Using just a few ingredients, you can create the tasty snack that is pickled celery. It’s tangy, crunchy, and the perfect addition to egg salad, potato salad, and your charcuterie board array.
If you’ve never heard of pickled celery before, you’re not alone – depending on where you’re from. In Japan, it’s a popular condiment, served beside seafood, fish, and many other dishes.
For me, it’s a great addition to cheese and crackers as a snack. I also like to add it to classic potato salad for more flavor.
Why pickle celery?
As a gardener, you never want your hard earned produce to go to waste, so you need a way to preserve everything. Pickled vegetables are an excellent way to do that.
While celery can be frozen, there’s only so much freezer space to be had, which leaves us with canning.
Since you don’t need electricity, or to buy another freezer, you can can an almost infinite amount of food.
However, you don’t want to end up with mushy canned celery either.
Thus, pickling. The vinegar preserves the celery without using the excessive amount of heat that would turn it into mush.
Ingredients for quick pickled celery
All you need for making pickled celery is a few stalks of celery, some spices, and vinegar.
Here is the ingredient list:
- dill weed
- mustard seed
- celery seed
- granulated sugar
- Canning salt
Some of these ingredients depend on the flavors you want.
For instance, you can sap distilled white vinegar to apple cider vinegar, or the granulated sugar to brown sugar to change the flavor of the vinegar brine.
You can also alter the quantity, or completely omit some of the other ingredients such as dill, mustard, and pepper corn.
One thing you should not do, however, is change the vinegar, salt, and water ratios.
Those are the ingredients you depend on to preserve your celery.
How to cut celery for pickling
This all depends on how you want your celery to be cut.
If you plan to use it in things like tuna salad, or on hot dogs, you may want to dice it fairly small – maybe 1/4 inch squares.
Or if you want to add it to your charcuterie board s bread, you may want to slice it into wider pieces.
It’s really up to you.
The only real difference it makes is in how long it takes to pickle. Smaller chunks will be permeated with flavors more quickly than larger pieces.
Quick pickled celery Recipe
The method for making pickled celery is very simple. If you can cook at all, you can do this!
- You’ll fill your jars with celery, onion, and garlic.
- Then heat the vinegar, water, mustard seed, celery seed, pepper corns, dill, and salt together to boiling, and pour over the celery, etc. in the jars.
- Fit with lids and rings, and water bath can for 5 minutes.
making pickled celery really couldn’t be more simple.
Tips and tricks for making pickled celery
There honestly aren’t a lot of tricks here. It’s so simple, you almost can’t mess up.
So these are more reminders than tips.
- Follow the recipes. Don’t try to wing it, or water down the brine. As you’ll see in the trouble shooting guide below, almost every problem with pickles can be traced back to not enough vinegar or salt, or the wrong kind of salt. Don’t risk watering it down!
- Don’t skip the sugar. I know you’re tempted to. I know every modern health article tells you sugar is the enemy. But it’s also a powerful preservative. So maybe it’s the enemy if you’re eating copious amounts per day, but leave the three tablespoons here alone.
- Keep your surfaces and tools clean. This goes without saying, but when you’re canning, cleanliness is next to godliness. Don’t introduce extra bacteria that could end up spoiling our food into your jars!
- Sterilize your jars and lids. In the same vein as cleanliness, make sure your jars are sterilized by boiling them, or heating in the oven before using.
Troubleshooting pickled celery
My pickling brine has a film on top, what do I do? It depends on the film. Is it from using hard water? If so, not a big deal. Just skim it off. If it’s slimy looking or growing anything, this likely means that your brine was not strong enough to stop the growth of bad bacteria. Throw it out.
My brine is cloudy and/or there’s white sediment in the bottom. This can happen from using table salt rather than canning/pickling salt and may be a yeast development. If the pickles are soft, they’re likely spoiled, so throw them out.
My pickled celery is soft and slimy. Your brine was probably too weak, or you introduced most to the jar (moldy garlic can sometimes be the culprit here). Again, these should not be consumed. Throw them out.
My jar didn’t seal. Open jar and check lid for blemishes. Check rim for blemishes, cracks, or debris. Reseal with a new lid/jar is desired, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
How to store pickled celery
Simply store sealed jars in a cool place out of direct sunlight. If you have a pantry, or cabinet you keep canned goods in, that’s perfect.
I also keep boxes of pickles and jam (or anything canned in pints of smaller) under beds because we live in a small house and don’t have a lot of pantry space.
After opening a jar, you can store it in your refrigerator for up to a month.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles
- Old Fashioned Pickled Beets
- Pickled Jalapeños
- Yellow Squash Pickles
tangy pickled celery with black peppercorns, mustard seed, and dill weed.
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup vinegar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 Tablespoon canning salt
- Prepare waterbath canner, and heat over medium heat until almost boiling
- Cut celery into desired pieces (diced, sliced, etc.)
- Slice onion and garlic into thin slices
- Pack with sliced celery and onion
- Divide garlic between jars
- In a small sauce pan, bring vinegar, water, dill weed, mustard seed, pepper corns, celery seed, and canning salt to a boil
- Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of headspace
- Wipe rims, making sure they are free of debris
- Fit jars with rings and lids, and screw down firmly
- Place in waterbath canner, and bring the canner to a boil
- Process for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat
- Open lid, and carefully remove jars from water, insulating against drafts with a towel
- Let cool completely
- Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight
Get Your Garden Cheat Sheets!
Want to know exactly when, where, and how to plant your vegetables? Sign up to get our FREE companion planting guide, and garden planting cheat sheet printable.