After searching different websites I didn't find a clear answer to my doubts:

  1. noticed that while searching pickling mostly I got results referring to canning - is pickling a type of canning?
  2. my actual question was whether it is needed to sterilize jars before pickling;

My pickling brine was a 50% water and 50% vinegar with 3% of salt; I boiled the brine and then filled the whole jar with the boiling liquid, then sealing it. After it cooled down to room temperature, I placed it to the fridge.

Most websites seem to blame old recepies where ratio of vinegar was too low; but nevertheless other suggest to boil jars for 45 minutes; in youtube mostly they suggest to just have them clean.

Just want to be safe so wondering if someone with more expertise can advice.

1 Answer 1


Use a pH strip, botulism risk is mitigated below 4.6 pH. If you are a little above it, add more vinegar.

Per WHO:

C. botulinum will not grow in acidic conditions (pH less than 4.6), and therefore the toxin will not be formed in acidic foods (however, a low pH will not degrade any pre-formed toxin). Combinations of low storage temperature and salt contents and/or pH are also used to prevent the growth of the bacteria or the formation of the toxin.

Source: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/botulism

So basically if the toxin is already present it won't kill it, but it will prevent it from forming. You're probably fine, but best thing for you to do is to follow proper canning methods by heating the Pickle jar to over 240F via a pressure canner then the toxin will be nullified.

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