What causes soft and slippery pickles?
Soft or slippery pickles often indicate spoilage, so discard them. This can result from using moldy or diseased cucumbers, growth of undesirable microorganisms resulting from too little acid or too little salt, brine not covering cucumbers during fermentation, scum not removed during fermentation, using moldy spices or garlic, or from a poor seal due to insufficient heat treatment. Soft pickles can also result from using overripe cucumbers, failing to remove the blossom end, over-processing, or storing pickles too long at elevated temperatures (75-95 degrees F.). Using a salad or slicing cucumber rather than a pickling variety can also cause soft pickles.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009