Have you ever tried making your own dill pickles? It’s easier than you think.
We have some pickle-loving people in our family. Well, everyone except the Grillmaster. There aren’t many things he won’t eat, but pickles are one of them. Everyone else is crazy for the crisp, vinegary wonders.
I prefer bread and butter pickles to dill. I like both sweet and tangy sensations. Not only could I polish off an entire jar of pickles in one sitting, I would strain and drink the juice too. My mother has been known to use sweet pickle juice for basting a ham and as a salad dressing.
When my nephews (ages 11 and 8) visited a few weeks ago, the older one asked if we could make some dill pickles after we found a few giant cucumbers hiding under some weeds in the garden. It sounded like fun to me! Well, we were so busy bowling, skating, and hiking while they were here that we completely forgot about pickle-making until an hour before their grandparents arrived to pick them up. Somehow I didn’t think that would be enough time.
I’d never made dill pickles before, so I filed it away as something to try one day. The next time I went grocery shopping, the most perfect pickling cucumbers were on sale. I took it as a sign.
I made the pickles and took a couple of jars to my nephews and their sister. A couple of weeks later my sister-in-law sent me a picture of my 21-month-old niece happily eating one of my pickles. I think they were a hit.
Please note these dill pickles aren’t canned with a water bath, so you must keep them refrigerated.
Other Cucumber Recipes
Like Cucumbers? Here are some other recipes you might want to try:
Homemade Dill Pickles
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds I used dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds I used a combination of brown and yellow
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 pint-sized canning jars and lids washed and dried
- 12 small cucumbers ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise
- 1 bunch fresh dill
Make the brine:
In a small saucepan, mix together the salt, peppercorns, pickling spice, dill seeds (or dried dill) and mustard seeds. Stir in water, white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar.
Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when salt is dissolved.
Make the pickles:
Stand cucumbers in jars with pointy sides facing out. Add several sprigs of dill to each jar.
Using a funnel, ladle vinegar mixture into each jar. Completely cover the cucumbers.
Strain remaining liquid so that spices and peppercorns are in strainer. Evenly distribute the spices among the jars.
Place lids on jars and refrigerate for 14 days before eating so the flavors will be fully developed. Once a jar has been opened, eat the remaining pickles within a month.
Since these pickles aren’t canned with a water bath, you must keep them refrigerated.