Brine Time: Pickle like a Pro | Travis Grillo | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Ins and Outs of Pickling


    • 3.

      Hungry for More?


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About This Class

Welcome to Brine Time with Grillo's Pickles!  My name is Travis Grillo and along with the help of my cousin and right hand man Eric, we have put together a class on the art of pickling. 

Eric and I know first hand how fun, delicious, and creative pickling can be, so we are incredibly excited to share some techniques with the people!  In this class we will go over supplies, types of brines, vegetable characteristics, and more useful bits of knowledge that will bring your at-home pickling skills to the next level.  (We WILL NOT, however, be giving away the Grillo's secret recipe... Sorry we're not sorry!)

The Grillo's Pickles company has grown from selling jars out of the trunk of an '85 Cutlass Supreme to running Boston's first pickle boutique retail store.  As a result, we want to give the class a chance to shine by featuring a small batch of OUR FAVORITE student submitted pickle recipe in our store in Cambridge, MA.  What are you waiting for?? Its BRINE TIME.

Meet Your Teacher

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Travis Grillo

CEO and Founder of Grillo's Pickles


Travis Grillo is the CEO and founder of Grillo's Pickles, an all-natural pickle company based in Cambridge, MA.

He started Grillo's in 2008 by taking the 100 year old family pickle recipe and packing jars to sell out of the trunk of his car.

In just five short years, Travis has grown the business from a pickle cart in Boston Common to a fully distributed pickled food company that is stocked in over 50 whole foods stores and its own specialty retail space in Cambridge, MA.

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1. Introduction: My name is Travis Grillo, owner of Grillo's pickles. Started this company in Norwich, Connecticut. One summer not getting a job I wanted after college, that label went off. My vision was to make the exact same pickles that my grandfather passed to my dad, and it's not just something that's mass-produced then thrown in a warehouse and you might get it one day. Grillo's represents backyard gardening brought to your home. With Skillshare, I basically want to show people they can do it at home. They could do small batches. They can experiment, have fun with it. Pickling is something that is not learned in one day. It's something that you're going to want to try over and over again. It's something you want to experiment with. We've tried a lot of things, so I am excited to see what someone's going to bring to the table. We're going to pick from the best recipe from all the students that signed up for this class, and what I'm going to do is put them in our store in Cambridge, 1075 Cambridge Street. Shit, we haven't figured out with the family. You just have to work out to do it. We're the only pickler in Boston. We have the only shop in Boston. To be in our shop is a privilege. So, you better come hard with a good recipe. I moved up to Boston in 2008. My cousin actually moved into the apartment and slept on the floor for a summer and hustle pickles with me. We were hustling pickles out of the house, like we had a trap house filled with pickles in the city. Street hustling pickles out of the car, out of a '85 old Cutlass Supreme. 2. The Ins and Outs of Pickling: All right. We're over here at Clover HUB next to my pickle shop, one of our test kitchens in Boston, Massachusetts. This is my cousin Eric, Operational Manager of the company. He does all the development and we work together on a lot of different recipes for the stores, new products. We got all fresh produce today and we're going to show you different ways of pickling, preparing your food from home. We have all ingredients that you can get in your household products, to things that you might want to buy. It's a very affordable and easy way of pickling at home, and here we are. That's pickles. All right. So, I just picked a few of my favorite pickling items to bring here to show you guys today. All right. So, let's go through the line. We got some fresh organic carrots, cauliflower, prep that a little bit, took the leaves off, that's ready to go. We got asparagus, different bell peppers, different hot peppers. I mean, anything from Serranos, jalapeños, habaneros, your choice when it comes to heat. Lemons, oranges, beets. We got some different herbs out here. Today I brought sage, rosemary, thyme, fresh dill, ginger. I even brought some fresh sugarcane if you want to sweeten your product in an all natural way rather than going with the white sugar. It's a better choice for you guys. Green tomatoes, we got carrots, we got green beans, we've got brussels sprouts. Anything from white vinegar, cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, pretty much anything that you can find, you can use in pickling. You've got to come up with your recipe that's going to fit the right way. Salt, also very important part of pickling. Kosher salt, regular iodized salt, pickling salt. All options for you guys to use. Water. Got to have water in your pickles. Then we go to some different herbs. I mean, I usually use fresh stuff, you have the complete option to go to dried herbs rather than fresh, still you've got dried dill, if that's in your cupboard, maybe that's what you're going to use. They sell pickling spices at your local grocery store. Another option that's going to be a different, more savory flavor, cinnamons, cloves, coriander, that kind of stuff and we get into some weirder stuff, I like to use chili strings. It's different, adds color, little chili flavor without heat. A little harder to find, but again usable, wasabi powder. Once in a while, I'll use wasabi and ginger and a sushi kind of pickle. So, lots of options here for you, guys. Of course, the number one thing is your cucumbers. Fresh, natural, really, really good quality cucumbers. I can't stress that enough. Quality is the most important thing in refrigerated pickles, this is what we're doing here. Lots of different options for packaging your pickles. We tend to use deli containers, works best for our product, maybe not for yours. In your house, you probably got Tupperware, not a bad option, everybody's got that. Ball jars in grandma's basement. Everybody got ball jars so no excuses for not finding a jar to pickle in. Empty your mayonnaise jar, put your pickles in there. Whatever, you know what I'm saying? What we're going to do now, I'm going to show you a couple of things, this is a couple ideas, couple of things that I like to do. Let's start off simple. All right. Let me make a simple pickle. Got your cucumbers. Cleanliness, ours have all been cleaned very, very, very well, sanitized. You can buy lots of different cleaners at your local grocery store. Different places sell very good cleaners for your vegetables. Important. Go different ways, you could spear your pickles, you can do pickle chips, you can do pickle chunks. To make it easy, I'm just going to do some pickle spears for you guys. All right. Now, of course length is an issue. These all fit in the jar, I don't got to cut the tops. So, you're basically just going to quarter your pickles. All right. So, that's that. Let's spill those in the container here. All right. So, maybe that's too boring for you, right. You want to step it up a little bit. Let's get some carrots going. Again, quarter your carrot sticks, you want kind of a uniform look, if you're going for that. Throw a couple of carrots in there. Yeah, if you want them in that contest, they better look good. We've got some nice asparagus here. Let's throw that in. So, if it comes to asparagus, the ends are tough, you want to get rid of that. We're going to chop those to length, that's going in the jar. All right. There's your produce. So, this is your start to pickling. Now, how you want to flavor this? Okay. I'm going to throw a little garlic. I got some fresh sliced garlic in here. I'm going to throw a little garlic in. All right. Maybe I want to go with rosemary this time. I'm going to pick some nice, a nice sprig of fresh rosemary. I'm going to shove that right in the middle there. What else can we do? Chili strings. A little something, it's not going to add much flavor, but it's going to add a cool design, it's going to look nice in your product if you see that. You open that up, that's a nice look. All right. So then, you're going to brine your product, okay. Every brine is going to be different. This is where the creativity comes in. Many, many different types of brine. With this one, I'm going to do a vinegar brine. This is your traditional dill pickle kind of brine. Salt, vinegar, water. Now, type of vinegar, ratios, type of salt, all is depending on you. I know what I use, but you're going to have to come up with your own, but I'm going to give you a kind of a basic idea here. We put a good amount of water in. All right. I'm using tap water, you can use spring water. Today, we're using the cider vinegar. You put about, it's a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar in there and I'm going with a kosher salt. Maybe about a tablespoon of kosher salt there, okay. We're to cover this up. You're going to mix your ingredients, you want to go back and forth a little bit, you want that salt to dissolve into your brine. That could be a pickle. All right. This sits two to three days, ready to go, then you're going to be able to try that and see how your flavors are. You're not going to be able to taste this right now and know how it's going to taste in a week from now. So, it's trial and error. Try this out, you put it in your fridge for a few days, you taste it. Maybe you need to adjust something, maybe the vinegar is too strong, maybe the salt's too strong, then you go back in and kind of play. That's one idea. Go on to something a little bit weirder. All right. I'm going to do for you a blood orange, ginger pickle right now. All right. So, what I think I'm going to do with these, rather than the spears, I'm going to go with a slice. So, you get a slice out of bias. Something like that. It's going to look nice on the plate, nice for presentation purposes. I've got some fresh ginger. I had already peeled mine, but that's ready to go. Slice however you want. I like them nice, thin slice. It distributes the flavor nice and easy. Again, the amount of ginger, all up to you. It's a blood orange so I'm going to try something today. Google blood orange. Going to cut that in half, we're going to use the juice of the blood orange for the acidity of the pickle. All right. So, you're just going to squeeze that right into your jar. It's going to add a cool color, a nice citrusy flavor, and then what I would usually do is use a little zest as well. There's a lot of flavor in citrus zest whether it's the orange, the lemon, use a lime, whatever. A lot of flavors in these things. A Little bit of blood orange zest and your ginger. I'm thinking we got blood orange, we've got ginger, maybe a sweetness will be worth worth nice, but it takes all my fresh sugar cane. Slice that into a few pieces, put that around in there. All right. Now, you got a sweet blood orange, ginger, pickle thing going on here, right. Always need water. Okay. A little acidity, I wouldn't use too much with this. You already have some acidity coming from the citrus. I would add a little bit of a white vinegar to this one. Small amount and again, you got a lot of flavors going here. A lot of salt might be not the right option, so. Here, I got maybe a teaspoon of salt on this one. See that nice color you're going to get? It's going to have a nice presentation, nice red color. So, eye appeals there, flavors are going to be there, hopefully. That's going to be up to you. Try these out in a week and again, adjust. So far, I've been showing you acidified pickling, right. I'm going to show you something with no vinegar. All right. This is usually called the half sour pickle, a deli pickle found in a lot of delis in New York. All right. Very simple, very, very simple pickle. Take a few cubes. Now, these you want whole. Throw them right in there. Now, you can find pickling spice at any grocery store. All right. It's available, it's out there. Probably already in your spice cabinet. All right. Going to add some pickling spice to that. Amount? Again, depends on you. No vinegar in this pickle. All right. We're just going to do water, salt, pickling spice, and that's a wrap. Very, very simple way of pickling. You're going to add a little bit, be a little heavier on the salt than we were in the past. Let's say about three tablespoons there. That's it. That's how simple it can be to pickle. All right. Again, you're going to mix your ingredients together. You're going to let that sit in your fridge, see how that taste in about a week. Refrigerator pickles pickle at a very fast amount of time. I'd say three to five days is that, they're ready. About a week is when you're really going to taste all the flavors. All right. So now, after all that pickling, we've got all this stuff leftover, just like at your house at the end of the week, right? You got all these leftover like the half of a cauliflower, you got a half of tomato, you got all this stuff sitting around. What do you do with it? Pickle it. That's what you do with it. All right. So, anything can be pickled. So, let's start with this, simple as this. We got the green tomato, you cut a little cauliflower flowerettes. All right. All got to be beautiful. You're doing this for you and your family, you're doing this for whatever. Throw a little cauliflower in there. So now, we have green tomatoes, we have cauliflower, we have some leftover green beans from dinner last night, right. You just cut the ends off, throw those in there. You got extra red bell pepper, then use it. All right. Let's clean that up. All right. So, some red pepper strips in there. What else do you got? You got some brussels sprouts leftover. There you go, we've got brussels sprouts in there. A little garlic, a little fresh dill. Why not? You got some sage leftover from the chicken you cooked, throw that in there. All right. You know what? I want it spicy. So, what? I've got an extra jalapeño from the fajitas I made last week, right. Just half that, throw that in there. That could be the next pickle, you know what I mean? That could be in our shop if you make this. So again, water, vinegar, salt. That's it man. There you go. You got a mixed vegetable pickle here. We've got green tomatoes, we've got green beans, we've got cauliflower, red bell pepper. You got some jalapeños in there, we got brussels sprouts, some garlic, some dill. All the stuff leftover from the week can be used. All right. It might make you famous. So, that's what it is. Grillo's pickles, one. 3. Hungry for More?: