Canning Brussels sprouts begins by washing and trimming the sprouts before cutting them in half and blanching them in boiling water for 4 minutes. Pack the sprouts into sanitized canning jars and cover them with hot pickling brine leaving 1-inch headspace. Process in a water bath canner for 10-20 minutes.
Can You Pressure Can Brussels Sprouts?
Pressure-canning Brussels sprouts is not advised. While pressure canners are usually preferred to preserve low-acidity veggies to eliminate harmful bacteria, the National Center for Home Food Preservation and USDA have no tested pressure canning recipes for Brussels sprouts.
In addition, most canning authorities and home canners agree that pickling Brussels sprouts and canning them in a water-bath canner is the best method for safely preserving them.
How to Pickle Brussels Sprouts for Cold Storage
Pickling Brussels sprouts is the best way to preserve them and makes them tangy and flavorful. There are many pickling recipes for Brussels sprouts, including an approved pickled Brussels sprouts recipe in the Ball Complete Guide to Canning and Preserving.
Here’s how to pickle Brussels sprouts:
- Wash and trim fresh Brussels sprouts, removing any whitened, yellowed, or loose outer leaves. Cut the sprouts into halves to soak up the pickling brine.
- Blanch the halved Brussels sprouts in lightly salted water for 4 minutes at a rolling boil. Transfer the sprouts with a slotted spoon into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- In a large pot, mix white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, hot water, pickling salt or canning salt, and sugar.
- Add onion powder, turmeric, garlic cloves, dill seeds, celery seeds, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and hot peppers or red pepper flakes to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Turn the heat down and let the brine simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use a canning funnel to pack Brussels sprouts into sterilized pint jars or quart jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
- Pour the hot pickling brine over the Brussels sprouts, making sure to maintain the 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims of the jars clean and cover them with a tight-fitting lid or a canning lid and ring band.
- Allow the picked Brussels sprouts to cool to room temperature.
- Move the jars into cold storage in a refrigerator, ensuring the temperature is 40°F or below.
- Allow the refrigerator pickles to sit undisturbed for 24 hours before giving the jar a shake to redistribute the spices.
- For the best flavor, allow the sprouts to marinate for 1-2 weeks. Keep opened and unopened jars refrigerated.
Canning Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Water bath canning is a great way to extend the shelf life of pickled Brussels sprouts. Both the USDA and the NCHFP have a tested recipe for pickling and canning Brussels sprouts in a water bath canner.
Here’s how to process in a boiling-water canner:
- Follow the pickling steps discussed above for preparing the pickling liquid, and then pack the blanched sprouts into hot, sterilized canning jars.
- Pour the pickling brine into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pint jars.
- Use a sanitized air bubble remover tool to remove air bubbles from the jars.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth dipped in white vinegar.
- Place the canning lids onto the jars and seal them with screw bands until they are fingertip tight.
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner by filling it 1/2 full and bringing the water inside to a boil. Ensure a canning rack is placed inside the canner for the jars to rest on.
- Use canning tongs to transfer the jars of pickled Brussels sprouts into the water bath canner, and make sure the water level is 1-2 inches above the tops of the jars. Let the water reach a rolling boil before covering the canner.
- Process for 10-20 minutes per jar size and elevation:
|Altitude (ft)||0 – 1,000||1,001 – 6,000||6,001 +|
|Half-pints||10 minutes||15 minutes||20 minutes|
|Pints||10 minutes||15 minutes||20 minutes|
- Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter, and set them on a towel-covered countertop.
- Let the jars cool at room temperature for 12–24 hours.
- Remove the screw bands from the jars.
- Check if the seals are intact by pressing down on the center of the lids. If they don’t pop back up, the jars are sealed. If any jars didn’t seal properly, refrigerate them and use them within 1-2 months.
- Label and store properly sealed jars of pickled Brussels sprouts in a cool, dry place for up to 18 months.
Is It Better to Pickle or Can Brussels Sprouts?
Pickling Brussels sprouts is required whether canning them or not. Canning should be done to preserve them if you wish to store them at room temperature and have a shelf-stable product.
If the pickled sprouts are going to be consumed within three months, you can simply store the pickled Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator.
If you choose to refrigerate pickled sprouts without canning, be sure to label the jars before storing them to keep track of their shelf life.
Benefits of Canning Brussels Sprouts
There are many benefits for pickling and canning Brussels sprouts, including:
- Brussels sprouts are full of nutrients, including carbohydrates, vitamin C, fiber, iron, and calcium
- Canned Brussels sprouts are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes or eaten as a side dish
- Canning allows you to reduce food costs by taking advantage of bulk purchases
- Canning Brussels sprouts allows you to choose your preferred spices and flavors
- Home canning Brussels sprouts allows you to enjoy them year-round
How Long Does it Take to Can Brussels Sprouts?
Pickling Brussels sprouts takes 30-40 minutes, including prep time. Pickling and canning Brussels sprouts takes an additional 10-20 minutes, for a total time of 1 hour.
Can You Store Brussels Sprouts in a Mason Jar?
Yes, you can store Brussels sprouts in a Mason jar, but it is important to follow proper food safety guidelines to ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat.
Choose high-quality mason jars and lids to ensure that they can withstand the pickling and canning process. Mason jars should be thick and sturdy, with straight sides and no cracks or chips. Always inspect jars before using them to store Brussels sprouts.
Where to Store Canned and Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Pickled Brussels sprouts should be stored in a refrigerator at 40°F. Always keep refrigerator pickles inside the refrigerator for safety.
Canned, pickled Brussels sprouts may be stored in a cool, dry, dark place between 50°F and 70°F away from direct sunlight and humidity.
How Long Can Brussels Sprouts Be Stored?
Keep pickled Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator and use them within 4 to 6 weeks. Canned pickled Brussels sprouts can last up to 18 months when stored in a cool, dry place.
Once pickles have been opened, keep them refrigerated and use them within three days.