Pickles are a staple in our household, and since we also garden, making this easy dill pickle recipe is a delicious way to preserve the harvest!
Pickling has always been a tradition we all have gotten used to. It’s a great way to preserve food, and it tastes good, too.
Preparing pickles is a no-brainer, too!
You just have to hit the farmer’s market or the grocery store to get those ingredients ready, and tada! You’re all set to prepare a few jars of pickles.
While you can pickle just about anything, my favorite pickles are cucumber pickles, especially dill.
They’re made from fresh cucumbers, it has that fine pickle crisp, and it’s perfect for when you’re craving something sweet yet sour at the same time.
Preparing jars of pickles can be fun, especially when you have an abundance of cucumbers at home! If you don’t grow your own, often times you can find “pickling cucumbers” at a farmer’s market for cheap.
A jar of pickles can also make a great gift to friends and family.
Check out my post on how to make sure your pickles stay crispy because no one likes a soggy pickle.
And if dill pickles aren’t your thing, check out my bread and butter pickles too.
First things first, there are many types of pickles out there, but let’s talk about dill pickles. Here are some easy recipes for homemade pickles you can try.
Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe
This recipe is quick and easy. You can use Kirby cucumbers for this recipe, or just regular cucumbers.
Before you start, make sure to wash cucumbers with running water. This is just to make sure you get to remove all debris that’s clinging to it.
Because this is a crunchy dill pickle recipe, discard any mushy cucumber you get while rinsing.
Once you’ve rinsed them all, dry them and arrange them according to their sizes, separating small cucumbers from the bigger ones.
To begin, we’ll give you two variations of a dill pickle recipe. You can always stop there and just keep them in the fridge, or we’ve added canning instructions as well for long-term storage!
For a traditional dill pickle recipe:
- ½ bushel of Kirby cucumbers or Persian cucumbers
- 3 bunches of Dill weed
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 cup of black peppercorns
- 4 cups of pickling vinegar—can be substituted by apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- ¾ cup of pickling salt—can be substituted by Kosher salt, as long as no anti-caking agents are present
For a spicy variation, add to the brine:
- 4 dried red chilis
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds
- 3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf—or two
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
- Wash your cucumbers in cold water and slice to designed design (rings, spears, sandwich slices) and keep in ice water in the fridge until you’re ready to pickle them.
- Next, we prepare the salty brine. Combine the 12 cups of water together with the vinegar, ¾ cups salt, and granulated sugar in a medium-sized stainless steel pot. Mix to dissolve the salt and sugar fully and bring the brine to a boil.
- Fill every jar with a head of fresh dill and a few pieces of the stalk. Add 8 to 10 pieces of peppercorns and one tbsp of garlic.
- Make sure to pack cucumbers tightly, arranging them in a standing position. Fill the jars to about ½ inch from the top of the jars.
- With the jars all filled up with cucumbers, it’s time to bring in the brine. With a sterilized funnel on top of the jars, ladle the hot brine into the jar nice and slowly. Make sure the water level leaves a quarter-inch head space at the top. Wipe jar rim to remove excess ingredients on the jar. Remove air bubbles by lightly tapping on the jars on the work surface. Place the center lids carefully with a magnet want or tongs. Position the ring on top and twist until it’s tight enough. Do this for all jars.
Now if you know you’ll eat them within the next month, I recommend throwing them in the fridge until you want them! (Or eat them right away!)
If you’re looking to store them long-term, give them away as presents or want to sell them for side income, you’ll want to can them.
If you’re new to canning check out my posts:
- The 7 Things You Need Before You Start Canning
- History of Home Canning
- Ultimate List of Canning Recipes
- 50+ Free Canning eBooks
- 50+ Tips and Tricks About Home Canning From Experienced Homesteaders
Start with disinfecting all your equipment. Fill a medium-sized basin halfway with boiling water and add the jar center lids and their rings.
Leave it there for about 10 minutes. Sterilize 16 pieces of 1-quart jars or 1-quart canning jars with a dishwasher (no soap) or simply by washing.
When washing the mason jars, let them simmer in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Once all the jars have been filled and sealed, transfer them into hot, boiling water and leave them there to process for about 10 minutes.
You can also use a water bath canner to run a hot water bath for these jars. Remove the hot jars from the pot.
Use a jar lifter to hold these jars. You would like to do this while the cucumbers are slightly mottled.
Place jars on your workstation to rest at room temperature for about 24 hours, and check on them the next day.
While you can enjoy homemade dill pickles with this great recipe, you can also enjoy its great pickling juice that also has a lot of healthy benefits.