Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

kosher pickles in a crock

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Lisa Crum
Delbarton, WV

This is my adaptation of a recipe by Arthur Schwartz in Jewish Home Cooking. I didn't have quite the spice selection he used, so I improvised and these are quite good. I made them in a huge glass crock and will transfer them to the fridge once they get as sour as we like (just a few days). It took 1 1/2 gallons of brine in order to fill my crock full enough to cover the cucumbers. Mr. Schwartz's recipe called for Kirby cucumbers. I have no idea what kind came out of my father-in-law's garden though! Anyway, because we used garden cukes that got picked a tad big, I just split them and made spears. Because they're not processed in a hot water bath, YOU NEED TO REFRIGERATE THEM IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE 3-5 DAY FERMENTATION PERIOD OR THEY WILL START TO GET SOFT AND ROT. I would lean toward the least amount of days possible. How do I know this? I lost some because I let them go too long! :) Want some interesting reading? Google "fermented foods" and see how including this type of food into your diet introduces beneficial bacteria into your digestive tract...similar to the live cultures found in yogurt. Who knew a pickle could be good for you?!!

★★★★★ 1
serves Makes as many as your crock will hold!
prep time 45 Min

Ingredients For kosher pickles in a crock

  • 1 gal
    brine solution (6 tablespoons kosher salt to each gallon of water) dissolve salt in a measure of the water and bring to a boil till the salt is dissolved, then add to the rest of the water.
  • 2 Tbsp
    pickling spice (original recipe called for a homemade blend but i used commercial)
  • 1 bunch
    dill (i couldn't get fresh so i used about 1/3 cup dried dill)
  • 3 Tbsp
    minced garlic (original recipe called for 8 cloves crushed)
  • 2 tsp
    mustard seed (my addition)
  • 2 tsp
    fennel seeds (my addition)
  • 2 tsp
    allspice, whole (my addition)
  • 2 tsp
    red pepper flakes (my addition)
  • 1/2 c
    cider vinegar (original recipe doesn't call for vinegar but i added anyway)
  • 18-20
    cucumbers (or as many as your crock will hold! )

How To Make kosher pickles in a crock

  • 1
    Sterilize your crock by running it through the dishwasher or filling it with boiling water, then dumping it out.
  • 2
    Add cucumbers and spices. Most Kosher dills are made whole, but I cut mine into spears so that the flavor would permeate them faster (and so that my husband would be more likely to eat them!).
  • 3
    Fill the crock with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Because cucumbers float, I have a heavy glass lid from a saucepan that fit down inside the crock, and I used it to weight down the cucumbers and keep them submerged under the brine. Cover the top with cheesecloth, secured with rubber bands, or loosely with the lid. I used one of those elastic bowl covers and it worked just fine. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days.
  • 4
    After 3 days, taste one. The pickles can ferment from 3 to 5 days. The longer the fermentation, the more sour they’ll become but the softer they'll get. Once the pickles are to your liking, refrigerate them. DON'T LEAVE THEM TOO LONG OR THEY'LL TURN SOFT AND START TO ROT!