Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles
photo by Andrew Purcell
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
7 quart jars
- 7 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings
- fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs
- cucumber, washed, scrubbed
- 1 garlic clove (or more)
- 8 1⁄2 cups water
- 2 1⁄4 cups white vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup pickling salt
- GET ALL OF THIS GOING BEFORE FILLING THE JARS.
- Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.
- Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.
- In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
- In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.
- FILL JARS: place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top--)---squeeze cukes into the jar tightly--uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.
- Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.
- Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.
- Place jars into canner with water JUST to the necks of the jars.
- Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes--depending on how fast it heats up).
- Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.
- Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.
- NOTES: When washing/scrubbing cukes, sort them into piles by size. This really helps make your jars look nicer, if you have uniform sizes (and this impresses the judges too!). And makes for easier packing, too.
Questions & Replies
After reading all the reviews, I have been thinking that you could use a sous vide for the Low Temperature Pasteurization. Correct? I have been canning for a number of years on and off. We always have a pot filled with boiling water and add the empty jars to the water so the jars are piping hot when we take them out to fill them. There is also another pot with boiling water to dip the lids and rings. We are getting ready to make this recipe. What we thought were squash plants turned out to be cucumber plants with LOTS of cukes!
What do you mean about Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat? Am I filling the jar half full with boiled water? And I filling the pot half way? Or my water kettle that I use for tea? Just a little confused. I've tried over 7 different recipes and this one has the most steps but I'm excited to try! :)
The method described in this recipe is called Low Temperature Pasteurization. According to the NCHFP's current guidelines, it results in a better product texture, but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. According to their directions, place jars in a canner filled half way with warm (120º to 140º F) water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180º to 185º F water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180ºF during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185ºF may cause unnecessary softening of pickles. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_06/low_temp_pasteur.html<br/><br/>For optimum shelf-stable safety of any fresh-pack dill pickles, the jars should be processed in a boiling water bath covered by at least an inch of water. Ten minutes for pints and 15 minutes for quarts. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_06/quick_dill_pickles.html
I made these this summer and just opened them this weekend. My kids ate 3 jars over the weekend. I used freeze dried dill and the garlic that is in a jar and already chopped up. To make sure they stayed crisp I soaked them in ice and picking salt for a couple of hours before putting them in a jar. They have an awesome crunch.
WOW! This was a great recipe! I was worried because my pickles were soggy at first-I couldn't wait and wait you should, because by Thanksgiving, my whole pickles were so crunchy, fabulous! My cut up pickles were fine, just not as crunchy as the whole pickles..may need a little more time. I am only giving it 4 stars because of the canning instructions..I ditched them and followed the latest instructions for canning from Ball/USDA..they work and they're safe. I will add more dill as I like them super dilly next time. The exciting thing for me is that, thanks to you, I am so looking forward to next year's batch! Many, Many Thanks!
I am 50 years old and have been canning since I was 16. There is no need to water bath any pickle or bean recipe. Wash jars in a little bleach. Keep them hot in the over around 180 or so. Start brine boiling add cukes or beans to brine for a few minutes to warm. Take hot jar out of over add veggies and brine and seal. Also make sure your lids are hot do not boil them as it messes with the seal. Your veggies are fresher and always crunchy.
IMHO, the USDA is a bureaucratic, paper creating group of self-interested individuals. They must make and revise regulations continuously or look for other work. A thousand Americans died one year from (suspected) %u201Ccontaminated jerky product.%u201D Now we are all instructed to add nitrites when making this at home and it must be cooked. This of course applies to commercial producers adding cost. More people are hit by lightening so don%u2019t play golf. My point is that the method specified in the recipe has served us well for many years. Any possibility of spoilage would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated by the salt and vinegar content. <br/>This is a wonderful process and the tip to refrigerate the cukes in salt water adds that extra crunch. Good job Debber!
I made these exactly by the recipe in 08/2020. I just opened another jar out of refrigerator tonight...09/30/2021. If they have lost any crunch, it is hardly noticeable. If you are wanting a basic dill pickle with an edge of garlic, this is your recipe!! Really good pickle. I know some say you can keep on shelf, but I had refrig space in my extra fridge, so mine were kept in fridge. No alum in mine, and they still got crunch!!