Did you know that dill pickles are actually fun and easy to make? Though they look complicated, they’re not. They make great gifts, and you can make several jars at once.
- Gather your supplies. You’ll need pint-size mason jars with lids and rings (a dozen is a good starting point), a large enamel pot, and a large pot filled with water. You should also purchase a pair of jar lifting tongs, which makes it much easier to remove your jars from boiling water.
- Purchase your ingredients. To make a dozen jars of pickles, you’ll need about 30 to 40 cucumbers, about 4-5 inches long. If you’re growing your own, be sure to choose the pickling variety, as they will make crunchier pickles. You’ll also need 2/3 cup pickling salt, 4 cups of white vinegar, and 24 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved. You’ll also need some dill weed, about 60 sprigs.
- Prepare your cucumbers. Wash them thoroughly, and then trim the ends and cut the cucumbers lengthwise into spears. Place them in a large plastic container and cover them with water. Then refrigerate for between 2 and 4 hours.
- Prepare your jars. Boil the jars and lids in a large pot for ten minutes to sterilize them. Remove the jars from the water, but not the lids or rings. Then, put three sprigs of dill weed and two garlic glove halves in the bottom of each jar. Now, pack each jar with cucumbers, and place two more dill weed sprigs and two half-cloves of garlic on top of the cucumbers.
- Prepare the pickling solution. Combine 12 cups of water, 4 cups of white vinegar, and 2/3 cup pickling salt in your enamel pot, and then bring to a boil. If you use a plain metal pot, the brine will turn cloudy.
- Add the brine to your cucumbers. Carefully ladle this boiling brine into each jar, leaving 1/4 inch of air at the top of the jar. Gently wiggle each jar to release trapped air bubbles.
- Seal the jars. To seal the jars, remove the lid from hot water and place it on top of the jar. Then, screw on the ring. Now, place jars back in the sterilizing water, and bring it to a boil. The water should cover at least half of the jar. Once the jars have boiled for 10 minutes, remove them from the water, and leave them undisturbed for a day. Don’t over-boil, or your pickles will be less crisp. As long as the jars have sealed properly, they can be stored on a shelf for up to two years. You’ll be able to tell that they have sealed if the jars have indented. You can still eat those that haven’t sealed properly; just refrigerate them and eat them within a week.
- Enjoy! After a month, your cucumbers will have turned into pickles, and they’ll be ready to enjoy.
Homemade dill pickles are a delicious snack! They’re great on sandwiches and hamburgers, too. Plus, they’re actually easy to make!