The Best Garlic Dill Pickles – Adventures in Pickling Vol. 5

23 05 2015

Dill Pickles

Dill pickles. So basic, so easy, so addictive. So almost gone, at least the batches I made last summer. I have one jar left from my inaugural year of adventures in pickling and I’m not ready. It’ll months before I’ll be able to duplicate those super hot days in the kitchen in late summer, with batch after batch going in to the water bath canner.

Matt, one of my best friends in the world, has said several times now that he thinks I’m close to beating his favorite purchased dill pickles. I’d say that I’m ahead as these ones are free to him but whatever. Gotta keep trying to beat back the corporate giant and make the perfect pickle.

There really isn’t much in the way of ingredients or process here but this is the recipe that I use. Enjoy.

Yield: 9 Quarts

  • 11 cups water
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup canning salt (don’t use iodized salt)
  • 12 pounds pickling cucumbers, quartered or halved lengthwise
  • 9 dill sprigs or heads
  • 18 garlic cloves

Disclaimer: When you buy pickling cucumbers, they are usually really dirty. Soak them in a sink of very cold water for about 30 minutes, then scrub them well to get off every bit of dirt/sand. No one likes a gritty pickle!

In a pot on the stove, combine water, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. While this is happening, add one dill head and two cloves of garlic to each clean, hot jar. Pack your cucumbers in, leaving about a half inch of headroom at the top. Ladle hot mixture in to jars, leaving that half inch clearance at the top. Make sure you remove air bubbles, wipe the top of the jar and hand tighten your two part lid.

Place jars in simmering water bath and process for 7-8 minutes. (There are some recipes that call for processing for as long as 15 minutes, you do NOT need to do this, especially if you enjoy a crunchier pickle like I do)

When removing, place on a wood cutting board or towel, leaving space between jars and let them cool naturally for 12 to 24 hours.

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