Yesterday I made Dill Pickles! Thankfully it was 40 degrees Celsius plus when Kim and I made them last time, even the air conditioning made no difference with the humidity. Putting it mildly, it was unpleasant! This time it was fairly mild out so it was actually fun to make them again!
We LOVE dill pickles. I am not sure if it is the Polish in our background, but we just love them. Both of my kids actually teethed on whole dill pickles. I am not sure if it was just the pickle being cold or something in the brine but it worked every time lol. Yes, sort of weird, but why fight what works… especially when it comes to teething!
These are my ingredients, pickles really don’t take much to make, other than time. I did forget to put the alum in the picture because I almost totally forgot about adding it!
I started out with this many pickling cucumbers and 2 cases of 500 ml jars!
And some help, albeit reluctant help, from Dillon lol. He prepared all the jars for me. And yes, he does always wear that toque and moose slippers… sorry Dillon!
Dillon got all the jars ready with the fresh dill, garlic, pickling spice and alum. I always put 1/8 tsp. of alum in my pickles to help keep them crispy.
I even used some of the fresh dill that we have been growing in our little herb garden!
Oh, and I have always put a towel on the counter when canning. It just makes me feel better that I am not putting jars with very hot contents onto a possibly cold counter. And yes, that is a Toronto Maple Leafs towel lol!
While Dillon took care of the jars, I cut up all the cucumbers. I did most of them as pickle spears but I did some of them in slices/chips because they are better on burgers and such. We were doing this at 9 am so yes, it did require coffee… and lots of it!
As Dillon was finishing some of the jars, I started to pack the cucumbers in them. I tried to squeeze as many in a jar as I could.
All the jars filled and ready for the brine!
In a large pot, I put the water, vinegar and salt. I used sea salt because I forgot to buy pickling salt… again! I also used pickling vinegar. I have made them before with plain white vinegar and they tasted just fine but I still prefer it.
I brought this mixture/brine to a full boil and then I let it sit for a few minutes before I started to ladle it into the jars.
Note: I needed 2 “batches” of the brine to fill all of my jars, so I will use those measurements in the ingredients.
I used my canning funnel to make sure the brine all made it in the jars and filled them to within 1/8 inch of the top of the jars.
I put all the lids and rings on the jars, finger tight and started the canning process. For dill pickles I processed them in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
I had to do the canning in 3 batches because my pot only fit 8 jars at a time. It wasn’t until I had the last batch in to process that I remembered I have 2 canning pots 😦
I removed them from the pot and made sure they had all sealed properly.
I wiped down all the jars, we have hard water so there was a bit of a white film on the jars.
And then Dillon and I labeled them and put them back in the cases and downstairs on the preserves shelves!
I ended up with 24 – 500 ml jars plus one 1 liter jar to use up the rest of the cucumbers and other ingredients. I didn’t “can” the liter jar, I just put it in the fridge for us to use in a few weeks.
The pickles will taste great after waiting about 2 weeks for the brine to soak into the cucumbers.
And that’s it. About 3 hours later, we have 24 + jars of garlic dill pickles for our Christmas Baskets and the rest just to enjoy ourselves! I also sent our nephew home with a couple of jars because he loves pickles! We will see if he can wait the 2 weeks to eat them!
Homemade Dill Pickles
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours Cooking/Processing Time: 45 minutes Servings: Makes 24 x 500ml jars
- 1/2 bushel pickling cucumbers
- 5 cups pickling vinegar, divided
- 16 cups water, divided
- 1 cup sea salt, divided
- 1 – 2 bunches fresh dill, cleaned, cut and divided
- 48 – 72 garlic cloves (I used 3 per jar)
- 24 tsp. pickling spice, 1 tsp. per jar
- alum, 1/8 tsp. per jar
- Clean and sterilize jars.
- Divide the fresh dill, garlic, pickling spice and alum between the jars as per ingredients.
- Cut cucumbers. Sliced, quartered, spears, or leave whole.
- Pack jars tight with cucumbers, fitting as many as you can per jar.
- Prepare brine. I had to make 2 batches of brine. Add 8 cups of water, 2 1/2 cups of pickling vinegar and 1/2 cup sea salt to a large pot. Bring to a full boil and then let sit 2 minutes.
- Using a ladle and funnel, pour brine into jars to within 1/8 inch from the top.
- Attach lids and rings to the filled jars, finger tight.
- Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove from hot water bath and let cool.
- Make sure all jars sealed properly. You can usually hear a pop when the jars seal.
- Wipe jars down and label.
- Wait at least 2 weeks before eating to allow brine to soak into cucumbers.
I will update with more pictures once we open one of the jars!