homemade pickling spice

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Well, it’s that time of year: pickle season!

Of course, you can just buy pickling spice if you want to and if you like a mix that exists out there, but I like to make my own.

If you’d rather just buy something, Mrs. Wages seems popular; McCormick also has a pickling product (affiliate links).

But as a general rule, I like to grow my own herbs and buy individual spices and make my own mixes; that way I can adjust them to my taste. I’m somewhat of a control freak. 😉

I use this mix in all recipes that call for pickling spice! Of course, you can adjust it to your taste; e.g. if you don’t lie clove, leave it out. That’s the whole point of making it yourself.

I want to say that it is ridiculously easy to make on your own (especially if you have a spice grinder), except that as it happens I have run out of coriander seeds, so need to get some ASAP as it is pickling season around here!



  • about 5 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 TB mustard seeds
  • 4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  1. Basically, your first step is to grind up the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. IME, they are too hard for a mortar and pestle, though lots of web pages have pretty pictures of the spices sitting in one.

    A manual spice grinder or dedicated coffee grinder (affiliate links) is probably your best bet. But honestly, I don’t have either.

    Frankly, I just stick them in a small ziploc bag and hammer them to smithereens (Likely, Julia Child would not approve of this method Well, maybe she would. Gordon Ramsey certainly would not though).

  2. Mix the ground spices with the rest of the ingredients. BAM! You’re done!

On to the pickling!

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