Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe

Finally I'm getting Crunchy Dill Pickles!

with Sharon Peterson

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)

Dill Pickle Recipes: Finally, I'm Getting the Crunch!

Easy Dill Pickle Recipe

Question from my inbox:

Sharon, For the Dill Pickles, it doesn't mention slicing or halving or quartering the pickles, but in the picture it looks as if some of them have be sliced. Can you clarify? Thanks. Also, thanks for sharing with everyone!

Good question.   We prefer our pickles when they are small and whole.  And I usually process bigger pickles into relish.

Sometimes I have room for one more jar in the canner. I don't like running partial loads.  So I'll go ahead and quarter or halve some cucumbers that are a little bigger than we like.  That way I'm running a full batch of jars. 

So either is fine. We prefer whole and small.  :)

The first part of this dill pickle recipe is done the day before you plan on canning.  The pickles need to soak overnight in a brine, then the next day you will fill your jars and process.  


  • 8 lbs of 3-4 inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 gals water
  • 1 1/4 cups canning or pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 qts vinegar (5 percent)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 T whole mixed pickling spice ( I use a homemade recipe - click here)
  • whole mustard seed (2 tsp to 1 tsp per pint jar)
  • fresh dill (1 1/2 heads per pint jar) or 4 1/2 T dill seed (1 1/2 tsp per pint jar)

So on day one:  Wash your cucumbers and thinly slice off the blossom end. The blossoms have an enzyme that will make your pickles soft. The sooner you do this after picking the better.  

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

  • water bath canner
  • canning jars
  • canning seals and rings
  • jar lifter
  • canning funnel
  • large pot
  • bowls
  • large spoons
  • sharp knife
  • towels and dish cloths
  • Pot or kettle for the brine
  • ladle

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!

For more tips and canning safety instruction see Simply Canning... the book.

Fill jars with drained cucumbers. Add:

  • 1 tsp mustard seed and
  • 1 head fresh dill or 1 tsp dill seed per pint.

Fill jars with hot pickling brine. Leave a 1/2 inch head space.

Putting brine into jars.

I've included directions below for both a regular hot water bath, and the low temperature process dill pickle recipe.

The timing for the two methods is different. Be sure you are using the correct time with the correct method.

Hot Water Bath Processing

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

Low Temperature Process

Low-temperature pasteurization for dill pickles.

This dill pickle recipe comes from the NCFHFP website.  It is safe for low temperature processing. If you are not familiar with low temperature pasteurization,  please read this article. Then come back for processing directions. 

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.

Questions from my inbox:

I always seem to have less liquid than I should when I am canning even though I follow the directions carefully. For example, this last batch of dill pickles, I did not have enough liquid to fill all 7 jars within 1/2". Is it safe to add water to top off the jars? Or should I just make fewer jars? ( I have always made fewer in the past)

For something like pickles you should make fewer jars.. or make more brine. If you add water you will dilute the acidity of the pickles and this may be unsafe. Good question!

More Pickle Recipes

corn relish recipe
bread and butter picklesBread and Butter Pickles
more pickles recipesMore pickle recipes

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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