Pickled onions are a treat that many people really enjoy. This is one of the most popular ways to preserve onions, and these little treats are often canned and saved for later use.
There are many reasons that your pickled onions might have gone soft, and you need to follow the right steps when you are preparing and canning your onions if you want to avoid onions that have gone too soft.
Canning onions is really easy, and you will not need a lot of specialized items to take on this challenge.
This is much easier than canning most other fruits or vegetables, which is part of why many people are willing to go ahead and pickle and then can their own onions.
Always make sure that your onions are stored properly before you start preserving them. If you are thinking about taking on this project to provide you and your family with pickled onions to snack on, you should not worry at all about the end result!
Read on to learn why pickled onions go soft so that you can craft your own yummy pickled treats without issues.
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What Makes Pickled Onions Go Soft?
Part of the process to make a pickled onion is to brine the onions in saltwater. This is a necessary process so that the onions are easy to eat and are flavorful.
Onions that have been pickled should be soft, but you do not want them to get so soft that they are squishy.
The variety of onions that you have chosen for your pickling process can also impact how long they need to be brined and how much moisture you will want them to pick up during this part of the process.
If you have peeled your onions and trimmed off the ends, you should be able to just place them into the brining solution and let them rest overnight.
This should be more than enough brining to make them slightly soft but not squishy. You should never proceed with canning and storing any onions that seem too soft. This can ruin the whole batch, and you do not want to do that.
Make sure that you throw out any batch of brined onions that are already much too soft. It’s better to start with onions that are in the right state rather than trying to salvage onions that have already gotten too soft to be enjoyed later.
The key to brining onions correctly is to consider the size of the onions and the consistency of them before you have brined them.
You will want to avoid brining onions that are already softer by nature for the entire 24 hours. This might apply to sweeter onion varieties or smaller onions.
There are various methods of softening and brining as well, and some of them work better for certain onion varieties.
You might need to experiment with making batches of onions to see which process is the best for getting the ideal amount of softness from your brining efforts without impacting the flavor or the texture of the onion too much.
Why Does Pickling Prevent the Onions From Going Too Soft?
When done correctly, brining removes some of the oils from the onions and makes them stay the right amount soft and chewy.
You will need to use the right ratio of salt to the water to get ideal brining results. Some people only use water just to make sure that they are not going to impact the texture of the onion by adding too much salt.
Salt is caustic when used in large amounts, and it can actually break down the onion too much. When you have onions that have gone too soft during brining, you might have added too much salt to the mixture.
Brining is just supposed to preserve and flavor the onions while drawing out excess oils. Adding too much can lead to damaged onions that do not taste good and do not store well.
How Do I Prepare Brining Solution?
Your brining solution will be best if you use dry brine. This is done by mixing 2 tbsp of salt into boiling water and then stirring to dissolve.
You can then add up to 1 pint of cold water to the mixture. This will give you a good mix of water to salt so that your onions will stay in really good condition once they are stored.
This is one of the most common areas where mistakes are made during the pickling process.
When the mixture for your pickling water is not correct, the end result is almost always onions that are too soft. You can easily increase the amount of water and the ratio of salt proportionally.
This is a simple mathematical process. Making sure that your math is correct will ensure that larger or smaller batches of onions are prepared correctly.
Onions that Are Too Soft After Pickling Are Easy to Avoid
If you have been struggling with the consistency of your pickled onions, you have likely been brining them for an incorrect amount of time, or you have been using the wrong ratio of salt to water in your brining mix.
Some varieties of onions will also need to be brined for a shorter amount of time to ensure that they do not get too soft. Make sure that you never can onions that have already gone too soft, as this can ruin your entire batch of brined onions.
You can also make sure that your onions are in great condition to be pickled by storing them correctly before you start canning them.
Making sure that you have a system for brining that you follow each time you pickle onions will also help to make sure that you get great results from your pickling efforts.
This is actually a really easy way to preserve onions, and you will be glad that you took the time to learn to do it. Pickled onions are really enjoyable and are a great addition to many meals.