Food preservation

Why are Claussen pickles refrigerated?

Clausen pickles are quite popular in the United States. Compared to other pickle brands, they are quite different since manufacturers don’t cook the cucumbers during the pickling process. Additionally, they are refrigerated.

Most people question why Claussen pickles are refrigerated. The explanation is simple, Claussen pickles need refrigeration because, unlike other pickles, they are not sterilized by cooking. Therefore. The chances of bacterial growth when the pickles are stored at room temperature are much higher.

This article will give you all the information you need to know about Claussen pickles.

Origin

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Claus Claussen Sr. founded C. F. Claussen & Sons in 1870. Claussen was a vegetable farmer in present-day Chicago. One year, he had a surplus of cucumber. He decided to pickle them, and that’s how the company was born.

From 1870 to 1976, Claussen pickles were produced on the same piece of land. After 1976, production was moved to Woodstock III,

For the longest time, C. F. Claussen & Sons was a family business. Claus S. Claussen succeeded Claus Claussen Sr. in 1932 after he died in a road accident. William C. Claussen also served as the company’s President for several years. 

In 1970, the Claussen family sold the company to Oscar Mayer hence the move to Woodstock. In 1981, General Foods acquired Oscar Mayer. General Foods merged with Kraft Foods.

The original Claussen pickles were made with garlic, salt brine, dill, and other additional spices. Most people called Claussen pickles the best kosher dill pickles ever made.

Claussen pickles varieties

There are several varieties of Claussen pickles available in the market. They include; 

  • Deli-style hearty garlic
  • Kosher dills
  • Burger slices
  • New York Deli Half sours
  • Hot and spicy

All these varieties have different uses. You can eat Claussen pickles straight from the pickle jar, add them to your salads, burgers, or even meatloaf.

They enhance the flavor of whatever dish you add them to. They also taste delicious on their own.

Why do they need to be refrigerated?

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Most pickles don’t need refrigeration. When unopened, you can store them in your pantry or kitchen cabinet for up to two years and they would still be safe to consume. Most varieties would be good to eat and use for several weeks past the best by date on the package.

Immediately you open the pickle jar, you need to refrigerate it. Note that manufacturers don’t cook the pickles in pure vinegar. Instead, they use a brine mixture. Therefore, refrigeration is necessary to avoid contamination.

Claussen pickles are different from the other pickles you are used to. For starters, their crunch, flavor, and color are different. In my opinion, Claussen pickles are the perfect balance between tangy and sweet.

Can you keep unopened pickles at room temperature? Click to Read.

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It’s no wonder everyone loves them. Another unique feature about Claussen pickles is that they do not have any artificial coloring. Therefore, they don’t have the color that most pickles have.

Claussen pickles are also different from other pickles because their pickling processes are completely different. With regular pickles, manufacturers hot-can them in a brine and vinegar mixture. Consequently, the pickles’ shelf life increases significantly. However, the texture of the pickles is altered. Most of them are soft, not crunchy.

On the other hand, Claussen pickles are not cooked. They are fresh. Unlike others, Claussen pickles are not sterilized by cooking. Therefore, the chances of bacteria growing on the pickles at room temperature are much higher, hence the need for refrigeration. 

Additionally, Claussen pickles do not go through the normal canning process. Manufacturers simply rinse the pickles, trim them, then cut them up. Once cut, they submerge them in cold brine. To make the brine, they mix white vinegar with spices and salt. 

Claussen pickles should remain refrigerated at all times to avoid bacterial growth. Additionally, refrigeration helps Claussen pickles maintain their crunch.

Homemade Claussen pickles

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If you like homemade pickles like me, you can make knock-off Claussen pickles at home.

Homemade Claussen pickles are my all-time favorite mostly because of their crunchy texture. I also don’t have to deal with any slime or flop, which is a plus. 

Other than that, I don’t have to cook anything to make the pickles, so I don’t spend too much time making them. I also don’t need to can them. I just place them in a jar and in good to go,

Follow this recipe to make homemade (knock-off) Claussen pickles.

Also, Check out: Do Pickles go bad?

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You will need:
  • 1-gallon water (cold).
  • 40 medium pickling cucumbers.
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • Canning or kosher salt.
  • 2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices.
  • 4 tablespoons dried dill seed.
Instructions
  1. Wash the cucumbers thoroughly.
  2. Trim both ends of the cucumbers and slice each cucumber into half (lengthwise). If the cucumbers are big, you can slice them into quarters.
  3. In a large container, layer the dried dill seeds, sliced cucumbers, garlic cloves, and pickling spices.
  4. In another container, mix the other ingredients and stir until all the kosher salt dissolves.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers, ensuring each is fully submerged. If the cucumbers float on the surface, use a clean plate to weigh them down and keep them submerged.
  6. Cover the container with cheesecloth and use a rubber band to secure it.
  7. Place the pickles in direct sunlight for three days or until the cucumbers start tasting like pickles.
  8. Transfer them to a jar (together with the brine), seal the jar, and store them in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Also, Learn on: How To Tell If Brussels Sprouts Are Bad.

Conclusion

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Claussen pickles are amazing. They have a unique flavor and texture. They come in different varieties and have several uses.

Unlike other pickles, Claussen pickles need to be refrigerated at all times. You should not store them at room temperature because they are prone to bacterial growth.

If you accidentally leave your jar of Claussen pickles at room temperature for an extended time, they may be unsafe to eat.

If you haven’t tried Claussen pickles before, this is your cue to do so. They taste amazing, the perfect balance between sweet and tangy.

They also have an amazing texture. I can bet you’ll love them. Let me know your experience with Claussen pickles in the comments below.

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