Pickling spice blends are easy to make at home in just a few minutes. Make batches of the mix in advance for anytime pickling of meats and vegetables. Added to a sweet or salty brine, pickling spices preserve while adding flavor. Customize your own special pickling spice by changing the proportions or adding other dry spices from your collection to this easy combination.

Things You'll Need

How To Make Pickling Spice

Clean and completely dry a medium-sized airtight jar (12-oz. or smaller). Thoroughly eliminate all residual odors from the jar and lid that may have accumulated from prior use.

Measure whole mustard seeds and whole allspice into jar, along with coriander seeds and red pepper flakes. Shake to mix.

Add dried ground ginger to mixed seeds and pepper flakes and shake again.

Sprinkle a crumbled bay leaf over these ingredients.

Break a medium cinnamon stick in half and drop both pieces into the jar. Dry sticks may crumble when snapped; if this happens, simply add all broken shards.

Drop in two whole cloves as the final spice element to this blend.

Use your mix immediately or seal the jar tightly for storage until use up to a month later.


  • This basic recipe is easy to double or triple for larger projects, just be sure to keep the proportions intact.

  • The fresher your spices the more pungent your pickling blend will be.

  • Spices that have been ground into a fine powder have more surface area and should be used carefully or they will overpower the mix.

  • Your finished mix will store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight or heat levels above room temperature for about a month before the individual flavor characteristics of the spices begin to disappear.

  • Try using this pickling spice along with a brine for overnight quick pickling of tough meats. The next morning rinse and pat dry the meat before slow roasting in a water bath at low heat for several hours.

References and Resources

Homemade Pickling Spice