Canning/ Condiment/ Recipe

Dill Pickles

August 1, 2015 (Last Updated: October 12, 2020)

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Homemade Dill 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!

A glass canning jar filled with dill pickle spears.

Tips for Making Dill Pickles

  • 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.

 

A stack of pickling cucumbers with one cucumber in the front of the stack.

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.

Fresh dill seed next to a jar of 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!

A pickling cucumber next to an eating cucumber.

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

A glass canning jar filled with pickle spears.

Dill Pickles

Kathy
How to can dill pickles
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course canning, Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Quarts

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
 

  • Place vinegar, salt, and water in a sauce pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, Wash cucumbers in water
  • Place small cucumbers directly in sterilized canning jars
  • Large cucumbers can be sliced into smaller spears or rounds
  • Add 2 cloves whole garlic to each jar
  • Add 1-2 Heads of Dill to each jar
  • Pour boiling brine over pickle mixture.
  • Wipe down rim of jars and put canning lid and ring on tight.
  • Let jars sit until completely cooled
  • Check that jar has sealed. If not sealed, place in fridge.
  • Wash jars to remove any excess brine and store for at least 3 weeks before using.
Keyword dill pickles recipe, homemade pickles
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie
    August 10, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Grape leaves were originally added to pickles to help keep them crisp. They are high in tannins, which inhibit the enzyme that makes pickles get soft over time. I haven’t tried your recipe, but it looks easy and quick.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 10, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      Makes sense! Thanks for the info. 🙂

  • Reply
    d. McLaughlin
    July 13, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    Whew! This recipe is SALTY!!! I think I’m going to have to toss a dozen jars of dill pickles. If I keep them sealed for 3 weeks, will the saltiness tame down???

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 14, 2020 at 5:15 am

      I’m sorry these turned out too salty. The saltiness will not change over time.

  • Reply
    Deb
    September 1, 2019 at 11:51 am

    5 stars
    I made six jars of these delicious pickles. I waited about 5 weeks and we opened the first jar. Delicious! It was gone in a day between my husband and I. I put them out for a family gathering and ended up using two jars at the gathering and then having my nephew begging me to let him take one home. So delicious and easy. Going to make some more and make about 10 jars this time because my sister asked me to make an extra large jar for extra pickle juice. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much for letting me know! These always disappear quickly in my house too! The hardest part is waiting a few weeks for them to pickle!

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