Canning/ Condiment/ Recipe

Dill Pickles

Homemade Dill Pickle Spears

Homemade Pickles with fresh dill and garlic

The cucumbers plants are loaded and I have an abundance of cucumbers!  Time for canning dill pickles!!!  I have the perfect recipe that can be used for just one quart or 6 quarts. In my garden, I have four cucumber plants.  Three are pickling cucumbers and one is just for eating.  Of course, you can eat pickling cukes too. They make a great slice and eat cucumber, but they are also perfect for making dill pickles!

Homemade Dill Pickle. Learn how to can homemade dill pickles. This recipe can be adapted from one quart to eight quarts. beyondthechickencoop.com

I have been canning dill pickles for years and I’ve learned a few tricks!

  • Use white distilled vinegar…you often use apple cider vinegar for bread and butter pickles.
  • Use pickling salt.  Pickling salt doesn’t have any iodine or anti-caking agent added.  This helps keep your brine clear and not cloudy.
  • Use pickling cucumbers!  They are different than an eating cucumber.
  • Use fresh dill.  You want the flowering head for  your pickles.
  • Sterilize your jars and lids before filling with cucumbers.
  • Don’t process in a hot water bath.  This one was hard for me to get past. I always followed all the steps in the canning books, but my pickles often turned soft and then slimy.  Not a good pickle.  After talking to my great aunt, who was well know for her pickles and canned hundreds of quarts every summer, I found she did not process her pickles.  When you think about it, there’s enough salt and vinegar in these jars to neutralize anything potentially bad.  If you are skeptical about this, you can always refrigerate your pickles.
  • Wait at least 3 weeks before trying…they need time to pickle!
  • I prefer to use whole, small pickling cucumbers.  Once they get too large, I slice them into spears.

Pickling Cucumber

This recipe makes 6 quarts of pickles.  I don’t always have enough pickles to make an entire batch.  I use what I have each time I pick.  Sometimes, I only make one or two jars at a time.   To make smaller batches, adjust the brine as follows for each quart you need:  3 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup salt.  The amount you use varies depending on how many cucumbers you could squeeze into your jars.  You will end up with a bit of extra brine, but better to have too much than to not have enough.

Dill Pickles

My great aunt’s recipe had one additional ingredient…a grape leaf!  She always added one.  I tried it once when I made a batch of pickles.  I don’t use it any more for two reasons…I couldn’t really detect a difference with the grape leaf added, and I don’t grow grapes so I don’t have grape leaves!  I’m curious as to how and why grape leaves got added to a jar of pickles…..hmmmm…..

Anytime you are home canning, always use caution.  Jars should be washed and sterilized just before using.  Product should be examined upon opening jars.  If anything looks different, unusual, or you just aren’t sure…throw it out!

Cucumbers

The above picture shows a pickling cucumber on the bottom and a regular cucumber on the top.

5 from 3 votes
Homemade Dill Pickle Spears
Dill Pickles
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
How to can dill pickles
Course: canning, Condiment
Keyword: dill pickles recipe, homemade pickles
Servings: 6 Quarts
Author: Kathy
Ingredients
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 20-30 whole pickling cucumbers depending on size
  • 6-12 heads of fresh dill
  • 12 cloves whole garlic
Instructions
  1. Place vinegar, salt, and water in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, Wash cucumbers in water
  4. Place small cucumbers directly in sterilized canning jars
  5. Large cucumbers can be sliced into smaller spears or rounds
  6. Add 2 cloves whole garlic to each jar
  7. Add 1-2 Heads of Dill to each jar
  8. Pour boiling brine over pickle mixture.
  9. Wipe down rim of jars and put canning lid and ring on tight.
  10. Let jars sit until completely cooled
  11. Check that jar has sealed. If not sealed, place in fridge.
  12. Wash jars to remove any excess brine and store for at least 3 weeks before using.

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Homemade Dill Picles

Delicious homemade dill pickles.

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Lori from LL Farm
    August 1, 2015 at 11:22 am

    These look delicious! I have not mastered the dill pickle…they turn out soggy, maybe I will try the no process method. Today I made freezer pickles…they are sweet tasting.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks, Lori. I’ve never even heard of freezer pickles! I’ll need to check it out!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Those dill pickles look scrumptious!!

    I am a 1 human household so do a lot of “quick pickling”, i.e. cucumbers, onions, radishes, jalapeno peppers … I tend to do a jar at a time and into the frig in a mix of vinegar, sugar, water, salt and depending: mustard seed or garlic

    But at Farmer’s Market this morning… the pickle cukes looked so tempting so will try this dill recipe and maybe a sweet/spicy mix also.

    Thanks for the recipe! FWIW, when something has as much acid as pickled anything, I don’t worry about it. If you have sterilized jars and lids and are putting either hot or very acidic stuff in those jars you are good… with the caveat that if it looks or smells off…toss it!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 2, 2015 at 5:44 am

      Thanks, Liz!

  • Reply
    Kennedy Cole
    August 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    This looks great! We also have a ton of cucumber crops, so this looks like a great recipe to try! We used to pickle cucumbers A TON! And this post totally reminded me of how good homemade pickles are! Thanks for sharing! 😀

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 2, 2015 at 5:43 am

      Go get pickling!

  • Reply
    Brett
    August 2, 2015 at 1:52 am

    The reason for the grape leaf is that it contains tannin which helps to keep your pickles crisp. You can use oak leaves or black tea, too.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 2, 2015 at 5:42 am

      Thanks so much! I knew there had to be a reason for adding it. I may have to try it again…just have to get some grape leaves!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Raise Your Garden
    August 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Kathy, well I’ve never actually canned anything before, I think it is the sterilization process that intimidates me. But I need to try! I have 3 huge pickle eaters in my house and I’d bet they love these. So maybe my cukes totally bombed with year, but I have dill in abundance. I stand corrected. I did have dill until my husband weedwacked the yard. You win some. You loose some.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 3, 2015 at 11:23 am

      I’ll bet it smelled good while he was plowing down that dill!

      • Reply
        dble
        May 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        always smells good when i plow dill

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    August 3, 2015 at 3:28 am

    These looks so delicious, Kathy! This recipe looks so easy, and I have never pickled dilli — so this is a must try recipe for me! Thank you for this lovely share! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 3, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Give it a try!

  • Reply
    Manali @ CookWithManali
    August 3, 2015 at 10:11 am

    looks great , I have never made pickle but you have motivated me to do so!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

      We eat and make a lot of pickles at our house!

  • Reply
    Annie @ The Garlic Diaries
    August 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    My husband would love me so much if I made these, haha! He is obsessed with dill pickles. I need to give it a try!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 5, 2015 at 6:01 am

      You’d better make him some pickles!

  • Reply
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After
    August 7, 2015 at 11:37 am

    There is a ton of pickling cukes in my CSA box every week so now I have a great recipe to use them in. Thanks for sharing and for all the useful pickling tips 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      This recipe is perfect for your extra cukes! I hope you give it a try!

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