Diane Hopson Smith
These are simple to make, and a really nice dill pickle.
Hope you enjoy!
- 8 lb
- pickling cucumbers
- 4 c
- white vinegar (5%)
- 12 c
- 2/3 c
- pickling salt (do not use table salt)
- fresh garlic cloves
- fresh hot pepper pods
- fresh dill (if you can't find fresh dill, use 1/4 tsp of dried dill per pint jar)
- grape leaves (help keep pickles crunchy)
- pickle crisp granules (by ball)
How to Make Dill Pickles
- 1Make sure you use a pickling cucumber that is firm. Clean cucumber, cut off blossom end. The blossom end can cause your pickles to become soft and dark if left on.
- 2Soak cukes in an ice water bath for about 4 hours, adding ice as needed. This will help keep the pickles crunchy.
- 3Sterilize 14 to 16 pin jars or 7 to 8 quart jars.
- 4Cut cucumbers into slices or spears if desired.
- 5In a large stock pot, combine the vinegar, water and salt. Bring brine to a rapid boil.
- 6Meanwhile, place garlic, hot pepper and dill to taste (I use 1 or 2 large cloves garlic per jar, 1 pepper and 2 heads of dill) and 2 small grape leaves (the grape leaves are optional but if you have them available – don’t leave them out – they will keep your pickles crunchy!). Also, when I can not find fresh I use about 1/4 tsp dried dill per pint jar. Add 1/8 tsp of Pickle Crisp Granules per pint jar. This also helps keep the pickles crisp and crunchy.
- 7Fill jars with the cucumbers and then add brine (it should be boiling as you add it). Using a spatula, remove air bubbles, clean the rim of the jars and seal.
- 8TO PROCESS OR NOT PROCESS:
These pickles can be processed in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, which makes them shelf stable for around a year. The downside is that the hot water processing will cook the cucumbers a bit and can sometimes give the pickles a softer texture. If super-crunchy pickles are your aim, skip the processing step and just keep the jars in the fridge, they will keep refrigerated for several weeks.
- 9Store jars in a dark space for 6 to 8 weeks before opening. The longer you can wait to open the pickles, the better tasting they will be. Sometimes they get opened much quicker and they still taste wonderful!