Home-made Pickling Spice

Most pickling spice recipes share a number of standard ingredients with just a few variances in amounts and proportions, and many have an extra special touch or two that makes them stand out. Here’s a recipe that will work well in almost any recipe that calls for “pickling spice.”


Unless you’ve been lucky enough to have a special recipe handed down, you’ll probably want to experiment a little here and there to find your own special blend. Maybe you’ll like one recipe for a certain kind of pickle or recipe and then want to tweak it for another. Make notes on what you’ve used and how the final product tasted.

I don’t do a lot of pickling, so I tend to stick to the basics: Mustard Seed, Coriander, Allspice, Clove, Cinnamon and Bay. I usually add Pepper of some sort, whole peppercorns and some Red Pepper flakes and now and then a little ginger. I like to stay away from anything powdered because it makes for a cloudy pickle brine.

So here’s my recipe, handed down, now, to you! So tweak away and make it your own! This will store, in a tightly sealed jar, literally for months and months, although the first ingredient to lose its punch will be the red pepper flakes.

Home-made Pickling Spice

  • Servings: almost 1/2 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons mixed peppercorns or black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled.
  • 1 two-inch piece of cinnamon stick, crushed

Mix all ingredients together. Contents will settle, so gently stir before using.

Note: if you’re only using a portion, make sure there is an appropriate amount of the clove in your measure.

From the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com


I’ll be taking this Pickling Spice to the Fiesta Friday 100 anniversary extravaganza, and I’m also co-hosting this event, so a big shout out to Angie from the Novice Gardener and Fiesta Friday for putting the event on and Steffi from Ginger&Bread, Suzanne from APugintheKitchen and Judi fromCookingwithAuntJuju for co-hosting, too. Stop by, say hi, visit and mingle and I hope to “see” you there!

Of course, I’ll also be posting to Throwback Thursday, a link party co-hosted by Moi!! Yes, that’s me, yours truly! And Alli, Quinn & Meaghan – you’ll see all their links on Throwback Thursday!

14 thoughts on “Home-made Pickling Spice”

  1. Arggg! I just ran out of pickling spice and had hubby searching for my favorite brand in the stores. We couldn’t find it and I never thought to make my own! Shame on me! I use several tablespoons whenever I do a shrimp boil. I also use it to boil shrimp when I’m making cold shrimp cocktails. It really livens up the flavor of shrimp! I’ll be making my own when this ridiculously pricey bottle we bought is empty! Thanks!

  2. So we don’t have to grind this or anything? Just use it? I’m hearing about this for the first time and I am very interested….In what and all can we add this?

    1. Well, sometimes when you’re making a pickle of some sort, the recipe will specify the exact ingredients to get the flavor, but there are a lot of recipes for different items that just call for “pickling” spices. Corned Beef and lots of cured or smoked meats will be covered or brined in pickling spices for instance. It can be smashed & used to marinate fish or meat. You can pickle cucumbers or different vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, artichokes, etc.) and make chutneys with this. Fruit can be stewed in it.

      Pickling spice can also have dill, mace, star anise, fennel, fenugreek, cardamom, juniper, etc.

      I’m sure there are other ways to use it!

    1. Very interesting! I do something really weird with mine. I put it in a roaster and pour about 3/4 can of cheap pilsner over it! Something like Budweiser, Pbr…although I may try it with a cider now that there are all those fancy ones out!

          1. I have a 2 1/2 pound chunk of beef that I’m going to turn into a pot roast. I may throw some in along with some beer. First though … I have to buy some beer. My only previous beer stew (Guiness stout beef stew) turned out very tasty. Do you strain out the spices at the end and thicken the liquid with a flour slurry?

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s