I followed a recipe based on 3-2-1 ratio of water-vinegar-sugar. I boiled the water, added the vinegar and sugar, whisked until the sugar dissolved, let it cool a bit, and added seasonings.

I then poured the liquid over fresh vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, carrots, beets, radishes) in jars, sealed the jars, and processed them for 25 minutes in boiling water.

However, while they were in the bath, I did further research, and found that the 3-2-1 ratio was not considered safe (with some exceptions). A minimum of 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar is now the recommendation.

I realize that I cannot treat these as canned. Can I immediately put them in the refrigerator, and eat them out of the jar? That was the intent of the original recipe: instead of processing the jars in boiling water, just put them in the refrigerator. And it does seem that the ratio I used is okay so long as you put it in the refrigerator, instead of storing it at room temperature.

Did boiling the jars create any health risks?

1 Answer 1


No, boiling should not have created health risks. If anything, you are likely to have killed off some microorganisms that could have led to gradual spoilage (over weeks or longer) in the refrigerator. So, the only likely effect on safety is that you may have extended the expected shelf life of the pickles in the fridge.

Of course, boiling the vegetables will also have softened them and given them a more "cooked" texture/flavor, which may not have been intended in the original recipe. But as long as they are kept refrigerated, they should be safe to eat.

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