Easy Homemade Dill Pickles

The perfect formula for making homemade dill pickles…

Last summer I had two friends: one with too many cucumbers and one with too much dill. This worked out very well for my family, seeing as I had too many empty jars and too many hungry children to feed who really like pickles. (Not to worry. I also had more than two friends.)

So I took the cast-off cucumbers and dill, and I searched online for how to make pickles. Some recipes seemed complicated and some included weird ingredients – so in true Laura “can’t we just keep this simple” fashion, I played with a mixture of all the ideas I found to see if I could make the pickle process easy.

Not only is this easy…it is toooooo easy. We’re talking: wash cucumbers, slice cucumbers, stuff them into a jar with a few other ingredients, water bath for 5 minutes. That easy.

Homemade Dill Pickles

Easy as it was, I had to wonder: would the pickles taste good? Would they crunch like they were supposed to? It’s not like I had much money invested in them (thanks to my generous friends who supplied me with free cukes and dill), but I sure was hoping for a happy pickle experience. If successful, I knew this would be a wonderful food to be able to pull out of my pantry to quickly add to a meal.

Bingo! My family loves these. And they crunch like they are supposed to. No soggy pickles here.

Here’s the key to keeping the crunch in your pickle: Do not over water bath them. We’re not trying to kill the cukes. Just boil the jars long enough to get the lids to seal – about 5 minutes.

Now about the dill. Hey, what’s the big dill? (I’ve always wanted to say that. My life is now complete.) But about the dill. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to in the recipe when I say “1 Dill Flower” I’m talking about this:

So this is dill.

See how there are little tiny bunches of yellow plants all joined together into one giant – bigger than your hand – bunch of yellow plants? When I say “1 Dill Flower” I’m talking about the entire giant big huge bunch all attached to each other. I made this recipe up all by myself based on other recipes, so whose to say if I’m right? But my pickles turned out amazing, so I’m going to go with, “yep. I’m right.” Use an entire, big flower.

And now I want to read To Kill a Mockingbird for the 26th time. If you’ve read it, you know why. But seriously, who names their kid Dill? Or Scout for that matter. (Like for rill. What’s the dill? Okay now my life is complete.)

Easy Homemade Dill Pickles Yum

Easy Homemade Dill Pickles
 
Author:
Serves: 6 pints
Ingredients
  • About 12 cucumbers
  • Per jar:
  • 1 Dill Flower (a full, big one)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 minced clove of fresh garlic
  • Liquid mixture for 6 pint jars:
  • 2¼ cups white vinegar
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons sea salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and sterilize 6 pint-sized jars.
  2. Place the following into the bottom of each prepared jar:
  3. Dill Flower (a full, big one) plus ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 minced clove of fresh garlic
  4. Wash 12-ish medium-sized cucumbers, then cut them into spears or slices. Pack them into each jar. (I averaged about 2 cucumbers per pint jar.)
  5. Stir the vinegar, water, and sea salt together on the stove over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until the salt dissolves. (Do not boil the mixture.)
  6. Pour the hot liquids into each jar, immersing the cucumbers, allowing ½ inch of space at the top.
  7. Secure lids and rings, then place in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove jars and be sure they seal properly.

Easy Homemade Dill Pickles

This is, by far, the easiest canning recipe I’ve ever tried. How about you? Have you tried making pickles? Are you a To Kill a Mockingbird fan?

P.S. Here’s my Sweet Pickle Relish recipe if you still have too many cucumbers. :)

Comments

  1. says

    Laura, thanks for another yummy recipe.

    Your direction about the short water bath time makes me very uncomfortable. I’ve never seen less than 10 minutes in the water bath, and most recipes for pickles call for 15. Do you have a reference for the safety of only five minutes? Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If the shorter water bath time makes you nervous, definitely go with longer. I got the “5 minute” instruction from a trusted friend who is older than me and has been making pickles for many years. :)

    [Reply]

    Kristie Reply:

    The Kitchn is a very respected how-to cooking blog and they also recommend 5 minutes (http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-dill-pickles-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193350). I have an abundance of cucumbers this year and have never made pickles or canned before, but am hoping to try both of these recipes :)

    [Reply]

    Debrah Reply:

    If you check with your local county extension(most are available online), they have documents for the water bath cooking times for various foods, the 10 + minute time is to ensure that you kill any ugly bacteria that might be in your pickles. They have done extensive testing to determine how much and what type of bacteria is present under various conditions. The salt will do some of the preserving, but the longer cooking time is needed to ensure safety. Please don’t play around with the canning times. Food borne illness can be very serious. However, you can do a fermented pickle and not use a water bath at all. But that’s another recipe.

    [Reply]

    Debrah Reply:

    Here’s the link for my extension’s document. http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH1457

    [Reply]

  2. Kristin says

    We make a lot of refrigerator dills around here. I love how they remain crunchier then any homemade canned pickle I have ever eaten. And unlike most store bought, contain no artificial colors.

    3 cups of water
    2 tablespoons of kosher salt
    fresh dill
    cucumbers, cut in rounds or spears
    1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

    Dissolve salt in water. Layer dill and pickles, pour water over cukes, top with garlic. refrigerate for 2 days. Enjoy!

    [Reply]

  3. Juanita Cassel says

    Hi Laura,
    If I wanted to do these in quart jars, what would the recipe look like and would I need to keep them in the water bath longer?
    Thanks, they look delicious,
    Juanita

    [Reply]

  4. Kimberly says

    Thank you for smiles again today…no to both questions…but wanting to try this pickle recipe now that you’ve unintimidated it for me—and I just made up a new word. Now that’s a big dill! (smile)

    [Reply]

  5. Joan says

    What timing! I just saw the headline that Harper Lee has a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird releasing next Tuesday! (after 55 years!) and here you are referencing TKAM! (and to stay on topic, I love making my own dill pickles with homegrown dill!)

    [Reply]

  6. Laura S says

    I have never made dill pickles before, but a group of ladies from church went to a farm to can last year. I thought I would give 3 large jars a try. My husband was a little dubious of the expense. I did not have the jars, cucumbers, or any ingredients.

    We made the refrigerator dills and I was annoyed for months at the space they took in my fridge. But, my oh my, what delicious pickles they were! I will definitely be making them again. I saved my jars, kept the recipe and will find a good deal on cukes.

    Thanks for the reminder that homemade foods almost always taste better and are so much fun to make!

    [Reply]

  7. Kristi says

    Can you use apple cider vinegar in place of the white vinegar? I was excited to read your post as one of my goals for this summer is to can for the first time, and pickles were at the top of my list!

    Also, I just recently found your blog and can’t thank you enough for the recipes, information and entertainment! I keep telling my husband you cook exactly the way I like to, so I’m thankful you do the legwork to figure everything out and save me the trouble. I’m left with a great recipe, prepared in a way I feel good about for my family. I’ve never found another blog like yours, so thank you for being here!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Cider vinegar will give off a pretty strong flavor that changes the pickle more than we prefer. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Melissa says

    Hi Laura! I love your blog and wanted to pop in here to give you a recipe that I have been using for my whole life — literally! My mom cans many things, including dill pickles and has been using her grandmother’s recipe for all of her married life (50 years!!). We usually can quarts of pickles and for the last five or so years, I have taken over the “family” canning — including my mom and dad’s, my brother’s family and my sister’s family and sometimes, when my aunt comes over she steals a few quarts to take home, too. I usually can about 100 quarts of pickles (although this year my dad has requested more) and I can the pickles whole (to be sliced upon serving) and sliced in rounds (you can get more in a jar that way). The recipe we have used forever includes a 1 grape leaf (usually I get these from a neighbor who has a grape vine), a whole clove of garlic peeled, and one sprig of dill (not as much as you use, but more dill is always better!). I put all that in the bottom of each jar and then pack the cukes in on top. Then I put the same amount of dill and another grape leaf on top, and pour in a mixture of salt/vinegar/water “juice”(previously boiled to dissolve the salt) which is made up of 1 qt apple cider vinegar, 3 qts water and 1 cup salt for pickling and canning (non-iodized). We used to water-bath can these for 30 minutes, but recently we started questioning this — you know the old “why do we can these for so long? Oh, that’s just how long grandma did it.” But then we talked to one of my great uncles who reminded my mom that great grandma didn’t used to water bath any of her pickles for longer than 5 minutes until the government came out with some pamphlets somewhere around the late 40’s or early 50’s telling everyone how dangerous it was to eat food that had not been processed for at least 30 minutes. She listened to the pamphlets and let me tell you, having eaten these pickles my whole life canned at 30 minutes and then eating the ones I did last year at only 15….what a difference! 15 minute pickles are WAY better! Thus the reason I have been charged with making MORE than the usual amount this year. I wish I had friends who had “extra” cucumbers. I have to buy mine and let me tell you, that is expensive when you are making 100 + quarts. Good thing I have three teenagers and a helpful hubby to get them all done in one day!! Happy pickling!

    [Reply]

  9. Jill says

    “who names their kid Dill”

    My name is Jill. My baby sister used to call my Jilly but her two-year old self pronounced it “Dee Wee” which, of course turned into me being called “Dill Weed” for a good two years. I’m 39 now and my mom will still sometimes call me Dill Weed.

    [Reply]

  10. Jenn says

    I could be that friend that has too many cucumbers but no dill. Where can I buy fresh here in PA? Could dried work and how much?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not tried dried dill so I’m not sure how that would work. Try finding fresh dill in the produce section of a larger grocery store. :)

    [Reply]

  11. Tasha says

    how long do you need to wait for the flavors to work into the cucumber before eating?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Just about a day or so. :)

    [Reply]

  12. Jennifer says

    I am a bit confused! The recipe says7. /4 cups vinegar, 8. /4 cups water and 9. tablespoons salt. How many is /4 cups and how many tablespoons of salt?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Wow, that was a mess!! I’m not sure what happened, but I fixed it (I think!). Let me know if you have any more questions!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Yes, that works! Thank you :)

    [Reply]

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