These dill pickles are amazing! They are tangy, a little bit sour, and so incredibly perfect on sandwiches. This recipe was altered from a Bobby Flay recipe to fit my needs. Bobby, thank you, these are delicious!!
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The Back Story
I wish I could say that I learned how to can from my grandmother – she makes some of the best jam and pickles ever- but sadly I was a bratty teen who could have cared less to learn (Karma is kicking my butt right now in motherhood, haha).
I actually learned how to can when I was in my late twenties from one of our old military neighbors in Texas. She came over one night while her hubby was deployed and we made at least 6 different kinds of jam, and pickles. Oh. My. Gosh. The pickles! They were her specialty.
I was so thankful to have her guidance, because the idea of botulism terrified me! Before the big day, I went to the store and bought all the things she said I would need: a canner (I bought a pressure cooker canner, because I was ambitious like that), some glass canning jars, and a beginner’s tool kit.
She took me through the whole process from sanitizing the jars before-hand, to processing the food, and ensuring that the lids popped – indicating a proper seal.
The process is super simple and straight forward, and once you know how to keep everything clean, you realize how easy-peasy it is.
Let’s Talk Process (nerd alert: processes are my favorite thing ever!)
There’s nothing worse than a soggy pickle, right?! So, to make sure that the pickling cucumbers are super crisp I do two things first:
- I let them sit in canning salt for 12-24 hours
- I also add a calcium chloride crisping agent to the jar before I process them.
When the cucumbers sit in the canning salt, it will pull some water out of the them, which is important to reserve. This salty cucumber water adds great flavor to the brine.
Note: Be sure you don’t use a normal table salt, otherwise the pickles will be too salty.
Once the pickling cucumbers have rested and the water has been pulled out, I add them to the sanitized jars. That’s when I add the freshly peeled garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon of a crisping agent, and the brine. Then, I process them by boiling them in the canner for a good ten minutes.
Once they are done, I pull them out of the canner (being very careful to pull them out straight and not tip the jar at all) and let them sit on a towel on the counter. I don’t let them touch anything cold or allow cold air to blow on them, otherwise the jars could potentially crack.
For more detailed information on how to can, check out the USDA canning guide here.
On to the best part, the recipe!
- 30 pickling cucumbers
- 1 cup of chopped dill
- 8 cloves of garlic
- A little less than ½ cup of canning salt
- 10 c of distilled white vinegar
- 7 t mustard seeds
- 7 t coriander seed
- 5 t dill seed
- 1/8 cup of sugar
- Reserved water from the salted cucumbers (about one cup)
- 8 pint size glass canning jars
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Then, slice them using a mandolin or sharp knife and place the slices in a large non-reactive bowl.
- Pour the salt over the cucumbers, and add in the dill and garlic (you may sliver the garlic if you wish, but I keep the cloves whole). Mix well and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least four hours. I let them sit overnight. You want to make sure you allow enough time to let the water be extracted from the cucumber slices.
- Sanitize 6 glass canning jars and then pack them with the cucumber slices. Make sure that at least one clove of garlic makes it into each one of the jars. (For crispier pickles, add 1/8 teaspoon of pickle crisp granules.)
- Pour the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and pour in the cucumber water.
- Pour the brine into the jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. Remove any air bubbles, clean off the rims, and apply the lids and bands so that they are finger tight.
- Place jars in a hot canning water bath. When the water returns to boiling, process for 10 minutes.
- Once processed, carefully remove the jars and place them onto a towel. While they cool, listen for the pop of the lid indicating the sealing process has occurred. Do not move them around until they are fully cooled, so that you don’t disrupt the seal. If some of the cans do not pop, be sure to place them in the fridge and eat them first.
- Let the pickles rest for one month before eating.