Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dill Pickle Recipe

Well I was making the relish's I thought I might as well make some dill pickles. They are incredibly easy to make and fast too. You may notice that the image below shows 6 jars and the recipe makes 7. This is because one of the jars cracked when I put it in the canner to process, releasing its contents into the canner. Not that big of a deal though, I think it was because it was an older jar.

I chose to make dills that are packing into jars, then filled with a vinegar solution and left to pickle in the jars for about a month. There are many ways of doing dills, another way is shown over at Sinfonian's blog, Sinfonian's Square Foot Garden. He place the cucumbers in a crock w/ spices, then cover them with a vinegar solution and let them pickle in an open air environment. You can also make dills that are fermented in a water/spice/salt solution that take on a sour taste naturally. These are like the dills you find in the refrigerator aisle at the grocery store, here is a link to that recipe.

Now that we have had our daily preserving class, here is the recipe for the dills I made:

Dill Pickles
Yields 7 one liter jars (7 quart jars)

7 liter or 7 quart basket of cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
8 1/2 cups water
2/3 to 3/4 cup pickling salt (adjust to taste)
14 large cloves of garlic
14 dill flowers

Start by sterilizing your jars, I have started using the oven to sterilize the jars. This is done by placing cleaned jars in a cold oven on a sheet pan and then turn the oven to 225 for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

Once the jars are being sterilized put the canner on the stove and start bring it to a boil. Then place your sealer lids in a small pot, cover them with hot water and put on low heat to soften the rubber seal.

Now scrub the cucumbers and cut the flower end & stem end off. The flower end is necessary because it can make for a less crunchy pickle if left on and the stem end I remove just because I don't like to eat stems, so the stem is optional. Now if you are using larger cucumbers quarter them and if you are using baby size cucumbers leave them as is.

After that, add the vinegar, water & salt to a pot and bring to the boil. Well that is heating remove the flowers heads from the fresh dill and roughly chop the 14 clovers of garlic.

Once the vinegar solution is boiling, remove the jars from the oven. Place 1 head of dill and 2 cloves of garlic in the bottom of each jar. Then pack the jars with the cucumbers and place 1 head of dill on the top of the cucumbers. Now ladle the vinegar solution over the cucumbers until the liquid level comes within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar.

Now place a sealer lid on each jar and tighten the threaded lid until just tight. Then transfer them into the canner making sure the water is 1 inch above the jars. Boil for 10 minutes once the boil is reached.

Now transfer the jars to a t-towel to cool. Once cooled and sealed, they need to pickle for 3-4 weeks to take on the sour tastes. The hardest part, waiting.


  1. You have been very busy this summer Dan... The dill's look good.

  2. Dan, do you use "pickling vinegar" or just regular old vinegar?

  3. Yeah Dan, my long way isn't the best. I think the way you and my brother did it is better. I'll do that with my next batch. Well done!

  4. Dan,

    It looks like you've been busy this week with pickling. I'd like to try the crock style pickling some time, but my husband says that we're done canning for the year. :)
    We'll see if I can resist apple season.

  5. hendria - It has been a busy summer.

    jan - I use Heinz White Vinegar, it is 5% acetic acid. I have actually never heard of pickling vinegar, new at this. I looked it up and it appears pickling vinegar is 7% acetic acid, I am going to look for this for next year.

    sin - I think the crock pickles you are doing will result in a much more flavorful pickle, that is how most pickle companies do there pickles. The ones I did are nice because you just jar them and that's all the work they take. I think next year I am going to try both ways.

    emily - all the canning can get a little mind numbing after a while and it turns your house into a sauna. I can relate to not wanting to can anymore! But I think when those apples come a calling you will be getting the equipment out again. Apple Jelly, Apple Pie Filling, Apple Butter, hmm. You also can't forget about pears, my mom has a killer spiced pear jam recipe.

  6. I've been looking for a recipe to use without picking salt (b/c I'm lazy to try to find it at the grocery store, lol). I'd love to make dill pickles, but I'll have to wait until next year when I grow more cucumbers. (if my family doesn't eat them all first). Enjoy your beautiful looking pickles. Yum.

  7. I'm betting that this recipe is great! I just wish I had some cucumbers...

    All your recipes are awesome.