Simply Good Dill Pickles

Crisp and tangy, these pickles can be garlicky or not, spicy or not, to suit your own taste. But be sure to use plenty of nice, fresh dill—both the heads and leaves.

  • By Mary Anne Dragan
  • August 1, 2009


    4 lbs pickling cucumbers
    4 cups water
    3 cups vinegar
    12 heads fresh dill – plus some leaves
    8 cloves garlic – peeled
    8 small hot chili peppers
    4 tbsp pickling salt
    4 tsp mixed pickling spice


    Scrub the cucumbers thoroughly. Cut a 1/4-inch slice from the blossom end. Slice if necessary. Prepare the preserving jars. Combine the water and vinegar in your preserving pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep at a simmer. Working with 1 jar at a time, place 3 dill heads (and some leaves), 2 garlic cloves, 2 hot peppers, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp pickling spice in each jar. Fill the hot, sterilized jar with cucumbers to within 1 inch of the rim, wedging them in so that none can escape and float to the top when the liquid is added. Pour in the hot vinegar solution, leaving a 1/2-inch head space. Release the air bubbles. Top up with liquid, leaving a 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturer’s directions. Repeat with the remaining jars. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes 4 quart jars.

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