Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homemade Dill Pickles


making picklesWhen it comes to snacking I have two “vices”….FROZEN ANYTHING (yogurt dots anyone??) and CRUNCHY/SALTY!  I have always been a salt fiend….even as a little girl I would “fight” over the salt shaker at the kitchen table with my brother Kevin!  But, I KNOW it’s not good for you to have too much salt…so I really DO try to curb that particular snack temptation. That leaves the CRUNCHY! 

Roasted, unsalted almonds are definitely my first “love” when it comes to crunchy….closely followed by pickles!  CRUNCHY pickles!  Like Claussen or Vlasic!  They HAVE to be crunchy, or they have to go home. :-)

So when I came across this recipe for Homemade Claussen Pickles from Rebecca at Foodie With Family I was instantly hooked! I simply had to try making some for myself.

I had never made pickles before and was worried it would be beyond my capabilities, but it was surprisingly easy! I was actually a little surprised that was all there was to it! The WORST part for me….was WAITING TO EAT THEM! Patience is not one of my strongest suits.

Another concern I had was I couldn’t find any of the special “pickling cucumbers” that many of the pickle recipes call for. All I could get my hands on were the plain old-fashioned kind that you find in your average grocery stores’ produce section. (Since that time someone told me I should check the local farmer’s market! DUH! Why didn’t *I* think of that??? NEXT time!) But I decided to press on and try it anyway. Hey…what did I have to lose…except a few cucumbers and some of my patience. :-)

Homemade Claussen Knock-Off Pickles


35 to 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers (I used 8-10 regular-sized cucumbers)
1 gallon cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
2/3 c. canning or kosher salt (Do NOT use iodized salt!)
4 cloves garlic or more, to taste
4 fresh dill heads or 4 tablespoons dried dill seed (not weed!)


Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.

Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise or into quarters.

In a gallon jar (or large, wide-mouth, food-safe container) layer the dill heads or seed, garlic cloves and sliced cucumbers.

In a separate pitcher or bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, taking care to make sure all of them are fully submerged. If needed, place a plate or mug or other non-reactive heavy item on the cucumbers to weigh them down and keep them under the brine! Cover lightly with a lid just perched on top or secure a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep fruit flies away. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for two to four days, or until the cucumbers taste like pickles throughout.

Fix your lid onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.

making pickles


After all was said and done…I am happy to report the “regular” cucumbers turned out just fine!  The pickles were delicious and CRUNCHY! :-) And thanks to my almost doubling the garlic…they were extra garlicky! Just the way I like them!

If you are a fan of crunchy Claussen-type pickles….give this a try!  It’s one of those recipes that’s pretty hard to screw up and makes you feel very accomplished in the kitchen. :-)

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24 thoughts on “Homemade Dill Pickles

  1. Diana A

    These look good. My daughter is a pickle-addict. We go through tons of them! I must admit I’m bit on the lazy side. I don’t mind making things but locating all of the ingredients is the real work. Just want to ask you what the cost-per-batch turns out to be (ball-park). Is it worth the extra time? BTW… I LOVE this blog!

  2. Angela

    We call these fermented pickles, old-fashioned way. Make the brine with 1:20 water/kosher salt ratio, cucumbers, fresh dill, fresh grape leaves, fresh horseradish leaves, and garlic. Put garlic at bottom of 10 or 20 gallon glass jar, rotate dill, grape and horseradish leaves with the cucumbers, pour brine in until cukes are submerged. I then place a small glass that fits through the rim of the jar filled with water so that nothing goes above the brine level and then place a plastic gallon bag over the top of the jar and then let sit for at least 4 days, have gone as long as 8 days. You can then slice into smaller bits if you’d like and place in regular canning jars and put in the fridge! These are the tastiest pickles I have ever done.

    1. Angela

      I’m not sure, Nancy, never tried it. I learned from a neighbor who has done them for years. They will get a little bit of white mold (which is the good mold!) that will be at the top and I spoon out about every 3 days. It does not hurt anything at all, but is supposed to help in the process.

  3. Tom

    Help! I hate to be the skunk at the picnic, but I must be missing something here. If I mix up a brine consisting of 1-gallon of water plus 1-cup of vinegar plus 2/3 cup of salt plus various spices, how am I going to make it fit into a 1-gallon jar full of cucumbers?

    1. Amy

      Tom, you will have extra brine left over, but that is okay just save it on your counter or in your refrigerator and make more later. When I grow pickles I am only able to make them as they ripen, the brine won’t spoil so just save it for later.

  4. Amy

    I love refrigerator pickles, just a few tips though. Those 1/2 gallon jars that you use for your foot soak are the perfect size for pickles. If you can’t find them in stock anywhere try asking your Ace or local grocery if they will special order for you. Also a friend of mine said that a grape leaf that is cleaned off will help keep them crispy. Pickling cucumbers really are better especially if they had water on them all night and where picked that morning. This recipe is a little different than what I have used in the past I will have to give it a try.

    1. Jillee Post author

      I’m pretty sure you could you other veggies. I’ve heard of people pickling lots of things like carrots, peppers, beets, etc. The dill is just used to make dill pickles. If you don’t want that flavor, feel free not to use i :)

  5. Nadine

    I love pickles, they always remind me of Christmas. When I was little we would only ever have pickles on Boxing Day (is that a US holiday as well as in the UK?). We’d have them with cold cuts, pickled red cabbage, crust bread etc. Good memories.

  6. Shaunda

    Can you tell me what is included in “2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices”?? We are planning on doing a lot of canning/ pickling this year and I want CRUNCHY too! :)


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