How to make Dill Pickles

Acquire cucumbers

Get yourself a box a fresh, small cucumbers. A box of this size fills about 12 quart jars. Don't forget to wash off all the dirt and bugs.


Prepare and fill the jars

Clean your wide-mouth canning jars and make sure you have enough new lids (with the rubber seal) and rings. You cannot re-use old lids. If you have to go to Safeway at the last minute, look for canning supplies on top of the frozen pizza freezers.

Place a couple of heads of dill seed (thanks Aunt Karen!), some garlic (thanks Jaeckels), and some grape leaves at the bottom of each jar. Then stuff the jars full of cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers if they are too big to fit.


Add the brine

Prepare a brine solution with pickling salt and vinegar.

Fill each jar with brine, almost to the top. Wipe of any liquid from the mouth of the jar.

Boil the lids to sterilize them, and secure them to the jars with rings.


Boil 'em

First, warm up the jars by bathing them in hot water from the faucet. Then place them into a pot of boiling water. Let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. If you happen to have some super-hip friends, they will let you use their fancy outdoor propane stove!


Remove and inspect

Use a jar grabber to remove the jars from the boiling water. You should see tiny bubbles inside the jar indicating that the inside water is also boiling. Also expect the cucumbers to look a lot darker already.



Fermentation takes about 4 weeks at 70-75°F, or longer at a lower temperature.

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This page contains a single entry by Duane published on August 25, 2010 12:00 PM.

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