We’ve had a garden for the last 6 years. Each year I try something new but I always have my favorites that I plant, one of those is pickling cucumbers. Yes, there are a lot of different types of cucumbers, ones that are good for making into pickles and ones great for eating fresh. When you prepare your garden for the year choose either “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers if you want to make pickles that season. If you don’t have a garden, but want to make your own head to your favorite Farmers Market or even grocery store and pick some up. Whether you plant or purchase you want the cucumbers to be about 4-5 inches which prevent bitterness or flabbiness in the middle. If the pickling cucumbers get too big (this has happened to me before many times) use those for relishes and bread and butter pickles.
So now onto canning….it’s really easy! No, I am not kidding….it’s super easy and you only need a few things on hand to make it happen. A few years ago I spent money on a canning kit that came with everything I needed including a HUGE pot. My large stock pot wasn’t big enough for canning large jars unless I only wanted to do 3 at a time. The next thing you need are the canning jars. Depending on what you are canning would depend on the size. For pickles I can use large or medium jars, smaller 4oz jars are perfect for relishes or jams. That’s it, except for the vegetables you are canning and the other ingredients needed. Pickles require little ingredients, especially the ones I make. I like to keep it simple so as my cucumbers come in I can quickly make up a batch without too much trouble.
One other must is pickling salt. Why can’t you just use regular salt? Well, let me tell ya. Pickling salt is much finer than table salt and contains no additives (which I love) but if you can’t find it then you can use a kosher salt, as long as it’s pure without additives. Pickling salt does not contain anti-caking ingredients, which can turn pickling liquid cloudy, or additives like iodine, which can make pickles dark.
Now onto the recipe…..Garlic Dill Pickles!
- 3lbs kirby cucumbers
- 1½ cups vinegar
- 1½ cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 3 teaspoons dill seed
- handful of dill weed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Wash jars thoroughly in warm, soapy water and set aside. You can also throw them in the dishwasher
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Remove blossom end. Cut into chips, spears or leave whole, depending on your preference.
- In a saucepan bring vinegar and water to a boil
- After cutting dill weed and garlic add the dill seed, peppercorns and red pepper flakes. Combine together then divide pickling items into the jars equally. Then add the cucumbers to each jar.
- Pour the brine into the jars, leaving ¼ inch space at the top of the jars
- Remove any air bubbles from jars by gently tapping them.
- Lower jars into your processing pot. When water returns to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canning pot and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, check seals. Do not leave jars on the shelve unless you've done the water bath, even if the jar does seal it's still not safe to leave out unless you process the jars in the boiling water.
- Give it a few weeks before you try one of the pickles.
Not really into Dill Pickles? That’s OK! Here are some other fun recipes that you might want to try, canning is a great way to keep summer alive throughout the rest of the year. I love opening up a can of pickles, jam or tomato sauce in the dead of winter. Makes me happy!
Like it? GET THE RECIPE
Don’t these look amazing? GET THE RECIPE
Bloody Mary’s Anyone? GET THE RECIPE
Pickled Asparagus – my kids even love it! GET THE RECIPE
Looking for other canning recipes? Check out my Canning and Preserving Pinterest Board or the Gardening section of my website. Got a canning recipe, you would like to share? Post it in the comments, I am always looking for new food items to preserve. HAPPY CANNING!