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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
- Mason Jars with lids and rings (sometimes you can find generic glass jars at Walmart or the Dollar store for cheaper.)
- A water bath canner or large stock pot with a rack for the bottom. You can use the insert rack of your Instant pot.
- Jar lifter tongs and funnel to safely pour in the brine and remove jars from the boiling water.
- Kitchen timer to time the water bath
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.
- 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 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.
Recipe for Dill Pickles:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Assemble the pickling spices into each jar. Then pack the fresh cucumbers in.
- 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.)
- 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.
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:
- Use the pickle juice to make these chicken salad sandwiches
- Serve with any potato casserole or potato wedges
- Make dill pickle soup or use them in this potato salad
- Mac and cheese or these delicious ham and cheese sliders
Tips for Crunchy Dill Pickles:
- 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.
- 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.
- The smaller the cucumbers the crunchier the pickles! Smaller cucumbers are crisper than larger cucumbers since they don’t have many seeds.
- You can pack more small cucumbers into jars than larger ones!
- 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.
- Pack cucumbers just below the headspace of the canning jars. You don’t want your lids to bulge.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut dill pickle chips or spears will take the same amount of time for water bath canning.
- For Gherkin, pickles pick fresh cucumbers that are small or miniature.
How To Make Pickles:
Canned Dill Pickle Recipe
- 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)
- 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)
- Prep cucumbers, wash, and slice the blossom end of the cucumbers.
Make Salt Brine For Crunchy Pickles:
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the jars onto a kitchen towel using a jar lifter. Cool jars completely before checking if they are sealed (about 12-24 hours.)
- If cucumbers are too big, cut them into rings or spears.
Nutrition per serving