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BackstoryDid 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.
Now my family loves pickles, but refuses to eat the store-bought version. They're happy to simply go without if there aren't any crock dills in the house!
So every year now I grow pickling cucumbers to just 3" or under, collect them from the garden daily and throw them into the crock. This ensures that your pickles will all be the same size and consistency and taste delicious!
This recipe makes 6 pints of delicious baby dills. If you think you'll have more or need to make more dill pickles, then double or triple the recipe as needed.
You'll also need a pottery crock to make these. Or a very large glass jar. (I've added a few recent auction of pickling crocks currently selling on eBay at the bottom of this page.)
- 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 (the end contain enzymes which can cause 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.
- Dill Pickle Shelf Life
- Store jars in a cool, dark place and let set for 1 week before opening. Consume within 12 months.