In every recipe I have seen, brine in various combinations of ~50% acid, ~%50% other liquid + spices is always first brought to a boil before pouring over whatever it is we're pickling.

Curious why, what would happen if you just pickled with the combination of stuff by itself (assuming you thoroughly dissolved things like sugar)?

  • Probably a higher failure rate due to mold, but I haven't tried it.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 25, 2021 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


There are two big reasons to boil the water in this scenario:

  1. Hot water dissolves salt, sugar and other things better than cold water.
  2. Sterilization. We sometimes want to make sure that there is nothing alive that shouldn't be. Boiling water for a bit makes sure there are no unwelcome guests still alive like mold, yeast or germs.

As a side note, I think there are a lo of recipes that say "boil some water" because that's a simple reference point for "hot enough". It's much easier to know your water is boiling than whether it has reached some arbitrary temperature below that.


You typically always sterilise your consol jars, what are known as Mason Jars in the US. This is typically done by drenching the jars in boiling water to kill all micro-organisms that may be lingering on the glass.

You would not typically put the veggies in hot water. This would have the effect of partially cooking the veggies. Making your pickle less pickle and more weak soup.

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