Dill Pickles

Use the following quantities for each gallon capacity of your container.

  • 4 lbs of 4 inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 Tbsp dill seed or 4 to 5 heads fresh or dry dill weed
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (5%)
  • 8 cups water and one or more of the following ingredients:
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 2 dried red peppers (optional)
  • 2 tsp whole mixed pickling spices (optional)
Procedure:
Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard. Leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place half of dill and spices on bottom of a clean, suitable container. Add cucumbers, remaining dill, and spices. Dissolve salt in vinegar and water and pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and weight. Store where temperature is between 70 and 75° F for about 3 to 4 weeks while fermenting. Temperatures of 55 to 65° F are acceptable, but the fermentation will take 5 to 6 weeks. Avoid temperatures above 80° F, or pickles will become too soft during fermentation. Fermenting pickles cure slowly. Check the container several times a week and promptly remove surface scum or mold.
CAUTION If the pickles become soft, slimy, or develop a disagreeable odor, discard them. Fully fermented pickles may be stored in the original container for about 4 to 6 months, provided they are refrigerated and surface scum and molds are removed regularly. Canning fully fermented pickles is a better way to store them. To can them, pour the brine into a pan, heat slowly to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Filter brine through paper coffee filters to reduce cloudiness, if desired. Fill hot jar with pickles and hot brine, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process as below:
Packing Method Jar Size Process Time in Minutes at Altitudes of
0-1,000 ft 1,001-6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw Pints 10 15 20
Quarts 15 20 25

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