No matter what dill pickle recipe you use, I highly recommend you use fresh picked small pickling cucumbers. I try for no bigger than my thumb. Anything too much bigger gets made into relish or bread and butter pickles.
I also recommend canning these in pints. Quarts must be processed longer and tend to get mushy. (at least in my experience)
Wash your cucumbers and thinly slice off the blossom end. (the blossoms have an enzyme that will make your pickles soft)
Add 3/4 cup salt dissolved in 2 gallons water. Soak cucumbers in water for 12 hours. Drain and get your canning supplies together.
Gather your canning supplies
Get the water in your canner heating while you prepare your pickles.
Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, sugar, and 2 quarts of water. Place pickling spices in a cheesecloth and place in your vinegar brine. Heat to boiling.
Tip: I use my stainless steel teapot to make my brine, it makes filling the jars super easy!
Fill jars with drained cucumbers. Add:
Fill jars with hot pickling brine. Leave a 1/2 inch head space.
I've included directions below for both a regular hot water bath and the low temperature process. The timing for the two methods is different.
Be sure you are using the correct time with the correct method.
Processing time will vary according to your elevation. Read why altitude adjustments here.
Altitude - processing time:
0-1000 ft - 10 minutes
1000-6000 ft - 15 minutes
over 6000 ft - 20 minutes
This recipe comes from the NCFHFP website and is safe for low temperature processing. If you are not familiar with low temperature pasteurization please read this and then come back.
Remember to use a thermometer and monitor your time carefully.
Have your canner ready and half full of warm water. About 120 to 140 degrees F. Also have a kettle or other pot of hot water ready.
Place your filled jars in the half full canner. Now add hot water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Turn on your heat and warm water to 180 to 185 degrees. Use your thermometer and be sure this is maintained for 30 minutes. This is longer than the time indicated in the regular waterbath processing.
When 30 minutes is done turn your heat off and remove your jars to a counter to cool. Check the seals after the jars are completely cooled off. I usually leave mine until the next day and check them, label and store them.
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