Homemade Dill Pickles
I don’t need to sell you on how delicious homemade dill pickles are – you’re already reading this to find out how to make them. I’ll give you complete directions for how to can the jars to give them shelf life, but I’ll also let you know where to stop if you don’t want to can them and have delicious refrigerator pickles instead. Let’s get to it!
Ingredients (for 6 quarts of pickles)
- 6 empty clean quart-size mason jars with new lids and bands (wide mouth preferred)
- Large hot water canning pot with rack. Any large pot with a width of 12.5″ or larger will work with the canning rack.
- Canning accessories (magnet, funnel, jar holder)
- 3 quarts distilled water
- 1 quart white vinegar
- 1 cup canning/pickling salt
- 1/2 peck pickling cucumbers (small, straight cucumbers to keep them whole or larger ones cut in lengthwise quarters for pickle spears). Washed and soaked in ice water.
- Total of 3 tsp alum or pickle crisp granules (1/2 tsp per quart jar)
- 1 large bunch of dill (stems and flowers, washed and chopped into 1″ pieces)
- 20-25 cloves of peeled garlic (3-4 cloves per quart jar)
- (optional: 1/2 hot banana pepper per jar for spicy pickles)
Directions to prep equipment
- Bring hot water to a boil in the canner. Place the canning rack high; hooked on the top of the canning pot and cover it.
- Put 1 cup of water on a cookie sheet with an edge, place jars upside down on the sheet in a 200 degree oven
- Heat lids in hot water on the stove but do not bring above simmer – it will damage the seals
Directions for brine: (bring to boil)
3 quarts distilled water
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup canning/pickling salt
Directions for packing jars
- Pull the jars out of the oven using a hot mitt or jar holder. Place on a towel, heat resistant cutting board, or hot pad. Placing a hot jar on a cold counter can make the jar shatter.
- Handful of fresh dill – stems and flowers
- 3-4 peeled cloves of garlic
- Half banana pepper (optional for hot pickles)
- Pickling cucumbers – tight pack the cucumbers but do not fill them above the shoulder of the jar.
- 1/2 tsp pickle crisp (alum or Ball Pickle Crisp) – measure according to label on the pickle crisp label.
- Place funnel in the mouth of the jar, pour the hot brine over the cold packed jar and leave 1 inch of space at the top. Make sure the brine covers all the contents of the jar.
*If you don’t have a canner or you do not need the pickles to be shelf-stable, you can stop here and let your pickles cool on the counter or in the refrigerator. They will need to stay in the refrigerator until consumed.
Directions to seal jars
- Wipe the lip of the jar and place a hot lid on without touching the seal side (use a stick magnet).
- Turn on the band finger-tight.
- Balance the jars on the canning rack by placing them across from each other as you go around the rack. My canning pot holds 7 quart size jars – 6 around the perimeter and one in the center.
- Lower the rack when it is full. BE CAREFUL TO NOT TOUCH THE HOT WATER.
- Process for 8 minutes once it returns to a rolling boil.
- Use the jar grabber to pull each jar out.
- Do not tip the jars as you remove them from the canner. Set aside overnight to allow the seals to set.
I have pickled many different vegetables with this recipe. Green beans are especially lovely when made with the *hot* option of a half banana pepper.
Play around with it and let me know how it goes!