Dill Pickle Recipe: Made In A Crock
Did you know dill pickles were supposed to taste this good? I didn’t until the year I decided to try this old-fashioned way of making pickles from the multitude of baby cukes coming up in the garden.
My family loves pickles, but refuses to eat the store-bought version. They’re happy to simply go without if there aren’t any home made, crock dill pickles in the house!
So every year I set aside a large plot in the garden to grow pickling cucumbers. I grow them just 3" or under, collect them from the garden daily and throw them into the crock with the rest of the ingredients from my dill pickle recipe. This ensures that the pickles will all be the same size and consistency. And they taste incredible.
This recipe makes 6 pints of delicious baby dills. If you think you’ll have more, or if you need to make more, simply double or triple the recipe as required.
You’ll also need a pottery crock to make these. Or a very large glass jar kept in the dark while the pickle recipe brines the cucumbers.
Dill Pickle Recipe
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup pickling salt (coarse)
- 1 gallon pickling cucumbers 2-3" in length
- 6 garlic cloves
- 6 fresh dill heads or sprigs
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- 2 small hot peppers (fresh or dried)
- 1 cup white pickling vinegar
- Prepare The Cucumbers: Scrub and drain cucumbers removing blossom end (this end contains enzymes which can cause your pickles to be soft or, at worst, rot).
- Prepare The Solution: Place water, vinegar and salt into crock, stirring to dissolve salt. Add remaining ingredients. Place a weighted plate in the solution to keep cucumbers immersed. Cover crock with a tight fitting plastic bag or plastic wrap.
- Waiting: Keep the crock in an area where the temperature is about 68 degrees F. Check the contents daily and remove any floating scum. Do this for 7 days.
- Then Can: Strain spices out of the brine and boil brine for 5 minutes. Immerse glass mason jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. If using self-sealing lids boil these as well for 5 minutes.
- Into hot (now sterilized) jars distribute fresh spices and the cucumbers from the crock. Pour in the hot brine to within 1/2" of jar top.
- Wipe jar rim before securing lids.
- Process jars in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
Shelf Life of Dill Pickles
Store jars in a cool, dark place and let set for 1 week before opening. Consume within 12 months.
Grow Your Own Dill for Best Results
Dill grows easily in your garden and requires next to no care. Grab a pack of seeds from your local garden center or home store and toss them into garden soil about 1/4 inch from the surface. Water well to start. Grow other fresh herbs too as they’re fun to cook with and easy to grow.
The dill plant seems to be ready when you are. Even in our short growing season I’ve never been at a loss for ready to use dill when it’s time to pickle.
If you have any left over dill in the garden, pull it out by the roots and hang it upside down to dry (more flavor comes to the head of the plant by doing so).