Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Can Kosher Style Dill Pickles ~ A Tutorial

"Mother and the girls were making cucumber pickles... Everything must be saved, nothing wasted of all the summer's bounty."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy

While we like to make refrigerator pickles for instant gratification, ferment large jars of cucumbers for all the health benefits, we also love to put up some pickles for our pantry. They are a necessary addition to our hamburger sandwiches (and I mean necessary), a wonderful accompaniment to grilled cheese, a quick, convenient snack for hungry humans and are tasty when chopped into potato and macaroni salads. How "can" you go wrong?

Note: For step by step procedures on how to can or start your canning day, visit here.  

The first step to making these kosher-style dill pickles is to prepare the cukes. You will need about 20 pounds of cucumbers (to make approx. 7 quarts), washed and drained, sliced in half and with blossom ends removed. The reason to remove the blossom end is because there is an enzyme present which will make your pickles softer (once processed). Therefore, if you want a firmer pickle, remove them.

Next you prepare the brine (aka canning liquid):

Place 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup of canning salt (I use fine sea salt), 2 quarts of vinegar and 2 quarts of water into a cooking pot. Add 6 tbsp. of mixed pickling spices into a spice bag (or tied in cheesecloth) and simmer these ingredients together for 15 minutes.

While the brine is simmering, drop into each sterilized quart jar (for pint jars, cut the ingredients in half):
  • 1 head of dill (or 1 tsp. dried dill like we did)
  • 1 clove of peeled garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Next, pack your cucumbers into the jars. Try to get in as many as possible so that you don't have floating cucumbers. This doesn't hurt them but it looks prettier to have a "packed" jar. Make sure you leave 1/4 inch headspace from the top of the jar.

Now, add your prepared "hot" brine to each jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the top. Remove any air bubbles on the sides (see this post for explanations on headspace and air bubbles).

Finally, screw your canning lids (which should have been simmering in hot water this whole time) onto each jar and carefully put them in your boiling water bath canner (which should already be boiling). Begin timing immediately for 15 minutes for either pint or quart jars (do not wait for water to come back to a boil first before you begin timing ~ see reason below).

Important Notes: When making pickles is the only time you start the processing time as soon as the jars enter the boiling water bath. All other canning recipes require you to bring the contents back to a rolling boil prior to timing your prepared jars. This will keep your pickles on the crispier side. Otherwise you may have softer pickles which is a sad thing indeed!

Also, don't be alarmed, I tried using the European-style lids with recycled jars on some of my cucumbers this year which is why the lids look different than the usual Ball 2-piece system.

Once the pickles are removed from the canner and have cooled for 24 hours, make sure all have sealed. Anything unsealed should be placed in your refrigerator for consumption (though I would wait a few days prior to eating them to make sure they are fully marinated).

Yield: Approximately 7 quarts.

This delicious recipe was inspired by the Ball Blue Book of Preserving

Now you can label all the safely sealed jars! To use our vintage pickles labels (you will find them HERE), simply print them on plain paper, cut to size and affix with a glue stick. Or, print on blank sticker paper and cut to size. Happy harvesting!

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). Clip art is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.


  1. Those are absolutely my favorite type of pickle. I like how you slice yours, too. I'll have to do some that way the next time I'm canning pickles. And I time water-bath canning the same way for them. ;) The labels are lovely! Thank you for sharing them.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. This is a good pickle cut for us because it is ready to serve next to a sandwich and needs just a few more slicings to be put into one. Thanks for taking the time to comment today :)

  2. I've missed coming by. I have just been having a hard time with posting the last couple of weeks.
    Thank you so much for coming by to see my fences! This is a great tutorial. I think I might could make my own pickles now. I bet they would be much healthier w/o extra stuff you don't need!
    Thanks for the tutorial you always have some wonderful and helpful posts. Thanks so much.
    And thanks for not forgetting me!

  3. Glad to hear that all is well! If you want to make quick pickles without canning, follow the link in the first paragraph for refrigerator pickles. Very tasty and easy :) Have a wonderful weekend Sherry!

  4. Wonderful! I shared this on my facebook page. ~ Abby

    1. Thank you Abby! :) Nice to hear from you and hope all is going well!

  5. Oh delicious these look! I'm going to be growing ever so many cucumbers this summer so I may can them! Thank you so much for sharing:). Love, Kelly-Anne

  6. Fantastic tutorial on canning pickles, and wonderfully clear photos, Jess! Thanks so much for sharing all your amazing tips; love pickles, especially on hamburgers!

    Have a lovely week!


  7. I wish I had read this last week! Hoping my dill pickles turn out, but I didn't start the processing time until the water started boiling again. Now I'm worried. Lovely blog!

    1. I am sure they will be fine, maybe a bit softer is all... I had tried purchasing the pickle crisp additive before and it was all nightmares. I ruined 2 batches of pickles! Not to mention 2 days of work and they came out shriveled... Nothing could be worse than that in the pickle world ;0

      Thanks for visiting us today!

  8. Beautiful pickles! Enjoyed all the pictures of the process. Thank you for sharing this. :)

  9. Such a perfect time for your pickle recipe, the cucumbers are producing very well right now. Great tutorial on making dill pickles. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. I just started canning last year and haven't been able to figure out why my pickles are soft...Until now! Thank you so much for letting me know that waiting for the water to return to a boil will result in soft pickles. Mystery solved. :)
    So glad you shared this post with us at our Coffee & Conversation link up!