Blue Ribbon dill pickles

I plant a LOT of cucumbers every year. Not only do we love to just eat them fresh, but we also love to make pickles. I’m not a fan of sweet pickles, so I make dill pickles instead. I’ve tried several recipes and even premade mixes, but this one has been our family’s favorite and has gotten rave reviews from lots of other people. It is SO simple and just lets the flavors shine.

First, I put 3-4 stalks of fresh dill in each of 6-7 quart jars. Then I add 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic.

Next, slice your cucumbers. My kids prefer them in spears, but I usually do slices because I think I can fit more and they last longer. (The kids will scarf down a jar in no time if it is just spears). I use my mandolin slicer to do the job quickly.

Next, I add Ball Pickle Crisp granules. This product really does make a huge difference and gives you really crispy pickles! The directions are on the package, but it only takes a heaping 1/4 teaspoon in each quart.

Next, prepare your brine. In a pot, put 8 1/2 cups water, 2 1/4 cups white vinegar, and 1/2 cup pickling salt. Heat to boiling. After it has boiled, pour it over your cucumbers. Don’t forget to tap your jars several times to get all the air bubbles out.

At this point, you can put your lids and put straight in the fridge or can water bath them for about 15 minutes so they will seal. We just prefer to keep them in the fridge for a few days and eat them from there. If you plan to water bath them, I do think thicker slices or spears keep their crispness longer. Honestly, I haven’t found a great recipe that keeps pickles super crisp for more than a few months, so I stopped trying to make some that survive the winter. We just enjoy them all throughout summertime. I’d love to hear if anyone has suggestions!

Once these pickles soak up all that dill and garlic flavor a few days, they are amazing!

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