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How to Store Olives

By Amma Marfo ; Updated September 21, 2017

Whether you enjoy a good olive on its own from an antipasto bar or like a few sprinkled in your salad or on your pizza, olives are known all over the world for their unique taste and healthy oils. Although it is a long process to store olives, canning them yourself can certainly prove a labor of love with a delectable reward. Be sure you have all of the materials you will need available to begin and enjoy the wait involved for delicious, home-prepared olives.

Rinse freshly picked olives in a bucket full of clean water. Bruise the olives on the cutting board by pressing them with a large stone or hammer. Poke a few holes in the olive with the fork or cut a few slits into the olive with your knife.

Place the bruised olives right away into a bucket filled with a salt solution of 10 cups of water to a 1/2 cup of salt. Sink a plate over the olives to keep them completely immersed in the water.

Pour off the saltwater after one day and refill the bucket with fresh saltwater made to the same concentration as Step 2. Repeat this process every day for 10 days if using black olives, and for 12 days for green olives.

Test the olives for bitterness by biting into one. Once you notice the natural bitterness of the olive is almost gone, you will be ready for the last salting. Measure the amount of water you pour off once the olives are ready to determine the amount of salt brine you’ll need to make.

Measure an amount of warm water equal to the amount of saltwater poured off in Step 4 and place into your cooking pot. At a concentration of 1 cup of salt per 10 cups of water, add the appropriate amount of salt to dissolve into your measured amount of water.

Bring this stronger concentration of saltwater to a boil and then let it cool. Fill your jars with olives and add the salt brine over them so all of the olives are under the brine. Add a little less than 1/2 inch of olive oil to the top of the jar and close the lids. Stored in a cool, dark place, the olives should keep for at least a year.

Pour off the solution from your canned olives when it is time to use them and refill the bottle with clean water. Set the bottle in the fridge for a day so the olives release their salt into the water. Taste-test an olive. If they are still too salty, simply repeat with fresh water and wait another 24 hours.


Things You Will Need

  • Green or black olives
  • Clean water
  • Bucket
  • Cutting board
  • Smooth stone or hammer
  • Fork or serrated knife
  • Cooking or coarse salt
  • Measuring cups
  • Spare heavy plate
  • Cooking pot
  • Stove top
  • Canning jars or bottles
  • Olive oil


  • When you reach the last step is a good time to add flavoring to your olives. Try adding lemon juice, basil, oregano, garlic or onion.


  • Be sure to dispose of your saltwater waste in an acceptable manner. Dumping saltwater outdoors could be harmful to plants, and it should never be poured into freshwater streams.