A pickle barrels are containers which holds the vinegar in which the fruits or vegetables are pickled. That it is the pot in which the fruits or vegetables are pickled. All the ingredients including vinegar are put in the barrels and pickles are prepared.
Pickle barrels should be ideally made of glass. Utensils of metals such as zinc, iron, brass, copper or enamel coated utensils or galvanized ones should not be used. In case they are used, they may cause reactions and produce undesirable, even poisonous substances. As a result, the taste and the color of the pickle may change. Metal loss, acid formation or over pickling are some of the side effects which may be caused if metal containers are used. These substances may mix with the pickles and can prove fatal. Metal or enamel utensils with chips or cracks are strictly forbidden. Aluminum barrels may be used but only for short while. If used for a longer time, it may cause the discoloration of the barrel.
There are 3 methods of preparing pickles. For the fresh pack method, vinegar is used as the pickling constituent. Hence any large sized container can be used. This includes glass barrels, food grade containers, enamel ware without cracks and broken chips and stainless steel. For the pickling process of fermenting and brining, generally stone barrels or crocks, as they are called otherwise, are used. Glass barrels, jars, hard wood barrel lines with paraffin, enamel ware with no cracks or broken chips can also be used alternatively.
Pickle barrels must have proper lids so that the contents are held in place properly without spilling. Generally rubber bands are used to secure the lid tightly in its place. Food grade plastic pickle barrels or containers may also be used. These barrels are air tight and prevent air exposure, growth of scum or film, yeast and mold growth. The barrels also serve as weights to hold down the fruit or the vegetable inside the pickling liquid.
Careful selection of the pickle barrels is a must. The pickle is preserved for a long time before it is ready to eat. During that period, it should be completely isolated from air, moisture and direct sunlight. For this purpose, glass containers are used and are kept in a cool and dry place. Glass barrels are the best options. They have no side effect on the pickles what so ever. Glass is a neutral substance. Even plastic is a good option but nothing beats glass. Pickle barrels are one of the most important constituents while making pickles. Hence, they should be properly selected as they play a major role in pickling.