Basic Pickling Spice Blend

Use as many or as few of the spices below to created your own signature spice blend. I recommend using mustard seeds, black peppercorns or red pepper flakes, and at least one of the sweet spices (allspice, cinnamon, or cloves), and then as many of the other spices as you like.

All spices are whole spices. Do not substitute ground spices.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about ½ cup (enough for about 16 pints of pickles)

Ingredients

  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tablespoon cinnamon chunks)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced ginger (optional)
  • 8 whole cloves

Method

1 Crush the cinnamon and bay leaves: In a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, break down the cinnamon stick into small (about 1/4-inch) pieces. Transfer to a small bowl, then repeat with the bay leaves, crushing them into small pieces of about the same size. Transfer them to the bowl as well.

2 Mix up the spice blend: Stir in the rest of the spices. Use a small funnel to transfer the mixture to a spice jar, or use it right away. The spices will keep in a tightly-lidded jar for up to 1 year.