As promised, this is the tried-and-true dill pickle recipe I have used and shared with others for years. They taste just like the Klaussen pickles. I have made them with whole cucumbers and cut cucumbers. My favorite dill pickles are made with the small, whole pickling cucumbers. The cucumbers can be spear-cut, sliced, or cut in chunks — use what you have.
One of the “secrets” to making crispy dill pickles is to cold-pack the pickles in hot, sterilized jars. The other “secret” is to time the water bath precisely.
You will need about 16 4-inch long cucumbers, or 12 large cucumbers that can be chunk-cut or spear-cut.
Update: This recipe uses a hot water bath canning process. Please refer to my post Hot Water Bath Canning: The Basics for a full explanation of this canning process.
Crispy Dill Pickles
- Cucumbers (see above description)
- 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 heads fresh dill
- 2 hot red peppers or 1 t. crushed hot red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
Prepare canning jars and lids (wash, then sterilize).
Chill the cucumbers in a refrigerator overnight if possible. Remove when you are ready to begin cold-packing the cucumbers in the jars.
Wash the cucumbers to remove any debris or garden soil. Leave the small ones whole; with larger cucumbers, cut in chunks, spears, or slices. Pack the chilled cucumbers into 4 sterilized pint jars. To each pint, add 3 whole, peeled cloves of garlic, 1 head dill, and 1/2 hot red pepper (or 1/4 t. pepper flakes).
Make the brine: Mix the vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a stainless steel saucepan and heat to the boiling point. Pour hot brine over the cucumbers in the jars. Seal and place in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, marking the time as soon as you put the jars in. If you leave the jars in the boiling water bath longer, they will get soft.
Store processed pickles for several weeks before using.
Makes 4 pints.