If there’s one must-do recipe in our house every year, Dana would insist it’s this one. She’s fanatical for pickles and takes great pride in making them (as a result, her jars always look prettier than mine!)
Dill pickles are easy to make. The process starts with a long soak in salt water followed by packing them in hot clean jars with spices, covering them in boiling brine and processing them for 10 minutes under boiling water (with the lids on of course).
These are vinegar pickles; different from the deli-style ones that we keep in the fridge (you’ll find them in our fermenting section). They will always be crisper when served chilled so if you want crunchy pickles, chill before eating.
Most vinegar pickles call for a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the vinegar. We prefer honey. These aren’t overly sweet but we find that honey cuts the acidity while adding a subtle ‘something’ to the pickle.
Dill Pickle Recipe – Ingredients
This should make 5-8 quarts but the size of pickles could alter that significantly (smaller pickles will use less jars).
- 8 pounds cucumbers
- 7 cups of vinegar
- 9 cups water
- 1.25 cups salt (I prefer to use pickling salt which supposedly makes a clearer brine but kosher salt is fine as well)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tbsp pickling spice per jar
- 1.5 – 2 heads of fresh dill per jar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds per jar
- 2-3 cloves garlic per jar
DILL PICKLE RECIPE – INSTRUCTIONS
- Cut the blossom end (it will be flat) off the cucumbers. If they have a stem, it’s ok to leave a bit of that.
- Dissolve 3/4 cup of salt into 2 gallons (8-9 quarts/ liters) of water.
- Cover cucumbers with salt-water mixture and allow them to sit for 4-12 hours. This will result in crisper pickles.
- Prepare canner, lids and jars.
- Combine 0.5 cup salt, the vinegar, honey and 2 quarts (liters) water and bring to a simmer
- Pack hot jars with 1 tbsp pickling spice, 1.5-2 heads of dill, 2 teaspoons mustard seeds and 2-3 garlic cloves.
- Pack tightly with cucumbers. If you want to prevent pickles from floating, use our seatbelting technique.
- Ladle boiling brine into each jar, leaving 0.5 inch headspace in each.
- Tap gently to remove any trapped air, wipe jar rims clean, apply lids and process in waterbath (boiling water covered by 0.5 inch of water) for 10 minutes.