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…
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
- 10 lbs pickling cucumbers
- 10 cups water
- 3 cups vinegar
- 2/3 cup pickling salt
- 12 garlic cloves
- 6 dill heads
Soak and thoroughly rinse cucumbers. Remove any excess blossoms or stems.
I found it useful to separate my cucumbers into small, medium, and large piles.
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.
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.
Shell garlic cloves.
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.
Add cucumbers lengthwise into the jars. I start with the mediums cucs and then stuff the top with small ones.
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!
Important: Wait at least a week before opening your first bottle. This will help set the flavors.