How to Make Pickles – Garlic Dill Pickles
How to Make Pickles – The Complete A-to-Z Guide. Everything you need from choosing the right cucumbers, to preparing and sterilizing jars, to making your own delicious pickling spice and brine! These classic, delicious and crunchy garlic dill pickles are a true winner with everyone!
    Servings Prep Time
    7One Quart Jars 40Minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    20Minutes 14Days
    Servings Prep Time
    7One Quart Jars 40Minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    20Minutes 14Days
    Ingredients
    Pickling Brine
    • 8cups waterPure Fresh Water
    • 8cups distilled white Vinegaruse vinegar with 5% acidity
    • 1cup pickling salt
    • 1cup granulated sugar
    Pickling Spice Mix
    • 14Cloves garlic (Halved)(2 cloves per jar)
    • 7Leaves bay leaves(1 leaf per jar)
    • 7teaspoons mustard seed(1 teaspoon per jar)
    • 7teaspoons coriander seed(1 teaspoon per jar)
    • 3 1/2teaspoons allspice berries(1/2 teaspoon per jar)
    • 2 1/4teaspoons dried red pepper flakes(1/4 teaspoon per jar)
    Cucumbers & Vegetables
    • 8 lbsCucumbers Small Pickling Cucumbers(fresh is best)
    Utensils and Tools Needed
    • 20Quarts Cooking Pot
    • 1Rack Boiling Rack(for placing jars on inside the pot)
    • 10Quarts Sauce Pan(for making the pickling brine)
    • 7Jars One Quart Sized Jars(Wide mouth jars are best)
    • 1Stirring spoon Wooden Or Plastic
    • 1Jar Lifter Rubber handled jar lifter(for lifting jars from the hot water)
    • 1Funnel Rubber, plastic or metal
    Instructions
    Step 1 – Cleaning and Preparing Your Cucumbers
    1. When learning how to make pickles, you have to choose fresh cucumbers (ideally within 24 to 36 hours of picking if you have harvested them yourself).  Ensure you have washed the cucumbers VERY thoroughly, to ensure there is absolutely no dirt or soil on them, as this may cause bacteria. It is also recommended to place the cucumbers in a clean tub of cold water for 2 hours, to help remove any lingering residue (add ice to make it very cold).  Remove the tips of the cucumbers with a small pairing knife – this will prevent the pickles from becoming soft.  Finally – do not use any of the cucumbers that may already seem soft, or are showing any signs of mold or mildew.
      Cleaning Tip: molds are the most common form of spoilage with pickles. Yeast also on the pickles can create spoilage, and should be avoided. These two common things are highly resistant to the acidity of vinegar. It is critical that you properly clean your cucumbers to ensure there is no remaining bacteria remaining. For a great overview of food preservation in general, there is an excellent resource provide by NDSU – Canning & Pickling
    Step 2 – Preparing the Brine Recipe
    1. In a large sauce pot, combine 8 liters water, 8 liters of vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup of pickling salt. Bring pickling juice to a simmer for 5 minutes, and then boil lightly for another 5 minutes before reducing the heat to simmer.
    Step 3 – Sterilizing and Preparing Jars and Lids
    1. Using your large 20 Qt (19 Liter) sauce pan, place the boiling rack inside and fill with fresh water.
    2. Bring the water to a warm temperature, and place your jars (right-side-up) into the water, ensuring that the jars fill with water, and there is about 1 in (2.5 cm) of water above the jars.
    3. Place lids and sealing caps into the water with the jars
    4. Bring the water to a boil
    5. Boil the jars and lids for 10 to 15 minutes
    6. After boiling, remove the jars using the Jar Lifter one at a time (Go to the next step, and complete it one jar at a time, as you remove them from the boiling water). It is best to fill each jar immediately after removing it from the hot water.
    Step 4 – Filling the Jars
    1. Add 2 stems of dill, 2 cloves of garlic (halved), 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon of coriander seed, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes to the jar (this quantity is repeated for each jar)
    2. Now completely fill the jar with the cucumbers – tight enough to fill the jar, but not so tight that they can not be moved around. Ideally, the whole mixture should be tight enough, so that when the brine is added, it can fill the jar without the pickles floating to the top.
    3. Using the ladle, and the funnel, fill each jar to within 1/2 inch (2 cm) of top of the jar with the brine recipe you have prepared
    4. Use a metal knife or spatula to move the ingredients around to remove any remaining air bubbles from the mixture
    5. Wipe the top rim and threads of the jar using a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue.
    6. Center lid on the jar with the ceiling cap/rubber and adjust until there is a good fit – tighten using only your finger tips
    7. Place completed, filled and sealed jar on a towel.
    8. Repeat steps 1 through 7 until all jars are filled.
    Step 5 – Final Processing of Filled Jars
    1. Once you have all the jars filled with the cucumbers, pickling spice and your prepared brine, they should now be closed with the lid on and ready for final ‘sealing’. This process uses boiling water to ‘seal’ the lid, and create the air-tight lock that is required to protect and preserve your pickles.
    2. Place all your jars onto your canning rack inside the large pot, which should be filled with around 5 or 6 inches (12-14 cm) of hot water.
    3. Once all the jars are placed, add more hot water until the jars are completely covered by an additional 2 inches (5 cm) of water.
    4. Cover the pot with the lid, and bring the water to a boil.
    5. In general, the length of time you will be required to boil the jars for, will depend on the height your location is ‘above sea level’. While this is certainly an estimated length of time,TAG Level – How to Make Pickles the general rule of thumb is fairly straight forward. As a base, you should boil your pickles for at least 5 minutes (at sea level), and then add 5 minutes for each addition 1000 feet that your location may be above sea level. This means, for example, if you live in Seattle, which is basically at sea level, you would only boil for 5 minutes; whereas, if you live in Idaho, you would add 5 minutes of boiling time for the additional 1000 feet of height (est.). You can use your mobile phone’s GPS to determine your location’s elevation, or there is a very simple tool available for checking your elevation.
    6. Remove jars from the water using the Jar lifter, and place on a towel
    7. Let the jars sit and cool completely
    8. Once they are cooled, press the center of the lid to ensure it is ‘sealed’. If the lid ‘clicks’ or pops, and has a slight convex kind of bubble on it, then the seal has not been completed.
    Step 6 – Shelving and Aging
    1. With the jar lid tightly in place, allow your new pickles to sit in a dark place, at roughly 65-85 degrees for 10 to 14 days (or longer if you prefer more sour flavours – the longer they sit at room temperature, the more sour they will become)
    2. Check your jars once a day, to see if the lids are showing signs of pressure buildup. During the first stages of fermentation carbon dioxide will released. If the lid is bulging, or ‘clicking’, you can unseal the lid slightly to let any air out quickly and carefully, and screwing the lid quickly back on.
    3. Once completed, move to cold storage – a root cellar, a basement, a cool garage, anywhere below 65 degrees, or yes – a refrigerator.
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