Orangeburg, SC

This is my first time growing Dill and I want to use it for Pickles. It is starting to head out. Do I need to pick it now Or is there some way to save it for when Im ready for it? My Cucumbers still have a few weeks. I would also love a good Pickle reipe. I love those Claussins Pickles. Yummy. How much Dill should go per jar. Im all new as you can see. I dont want the frig pickles I prefer to can them for winter use.

Castlewood, SD

I froze my dill when it was just starting to flower. I snipped off about 7-8 inches below the flower, then just placed it on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes in the freezer before putting it into a freezer bag. When my cukes were ready I took out what I needed as I needed it and I really couldnt tell the difference. There are many different good dill pickle recipes out there, but through trial and error with my family of 6 .. here is the recipe that I will continue to use, because everyone seemed to love it!

Dill Pickles (6 pints)
3 pounds of 4 inch cucumbers or (smaller even)
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup sugar
6-9 heads of dill with partial stem or 6 tbsp. dill weed
Thoroughly rinse cucumbers. Remove the stems and cut off each blossom end. In a lrg saucepan combine water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring to a good boil.
Pack a couple pieces of dill into each sterilzed, hot jar.. then follow with the cucumbers (I turn my jar sideways to pack them so the dill stays in place) Pour hot vinegar mix over the cucumbers and make sure to leave 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the jar rims and adjust your lids. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (start timing when water starts to boil) Remove jars and let cool completely. let sit 1 week before trying.
This recipe is very versatile.. I also make these with different variations .. by adding a pepper or garlic..and sometimes both. Hope this helps you out a little...Goodluck and Happy Canning ;) Ayrica

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Ditto what Ayrica said regarding the dill.

As for a recipe, the one that I've loved for 60 years (going back to when my mom was canning them) is this:

3 qt water
1 qt white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt (Using any other salt will darken the pickles and make the brine cloudy)
1 clove garlic per jar

Bring water, salt, and vinegar to a boil.
Put dill* in bottom of quart jar, add garlic clove
Pack jar with baby cukes.
Place additional dill on top if desired.

*One fresh dill flower per jar, or use 1 tsp. dill seed (2 tsp. if you like your pickles more dilly than cucumber flavor).

Pour boiling mixture over pickles, seal, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Ready to eat in 2-3 weeks.

I tend to like really dilly pickles - not the ones that still taste partly like cucumbers - so I use a lot of dill. I just finished doing up 11 half-liter jars of whole pickles and 5 half-liter jars of dill chips (for hamburgers, etc.) plus 1 half-liter jar of cocktail-sized dills.

I use Leifheit jars (made in Germany), hence the half-liter size instead of pint. LOVE these jars. They're all wide-mouth and the shape of them makes them so much easier to pack than American-made jars. On top of that, they're made of a quality heavy glass (very, very light green tinge to it), that reminds me of the jars of yester-year (the '50's).

Thumbnail by cr0ak
Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info about freezing dill. It will help me this summer when it comes time to start pickling!

Orangeburg, SC

Thanks so much. I have frozen my dill now and can hardly wait to try both recipies i have now. Thanks so much. Brandy

Castlewood, SD

cr0ak .. that recipe sounds good too... gonna have to try that one!! Those jars look pretty cool, havent seen em' before. Can you give us a heads up on where they can be purchased?
Thanks.. Ayrica

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Try making naturally fermented pickles sometime... YUM!

Orangeburg, SC

Okay so How do I know if my pickles are bad. Last time I tried they ended up cloudy so I threw them away. I am scared to death im gonna make something wrong and make everyone sick not realizing.

Pilot Point, TX(Zone 7b)

I feel the same as 'Jumpin...' -- I canned some pickles last year.... all the lids 'sealed'... (I heard that 'swump' sound)... but I'm still scared to try them. I just don't want to make anybody sick.

So if I open a jar and it 'pops'.... then it's OK..??.. right..??..

Many thanks for comments / suggestions...

Orangeburg, SC

Glad Im not the only one. LOL

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you for posting the question about the dill I have the same problem, my dill is big and ready to pick but my cucumbers are now comming, not enough for dill pickles as of yet. I just went outside and cut a bunch of it and placed it in the freezer, hopefully I can enjoy some dill pickles soon.

Croak in your dill pickled recipe how many pickles do I need? It looks really good and would like to try it. Another question, are the pickles still a little crunchy with your method?

This message was edited Jun 5, 2010 12:11 PM

This message was edited Jun 5, 2010 12:13 PM

Sparta , TN(Zone 7a)

I like Crunchy dill are they crunchey ?

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm growing dill under lights in the kitchen.. I didn't even think of freezing it! Thank you for this post!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

It is my general understanding that if your vinegar:water ratio is acidic enough and you have a good seal, your pickles are safe. Keep in mind that cukes are a very low acid veggie so you need the vinegar. For crispiness, I drape a fresh grape leaf in the bottom of the jar before adding the cukes - looks pretty as well. I add the dill to both the top and bottom, 2 heads per jar. Here's my go-to recipe, known locally as Janet's Famous Dills:

Bring brine to a boil and keep hot:
1 Q vinegar
1 G water
1 C salt (non-iodized)

To each quart jar, add:
1 grape leaf
1/2 t pickling spices
1-2 cloves garlic
3-4 slices pickled or fresh jalapeno
1-2 heads of dill or 1 T seed

Add brine to 1/2" headspace, process in hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Waynesboro, PA(Zone 6a)

All these recipes look SO GOOD! I am definitely going to try them. Here's a hint I learned from my grandmother:

Use whatever brine/pickling mix you want. Make sure you bring it to a full boil and boil it hard for at least 4 minutes.

Then, pour it boiling hot over your packed cucumbers. Get the lid on and screw it down TIGHT. Now, turn the jar over, upside down and let it sit that way for 10-20 minutes. Turn it right side up. It should "pop" once it cools. That's it. You don't need to process them further. My grandma stored her pickles in the cellar, but I don't trust that so I keep mine in the fridge. They are perfect for eating after a couple weeks. Very crisp. Unopened, in the fridge, the jars are good for up to 9 months. After that, I usually toss them...the pickles might not be dangerous, but they get a bit soft.

The trick to this (as in all food prep) is ABSOLUTE CLEANLINESS. Sterilize the jars, lids, everything that touches the food. Scrub the cucumbers very well and use plenty of salt and vinegar in your brine....

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Wow! I apologize for not getting back here to reply.

Regarding the Leifheit jars, they're available via

They're much more expensive than Ball jars. But, IMO, they're worth the price. They're heavy enough so that they won't crack/break in the canner (even under pressure). Also, they're more easily stored on shelves because of the shape of them, and also because of them all having wide mouths (and the elongated shape) it's much easier to pack cukes into them.

Again, apologies for not replying sooner!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I would be very cautious about not processing pickles, although if kept refrigerated they should be fine. Botulism is pretty scary stuff.

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