This Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe is made with cucumbers processed in a salty cider vinegar solution. They are crisp, garlicky, and delicious! These pickles have zero processing time and are shelf stable. The cucumbers are hot packed, which causes the jar to seal without using a canner. And, they are very easy to make. A family recipe handed down to me from my aunt, to my mom, then me!
Making homemade pickles is a very easy thing to do. Imagine serving some pickles to your friends that you have made yourself! Everyone that has tried this pickle recipe has loved it and asked me for the recipe.
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Preserving Aunt Bonnie's Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe
Making this Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe is definitely a family tradition. My dad's sister gave her recipe to my Mom after sampling the homemade pickles that Aunt Bonnie shared with her. These pickles taste divine! I also love pickled garlic. My favorite thing about these pickles, other than the pickle itself, is getting to eat the garlic at the bottom of the jar!
Because buying dill pickles in the store can be costly, I like to grow my own pickling cucumbers. Growing cucumbers can be tricky though because those little cukes may hide on you in the plant and then you find its gotten large! No worries though. You can still make pickles with a cucumber that has gotten a little to big by slicing them into quarters.
Step by Step Process for making this Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe
You may find it surprising that making homemade dill pickles is very easy to do! There is no pressure cooker involved. All you need to make these pickles is a pot to heat your vinegar mixture in and a large dish that you can sterilize your canning jars in.
Prepare your pickling cucumbers the night before by cleaning them, then placing them in a large bowl full of ice water.
Add water to a large pan. Place the pan on the stove and bring to a simmer. Once the water is hot and starting to boil, immerse the jars to sterilize them. Add the canning lids to the hot water also.
I like to use my oval roaster as I am able to get at least 3 quart jars in the pan to sterilize.
In a large stockpot, bring the water, apple cider vinegar, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to keep it hot.
The sealing magic is in the sterilized lids and hot vinegar solution
Once the vinegar mixture is hot and the salt has dissolved, take one of the sterilized jars and place 4 cloves of garlic and 1 large head of fresh dill. Leave a space between the top of the jar to just below the neck of the jar.
Bring the vinegar solution to a boil. Next, Pour it over the top of the cucumbers until they are covered. Place a sterilized lid on top of the jar and secure it tightly with a screw cap.
Place the jar of pickles on a towel. Repeat the process with the remaining jars. When done, cover the jars of pickles with another towel to prevent air circulating around them.
Let the pickles cool completely. While they are cooling, the heat from the hot jars and hot vinegar solution will cause the jar to seal.
When the jar seals, you will hear it pop. The center of the lid will be depressed. If you place your finger in the center of the lid and the lid stays intact when released, your jar is sealed. If you are able to press the center down and hear it click, the jar is not sealed.
What you should know about making pickles
- Because they are high in acid, garlic dill pickles do not need to be processed in a canner. Using a hot water bath to sterilize the jars and pouring hot vinegar mixture over top is sufficient.
- There are two types of canning jars, small or wide mouth. Many people like to use the wide mouth jars to accommodate pickles. I prefer the small (regular) mouth jar. There is no difference between the sizes other than the diameter of the jar.
- This recipe is not a refrigerator pickle. Meaning, it does not need to be refrigerated unless the jar is opened. However, if your jar doesn't seal, then the pickles should be stored in the refrigerator.
- If you want to make these pickles without the hot water bath, you will need to be sure to store the pickles in the refrigerator. Just skip the heating of the canning jars and lids.
Equipment you may need when making garlic dill pickles
- Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set, 6 Piece Set
- Pickling Salt
- Large Stock Pot (4 quart sized)
- Large roasting pan
- Fresh Dill
- Fresh Garlic
If you haven't grown dill or garlic in your garden, one of the best places to buy it would be the farmer's market. Normally garlic is not ready until later in the year so I have to buy garlic to make my pickle recipe.
Other pickle recipes you may want to try
My mom always made Bread and Butter Pickles. These are a sweet pickle that is cut into slices, and processed with a solution of sugar and pickling spices. I really love this recipe for Jalapeno Bread and Butter Pickles and recently made this Pickled Green Bean Recipe (a new favorite!)
My favorite sweet pickle of all time is Nanny's 7 Day Sweet Pickles. I have fond memories of helping my Grandmother making them and I distinctly remember the crock she used. I love everything about these pickles. They are always a staple on our holiday table!
Recipes to make with Dill Pickles
One of my very favorite things to make with dill pickles is this Homemade Tartar Sauce recipe. The recipe calls for sweet pickles but I like to sub the dill pickles. We love to dip fried shrimp or Fried Cod Fish Sticks into it!.
This post was originally written in August of 2008. It was updated with more informative text and photos August 10, 2019.
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Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe
- 14 lbs pickling cucumbers
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- ½ cup canning or kosher salt
- 4 whole garlic cloves the more the better!
- 1 large head of fresh dill per jar
- Soak cukes in cold water 3-4 hours.
- Fill a large roasting pan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the canning jars and lids to sterilize.
- Pour water, vinegar, and salt in a large stock pot and bring Heat to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
- Remove hot jar from pan with tongs and place on towel lined counter top.
- Place garlic and dill in jar and pack with cucumbers until full
- Pour boiling vinegar solution over cucumbers, place lid on jar and seal with screw cap.
- Cover pickles with towels to prevent drafts until completely cool. Be sure all lids have sealed. Any that did not seal will need to be refrigerated