daunting. But we're here to tell you that it's really quite simple—and the results are so worth it. The first step is to choose the right cucumber. After all, pickling is all about showcasing the fruit (yes, cucumbers are technically fruits!). So, which cucumber should you choose? Here's what our test kitchen had to say.
Also known as seedless cucumbers, English cucumbers are long and slender with smooth, dark green skin. They have a mild flavor and crisp texture that hold up well during the pickling process. English cucumbers are our top pick for pickling because they require no peeling or seeded and have very few imperfections.
Kirby cucumbers are small, round cucumbers with bumpy, dark green skin. They have a slightly sweet flavor and crisp texture. Kirby cucumbers are a good choice for pickling because they don't need to be peeled or seeded. However, because of their small size, you'll need more Kirby cucumbers to equal the same amount of pickles as you would from English cucumbers.
As its name suggests, pickling cucumbers are specifically grown for pickling. They're small and straight with bumpy, dark green skin. Pickling cucumbers have a crispy texture and mild flavor. While they don't need to be peeled or seeded before pickling, they do tend to have more blemishes than other types of cucumbers.
When it comes to choosing the best cucumber for pickling, there are three main varieties to choose from: English cucumbers, Kirby cucumbers, and pickling cucumbers. All three types of cucumber will yield delicious pickles, but our test kitchen's top choice is English cucumbers thanks to their mild flavor, crisp texture, and lack of imperfections.