The Easy Way to Make Crunchy Dill Pickles

If you’re drowning in your own harvest of cucumbers or love a great dill pickle, you need this recipe in your life.

Our cucumber plants are producing like crazy this year. We’re slicing and dipping, making Korean cucumber salad, giving them away, and, my favorite, pickling them.

I love this recipe because you don’t need any special canning equipment. It’s super easy and makes crunchy pickles. Everyone tells me they are the best pickles they’ve ever had.

I love this recipe because you don't need any special canning equipment. It's super easy and makes crunchy pickles. #recipe Click To Tweet

easy crunchy dill pickles

The Cucumbers

Ideally, you’d use pickling cucumbers. We just picked up seedlings this year from our local farm stand with no idea what variety we planted. The bad news is that they are not picklers. The good news is that if you pick them when they’re smaller, they still work like a charm.

If you don’t have a garden, hit up a local farmer’s market for some pickling or smaller cucumbers. I think the English or Japanese cucumbers would also work because of their smaller seeds.

Before you start pickling, the cucumbers need to be SUPER cold. This is actually one of the secrets to super crunchy pickles. If they’re not already refrigerated, you can stick them in an ice bath in a big cooler for at least an hour. The ice bath will actually make them colder than your refrigerator and possibly more crunchy in the end.

Before you start pickling, the cucumbers need to be SUPER cold. This is actually one of the secrets to super crunchy pickles. Click To Tweet

The Ingredients

8 pounds of cucumbers

4 cups white vinegar

12 cups water

2/3 cup pickling salt (has no iodine)

16 cloves of garlic (peeled and halved)

8 sprigs of fresh dill (the feathery part)

8 heads of fresh dill (the flower)

If you don’t have dill heads (I only see sprigs at the store), you can sub a drop of Dill Essential Oil or extra sprigs.

The Equipment

8 wide-mouth, quart-size canning jar
(Although, any glass jar with a lid will do in a pinch)

Large pot

Ladle

The How

  1. Get your cucumbers nice and cold (see above).
  2. Sterilize jars and lids by running through the dishwasher.
  3. Drop 2 halves of garlic and a dill head (or a couple sprigs) into the bottom of each jar.
  4. Pack each jar with cucumber spears or slices. Leave at least a half inch headroom at the top of the jar.
  5. Top each jar with 2 more halves of garlic and dill sprigs.
  6. In a large pot, combine vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  7. Fill the jars with hot brine using a ladle.
  8. Seal jars with lid. (Optional: vacuum seal the jars with a Food Saver jar attachment.)
  9. Refrigerate.
  10. Wait at least 2 weeks and enjoy.

That was easy!

Not that they ever last this long, but they’ll stay fresh for about 5 months in the fridge.

The absence of sealing the jars with a hot water bath keeps the pickles crunchy and fresh, but shortens the shelf life.

The other downside is that they need to be refrigerated, so you need some dedicated fridge space or to give them away if you have a lot!

What is your favorite type of pickle?

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