salt, kosher variety, or 1 tablespoon if using table salt
sugar, granulated variety
red pepper flakes, for kick (optional)
garlic, peeled and smashed
fresh dill weed
cucumbers (i prefer kirby or persian)
2Gather your ingredients.
3Thoroughly, clean out the containers that you are going to use for your pickles.
4Chef’s Note: These are not “canned” pickles. These are keep ‘em in the refrigerator and eat within a week or two pickles.
5Place all the brine ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a slow simmer, allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
6Chef's Note: If you want Bread-and-Butter type pickles add 1-1/2 cups sugar, or honey. Skip this for dill pickles.
7While the brine is simmering, wash and dry the cucumbers, and cut off the blossom end.
8Chef’s Tip: The blossom end of a cucumber contains enzymes that, over time, cause your pickles to go limp. And if there’s anything that I hate… It’s a limp pickle.
9Slice the pickles into spears or ovals… Up to you.
10Remove the brine solution from the heat and allow it to cool to about 110-115f/43-46c.
11Chef's Note: You can fully cool the brine down, and then add it to the cucumbers, but then you'll need to put them in the fridge for a couple of days before digging in.
If you use really hot brine, you'll wind up making limp pickles... And you KNOW how I feel about limp pickles. 110f/43c is a balance between waiting a few days or a few hours...
12Divide the dill weed, and garlic between two 1-pint containers. Or whatever container you choose to use.
13Chef's Tip: Dill isn't all you can make! Swap out the dill seed for tumeric, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, or any other spices that sound good to you.
14Put as many sliced cucumbers into the jars as can fit without smashing.
15Pour in the brine, making sure that you cover all the cucumbers, and then allow the containers to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
16Chef's Tip: A handful of fresh grape, raspberry, oak, blackberry or cherry leaves (these types of leaves supply tannins, which help keep the pickles crispy and crunchy)
17Chef’s Note: They should last in the refrigerator for about two weeks… assuming they don’t get gobbled up first.
18Keep the faith, and keep cooking.