September 12, 2009

Canning Dill Pickles

Pin It Now! I love buying produce locally, and we live in a great neighborhood surrounded by beautiful family farms that sell their produce. The farm across the street from our house has great pickling cucumbers and the best smelling, freshest dill. He literally pulled the stalk out of the ground when I purchased it. That's what I call fresh! From the 3 pounds of cucumbers I bought I was able to can 7 small and 1 large jar of pickles. Now the hard part is waiting 8 weeks before we can eat them!

Here is my homemade pickle recipe. If you are new to canning or want something simple to start with, dill pickles are the way to go. They are pretty much fool-proof, and fairly easy for beginners.

(I actually cut this down because I had fewer cucumbers, but it came out just the same.)

Tools Needed:
Large Canning Pot with lid and jar rack

Quart-size Canning Jars - I find canning jars on Craigslist, and at estate and garage sales for pennies. Goodwill usually has a great selection, too.

Canning Funnel

8 lbs. pickling cucumbers
8 sprigs fresh dill
8 heads fresh dill weed
16 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
12 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup pickling salt*

*Other types of salt don't work the same - you can find Morton's pickling salt with the other salts in your grocery store

Wash all cucumbers well and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. If you want to create spear pickles, place cut cucumbers in cold water. Soak for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required.

Sterilize 8 1 quart canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. You can also put them in the dishwasher on the "sterilize" setting.

In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. This is what is referred to as the "brine". Bring to a rapid boil.

In each sterilized jar place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill jar. About 1 lb. Add 2 more garlic halves and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars. Be sure to clean jars' rim of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes. If you are using smaller jars, process for 10 minutes. Jars lids should be flat, and the center "button" should not be able to be pushed down. If jars don't seal properly, refrigerate and eat within 2 weeks.

Store sealed pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before opening. Refrigerate after opening. Sealed pickles will keep for up to 2 years in a cool, dry place.

No comments:

Post a Comment