Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe using garden cucumbers! Anyone can make this easy canned dill pickles recipe! Learn how to make pickles like a pro with my pickling secret for crisp pickles! These dill pickles are perfectly tart (not too sour), and not too sweet! 

sour and sweet canned dill pickles

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I have been making these homemade pickles for years! These are by far, my favorite canning pickles to make for dill pickle soup, Ukrainian Potato salad, and crunchy pickles to enjoy throughout the winter months! If you like anything “Pickle” try our quick pickled red onions and our pickled whole tomatoes

What Are Dill Pickles? 

Dill pickles also referred to as kosher dill pickles is a New York City favorite pickle since 1899! They are pickles made of salt brine, garlic, and dill. Basically, pickles are cucumbers that get preserved by canning for extended shelf life. Ideally, the pickling process for the home cook consists of brine and pickling spices, then undergoing a sterile canning process so it gets sealed. Thankfully, this is an easy pickle recipe thanks to the high-acid brine, and doesn’t require a barrel like fermented pickles. 

canned dill pickle spears

Homemade Canned Dill Pickles:

I’m pretty particular about what I want in a pickle. They need to be sour pickles and at the same time, a sweet pickle recipe. My dill pickle recipe is just that and you can use the pickle juice to flavor chicken salad, drink it when you feel nauseated (hey it helped me so, it must be good for you), and marinate chicken for sandwiches with it. You will love these homemade dill pickles and the canning process is very easy, trust me I don’t like complicated recipes! 

canned pickles removed from a water bath

Secret To Crunchy Dill Pickles: 

To make a pickle crisp, you need to keep them in salted cold water for at least 12 hours before canning. You can double the salt water if you’re planning to collect enough cucumbers for 8 pounds of pickles (which will fill about 7-8 quart-sized jars.) Otherwise, this recipe makes half of that.  

secret to crunchy pickles is to make a salt brine

There I said it, the secret to crisp pickles is to submerge fresh cucumbers in cold salt water. This helps draw out excess water and can make the cucumbers crunchy before canning them in a water bath. I will make the salted water in this big food container and collect my cucumbers throughout the week to keep in this salted water. You’ll need to keep this refrigerated until you collect enough cucumbers for canning. The smaller the cucumbers the crunchier they will be. If you forget to pick them and you end up with huge cucumbers you can simply cut them in half, and make spears, or slices (like bread and butter pickles.) 

Tools Needed For Canning Pickles: 

A water bath is a pickling process to safely store pickles on the shelf without refrigeration. In case a jar doesn’t seal for some reason you can simply turn it into refrigerator pickles by placing it in the fridge for up to a week. To make this easy you’ll need to invest in some handy canning tools. 

Ingredients Needed for Homemade Dill Pickles:

The ingredients for pickling cucumbers are basic! To make dill pickles at home you will need really simple ingredients! Homegrown fresh pickling cucumbers (any pickling variety of cucumbers) are the best kind of cucumbers to can as they can be very crunchy when picked small.

ingredients for homemade canned dill pickles

  • Fresh Cucumbers- pickling cucumbers are the best variety of cucumbers for this pickles recipe. 
  • Whole Peppercorns- are one of the pickling ingredients to add to the jars. You can add as little as 5 peppercorns, but I add about 10 and it’s not spicy. 
  • Whole Mustard Seeds- are used to flavor the pickles. 
  • Green Dill stems- with flowers are the best. The best substitute for those is fresh dill sprigs or 1 teaspoon of dried dill seeds per jar.  
  • Fresh Garlic- that has been peeled and halved is what you’ll need. 
  • Pickle Brine- aside from the salt brine you’ll need to make a brine solution that’ll boil. This brine is made of water, distilled white vinegar (5% acidity), granulated sugar, and sea salt. Pickling salt will work for canning pickles but ideally, you’ll need something free of iodine and additives. 

Add-ins for Dill Pickles:

An American pickle is usually in a plain vinegary brine, but many pickled cucumbers are flavored differently using different spices. Here are some ingredients you can safely add to your jars that won’t change the preserving solution. 

add-ins for dill pickles at home

  • Add horseradish roots, currant leaves, or bay leaves to your clean glass jars before packing.
  • If you have a spice mesh strainer, you can fill it with pickling spice to infuse the brine water
  • I have tested this canning recipe with sliced onions last year and it was canned safely with this high-acid brine. 
  • Can’t find dill heads (aka dill stems with flowers)? Use fresh dill from the herb section of your grocery store or add 1 teaspoon of dill seeds to each jar. Dried dill weed will not work here, it’ll look like a mess in your jar. 
  • Add a few whole allspice berries or coriander seeds to flavor the brine. 

Note: mustard seeds cannot be substituted with ground mustard. Ground mustard will make your pickles look cloudy.  

How To Make Dill Pickles: 

How To Can Pickles? Pickling is an easy process of preserving cucumbers for extended shelf life. You’ll need a large pot for this water bath canning method, like a water bath canner, but any large stock pot with a rack that is at least 20 quarts deep will work. A water bath in canning is when you boil the filled jars under boiling water (212°F) to heat the jars in order for them to seal. You should see the inside of the jar releasing bubbles when removing it from the water bath. 

how to make pickle brine

 

Recipe for Dill Pickles:

  1. Wash and Prep the cucumbers by slicing off the flowering end of each cucumber as it contains enzymes that can soften the pickles. You only need to cut a sliver off the ends. The opposite stem end can be left on. 
  2. Submerge the cucumbers in the salt brine for at least 12 hours or up to 7 days in the fridge before canning. This makes the crunchiest pickles! 
  3. Sterilize the jars in boiling water to prevent any harmful bacteria. The best way to fully sanitize them is to boil the jars and lids in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. You can also run them through a sanitizing cycle in the dishwasher. 
  4. Assemble the pickling spices into each jar. Then pack the fresh cucumbers in. 
  5. Make the brine by simply boiling all the brine ingredients of water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. You’ll need to use 5% acidity for canning. As soon as the mixture boils and the sugar and salt dissolve, it’s ready. Pour the hot mixture over the assembled jars up to the headspace and shut with the lids and rings finger-shut (not too tight and not too loose.)  
  6. The water bath process is when they turn into pickles!  Place the jars into a large pot and cover the top of the jars with 2 inches of warm/hot tap water. Bring this to a rolling boil and time it for 10 minutes. Remove using a jar lifter and using a kitchen towel make sure you shut each jar tightly shut. Cool completely for 12-24 hours before checking for seals.  

How Long Do Homemade Pickles Last? 

Do pickles go bad? If you processed the cucumbers correctly then canned pickles can last up to a year on the shelf no problem! 

After processing pickles you’ll need to cool the jars for 24 hours before checking if they are sealed. To ensure the lids are vacuumed and sealed tight you’ll need to press down on the center of the lid, if it doesn’t pop back or click it’s safe to store on the shelf for up to a year if not longer. Unopened jars will be shelf stable in a dark cool place for months, once it’s opened you need to store the jars in the fridge. If for some reason some jars don’t seal keep them in the fridge for up to a week. 

cut dill pickles

How To Open a Pickle Jar?

Here’s an easy hack to open a jar of homemade pickles. Usually, kitchen shears have built-in bottle openers, you can simply use that feature to pop open the lid without hurting your nails!  

What To Eat Canned Pickles With: 

Anywhere you’d eat Mt Olives pickles is how you would eat dill pickles! A jar of pickles can go alongside sandwiches, a side of creamy mashed potatoes and so much more! 

crunchy canned dill pickles

Tips for Crunchy Dill Pickles:

  1. Serving these as a side? Pop a canned jar into the fridge a few hours before serving this makes the pickles cold and refreshing. I like to cut them into spears to stretch the servings out before serving. 
  2. Don’t overprocess in a water bath! Once the water boils, set the timer! A water bath for pickles takes 10 minutes from the time it boils. 
  3. The smaller the cucumbers the crunchier the pickles! Smaller cucumbers are crisper than larger cucumbers since they don’t have many seeds.
  4. You can pack more small cucumbers into jars than larger ones! 
  5. Trim off the blossom end to remove the enzyme that was in the blossom (flower side.) The stem end is fine and doesn’t need to be sliced off.  
  6. Pack cucumbers just below the headspace of the canning jars. You don’t want your lids to bulge. 
  7. Leave out any soft or mushy cucumbers, if you find only parts of the cucumbers spotted or mushy set those aside to trim and enjoy for fresh eating, relish, or something chopped. You need firm cucumbers for the best pickles!  
  8. Never shock your jars by adding cold water to hot jars, which can cause your jars to crack. I like to use warm tap water when filling up my water bath canner. 
  9. Reuse your rings by removing them from the jars after the jars have been sealed successfully. The lids will stay sealed shut to the jars.
  10. Cut dill pickle chips or spears will take the same amount of time for water bath canning. 
  11. For Gherkin, pickles pick fresh cucumbers that are small or miniature.

How To Make Pickles: 

Canned Dill Pickle Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 quarts
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe using garden cucumbers! Anyone can make this easy canned dill pickles recipe! Learn how to make pickles like a pro with my pickling secret for crisp pickles! These dill pickles are perfectly tart (not too sour), and not too sweet! 

Equipment

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs cucumbers (washed and trimmed on the blossom end)
  • 2 tsp peppercorns (10 per jar)
  • 2 dill stems with flowers* (cut in half)
  • 6 garlic cloves (halved)
  • 4 tsp mustard seeds (1 teaspoon per jar)

Pickling Brine:

  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt (or pickling salt)

Cold Brine For Crunchy Pickles:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup sea salt (free of additives)

Instructions

  • blossom ends of cucumbers trimmed
    Prep cucumbers, wash, and slice the blossom end of the cucumbers.

Make Salt Brine For Crunchy Pickles:

  • submerged cucumbers in salt brine
    Mix together 1 gallon of cold water and 1/2 cup of salt. Keep freshly pickled cucumbers submerged in this brine for up to a week or 12 hours in the refrigerator. Then proceed with the recipe. You can skip this step and still have exceptional pickles.

How to Make Pickles:

  • Sterilize the lids and jars in boiling water or run them through the dishwasher on "sanitized wash". Bands don't need to be sterilized they can rust.
  • packed canning jars with cucumbers and spices for pickles
    Place 10 peppercorns, 1 dill stem, 3 garlic halves, and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds per jar. Pack jars tightly with the cucumbers (do not exceed headspace.)
  • jars filled with pickle brine
    Meanwhile, bring all the pickling brine ingredients to a boil. Pour over each assembled jar and fill just below the 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe clean rims and tighten the lids and rings finger-tight.
  • water bath method for pickling cucumbers
    Place jars into a water bath canner and cover them with 2 inches of warm tap water. Bring to a rolling boil and process for 10 minutes.
  • fully processed pickles from a water bath
    Remove the jars onto a kitchen towel using a jar lifter. Cool jars completely before checking if they are sealed (about 12-24 hours.) 

Notes

**Dill stems can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of dill seeds per jar. 
  • If cucumbers are too big, cut them into rings or spears. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1quart jarCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1771mgPotassium: 688mgFiber: 4gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 340IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 2mg

 

 

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33 comments

    • Meghan

    I made these, and I was hoping they would taste a little less sweet. Can I exclude the sugar for pickles that have more a dill/sour taste?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Meghan, I think they might be too tart if you omit the sugar.

    • Liliya B

    Hello, I don’t fully understand the canning instructions. Do you pour just 2 inches of water with the jara and boil for 10 minutes or do you cover the jars completely 2 inches above with water?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Lilia, you would cover the jars with water (preferably 2 inches) and boil them for 10 minutes.

    • Sandy

    Can I make these pickles with horseradish? If so how much in a quart?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Sandy you can add horseradish root, about 1-2 inches of horseradish root (chopped and divided among the jars).

    • Jacqui

    Can I quarter the cucumbers before putting them in the jars?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Yes, you can cut the cucumbers into spears, rings, or chunks.

      • Hans

      I did several jars of spears (quartered length-wise). Seems to work great!

    • Marquita

    Making these tomorrow! Sound so good.

    • Katrina

    How long do they need to sit before eating?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Canned pickles should be opened no sooner than 2 weeks to really develop that pickled flavor.

    • Cynthia Rogers

    Are any Polish pickles available online to buy!? We used to buy one called Polska Wyrob- but no longer have it?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      There probably is, just google the name or check other Polish markets.

      • Tony w

      They are still available, del Dixie makes them now . Taste hasn’t changed , only pickle I’ll buy , 40plus years

        • Alyona Demyanchuk

        We love them too!

    • Phyllis

    Are they crispy pickles?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Yes, but it can depend on how big the pickles are and how long you process them.

    • Angelina Sinclair

    We must not use the word “brine” amiss and confuse two different food products…. The traditional ” kiszone ogorki” aged in barrels in Poland that you praise are a rarity in the US. Some people know how to make their own. They are an age old way of fermenting and preserving vegetables in a brine (especially for the cold , long winters) to create a gut healthy product full of vitamin C and fermentation bacteria essential for human health. Same with authentic, naturally soured cabbage = sauerkraut. Poland, Russia and Germany have these age old traditions where only water and salt were used to develop the “REAL BRINE”. A naturally souring process.

    What you are giving here, Alyona, is a very nice and tasty – no doubt – recipe for the canned vinegar pickles ( in Polish “ogorki konserwowe”). Vinegar soaked, sugared, brought to a boil and canned – this is a condiment, very popular in the US, called pickles, also in Germany, but this canned product retains no vit. C, has no healthy gut fermentation bacteria value…. it’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT animal. Not the ” kiszone ogorki” you are referring to…

    The liquid you describe is not a BRINE for fermenting, it is sugared, vinegared water. No healthy fermentation bacteria can develop in this.

    I feel that it is important to differentiate between these two methods of processing vegetables. The canned and the naturally brined – two very different products.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I agree, my apology for the confusion. I was just trying to say you don’t have to ferment pickles to get a sour dill pickle as the vinegar brine is like a shortcut minus all the health benefits of actually fermented cucumbers.

      • Marquita

      Making these tomarrow! Sound so good.
      Could I soak raw cukes in alum water to make them crisper?
      How long?
      What is too much in the alum water? Thanks so much!

        • Alyona Demyanchuk

        Hi, I’ve never dealt with aluminum water, not sure how that would work. But I do think soaking the cucumberrs in very cold water and salt can make crisp pickles.

    • Adriana

    Love your photos
    Thanks for the good recipe
    I’ll have to make them one day

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