Well… here’s our new favorite pickle… these homemade Crunchy Garlic Dill Pickles! Even if you’ve never made pickles before… have no fear! You don’t have to have a water bath canner or a pressure canner to make these fantastic pickles. You only need some canning jars and lids, plus the basic ingredients. That’s it!
These jars of pickles, once sealed properly, will be shelf stable for quite awhile. Then when you need a new jar of pickles, just pull a jar out of your pantry, refrigerate, then enjoy! They are so good!
I grew our own pickling cucumbers this summer. I am so glad I did. Last summer my friend Sandy gave me some of her pickling cucumbers from her huge garden to make pickles. It inspired me to try growing them this year in our little backyard garden… so I did! I only grew 3 plants, but it was more than enough for about 12 or 13 jars of pickles.
Yahoo! Of course you can always find pickling cucumbers (you know, the cute little ones grown especially for pickle-making!) at your local grocery store or a Farmer’s Market when they’re in season and plentiful during the hot summer months.
Okay… back to the recipe. Easy peasy. Basically you slice the ends off the cukes (yes, both ends), then slice them into spears, chips (horizontally) or into sandwich slices (vertically), making sure you have enough cut slices to fill 6 pint-sized cleaned and hot canning jars (12 oz.). Add a bit of minced garlic and dill seed. Let them sit in a 250 degree oven (I place filled jars onto a tea towel lined cookie sheet) until they are hot and ready to fill with a boiling hot brine. Then when everything is really hot (including the lids and seals heated separately), you pour the brine over the pickle slices, remove air bubbles, wipe the rims to make sure you have a good clean seal, pop the lids and rings on, and seal to fingertip tightness.
Once the lids and bands are on, I invert the jars for 5 minutes, then turn right side up again. Let the jars cool on the counter (on a towel, to prevent breakage). You should hear the seals “pop” to indicate they sealed while they cool. **This process has worked on every jar I’ve made of these pickles… however, if you wish to water bath can the jars, they should be processed for 15 minutes (pint sized jars).**Then comes the hard part. You have to let the pickles “cure” for about 2 weeks before you open the jar and taste them. IT IS WORTH THE WAIT! Trust me.
I made pickles this way for the very first time this summer, and I’ve already made several batches as my cucumbers have ripened. I keep any extra brine I had leftover (if I wasn’t making the full recipe) in the refrigerator and then use it within a couple weeks for a new batch.
These are really very easy to make, and I just KNOW you’re gonna love them.
Recipe Source: unknown
- 1/2 cup canning salt
- 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 8 cups water
- 6 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 Tablespoons (approx.) dill seed (not dill weed, but dill seed)
- enough pickling cucumbers to fill 6 pint canning jars (depending on size, approx.18-20)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash canning jars in hot, soapy water. Place the clean jars upside down onto a tea towel lined cookie sheet (with edges) in the oven to keep them hot.
- Place flat lid seals and rings in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Wash the cucumbers, slice a piece off of each end (stem and bottom) of the cucumber, and discard, then slice your cucumbers into spears, chips, or lengthwise into sandwich slices. Pack the pickle slices into the hot jars (be careful when removing hot jars. I recommend canning tongs to hold the jars securely). I find it helpful to turn the jar sideways and slip the sandwich slices in... it helps them to stand up better in the jar.
- Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and 3/4 Tablespoon of dill seeds to each jar.
- When jar is filled (I remove one jar at a time from oven), place filled jar back in oven while filling another jar. You want the jars to stay really hot so that when you add boiling brine, the jars will seal properly.
- In a large saucepan, heat the vinegar, canning salt and water to boiling, stirring to dissolve salt.
- While the vinegar/water/salt brine is coming to a boil, in a separate bowl pour some **almost to boiling** water (plain "not quite boiling" water, NOT the brine) over the canning lids and rings. Let them sit in the very hot water for 5 minutes to soften the rubber seals.
- Once brine is boiling, remove jars from oven (be sure to place hot jars on a tea towel to avoid breakage). Pour boiling liquid into each jar, filling to within 1/2 inch from top (pickles must be covered with brine). Remove the air bubbles in each jar by inserting a plastic knife or canning tool down the sides of each jar. Add more brine, if needed to cover pickles. Leave about 1/2 inch head space in jar. Quickly wipe the rims of each jar with a clean towel to make sure the rim is dry and clean. Place flat lid on, then screw down canning ring to finger tight. Immediately invert the jars on the towel. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then turn them right side up again. Listen for the clicking sound to know the jars have sealed.
- **If you want to water bath can the jars, once filled and jar lids and rings are tightened, place them in a water bath canner and process for 15 minutes, following USDA canning guidelines and manufacturer instructions for your canner..
- Once the jars are all processed and sealed, leave them alone on the tea towel to cool. As they cool, you should hear the "clicking sound" of the jars sealing while cooling. Once completely cooled and sealed properly, store them in a cool, dark pantry for two weeks (to let the brine fully incorporate into the pickles, then refrigerate jar and enjoy. You might want to label each jar with the date they will be "ready", so you will know when you can enjoy them!
Once pickles have "cured" for two weeks and you are ready to bust into a jar of these, refrigerate the jar for several hours before opening...they are at their best cold!