Homemade Dill Pickles

18 comments… add one

  1. Karen Joy September 10, 2011, 3:22 pm

    I made these today, after soaking them in saltwater for 24 hrs as you suggested. Well, about 18 hours. I’ve pickled a number of things, but never cucumbers, oddly enough! But, I’m in a CSA, and got about 7-8 lbs of Straight 8 cucumbers, and the farmer said they pickle nicely. I didn’t have dill seed, but I had dried dill weed, and I put 5+ cloves of garlic in each jar, and a tsp of peppercorns in half of them. AND… I made them in quart jars. It made four quarts.

    Your post was so timely! I’m linked to Chowstalker on FB, so when they posted this on the day I was thinking about making pickles, I figured it was divinely inspired. :D Thank you for your recipe!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 13, 2011, 1:50 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you found my post in time for pickling! How did the pickles turn out?

      1. Karen Joy September 13, 2011, 2:54 pm

        They LOOK great, and everyone is counting the days until Saturday… Your recipe says to let them sit a week before eating. :) I’ll let you know how they taste.

          1. Karen Joy September 16, 2011, 11:22 am

            OK. We opened them a day early, and they were CRAZY SALTY. Nearly inedible.

            I have a bunch more cucumbers that I need to pickle, so I looked again at your recipe, and I may have found the problem: In the ingredient list, it says “1 1/2 cups pickling salt, divided” and in Day 1′s instructions, you say to layer the fork-pricked pickles with 1 cup salt. In Day 2′s instructions, it says to “combine pickling salt, water, and vinegar.” I used the whole 1 1/2 cups of salt in my brine, when perhaps I should have subtracted the 1 cup I had used for soaking, and used only 1/2 cup in the brine! Yes?? I am going to try today’s brine with only 1/2 cup. If that is correct, you may want to amend your instructions to say “combine 1/2 cup pickling salt, water, and vinegar.”

            One more quibble: The ingredient list calls for 3/4 cup sugar, but it isn’t used in the instructions at all. Would this be added to the brine if one desires bread & butter pickles?

            Thank you for your recipe! I absolutely don’t regret making my too-salty pickles, but a little more clarity might be in order to save others from the same mistake.

          2. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 16, 2011, 1:59 pm

            Oh no, Karen!!!! I’m SO extremely sorry for your too-salty pickles. That’s horrible :(

            Yes, you are correct that you are only to put the remaining 1/2 cup of the pickling salt into the brine on Day 2. Ugh — I feel just awful that wasn’t more clear.

            As for the sugar, you are supposed to also add that into the brine along with the 1/2 cup pickling salt. I found 3/4 cup to be just a bit too sweet for my tastes, so I’d recommend using a little less — maybe 1/2 cup, though I haven’t yet tested it.

            I’ve gone ahead and clarified those two points in my recipe. Again, I’m very sorry and I hope your new batch comes out better.

  2. Victoria September 13, 2011, 10:31 am

    Your pictures are all so beautiful!

  3. Karen Joy September 16, 2011, 3:59 pm

    I’ve commented too much; it won’t let me reply!

    Anyway. Don’t worry. We’re still eating them; they’re just more like… nibbling pickles. AND, I put whole cloves of raw garlic in each jar — about 5 per — and now I’m wishing I added more garlic, because they turned out crunchy, tasty, and not too salty! YUM!

    And I’m sure the second batch will turn out fine.

  4. Jim Gillen October 23, 2011, 9:00 am

    Years ago,up in northern Maine, when my hair was long, I made a GREAT dill pickle.Fast and easy, everyone raved. Sterilized bottles, 1/3rd full of fresh dill heads,washed cucumbers. Pour in BOILING brine {half vinegar}
    and seal.
    Years later in Maryland, it would not work, or should I say it DID “work”? Jars would not stay sealed. Thought I had just lost my touch. It turns out that, back then, the vinegar was stronger. (?)

  5. Barry Preuett January 26, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Like em spicy? Add a half a slice of a hananero to each jar :-) yum!

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing. Going to be doing this with my daughters this weekend!

  6. Kathy Peak November 8, 2013, 1:28 pm

    We have dill pickled for years and our recipe is quite similar to yours (sans the soak for 24 hours); however, this summer out of 165 quart jars, the brine in 1/2 of the jars turned a milky white color within a month (we let ours “pickle” for 90 days). We have eaten them and thank God, haven’t gotten ill; however, they’re not pleasing to share with friends and family. Any suggestions to prevent the milky brine? Thanks, a pickling friend

  7. sue August 18, 2014, 2:17 am

    what am I doing wrong? I can never get a crisp pickle!

    1. Lacey Baier August 18, 2014, 7:41 pm

      Uh oh! That’s no good. I found this helpful summary in what may be wrong at http://www.pickyourown.org/picklesFAQs.htm. Here’s what they say:

      “You probably used overripe cucumbers or didn’t measure the vinegar and water accurately. Of course, processing too long in the boiling water bath can do it, too! You may have noticed that the best crisp store-bought pickles are the ones stored in the refrigerators, not on the room-temperature shelves. That is because they have not been heat treated. The same is true with home pickling…Overall, you’ll get the crispest pickles from using young, small cukes.”

      There’s a lot of other helpful suggestions on that page. Have you ever been able to make them crunchy? With other recipes? Sorry and good luck!

  8. Celeste B. August 29, 2014, 9:28 am

    So I waited about 1.5 weeks to try one. Very good, fairly crispy (considering they have been heated when processing. They are a bit salty though(although not too much of a problem for me because I like salt). Can I use less salt on the overnight soak and still get the benefit of the salt drawing out some of the moisture from the pickles?

    1. Lacey Baier August 29, 2014, 9:29 pm

      Hi Celeste. Unfortunately, I don’t know that answer to that. I would imagine you can, but I’m not entirely sure. I would be more inclined to reduce the amount of salt that actually goes into the pickling mixture, since the salt from the day before gets washed off…If you do try a variation, I would love to know how it turned out. Thanks for the feedback and good luck!


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