Summer…The time of the year when the local farmers markets are full of harvest. And also that time of the year to can, preserve and pickle. Canning and preserving was something farmers and the like have done for years. Mainly because many fruits and vegetables were not available all through out the year as they are now. My Nan did it, my mom did it and now I am doing it. I do it mainly because what we buy at the grocery stores do not even hold a light to homemade products. And are not full of additives. One of our favourites are these easy homemade dill pickles. Now when it comes to canning and preserving, everyone puts their own special twist into it and has their own family secrets to how to do it. This is how I was taught to do it.
Sourcing Pickling Cukes
Around the start of August, as long as the growing season has cooperated, we will start seeing pickling cucumbers showing up in the farmer’s markets. Getting to the markets early ensures that you find the freshest products. I always look for cucumbers that are not too big and not too small. Usually the market stand you get the cucumbers from will have fresh garlic and dill weed as well.
What You Need:
This recipe is for 10 lbs of pickling cucumbers
- fresh garlic bulbs
- dill weed
- 1 litre wide mouth jars ( I use the bernardin jars) approximately 8 jars required
- new snap lids and screw tops
- white (pickling) vinegar
- coarse (pickling) salt
- a large saucepan for lids
- Large dutch oven or kitchen pot for brine
- Thick towels
Steps to Easy Homemade Dill Pickles
- First I put all the cucumbers in the kitchen sink in very cold water and make sure they are clean.
- During that time I get my jars and lids together. I place the clean jars in the sink and run hot water in them. I then place the snap lids and screw tops in a saucepan and fill with water.
- Peel the fresh garlic into individual cloves and cut the dill weed into approx 6 inch sizes.
- Fill a large dutch oven or kitchen pot with
- 1 quart of pickling (white) vinegar
- 3 quarts of water
- 1 cup coarse (pickling) salt
**Yes I have used the measurement of quart. That is what the recipe passed down is in**
Once the prep is done, it is time to start filling the jars with cucumbers. Filling the jars is like a completing a puzzle. I find a way to fit as many cucumbers in the jar as possible for maximum pickles per jar. You may have to make more brine depending on how much gets poured into each jar as the volume will be different for each depending on the max pickles in the jars
Add a couple garlic cloves and a couple stems of dill weed to the bottom of the jar. Then start to fill the jar with cucumbers, leaving about an 1/2 inch open at the top of the jar to allow for the brine to cover the cucumbers fully. Once all the jars are full, then I turn on the brine pot and the saucepan of lids to bring to the boil. Once the brine has boiled for approximately 5 minutes and lids are boiling, it is time to start filling the jars with the brine.
Fill the jars with the brine to just covering the cucumbers, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top. Place the snap lid on top, then screw on the screw lid finger tight. Place the jar on a bath towel and cover with another bath towel to keep warm. Proceed to the next filled jar. I allow the initial heat of the brine and keeping warm to help seal the lids. Wait to hear the POP of the lids. This is like music to your ears!! Some may not seal and that is ok as long as they are kept cool. I usually use those ones up first.
Now this is step that I DO NOT do because it can be finicky and make the pickles lose their crunch, but some may want to. . Some may want to process in the canner to heat up the jars enough to have all the lids seal.
- Place jars in canner filled halfway with warm water (120F- 140F). Then add hot water and to 1 inch above the jars. Heat the water to 180F – 185F for 30 minutes. Use a candy thermometer to maintain water temperature. If temperature gets higher than 185F, this may cause pickles to get soft.
Once the jars have cooled to room temperature, I place in a very cool place in the basement ( a cold room if you have one) or you can place in a fridge. Wait approx. 2 months to ensure the full pickling/fermentation has taken place to eat.
These easy homemade dill pickles will satisfy everyones crunch craving.
For another amazing recipe for preserving the summer harvest, check out our Salsa recipe..Hot and Spicy…The BEST homemade salsa.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. And I will be happy to answer them.