I’m very excited to share this recipe with you folks today. This one is a classic and a favourite for many people; good ole dill pickles! I’ve been canning dill pickles for years and they are a huge hit with my friends and family. In fact I always make extra jars because I know how much people love them. Canning can seem scary and intimidating when you are new to it, but I promise, after your first batch of dill pickles you will have no more fear. Once you get these babies under your belt you can try your hand at canning pickled carrots or beans.
Just to recap, the canning method I use is called water bath. Easy to do, inexpensive and not as intimidating as a pressure canner (I always had visions of my house blowing up). While this method is easier and more accessible it does have its drawbacks. Namely what you are able to can – fruits, jams, applesauce and pickles (things that are acidic).
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- Water bath canner
- Canning jars x 6 or 7
- Lids and rings
- You need to use new lids every time you can a new batch, rings can be reused
- Jar Lifter
- Towels, potholders and/or oven mitts
This will make approximately 6-7 x 500ml jars (depends on how tightly you pack your jars)
- 4 lbs of pickling cucumbers (we got the smaller variety normally used for making gherkins)
- 4 cups of white vinegar (pickling kind)
- 4 cups of water
- ¾ cup of pickling salt
- You can use regular kosher salt but your brine will be cloudy
- ¼ cup of cane sugar
- 3 tbsp of mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp of pickling spice
- 3-1/2 tbsp dill seed
- 6-7 cloves of garlic
- 21 peppercorns
- Fresh dill weed (6-7 sprigs)
- Scrub your pickling cucumbers
- Cut off the ends and slice them in quarters
- You don’t have to cut off both ends, but you do need to cut the blossoming end of your cucumber off. This will prevent them for getting mushy and help them to stay crisp.
- Sterilize your jars while you are processing your cucumbers
- This time I sterilized in the oven – so much easier than using the water bath canner
- For oven sterilization they need to be in for at least 10 minutes at 225 degrees Celsius (more is fine, but no less than 10 minutes)
- Put your lids in a pot with some water and have them simmering on the stop top
- Keep your jars and lids hot until you are ready to pack your cucumbers
- In a large sauce pan add water, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds and pickling spice
- Note: this most recent canning year I wrapped all the spices in cheesecloth and made a spice bundle. Much easier to clean!
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes
- In each jar place ½ tsp of dill seed, 1 fresh sprig of dill, 3 peppercorns and 1 clove of garlic
- Pack your cucumbers in so they are standing on their ends
- I find tilting the jar on its side and packing from that angle much easier
- Make sure to leave about 1 inch of room at the top of the jar
- Place your funnel in the jar and on top of the funnel place your mesh strainer (to catch the mustard seed and pickling spice)
- Using a ladle fill your jars with the hot brine leaving about ¼ inch at the top
- Tap the jars lightly to remove any air bubbles
- Then use something nonmetal to stir and wiggle gentle encouraging any air bubbles to rise to the surface (I use a chopstick).
- Seal jars with lids and rings
- Once all of your jars are full and sealed place them in your water bath canner
- Make sure they are covered by about 1 inch of water
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes
- Check the elevation for your area!! (higher altitudes need longer to can)
- Let the jars cool to room temperature and check the seal after 24 hours
- When you press the centre of the lid it shouldn’t move and should look concave
- Remove the rings, clean your jars and label the lids
- If they didn’t seal properly store them in the fridge
- Allow the pickles to sit in the brine for at least 3 weeks before consuming
Watch the Video
Happy Pickle Making!
P.S. Share the pickle love and pin this baby 😉