Pickling Lime vs Pickling Salt – What’s the Difference?

When it comes to preserving food, pickling is a great way to extend the shelf life of certain foods like cucumbers, beets, and more. But, what’s the difference between pickling lime and pickling salt? Are they interchangeable? And, if not, what are some alternatives to these ingredients? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between pickling lime and pickling salt, answer commonly asked questions, share some alternatives to these ingredients, and even give you a recipe for how to make canning salt at home. So, whether you’re an experienced pickler or a beginner, keep reading to learn more about pickling lime vs pickling salt.

The Great Debate: Pickling Lime vs Pickling Salt

If you’re a pickle lover like me, you’ve probably found yourself asking the age-old question: “Should I use pickling lime or pickling salt?” It’s a dilemma that many of us face, and the answer is not as straightforward as you’d think.

What’s the Difference Between Pickling Lime and Pickling Salt?

Pickling lime, also known as calcium hydroxide, is a white powder used to separate the skin from fruits and vegetables before the pickling process. It’s particularly useful for cucumbers, as it can help produce a firmer pickle. On the other hand, pickling salt is a pure, fine-grained salt that’s free of anti-caking agents and iodine. It’s essential for the preservation and flavor of pickles.

So Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between pickling lime and pickling salt ultimately comes down to your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a crisper pickle, pickling lime may be the way to go. However, if you value flavor and preservation, pickling salt is the better choice. The pickling process can also affect your choice. For example, if you’re using a fermentation process, you must avoid pickling lime as it can inhibit bacterial growth.

The Pros and Cons of Pickling Lime

While pickling lime can produce a crispier pickle, there are a few downsides to using it. For one, it can be challenging to find in stores. Additionally, pickling lime must be rinsed thoroughly to remove any excess residue before pickling. Failing to do so can result in a bitter taste.

The Pros and Cons of Pickling Salt

Pickling salt is a reliable choice for any pickling process. Not only is it readily available, but it also produces a delicious and preserved pickle. However, it contains a higher sodium content than other salts and can cause brine cloudiness if used in excess.

In the end, the choice between pickling lime and pickling salt is subjective. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the process you choose may influence your decision. Regardless of your choice, ensure that you follow proper pickling procedures to produce a safe and delicious pickle.

How to Make Canning Salt

Canning salt can be hard to come by. But when it comes to pickling, canning salt is essential if you want to avoid cloudiness and spoilage. Luckily for you, making canning salt is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

pickling lime vs pickling salt

Step 1 – Get the Ingredients

To make your own canning salt, you’ll need:

  • 10 lbs of coarse sea salt
  • pickling lime vs pickling salt

  • A large bowl
  • A food processor

Step 2 – Pulverize the Salt

Pour the salt into the food processor, and pulse 6-8 times. Don’t blend for too long; you don’t want to turn the salt into powder.

Step 3 – Mix It Up

Empty the salt into a large bowl. Take a clean spoon and mix it up to avoid any large clumps.

Step 4 – Store It

Now that you have your very own canning salt, you can store it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh indefinitely.

Making canning salt is so easy that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along. With this simple recipe, you’ll always have the best pickling and canning results. So go ahead, give it a try!

Where to Buy Pickling Lime?

If you’re interested in pickling, then you know that pickling lime is an essential ingredient in the pickling process. But where can you buy pickling lime? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this section.

Grocery Stores

One of the first places to look for pickling lime is your local grocery store. Most major grocery stores carry pickling lime in the spice or baking section. It’s usually sold in small bags or containers.

Online Retailers

Another great place to buy pickling lime is online. Online retailers like Amazon carry pickling lime from various brands. You can compare prices, read reviews, and order from the comfort of your own home.

Specialty Stores

If you’re lucky enough to live near a specialty store or a store that focuses on natural and organic products, then you may be able to find pickling lime there. These stores often carry hard-to-find ingredients and are a great resource for pickling enthusiasts.

Farm Stands and Farmers’ Markets

If you’re looking for the freshest pickling lime possible, then check out your local farm stands and farmers’ markets. These places often carry locally sourced ingredients, including pickling lime.

In conclusion, pickling lime is a crucial ingredient for anyone who loves pickling. Whether you buy it at a grocery store, specialty store, or online, make sure to have the necessary amount on hand so that your pickling adventure can begin.

Pickling Lime vs Hydrated Lime

When it comes to pickling vegetables, choosing the right type of lime is crucial. Some people confuse pickling lime with hydrated lime, but they are not the same thing. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between these two types of lime.

What is Pickling Lime?

Pickling lime, also known as calcium hydroxide, is a type of food-grade lime that is commonly used in the pickling process. It is made by combining calcium oxide with water. Pickling lime is highly alkaline, which helps to raise the pH level of pickling brine. This, in turn, makes the pickling process more effective by creating an environment that discourages the growth of harmful bacteria.

What is Hydrated Lime?

Hydrated lime, also known as calcium hydroxide, is a type of lime that is commonly used in construction and as a soil amendment. It is made by adding water to quicklime, which causes a chemical reaction that produces a white powder. Hydrated lime is also highly alkaline, but it is not food-grade and should never be used for pickling.

Why You Should Not Use Hydrated Lime for Pickling

While pickling lime and hydrated lime have some similarities, they should never be used interchangeably. Hydrated lime is not food-grade and may contain impurities that can be harmful if consumed. Additionally, hydrated lime has not been approved for use in food by the FDA, while pickling lime has been approved for use in pickling. Using hydrated lime instead of pickling lime could lead to unpleasant flavors, unsafe pickles, and even health problems.

Final Thoughts

Pickling lime and hydrated lime may look similar, but they are not the same thing. If you want to make safe and delicious pickles, always use pickling lime instead of hydrated lime. Your taste buds (and your tummy) will thank you!

pickling lime vs pickling salt

Does Pickling Lime Make Pickles Crunchy?

If you’re a pickle enthusiast, you know how essential crunch is to the perfect pickle experience. The crisp sound and satisfying texture of a well-made pickle can make even the dreariest of days feel brighter. But does pickling lime make pickles crunchy?

What Is Pickling Lime?

Before we get into the crunchy goodness of pickling lime, let’s first define what it is. Pickling lime, or calcium hydroxide, is a white chalky powder commonly used in pickling to help preserve the texture and color of fruits and vegetables. It works by altering the pH of the food, making it more alkaline, which helps preserve the food’s texture and color.

The Lime Solution

Now that we know what pickling lime is let’s talk about its impact on crunch. Pickling lime can indeed make pickles crunchy, but it’s not the sole factor that contributes to crunch. It’s all about finding the right balance of ingredients, technique, and timing.

The Pickling Process

So how do you achieve that perfect crunch? Here are a few tips to help:

Use the right cucumbers.

You want to use cucumbers that are fresh, firm, and free of any soft spots or blemishes. English cucumbers are especially good for pickling due to their thinner skin.


Salt plays a crucial role in the pickling process. It not only adds flavor but also draws out excess moisture, which can help prevent pickles from becoming soggy.

Timing is everything.

Don’t underestimate the power of timing. Pickles that sit in the brine too long can become mushy or mealy, while pickles that don’t sit long enough may lack the desired flavor.

Pickling lime can contribute to the crunchiness of pickles, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. With the right ingredients, technique, and timing, you can create pickles that are delightfully crunchy and bursting with flavor.

What is an Alternative for Pickling Lime?

So you want to pickle some vegetables, but you don’t have any pickling lime? No problem! There are plenty of alternatives that will give you the same results.

Pickling Salt

One of the most common alternatives is pickling salt. It’s a fine-grained salt that dissolves easily in liquid and won’t leave sediment in your jars. Unlike table salt, it doesn’t contain any additives like iodine or anti-caking agents that can affect the pickling process.


Another alternative is vinegar. It has the acidity necessary for pickling and can add a tangy flavor to your veggies. However, be aware that too much vinegar can overpower the other flavors in your recipe, so be sure to use the right amount.

Citric Acid

If you’re looking for a non-salty alternative, citric acid can work as a substitute. It’s a natural preservative and can add a sour taste to your pickles. You can find citric acid in the canning section of your local grocery store or online.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another alternative that can provide a crunchy texture to your pickles. It’s often used as a firming agent and can help keep the vegetables from getting mushy.

No matter which alternative you choose, make sure to follow the recipe carefully and use the correct amount of ingredients. With a little experimentation, you can find the perfect alternative for your pickling needs. Happy pickling!

What Can I Use as a Substitute for Pickling Salt?

If you’re out of pickling salt and need a substitute, fear not! There are plenty of options that you can use to achieve a similar result.

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is a staple in many kitchens and can be a great substitute for pickling salt. It has larger crystals that can make it easier to measure and distribute evenly, and it doesn’t contain any additives that might affect the taste of your pickles.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is another option that you can use as a pickling salt substitute. It has a slightly different taste than pickling salt but can enhance the flavor of your pickles, giving them a unique twist.

Pickling Lime

While pickling lime isn’t a salt, it’s often used in the pickling process and can help maintain the crispness of your pickles. Pickling lime can be added to water to create a soaking solution, which can be used to soak your cucumbers before pickling.

Pickle Crisp

If you’re specifically concerned about keeping your pickles crisp, consider using a product called “Pickle Crisp.” This granulated powder contains calcium chloride, which helps to maintain the texture of your pickles.

Table Salt

Believe it or not, table salt can also be used as a pickling salt substitute. However, you may need to use less of it since it’s more finely ground than pickling salt and can be saltier.

With these easy-to-find and accessible substitutes, you won’t have any issues creating delicious pickles without pickling salt. Happy pickling!

pickling lime vs pickling salt

Is Pickling Lime the Same as Calcium Chloride?

When it comes to pickling, there is often confusion around which ingredients to use, especially when it comes to pickling lime and calcium chloride. The truth is, these two ingredients are not the same, but they share some similarities. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Pickling Lime?

Pickling lime, also known as hydrated lime or slaked lime, is a common ingredient used in the pickling process. It is made by adding water to quicklime, which results in a chemical reaction that produces calcium hydroxide. This white powder is highly alkaline and is used to raise the pH of pickling brines.

What is Calcium Chloride?

Calcium chloride is a salt made by combining calcium and chlorine. It is often used in the food industry as a preservative, as well as in cheese making and pickling. Like pickling lime, calcium chloride is also used to firm vegetables during the pickling process.

Differences Between Pickling Lime and Calcium Chloride

While both pickling lime and calcium chloride have similar uses in pickling, there are some key differences between the two. Firstly, pickling lime raises the pH of your brine, which helps to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. Calcium chloride, on the other hand, doesn’t raise the pH, but it does help to firm up your vegetables.

Secondly, the two ingredients have different chemical compositions and tastes. Pickling lime has a more alkaline taste, while calcium chloride tastes salty. As a result, the two should not be used interchangeably in a recipe.

In conclusion, pickling lime and calcium chloride are two different ingredients that share some similarities. While both are used in pickling, they serve different purposes, have different chemical compositions, and taste different. Whether you use pickling lime or calcium chloride will depend on the specific recipe you’re following and the flavor profile you’re looking to achieve. So, go ahead and experiment with both!

What’s the fuss? Lime vs Salt

If you’ve been wondering what the difference is between pickling lime and pickling salt, well, you’re not alone. These two ingredients get thrown into the same category all the time but they are actually very different. The confusion is natural since both are used to make pickles, but there are key differences between the two which we’ll dive into below.

Pickling Lime – what is it?

Pickling lime, also known as food-grade calcium hydroxide, is a white powder that is used in the pickling process to give pickles a crisp texture. It works by breaking down the pectin in the cucumber skin. Pickling lime should NOT be used without soaking the cucumbers in water after. This is because if it’s not soaked out correctly, it will leave a bitter taste in the pickles.

Pickling Salt – the crunchy alternative

Pickling salt, on the other hand, is regular salt without any additives, such as anti-caking agents, which can interfere with the pickling process. It is used mainly for preserving pickles and adding flavour. Besides pickling, you can use it for cooking, baking, and making brines. It’s great if your goal is crunchy pickles.

The Main Difference

So let’s break it down. While both pickling lime and pickling salt are used in the pickling process, their primary functions are different. The main purpose of pickling lime is to enhance the texture of the pickles, while pickling salt is used to preserve and flavour them. Moreover, pickling salt does not require a thorough washing out after the pickling process compared to lime.

If you’re looking for crunchy pickles or aiming to preserve and flavour the cucumbers, then pickling salt is the right choice. But if you’re keen on getting crispy-fresh-textured pickles, pickling lime is the way to go. Just remember the key differences between pickling lime and pickling salt to make the most of your pickling process. Happy pickling!

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