wikiHow to Pickle Okra

Two Parts:Choosing the Okra and Sterilizing the JarsPickling the Okra

Okra pickles are a type of fresh-pack pickle, which means that they are preserved in a vinegar solution without brining. This article will teach you how to pickle okra.


Basic Ingredients

  • 1 lb (.45 kg) fresh okra
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
  • 4 jalapeño or habanero peppers (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups (475 ml) cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) kosher or pickling salt (table salt will turn the pickling juice cloudy)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
  • 4 pint-sized (500 ml) canning jars

Pickling Spices[1]

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) whole peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) whole allspice
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground coriander

Part 1
Choosing the Okra and Sterilizing the Jars

  1. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 1
    Choose the freshest okra possible. If possible, you should pickle okra within 6 - 12 hours of picking. Select tender, green pods of okra that are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) long for pickling.
  2. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 2
    Wash and trim the okra. Trim the end of the stem off the okra, but leave the okra whole. Make the final okra everything that would you feel comfortable eating.
  3. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 3
    Sterilize the canning jars. In a large pot, arrange your canning jars onto a wire rack so that they don't rest on the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with water, so that the jars are completely submerged. Turn the burner on and allow the water to come to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the burner off.
    • Remove the canning jars with canning tongs and place them on a counter pre-lined with a clean towel. Do this so that the heat difference between the counter and the jars doesn't cause them to crack.
    • Dunk the lids and tops into the near-boiling water and leave them there for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a clean towel.

Part 2
Pickling the Okra

  1. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 4
    Toast the pickling spices (optional). Over low heat in a pan, combine all the pickling spices and toast until slightly brown and aromatic, about 2 - 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 5
    Heat the pickling juice. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pickling spices in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Stainless steel, aluminum, glass, and enamelware are all appropriate for boiling pickling solutions. As soon as the solution reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and keep warm.
  3. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 6
    Pack the canning jars with okra. Before you pack in the okra, slice up a lemon into four more-or-less equal slices. Place each slice in the bottom of each canning jar you'll use. Then, pack the fresh okra into each of the four jars, being careful not to overcrowd.
    • Place the okra into the jars with their stem ends up.
    • Be sure to leave .5 inch (1.25 cm) headspace in each canning jar.
    • You can add a clove of garlic to each jar at this time for added flavor. A jalapeño or habanero pepper will add a little kick to the okra. Experiment with different additions in different jars!
  4. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 7
    Pour the hot pickling solution over the okra in the jars. This may be easier to do with a canning funnel, but one is not necessary if you have a very steady hand. Leave .5 inch (1.25 cm) head space.
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    Remove any air bubbles in the canning jars.[2] Rub a small non-metallic spatula or bubble freer along the edge of the jars. Extra air can be a vector for germs and bacteria, increasing the likelihood of spoilage.
  6. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 9
    Wipe any pickling solution off rims, adjust the jar lids, and process in the boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. Use the same water that you used to sterilize the canning jars in Part One. Make sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water over your jars during processing. Turn the heat to the highest setting and bring the water to a boil.
    • Load the jars into the canner rack and lower it into the hot water in the canner. Ensure that the water comes up at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the lids of the jars.
    • Put the lid on the canner and lower the heat so that the water stays at a gentle boil for 10 minutes.
    • If the water falls below 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the tops of the jars at any time, add more boiling water.
    • After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid of the canner, and use a jar lifter to place the jars on a towel. Leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between jars.
  7. Image titled Pickle Okra Step 10
    Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Test the seals of the jars by removing the bands and looking at the lids. They should be concave in the center. If any jars have not sealed, you can reprocess them within 24 hours. Allow the jars to stand for several days to one week before use.
    • A rule of thumb is to allow your pickled okra to sit about 6 weeks before eating them.


  • Processing times vary by altitude. If you live at an altitude between 1000 and 6000 feet (300 to 1,800 m), you will need to process your jars of pickled okra for 15 minutes. If you live at an altitude above 6000 feet (1,800 m), you will need to process your jars of pickled okra for 20 minutes.


  • Do not omit or change the proportion of salt or vinegar in a recipe for pickles. The salt and vinegar are necessary to prevent bacterial growth.

Article Info

Categories: Okra | Food Preservation Techniques