Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dill Pickles

This is an old recipe of mine - I like this one because it requires no brining at all. It is simple and easy to follow.
Dill Pickles

8 pounds cucumbers
4 cups vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling or canning salt (do not use table salt)

Fresh Dill
Grape Leaves

Wash cucumbers and cut off blossom end. (The blossoms contain an enzyme that will make your pickles soft and dark)

Soak cucumbers in ice water bath for about 4 hours, adding ice as needed. (this will make them crunchy)

Sterilize 7 to 8 quart jars (or twice as many pint jars if you prefer)

Cut cucumbers into spears if desired.

In a large saucepan or stock pot, combine the vinegar, water and salt. Bring brine to a rapid boil.

In each sterilized jar, place garlic and dill to taste (I use 3 medium cloves garlic halved per jar and 2 heads of dill) and 2 small grape leaves (the grape leaves are optional but if you have them available – don’t leave them out – they will keep your pickles crunchy!)

Fill jars with the cucumbers and then add brine (it should be boiling as you add it). Using a spatula, remove air bubbles, clean the rim of the jars and seal.

Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

The longer you can wait to open the pickles, the better tasting they will be. I usually try to wait 6 to 8 weeks before testing but sometimes they get opened much quicker!


My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

that's it...i have got to make some pickles this year


kary and teddy

Anonymous said...

I need help .. I did 24 jars of dill pickles last night.. only 6 of them sealed, I'm not sure what went wrong, can you push down the lid and if it doesn't snap back up they're okay or do I have to take all the lids back off and wipe the tops of the jars and reboil the lids and try sealing again? I really need some help on this. The lids I touched with my fingers have not popped back up... HELP !

Kathi said...

You need to reseal them.

Did you remove the air bubbles before putting the lids on? Once I forgot that step and most of them did not seal.

It can also happen if the jars are too full and there is not enough space on top.

Since only 6 sealed, you might want to try and figure out what kept them from sealing before processing them again.

Anonymous said...

I have never taken the bubbles out before and I generally don't process them in a hot bath but last night I put them in for 5 minutes and I also put the cucumbers in an ice bath for 2 hours. Could that have caused the problem?
When re sealing do I just take the lids off and put new on and put them in a hot water bath ??

Kathi said...

Not taking the bubbles out is probably what caused the problem.

I always process mine in a hot water bath.

The ice water bath is not going to affect the sealing process at all.

You need to take the lids off, remove the trapped air bubbles, wipe down the rims and apply new seals. Then do the water bath again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your help, I truly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I was checking your blog to see new entries. It was a long wait.... Do update more frequently. Always love reading about everything you grow and harvest and process :)


Kathi said...

It has been a long time - I think about updating - but life really has gotten in my way of blogging this summer.

I'm going to try and be more consistent.

Anonymous said...

A friend and I did dill pickles and he just heated the brine, and poured over the pickles in the jar. Then screwed the lids on tight. I now have jars that have bulging lids. When I open them, there is a lot of little bubbles coming up from alongside the pickles. Are they good or do I throw them away? They don't taste bad but I am scared of them. Please help what can I do to salvage them. They are firm and mostly white inside. Again pleae help.

Kathi said...

How old are the pickles? I assume they have been sitting out at room temperature. If they are 2 weeks old or less I would say they are fine - no different than the old fashioned brining. If they are older than that, they still may be fine but I personally would have trouble trusting them.

If they are less than two weeks old, then I would take the lids off and discard them.

Run a knife or spatula along the edges inside to release the air bubbles.

Clean the rims with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Put new sterilized lids on them.

Process in a water bath.

They should be fine then.

da coach said...

I enjoyed reading your blog
my blog is

canning tomatoes said...

Great blog site! Very informative and you really make it a point to help people.

Anonymous said...

I have heard if you have canned dill pickles that did not seal nd you process again you will get soft pickles????