Homemade Dill Pickles For Your Pantry - No Canning Required!!

There are days when I really want to put up the plethora of veggies exploding in my garden but hauling out the canning supplies and heating up the house with the process of canning makes me decide otherwise.  Well, when I discovered this dill pickle recipe from Alana Chernila in her AWESOME book The Homemade Pantry, I was in love.  Dill pickles that needed no processing!

According to Alana, the heat from the vinegar mixture seals the jars and the high vinegar content is what preserves the pickles for up to 6 months.  That being said, you do need to use sterilized jars so, if you don't have a dishwasher {like me} then you'll need to boil your jars but they will not require processing after they are filled.

If you've never made pickles before, here's a few tips:

  • Soak Your Cukes.  Unless you picked your cucumbers right before processing them, they will improve with a little re-hydrating.  Soak them in ice water for an hour or more before processing.

  • Sterilize Your Jars.  If you have a dishwasher, you can wash them right before you make your pickles, leaving them in the heat of the dishwasher until you fill them.  If you don't have a dishwasher or prefer not to run it, gently boil your jars for 10 minutes, leaving them in the hot water until you fill them.
  • Sterilize Your Lids.  Bring water to boil in a small pan {or use the one your jars are in} and add your lids.  Keep them in the hot water right up until it's time to seal the jars.
  • Trim Your Cukes.  Cut off the blossom end of your cucumbers.  It is said to have an enzyme in it that will negatively effect your pickles - it causes them to soften.
  • Don't Use Hard Water.  If you happen to have hard water, no problem, just boil it for 15 minutes in a stainless steel pan.  Skim off the scum {pleasant, right?} and use.
  • Use Kirby Cucumbers.  Other types of cucumbers may turn very soft.

Quick Dill Pickles
Source:  The Homemade Pantry
(recipe is easily halved)
makes approximately 14 Quarts of pickles

approx. 8 pounds small cucumbers
4 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar {or you can use all Distilled White Vinegar}
4 cups Distilled White Vinegar
10 1/2 cups Water {see note above}
1 cup Pickling Salt {found by canning supplies or in the spice aisle}
Fresh Dill {a sprig or flowering top for each jar}
14 cloves peeled garlic {one for each jar}
7 teaspoons {1/2 teaspoon per jar} peppercorns
If you would like to add mustard seeds, chilies, etc. you can do so

Sterilize your jars, lids and bands as noted above.

Wash the cukes under cold water.  If you'll be cutting your cucumbers, although they can be left whole, cut into spears or slices.

In a large enamel or stainless steel pot, bring the vinegar's, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.

As the vinegar mixture is heating up, pack the jars - putting 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns, and 1 sprig of dill or dill flower into each jar and then stuffing it full of cucumbers.  Pack them tight.

Once the vinegar mixture has come to a boil, carefully ladle it into each jar, leaving 1/2 headroom at the top of the jar.  Wipe of the rims and add the lids and bands.

Set aside, undisturbed, for 24 hours.  Check after 2 hours for any that did not seal and store in the refrigerator.  Allow 2 weeks curing time before using.

Store the pickles in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

**If you would like the pickles to last longer, or, you feel more comfortable processing them, process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes after packing and sealing them.**

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Nanna Chel said...

Thanks for this method. In summer here in Australia we have so many cucumbers that we need to pickle. The more recipes the better.

daisy g said...

This recipe is so easy, even I could do it! Ha! So glad you have abundance in your garden.

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing! Our last batch of pickles were just so so. I think Kiernan & I will give this recipe a go. Next week of course since I'll have to go to the farmers market for cukes!

Michaele said...

Great post. I have been making pickles for the past couple weeks and that garden is still going strong. I figure next year I will just plant one cucumber plant for slicing. I will not need any more pickles for a couple years at least.

Caitlin said...

I'm so excited for this recipe! I've been making fridge pickles nonstop + last night finally forced myself to pull out the canning equipment and make some canned hamburger slices. But, I've been wanting something in between the two -- something with a longer shelf-life than fridge pickles, but less work than processed pickles. This is perfect... thank you!

Anna M said...

OH how I wish our cucumbers had made this year. We made a mistake in how we laid out our garden and the cukes didn't receive the water they needed. So no pickles! But I'll keep this recipe for next year's pickle crop. BTW, I don't "can" my jam and the jars stay perfectly sealed and fresh for a year. Just the way my mama, her mama and her grandma did it. :o)