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Do you love dill pickles as much as I do? After canning our own for couple of years now, it’s really hard to eat one that is commercially made.
Summer is coming and that means backyard barbecues and nothing goes better with a cookout than a great big jar of dill pickles. There are not only great by themselves as a snack, they are also a fantastic side to potato salad, burgers, chicken and more.
Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe
Makes – 4 Quarts or 8 Pints
- 12 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers
- 3/4 cup sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Canning Salt (see note at the bottom)
- 1 quart 5% white vinegar
- 1 quart of water
- 4 Tbsp. spoons Pickling Spice (see my recipe below)
- Green Dill Heads (one per jar)
Dill Pickle Spice Recipe
- 2 Tbls Whole Pepper Corns
- 2 Tbls Mustard Seed (yellow)
- 2 Tbls Coriander
- 2 Tbls Dill Seed
- 1 Tbls Allspice
- 8 Bay Leaves
Once all this is mixed, just set aside.
Begin by washing cucumbers in cold water and cutting about a one-sixteenth (1/16) inch off the ends, just enough to remove the blossom mark. Let them drain. Once well-drained, cut cucumbers into long slices and set aside.
I choose long slices because the smaller you cut the cucumber, the softer it becomes when processing. You may cut them into round slices if you choose. Experiment and try both. (See note at the bottom)
Place canning jars into a large saucepan of water and bring a high-heat in order to sterilize them.
Meanwhile, combine together sugar, salt, vinegar and water into a large saucepan over medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to simmer. Add in pickle spice mixture and continue to simmer.
Remove jars from boiling water and place a large dill head into each jar.
Filling Canning Jars
Pack sliced cucumbers tightly into the canning jar, avoiding any large empty space leaving a one-quarter (1/4) inch head-space.
Using a large ladle, fill jars with hot vinegar sugar/salt liquid leaving a half-inch (1/2) head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rim with a clean dry cloth and put on lid and band.
Great news! Planning on eating them quickly? Just place them into the fridge, allow to “sit” for 2-3 weeks before eating. You’re all done!
Refrigerator pickles will keep for about 2 months tops. If you plan to store them longer, you will need to process them. Here’s how:
Processing Cucumbers for Making Dill Pickles
Place jars of sliced cucumbers into water-bath canner on the rack. Lower the rack into the canner and fill with water to about 1 inch above jar lids. Need help? Take a look at my canning guide here. I would also highly recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, if you are new to canning, in addition to my canning guide.
Place over medium-high heat, put lid on canner and bring to a rolling boil. Process pints and quarts for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, gently remove lid – AWAY from you, to prevent steam from hitting your arm and face.
Let jars sit, in canner, uncovered about 15-20 minutes.
Using a jar lifter, remove jars from hot water and place on a towel or cloth on the counter. (Note: If hot jars are placed directly onto a cold surface, tile, marble, stone, formica, etc you chance the drastic temperature change of breaking the jar)
Resisting the temptation to tighten bands, leave them as they are and let jars sit undisturbed 12 hours.
Label, date, and store.
People Have Ask –
How Long Can I Store Pickles After Canning?
Homemade canned pickles can safely stored for years actually. The flavor can change over time. For more information on storing homemade dill pickles, take a look at this article from Food in Jars here.
Tips and Notes:
I Don’t Use Crisping Agents
Pickling Crisp agents. I can remember my mom using it when I was growing up at home. I’m not comfortable using it. It’s made of calcium chloride (not a natural ingredient). We grow an organic garden here on our homestead and try to eat as clean as possible. I do my best to provide my family with safe, chemical free, foods to eat.
If you would like to use it, please let this be your choice. If you would like to learn more about it, take a look at this article from Live Strong. They have done some pretty in-depth studies.
Note about Salt
Canning salt is different from table salt. Canning salt doesn’t contain the additives that table salt does. The additives can discolor your pickles. I use Ms. Wages canning salt available here. Regular table salt can turn your pickles dark, and the water can become cloudy. Table salt will work for canning if you choose to chance it. It is safe for canning. Do not use Kosher salt, it is a completely different salt.