Olive Curing Step-by-Step - Lye Cure Method

The most popular method of olive curing among our staff and customers has been the lye cure method.  The results are fast and the flavor of the lye cured olives is generally clean and buttery.  The natural bitterness in the olives is eliminated as the lye breaks the chemical bonds between the oleuropein phenol compound and sugars in the olives.  We recommend you give this fast and popular method a try with at least a portion of your olives.  You will have olives to eat in as little as 10 days, well before any edible olives can be had from the alternative methods.

Preparation Time: About 10 days.

Ingredients

Green, Straw-Colored, or Slightly Red Olives                                                                                            

Food-Grade Lye - 1 tbsp per quart of curing solution                                                                                                   

Kosher or Pickling Salt - 1-2 oz by weight per quart of brine solution

Cold Water

 

Equipment

Protective Equipment - Safety Gloves, Safety Glasses or Face Mask, Closed-toed shoes, Long sleeves and pants

Food-Grade Plastic or Glass Containers - at least two

Lye-Resistant Utensils

Nylon Mesh Bag to Contain Olives during Curing

Heavy Kitchen Plate or Other Food-Grade Weight to Keep Olives Submerged

 

Olive Curing with Lye - Quick Version of the Directions

 

    1. Understand the safety requirements and practices of handling lye in the UC Davis Publication 8267 - see page 10.
    2. Sort the olives by hand, removing bruised, black or infested fruit.
    3. Cover the olives with a lye solution (usually 1 tablespoon lye per quart of water) and soak for approximately 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally and avoiding air exposure.
    4. Drain the lye and rinse twice.  Cover with cold water and proceed by changing the rinse water every couple days for about a week.
    5. Brine the olives with either a short-term or long-term storage brine.  Salt usage varies from 1 to 2 oz by weight per quart of brine.
    6. The brined olives are ready to eat in as little as 2 days of brining!

FOR MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS, WE RECOMMEND YOU READ THE PUBLICATION 8267 "OLIVES: SAFE METHODS FOR HOME PICKLING" BY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES.


USE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO READ THE DETAILED UC DAVIS PUBLICATION.

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ITEMS FROM THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE FOUND BELOW OR IN THE SHOPPING AREA OF OUR WEBSITE.