Making dill pickles at home is quick and easy. Here is a simple recipe.
- large pickling cucumbers of preferably the same size
- ½ lb of pickling salt per gallon of water
- for hard and crunchy pickles add a little bit of alum (optional)
- spices – turmeric, garlic, celery seeds, or mustard (optional).
- Select large pickling cucumbers of preferably the same size. Avoid table or slicing cucumbers. You can also use gherkins. Make sure you use only unwaxed cucumbers and use them as soon as possible after harvesting.
- Soak the pickling cucumbers in water overnight.
- Next, wash them thoroughly. Remove the blossoms and slice off the blossom ends.
- Traditionally, you should make dill pickles in barrels. However, these days, most people use glass jars or mason jars for making dill pickles. As always: use only stoneware, glass, enamel, stainless-steel, or non-stick pans and food-grade containers and utensils for any fermentation recipe.
- Place a layer of dill, about one inch deep, at the bottom of the barrel and then place three layers of sliced pickles over the dill.
- Again add a layer of dill over these pickles and repeat the layer of pickles as in the first instance.
- Continue this operation until the barrel is almost filled leaving sufficient room for the brine.
- Make the brine using quality salt and distilled water. I recommend using granulated pickling salt or canning salt instead of table salt which tends to make the brine cloudy and could darken the pickles.
- Use about ½ lb of salt per gallon of water. Also use fresh, distilled water; never use hard water as it could negatively impact the curing process. Brine made with good quality salt and fresh distilled water will yield natural home-cured dill pickles.
- After the brine has been placed on the pickles and dill, leave them in a cool place and let them cure for about a month. Ensure that the surrounding temperature is moderate – not too hot or cold.
- If you want your pickles to be hard and crunchy, add a little alum to the brine. You will need a piece about as big as an egg for a barrel size of dill pickle. If you prefer natural, softer pickles, avoid adding the alum.
- You can add certain spices to the dill pickles such as turmeric, garlic, celery seeds, or mustard. Never use ground spices. Always use whole spices as ground spices may make the brine cloudy.
- Category: Fermented Foods
- Method: Fermentation