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Curing Greek-style olives

Submitted by: Stephanie Brown

Curing Greek-style olives

Grow and cure your own organic olives, with your signature brining time
Servings: Depends on the amount of olives you cure


Ripe black olives (at least 1 quart)
2 1/4 Cups pickling salt
2 Gallons water


Use at least a quart-sized air tight container made of plastic or glass, or a Harsch fermenting crock.

Choose olives that are fully colored from dark red to black. It is helpful to select olives of a similar size for a more even curing. Discard olives that are bruised or scarred.

Mix 3/4 cups of pickling salt with a gallon of cool water to make a brine.

Stir the brine and make sure the salt dissolves fully.

Add the olives and the brine to your air-tight container. Make sure the brine covers the olives, and prepare more brine if needed.

If using a Harsch crock, don’t seal it by adding water to the reservoir yet. Store the crock for a week, out of the way, at a temperature between 60 and 80°F.

After a week mix up a stronger brine solution. For this solution combine 1 1/2 cups of pickling salt and a gallon of water.

Drain off the first weaker brine and add the strong brine.

With a Harsch crock, this time seal the crock by adding water to the reservoir. This will prevent the growth of yeast on your olives while still allowing gas from inside the crock to bubble out.

Store the crock again out of the way at 60-80°F.

Your olives will be ready to eat after two months if you like them on the bitter side. If you like a milder flavor pour off the brine one more time a month later, add another strong brine. Wait two more months and then enjoy your home cured olives.

becky bee Says:
Jan 16th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

What if you don’t have one of those crock things? Do you put a lid on it?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:58 am

Becky Bee, If you don’t have a Harsch crock you can use another air-tight container made of plastic or glass. Enjoy!

Leslie Says:
Sep 1st, 2013 at 12:39 am

I have cured about a pint of olives at a time using table salt, in an open container, on my counter. I change the brine bath every 4-5 days, when the water gets dark, or slime builds up. Early harvest (Oct - Dec) takes longer to cure…about six weeks.  Later harvests Jan-Feb) cures in about two weeks.  After the brining, I rinse well and pour good oil over them, then cover with lid, store in the fridge then bring to room temp to serve. I live in Southern California. 
My question is what about bacteria or botulism, etc. I haven’t been sick, but I wouldn’t know the signs…thanks for weighing in to keep me healthy. Will you answer here, or email me?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 11th, 2013 at 11:04 am

Leslie, Here is sound info on curing olives, from the Univ. of California. I think this will answer your questions.

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