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Calling all picklers, help! As we love pickled shallots and they have become very expensive, we decided to have a go and pickle our own. We sat out in the garden and peeled them and covered them in salt and left them overnight in a bowl. This morning, we drained off the liquid and washed them in clean water. Unfortunately, half of them were soft. What could have caused this to happen? Some people say to leave them in brine or cover with salt and leave overnight or just peel, wash and pickle; could it be that the shallots had a problem or was it just us?



Did you grow the shallots yourself? If yes, did you harden them off first? Onions, shallots must be cured or hardened off first - sit out on the the ground or in a well ventilated area for them to harden off for a week or so. Here's a video.

This is the only thing I can think of that might have happened. Sorry, hope you can save the rest.

18 Sep, 2018


I've never pickled shallots but I do cukes a lot & I had reasonable success with red cabbage sauerkraut. My guess would be that covering them in salt overnight caused water to be drawn out, so the cells collapsed & the shallots softened
It's better to make a vinegar/brine mix on the hob, put herbs & seasoning in the bottom of clean jars, fill jars with veg, pour in the brine to top, put the lid on & refrigerate.
Google 'refrigerator pickles' for easy recipes, there's loads!

18 Sep, 2018


When I’ve done pickling I’ve just peeled shallots , put them directly into ‘ sterilised ‘ jars ,& just poured Pickling Vinegar over them ,then sealing the jar . They’ve always been good .About 2 months leaving is the best as still Crunchie. I’ve also Layered Beetroot & sliced Onions with Pickling Vinegar .

20 Sep, 2018


Thanks Pammie. I wonder if it was because we peeled too many layers off the shallots that made them soft. Anyway, we have just bought another load of shallots and lightly peeled and put them straight in the sterilised jars and covered them in vinegar. Look forward to two month's time.

20 Sep, 2018


Seriously! Are my posts somehow invisible? I was only trying to help...

20 Sep, 2018


If you place the unpeeled shallots in a bowl and pour boiling water over them they are much easier to peel (the water cools down very quickly).
Then we always leave our peeled shallots to 'soak' in salt overnight before packing them in jars. We've never had any trouble: they turn out very crunchy. I've been pickling them this way for years, as did my mother and grandmother and we've not had a soft onion once. I suspect the vinegar makes them crunchy but I don't know for certain.
I'd just go ahead and pickle them anyway, Jimmy, and see how they turn out.

22 Sep, 2018

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