This recipe for Crispy Garlic Dill Pickles is a very simple one; if you love a crispy pickle, here’s my version for canning.
Mr. Saucy and I are both pickle fiends, so every year I try to get as many canned as possible from cucumbers I get from the bounty of friends’ gardens and from the farmers’ markets.
We love sweet, and sweet/hot, and dill, and garlic/dill, but the common element in all of them that we love the best is crispy. Neither one of us likes a soggy pickle.
This recipe is one that I came up with several years ago, after using elements from many different recipes and adapting methods I knew worked for a crispy end result after canning.
One way to get a really crispy pickle after canning in a boiling water bath is to make sure the cucumbers are very cold when the go into the jars. Along with a shorter time in the water bath, the cucumber will retain its crispness.
In this version, I have eliminated fresh garlic and fresh dill to make it easier and more approachable for more people. I’ve used dehydrated minced garlic and dill seeds. The flavor is all there, the measuring of spices is easy and simple to translate into any size jar you wish to use for preserving.
For the purposes of this recipe, I have used pint jars; the recipe as stated, will make four pint jars. So, depending on how many cucumbers you have, just increase the recipe to accommodate the volume you have on hand. You will need a mounded four cups of sliced (1/2 inch thick) cucumbers to make the recipe, as shown.
I took very fresh pickling cucumbers and refrigerated them overnight to chill them all the way through. When I sliced them for pickling, I immediately plunged them into a stainless steel bowl of ice water, to retain the chilled state of the slices.
Only once my jars were prepared, the spices added to the bottom, the brine was hot, and my canning pot was at a full rolling boil, did I pack the jars with the cold cucumbers. The reason that is important is, by waiting until my canning pot was ready, the cucumbers were not sitting in hot brine (cooking away that crispness). So, if you are increasing the recipe to be more jars than will fit into your canning pot, I suggest doing them in batches so that once the hot brine is poured over them, they immediately go into the boiling water bath.
The less time the cucumbers are in hot brine, the crisper they will be when cooled.
Other than that little bit of timing, these are so simple. And we just love them. I hope you’ll try them.
- 4 mounded cups cold pickling cucumbers sliced ½" thick, and plunged into an ice water bath (or whole, small pickling cucumbers, chilled)
- 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- ½ teaspoon minced dehydrated garlic (or one fresh clove) per pint jar
- ½ teaspoon dry dill seed (or one small fresh dill head) per pint jar
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns per pint jar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes per pint jar (optional if you want some spicy heat)
- While the cucumbers are chilling in the ice water, fill your canning pot with water and bring to a full rolling boil.
- In a large saucepan, add the vinegar and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
- Prepare your canning jars, lids and rings according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Add the spices to each jar.
- Drain the cucumbers and pack tightly into each jar.
- Pour brine into each jar, leaving ½ inch head space.
- Using a very hot towel, wipe the rims of the jars and apply the lids and rings.
- Add the filled jars to the canning pot and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Immediately remove the jars from the canning pot, onto a towel covered surface and allow to cool to completely seal.