DIY dill pickles

Ok so everything here is DIY, but I added that tag to this recipe because we all really ought to more “DO IT YOURSELF-ing”… especially in the kitchen where making things from scratch saves money, and ensures quality and instowes confidence in the contents of the food that ends up on your table. These are all important things to me and my family. If you are new to canning then pickles are a really great place to start,  the results put store bought jars to shame.

I have done a LOT of canning over the past few years, and usually when I share a recipe I write it for people who have had some experience preserving, but today I am going to elaborate a bit on the basics.

I am drowning in cucumbers right now, and for the first time ever I am able to make many many jars of dill pickles using garlic, dill and cucumbers all from my own garden! * I am gushing and beaming over this fact if you can’t tell. I made these dill’s yesterday and today I harvested another  30 lbs of cucumbers! Best of all there are still another 4 dozen almost ready, and another million flowers blooming still!

Yesterday I used this recipe (below) to make 7 pints of kosher dill pickles straight up with garlic. Today I am going to blend up a pickling spice blend, that I look forward to sharing with you all soon along with a different pickle recipe, I have a lot more pickling in the near (oh so hot) future, so stick around for more canning adventures. And check out my Growing and Preserving Category for more putting up recipes and ideas.

In a large pot boil your brine for at least 10 minutes:

13 cups of water

3 cups of vinegar

3/4 cup of kosher course pickling salt

Cut cucumbers to desired size (wedges or slices or whole cuc’s) I filled a large stainless bowl with slices from about 8 cucumbers and made both jars of kosher style wedges as well as hamburger style slices.

Sterilize 7 pint jars (hot soapy water wash, boiling water bath for 10 minutes and keep warmed in a low oven). While you are sterilizing the jars you can also get a small pot going of boiling water to sterilize the lids for 10 minutes too.

Into the bottom each jar place 2 garlic cloves and a few pieces of dill weed and or dill flower head or 2 tsp dill seeds.

Neatly place your cucumbers into the jar, using a chopstick to help position them. Make sure your hands are clean and avoid touching the jar as much as possible. Fill to 1″ of the neck, then top with another garlic clove and some more dill.

Pour hot brine into each jar leaving 1/2″ of head room.

Wipe the mouths of the jars clean (using boiling water from lid pot)

Place a lid onto each jar, and gently screw your ring over it but not tightly at all (you can do that after processing)

Using the same large water bath you sterilized the jars in place your pickles into RAPIDLY BOILING WATER, stand the jars upright and ensure that water covers the lids by at least and inch. It is really important to ensure the water is rapidly boiling the whole time, so consistent heat is key. You can also of course use a steam canner… just ensure you are using a modern and safe canning method because there are no end of old fashion unsafe ways to can food that can cause all sorts of horrible things to happen to people you love.

Process jars for 15 minutes. When you remove them from the canner  place the jars on a tea towel and allow them to cool down slowly without handling them too much, leave lots of space between jars too. You will start to hear them pop. Label your jars when cooled and put them in your pantry! If any of your lids did not “pop” (seal flat) you can reprocess or If it’s just one jar, you can put it in the fridge and eat it sooner than later.

Happy canning.

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3 Responses to “DIY dill pickles”

  1. how long do you have to wait to eat these? and how long do they last?

    • I would wait 6 weeks for the flavors to really soak in before eating, the canning should last you years… officially “they” say consume within 2 years, but provided the seals are sound and the product still appears clear your good to go!

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