Dill Pickles

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These crispy, flavorful pickles are a must with burgers, brats, and sandwiches. We still are partial to the teensy, bite-sized ones--those were Al's trademark pickles. One bite takes me back to his country kitchen. Al was one-of-a-kind, and so were his dill pickles.

Dill Pickles



  • 4 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • 3 cups apple cider or white vinegar (or combination)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pickling or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey (optional)
  • 12 fresh dill sprigs and/or heads
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 6 teaspoons dill seed
  • 3 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • Optional: 3/4 teaspoon Pickle Crisp granules


  1. Wash cucumbers well. Slice 1/8 inch" off both stem and blossom end. Small cucumbers may be left whole. Larger cucumbers may be sliced into 1/4" rounds; or they may be quartered lengthwise into spears, making sure they are shorter than the jars.
  2. Add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to medium saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Lower heat and cover until ready to use.
Add to bottom of each hot, clean jar:
  • Sprig of fresh dill (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Optional: 1/8 teaspoon pickle crisp granules
  • Add cucumbers, packing them as compactly as possible without crushing them. Add dill sprig/head on top. Ladle hot vinegar mixture into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Place chopstick or bubble remover tool down side of jar and pull towards center to remove bubbles; refill jars with additional liquid, if necessary. Clean jar rims with wet paper towel. Add lids and screw on rings just until finger tight.
  1. For refrigerator pickles, place jars in refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 3 weeks for the best flavor. They will be good for several months.
  2. For water process canning of pickles:
  3. Process jars in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and turn off heat, leaving jars in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and rest on towel, undisturbed for 12 hours. For the best flavor, allow pickles to stand for 4-6 weeks before eating.
  4. Store jars in cool, dark place. They are shelf stable for at least 1 year.

This recipe adapted from:

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