Adventures in Canning: Dill Pickles

A summer of canning would not be complete with out classic dill pickles now would they? I love dill pickles. I’m one of those people who can sit around and eat them straight out of the jar and call it a meal. The salty, vinegary flavor just does it for me. I tried to wait for my seedlings to produce but as of last week,  I’ve picked one… and when your local produce market dangles a 20 lb box of perfect pickling cucumbers in front of you…

pickle

You cave! So this was my first time making pickles and with so many I wanted them to be the way I like them: no sugar, very vinegary and dilly (obviously) with garlic. I consulted the Ball Blue Book first but couldn’t find quite what I was looking for. Most of their recipes call for sugar, and, um no. I hate sweet pickles. It’s just not my bag. Next I searched web to see what other fellow bloggers had done. I soon realized it was simply a matter of determining your water/salt/vinegar ratio. Then add your extras and the rest is simple. So here’s my custom but basic recipe for delicious dill pickles!

Makes 6 wide mouth quarts

Ingredients:

  • 10 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 6 dill heads

Instructions:

Soak and thoroughly rinse cucumbers. Remove any excess blossoms or stems.

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

I found it useful to separate my cucumbers into small, medium, and large piles.

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

At this point start sanitizing your jars and lid rims. I just use the antibacterial setting on the dishwasher using water only. Works like a charm.

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Add water, vinegar, and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. I check and stir occasionally as I’m setting everything else up. Once the salt is dissolved, turn the heat down to a simmer.

This is also a good time to get your water bath stock pot warmed up and another smaller pot for warming up your lid caps.

Cut dill heads. I also like to keep some of the bushy branches as they have a bit of flavor too.

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Shell garlic cloves.

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And now were ready to can!

Start with however many cans you can fit in your stock pot. For me, it’s 4 of the quart sized ones. So I take 4 out of the dishwasher and continue to let the rest sanitize.

Put 1 dill head and 2 garlic cloves in each can. If the dill head is very small, I’ll throw some of those bushy branches in too.

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

Add cucumbers lengthwise into the jars. I start with the mediums cucs and then stuff the top with small ones.

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

Ladle hot vinegar/salt/water mixture over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Cover with lid and cap.

Boil in the water bath for 10 minutes.

What to do with the big cucs?

For me, I ran out of big quart jars before I got to the big cucumbers. So I cut them up and put them in pint jars for gifts. Worked like a charm!

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

Important: Wait at least a week before opening your first bottle. This will help set the flavors.

Enjoy!!

How to make delicious homemade canned dill pickles. Small Town Girl Blog.

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Canning: Dill Pickles

  1. I love dills too, but I’ve never been fond of canned pickles. They get too soft for me. In the past I’ve done refrigerator pickles. Though it would be hard to put 20 pounds of pickles into the fridge. This year I’m trying fermented pickles which is how traditional kosher dills are made. But sadly they too need space in the fridge when they are done. I wish I had a larger fridge sometimes.

    • That’s the nice thing about canning the whole cuc uncut, they stay closed and crisper. I’m just storing up for the winter 😉 I do love fridge pickles too. Have you ever tried it with the regular slicing cucs? They are amazing!!

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