Pickles have become a classic item to have in every house over the years. Aside from the fact that they are absolutely delicious, they’re the perfect snack to have on hand whenever you want something crunchy and salty. While it’s easy to grab a can in the supermarket, there’s just something so much better about homemade pickles that you can’t buy at any store. If you’ve never made homemade pickles, it might sound a little intimidating to you, but rest assured that it’s a very simple process that you can definitely master in no time. Once you do get the hang of it, you won’t be able to go back to buying canned pickles, we guarantee you! Not to mention, if you happen to host a summer barbecue, make sure to serve your own homemade pickles. They go perfectly with potato salads, burgers, chicken, and even on their own.
What You’ll Need:
- 12 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers
- 3/4 cup sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Canning Salt
- 1 quart 5% white vinegar
- 1 quart of water
- Green Dill Heads (one per jar)
For the dill pickle spice:
- 2 TBL Whole Pepper Corns
- 2 TBL Mustard Seed (yellow)
- 1 TBL Allspice
- 2 TBL Coriander
- 2 TBL Dill Seed
- 8 Bay Leaves
Prepping The Cucumbers:
- Wash the cucumbers under cold water and cut off the ends. Allow them to drain and then slice them into long slices. Set them aside.
- Sterilize your canning jars if needed.
- In the meantime, combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir it all until the sugar is completely dissolved and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the pickle spice mixture and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the sterile jars from the water and set them on a towel on the counter. Place a large head of dill into each jar.
- Pack the sliced cucumbers tightly into the jars. Try to avoid any large empty spaces in the jars. Make sure to leave a 1/4 inch head-space.
- Use a large ladle to fill the jars with the hot vinegar and sugar solution. Be sure to add the floating spices to the jar as well. Leave a 1/2 inch head-space.
- Remove all the air bubbles and then wipe the jar rim with a clean damp cloth. Put on the lid and band finger-tight.
If you’re making refrigerator pickles, then you’re done!
- For canning pickles that have a longer shelf life, place the filled jars into a water-bath canner rack.
- Lower the rack into hot simmering water. Make sure to fill it to 1 inch above the jar lids.
- Cook on medium-high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. Both quarts and pints process in 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and remove the cover – carefully! Lift it away from you. Then, lift the rack and let the jars cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove from rack and place it on the counter. Allow the jars to cool for 12 hours – don’t tighten the lids.