If you’ve already read our article about how to pickle your own eggplant, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to can your pickled eggplant for long-term enjoyment.
The short answer? Absolutely! Pickled eggplant has a great flavor and is the perfect addition to salads and relish trays – or even as a stand-alone snack. I won’t judge you for eating straight out of the jar!
You can use any kind of eggplant for pickled eggplant, but you will need about ten to twelve eggplants total. If one jar of pickled eggplant is all you want, you should be able to get by with just one or two medium-sized eggplants.
You can find an excellent recipe for pickling eggplant here , but if you want to preserve your pickled eggplant for longterm storage, you also need to know how to can it. This recipe will walk you through every step of the process and show you how to process pickled eggplant in a water bath canner.
A word of caution – you should not process un-pickled eggplant in a water bath canner. The water bath canner does not reach high enough temperatures for you to remove the risk of foodborne illnesses.
It is also not recommended that you process any kind of eggplant in a pressure canner. Not only will the high temperatures of the pressure canner make your eggplant mushy and unappetizing, but it’s not reliably safe to can eggplant in any kind of canner without adding lots of vinegar to raise the acidity.
- 3 ½ cups water
- 3 ½ cups white vinegar
- 1/3 cups kosher salt
- 7 dill heads
- 7 garlic cloves
- 7 bay leaves
- 5 lbs eggplants (roughly 10-12 eggplants)
- Start by mincing your garlic and chopping your dill, if needed, and then move on to your eggplant. You can dice the eggplant into cubes or slices – it’s up to you.
- Next, put your vinegar and water into a stockpot. Bring them to a boil. While you are doing this, you should also be washing seven pint canning jars.
- While you are preparing your brine, you can also be sterilizing your jars and bands. You do not need to sterilize the lids, although you can, if you like, by dropping them in a pot of boiling water. The jars and bands can be sterilized by running them through the sanitize cycle on the dishwasher, or by boiling them, too, in pots of hot water.
- Once the brine reaches a boil, start filling your jars. Put one clove of garlic or its chopped equivalent, a head of dill, and a bay leaf in each jar.
- Once the jars are filled with herbs, you can go ahead and add your sliced eggplant. You can then add the pickling solution of water and vinegar to each jar, bringing it to about 1/4” of the top of the jar.
- Before you tighten the bands, make sure there are no air bubbles. Remove them and adjust for headspace if needed.
- Once the jars are filled and the air bubbles are removed, put the lids and bands on your jars. Tighten them until they are finger-tight.
- Wipe the rims of your jars so that there isn’t any food around the edges to contaminate your canner.
- In a water bath canner, bring your water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, add your jars. Process them for fifteen minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed. When the time has finished up, you can go ahead and remove the jars from the canner with a set of tongs. Place them on a clean rag to cool – don’t place them directly on a countertop, as this can lead to breakage.
- As your jars sit and cool, you may hear popping noises. This isn’t anything to worry about, but is instead a sign that your jars are sealing. Allow the jars to cool for about 12 to 24 hours before you open them.
- 7 pint jars, plus rings and lids
- Jar lifter
- Water bath canner
You will want to use your pickled eggplant in about a year, but give it a month in the jars unopened so you have the tangiest eggplant possible. Pickled eggplant tastes great as a side dish (or you can eat it straight out of the jar – no judgment).
There are plenty of substitutions you can make, too – if you don’t have fresh herbs, dried ones work just fine. You can also add sugar to the vinegar before heating it if you want more of a sweet/sour pickled eggplant, too.
One final note – if you are canning pickled eggplant at altitude, you will need to adjust your time. For altitudes from 1,001 to 3,000 feet, add an additional five minutes.
For altitudes of 3,001 to 6,000 feet, add ten minutes. Anything higher than that should receive at least fifteen minutes of additional processing time.
Have you ever pickled eggplant before? If not, what are your favorite ways of preserving eggplant? If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to take a look at our list of other ways of preserving eggplant!
Rebekah is a part-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies.