Saturday, August 22, 2009

No Sweat Dill Pickles

I have been canning like a farm girl for thirty years or so -whether I was on a farm or not. Over the years I've gotten lazier and lazier about it. I still like the finished product of homegrown produce, home-preserved for my future eating, I just have other things to do besides sweat over a boiling calderon of water in my kitchen.

So I've developed short cuts and easy methods to get me out of the kitchen quicker when my garden is burying me with brightly colored crunchy veggies.

Here is my dill pickle method. I just did it and I spent maybe a half an hour at it. Now I can do other things. Like write a blog post.

We love the pickles this method produces. They are crispy and snappy rather than mushy and limp like water bath canned pickles.

Fill a jar with fresh pickling cucumbers, scrubbed clean. Large or small I pickle them all. I slice the big ones into spears and throw the little ones in whole. I used a gallon jar today because that is how many cucs I had but you could use quart or half gallon jars. Ball or Mason jars are not necessary. You can use any glass jar because these will not be canned.

Throw in some whole garlic cloves. As many or few as you want depending on how much you like garlicy pickles. I used at least a dozen in this gallon jar, distributed in various parts of the jar. Also throw in some dried red peppers. As many or as few as you like depending on how hot you like your pickles. I put about a dozen in there. Add heads of dill. I put in a big handful of small fresh heads of dill from the garden, half on top and half on the bottom of the jar. If you don't have fresh dill heads, come on over to my house. Dill is making a powerful effort to conquer and dominate my property. If you can't make it over, use dried dill seed. One tablespoon per quart. Also add some mustard seeds. I just realized while writing this post that I forgot them so they aren't in the picture. One teaspoon per quart.

I just added them to my jar so rest easy.

Next you need brine.

Boil 4 cups of white vinegar, 4 1/2 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of sea salt (or pickling salt- do not use table salt) in a pot. (I ran out of white vinegar so I had to add a cup of cider vinegar. I'm too lazy to run to the store and it doesn't matter. It's pickles!)
Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers in your jar/s. You may have some brine left over with a gallon jar.

Allow this to cool to room temperature then put a lid on the jar and store in a refrigerator.

Wait at least a month before eating the pickles. They get better and better with age and keep indefinitely in the frig.

I have an extra refrigerator in my cold storage "cellar". It is currently full of cabbages, eggs, butter, forty pounds of peaches, cream cheese and a gallon of milk. And two gallons of these pickles.

Now wasn't that easy?

No Sweat Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Fresh pickling cucumbers
Fresh Garlic
Dried Red Peppers
Mustard Seed
Fresh heads of dill or dried dill seed
4 cups white vinegar
4 1/2 cups water
6 Tablespoons sea or pickling salt


  1. Sounds great! I will have to try it next year as my cucumbers have sputtered out.

  2. I wish I had this recipe two weeks ago when our produce co-op bought pickling cucumbers...lots of pickling cucumbers. I'll have to give it a shot next time.

  3. Sorry that we're so behind the rest of you.
    Rechelle-I guarantee SUCCESS with this!


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