Crispy Dill Pickles

Dill pickles rock. Well, pickles rock. I have a small garden, and the bounty varies. When I get enough cucumbers to make a batch of pickles, and my tastebuds say ‘dill pickles’, this is the recipe I use.  I’ve tried several that offer up good flavor, but this one gives nice, crispy pickles and good flavor. This is also where I learned the benefits of keeping the cukes in a cold water bath to ensure crispness.  Don’t skip the cold water bath!  It makes the difference.

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 12 cups water
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
  • 8 heads fresh dill weed

Directions

  1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
  3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar’s rims of any residue.
  4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
  5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

Photo credit: magpiebride

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