These easy homemade dill pickles are perfectly crisp, tangy and refreshing. They are seasoned with just the right amount of dill and garlic. Whether you’ll serve them with hot dogs, hamburgers or simply enjoy as a snack, they will be good for up to a year in your pantry. For a sweeter version, try these sweet and spicy pickles.
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Dill Pickles Recipe
This recipe is for making shelf stable pickles, meaning they can be stored in your pantry, sealed for up to a year. Our aunt Sveta shared this recipe with us this summer and mentioned how everyone who ate them, really enjoyed every bite. They are so easy to make and remind me a lot of the Nalley brand dill wholes pickles I always buy at the grocery store.
With their tangy flavor and crunchy texture, dill wholes pickles work great in Olivye Salad and Vinaigrette Salad. It also saves you a trip to the store when you’re in need of some tangy pickles to snack on or use as an ingredient in a salad.
Here’s Why You’ll Love These Homemade Pickles
- Flavor: Dill pickles have the perfect balance of salty and tangy with a touch of sweetness. With fresh dill and garlic in addition, all the flavors combined make these pickles some of the very best pickles you will eat. Try putting these pickle chips onto sprats canapes and it will become your next favorite appetizer!
- Texture: Crispy and the same texture as our sweet and spicy pickles. Not over-processing will keep these pickles crisp until ready to eat, whether weeks later or months later. Remember that any size works – wholes, chips or spears. They all turn out amazingly delicious!
- Ease: If you’re new to home canning, it can seem intimidating at first, but this method is very easy, and the recipe below is packed with thorough details so you can be confident in the kitchen. You’ll quickly see how easy it is to preserve your vegetables and make them last in your pantry up to a year.
- Time: Packing jars with cucumbers certainly takes time, but if you ever tasted homemade dill pickles, I think you’ll agree they’re worth it! If you follow this recipe without doubling it, the process shouldn’t take you longer than 2 hours, start to finish. If canning whole cucumbers, it will be even faster. Chips and spears take a bit more time to pack into jars to fill those empty spaces.
Grab These 9 Ingredients:
- Cucumbers: Use smaller 4 to 5-inch pickling cucumbers to can as wholes or cut larger cucumbers into chips or spears.
- Water: You need a good amount of water for the brine and more water to fill the pot for processing jars with cucumbers.
- Distilled White Vinegar: A good old-fashioned white vinegar of 5% or 6% acidity works best.
- Granulated Sugar: The sugar doesn’t make the pickles sweet, instead it balances the vinegar and salt to create an irresistible sour dill pickle flavor.
- Fine Salt: Regular fine salt works just as much as pickling salt and it’s the one most or all of you have in your kitchens already.
- Fresh Dill: If you can find dill heads (also called dill umbrella) use it. If not, regular twigs of dill work great. Just snap or bend twigs to fit at the bottom of each jar.
- Fresh Garlic: For extra flavor, add 2 larger garlic cloves per jar.
- Black Peppercorns: Whole peppercorns are best to use in this recipe because they have milder taste compared to ground pepper.
- Bay Leaves: Bay leaves bring extra flavor to the pickles. You will taste a strong bay leaf flavor in the brine at first, but once the cucumbers are canned and rested, it won’t be that strong.
- 32 oz sized (wide-mouth) Mason jars with rings and new lids
- Large stock pot (20qt+)
- A towel to line at the bottom of the pot (if not using rack)
- Jar lifter to safely transfer the jars
Best Cucumbers to Use
While many recipes suggest pickling cucumbers for making homemade dill pickles, I say all work because I’ve experienced it. It doesn’t matter what cut of cucumbers you make, it’s a matter of preference.
Just keep in mind, that larger cuts like whole pickles or spears will hold up better over time if you’re planning to keep these for up to a year.
Overview: How to Make Dill Pickles
- Sterilize Jars: Wash all jars and lids with warm soapy water. Sterilize the lids fully submerged in water for 4-5 minutes after the water starts boiling; carefully paper towel pat dry lids. Preheat the oven to a 215°F and place jars upside down onto oven racks. Dry jars for 20 minutes or until completely dry.
- Make Pickling Brine: In a large pot, combine and stir water, vinegar, sugar, salt and toss in 5 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, remove from heat making sure salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Fill Jars: Wash and cut off both ends of the cucumbers. Fill the bottom of each jar with couple twigs of fresh dill, garlic cloves and black peppercorns. Tightly pack jars with cucumbers. Slowly pour the pickling brine into jars over cucumbers, up to 1/2-inch from the rim, and cover with lids, but do not close.
- Process the Jars: Place packed jars into the canning pot lined with a towel or rack and fill with water, about 2 inches below jars. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and process jars for about 15 minutes or until cucumbers turn light green.
- Seal the Jars: Remove the jars from the water, close lids tightly and flip jars upside down. Cover jars with bath towels or blankets. Allow them to sit at room temperature undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Store pickles in a cool place for up to a year.
Signs of Spoiled Canned Pickles
With any type of food canning, when in doubt – throw it away. Discard canned food If you notice any of the following:
- The jar is leaking or bulging
- The jar looks cracked, damaged or unusual
- The jar spurts liquid or foam upon opening
- Canned food is discolored, slimy, smells bad or moldy
More Garden Vegetables Salads You’ll Love:
- Pickled Salad Autumn
- Green Cabbage Cucumber Salad
- Quick Tomato Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- All-Veggie Salad
- Lettuce Radish Salad
Easy Homemade Dill Pickles
These easy homemade dill pickles are perfectly crisp, tangy and refreshing. They are seasoned with just the right amount of dill and garlic. Whether you’ll serve them with hot dogs, hamburgers or simply enjoy as a snack, they will be good for up to a year in your pantry. For more helpful tips and cucumber canning details, visit our sweet and spicy pickles recipe.
- 12 pounds cucumbers* (approximately), well rinsed with ends trimmed
- 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns (5 per jar)
- 16 garlic cloves (2 per jar)
- fresh dill, 2-3 twigs per jar
Sterilize Jars: Wash all jars and lids with warm soapy water. Sterilize the lids fully submerged in water for 4-5 minutes after the water starts boiling; carefully paper towel pat dry lids. Preheat the oven to a 215°F and place jars upside down onto oven racks. Dry jars for 20 minutes or until completely dry.
Make Pickling Brine: In a large pot, combine and stir: 12 cups water, 2 cups vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2/3 cup salt and toss in 5 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat making sure salt and sugar are dissolved and let it rest 10 minutes, then discard the bay leaves.
Fill Jars: Wash and cut off both ends of the cucumbers. Fill the bottom of each jar with couple twigs of fresh dill, garlic cloves and black peppercorns. Tightly pack jars with cucumbers. Slowly pour the pickling brine into jars over cucumbers, up to 1/2-inch from the rim, and cover with lids, but do not close. A 1/4 measuring cup works great for pouring pickling brine.
Process the Jars: Line a kitchen towel or a microfiber towel at the bottom of the pot if not using rack. It is very important that the bottom of jars are not touching directly the pot or jars will crack when heated. Place packed jars into the canning pot and fill with warm water, about 2 inches below jars. Cover with lid, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and process/boil jars for about 15 minutes or as soon as cucumbers turn light green.
Seal the Jars: Carefully remove jars one by one from the water using jar lifter and tightly close lids (use kitchen towel or rubber oven mitt for best results). Flip the jars upside down and cover them with bath towels or blankets as soon as you flip them over (the more layers the better). Allow them to sit at room temperature undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. You may hear a pop when the jars fully seal. Store pickles in a cool place.
- Cucumbers: The amount of cucumbers needed is based on whether you are canning whole cucumbers or sliced. Tightly packed jars will require less pickling brine, but the cucumbers will still marinate properly. You will end up with less or more than 8 (32oz) jars - it all depends on what size you cut the cucumbers and how tightly you pack the jars.
- Metric Measurements: water is 2,880ml and vinegar is 480ml. In ingredients above, we rounded to the nearest round number for easier measuring. Both metric amounts work, just follow one or the other.
How to Test if Canning Seal Has Formed? When you push in the center of the lid, it should not pop up and down. If you're hearing popping or clicking, the seal did not form and the jar must be refrigerated. We never had it happen, but just in case, we want you to know what to do.
- Pickling Brine: You can make the brine a day ahead, cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Allow the brine to come to room temperature while you pack jars with cucumbers.
- Trim: Trimming cucumber ends is mandatory. The ends carry a ripening enzyme that promotes softening even after they’re pickled.
- Over-processing: If you keep cucumbers for too long in the water bath, they will become soft. They will continue cooking once out, underneath the blanket of towels.
Storing Cucumbers: When canned properly and stored in a cool place, homemade pickles can keep for up to 1 year at room temperature. Once you break the seal, make sure to store them in the refrigerator for up to a month.
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