You’ve gone back to some basics of living that were popular in your grandmother’s day. You’ve even grown some pickling cucumbers in your backyard. Homemade dill pickles, using a quick process formula, are not that hard to produce with some easy instructions and tips.
Things You'll Need
Pick smaller pickling cucumbers for more crispness. The best ones are dark green, fresh, firm, and about two inches across. If you have some pickling cucumbers that do not meet this higher standard for pickling, don’t throw them out. They are still good cut up and served in salads.
Wash the cucumbers thoroughly in cold water. Cut off the ends so the pickles measure four to four and a half inches in length. Cut them lengthwise for half pickles or in fourths for pickle spears. You may also leave them whole if you prefer.
Sterilize your pint-sized canning jars and canning lids by running them through the dishwasher.
Combine 2 tbsp. pickling spice (found in most grocery stores) with four cups of white vinegar in a non-metal or enamel-coated pot. (Metal reacts adversely with vinegar.) Bring the mixture to a near-boiling point before removing it from the stove (just as you begin to see a bubble or two).
Pack the cut pickling cucumbers into your canning jars.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the jars, to about a quarter of an inch from the top.
Place the lids on the jars and then screw the rings on tightly.
Place the jars in a canner (a pot made for canning jars). Fill the canner with water to about one inch over the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a boil on your stove. Let it boil for ten minutes.
Remove the jars from the water with canning tongs and place them in a draft-free location overnight for cooling. The lids on the jars should appear sucked down.
You can also sterilize your jars and lids in the canner by boiling them in water for five minutes.
If you are unsure that the dill pickle jars have sealed, press on the lid. If it pops up and down it is not sealed properly.
Let the dill pickles sit for two weeks before eating, for the best flavor.
You can purchase a home canning kit that contains all the tools needed for canning.