Preserving the Harvest: Garlic Dill Pickles

I love pickled anything! Often I am throwing together a quick pickle to add to a poke bowl or salad. And when it comes to pickles, you can’t beat the classic Dill Pickle.

When my cucumber plants start booming, despite my love for the green fruit, I can’t keep up. Cue the canning equipment, vinegar, and salt. Pickles are an easy way to get introduced to canning, as they are done with a simple boiling water method, require few special tools, and are high acid; botulism doesn’t stand a chance!

One of my favorite resources for canning recipes, besides the thoroughly National Center of Food Preservation recipes, is the book and blog. I’ve posted in the past about making refrigerator pickles, using Marisa from Food In Jars as a resource, she really is an expert.

See her original recipe and post here. This post is made for the beginner, so it goes into detail with each step, unlike linked post which assumes basic canning knowledge.

This recipe can be modified to any harvest size. Because of that, I won’t specify how many cukes you need, but will give per jar instructions. Also, any extra brine can be used to make refrigerator pickles of any veggies in your fridge.

If you are unsure about any of the materials/ingredients, clicking on the links will bring you to an amazon product as an example. Also, if you choose to purchase, my site may receive a portion of the sale. More info at advertising disclosure.

Garlic Dill Pickles

-Large pot (enough space to cover your jars with 1 inch of water)

-Pot for brine
-Small saucepan for lids

– or towel

-4 cups vinegar
-4 cups water
-5 Tbs Salt (, sea,… as long as there are no anti-caking agents or added iodine)
-Cucumbers (ideally pickling, but you will still get decent pickles with firm garden variety)
-1 tsp per jar
-1/2 tsp per jar
-1 to 2 Whole Peeled Garlic Cloves per jar


  1. Place un-lidded jars into pot (if using rack, put in now) and fill with water just covering the lips. Bring to a boil while you prep to sterilize jars. (Because the processing time is 10 minutes, they don’t need to be fully sterile, it is just a good habit to get into).
  2. Take a medium pot and add vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer while you finish prep.
  3. Place sealing lids into small sauce pan and cover with water, bring to a simmer.
  4. Wash your cukes and place on a clean cutting board. Slice 1/2 inch off of the blossom end and save for your salads (including blossom ends creates mushy pickles, yuck!)
  5. Cut into desired shape. I like spears because they are easy to pack and coins because they go well on sandwiches. Mix it up jar to jar.
  6. Put down a towel for the jars and have your spices, brine, and prepped cukes ready.
  7. Use the jar lifter to lift and dump the hot water back in the pot (when done, there should be enough water to cover 1 or more inches above lids when you place the jars back in). Put the sterilized jars on the towel.
  8. Add spices and garlic to bottom of each jar. Then firmly pack (without damaging) the cucumbers into the jar leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  9. Pour brine into jar to cover cukes leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  10. Use lid lifter or a fork to remove softened lid and place on wiped rim, screw band to finger tight (too tight and the air can’t escape)
  11. If not using a rack, place a kitchen towel in the water bath to line the bottom of the pot. Carefully place jars on top of towel or rack. Return water to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove jars and place on a towel to sit undisturbed for 12 hours. Check to make sure the cooled lids are sealed (no movement of the lid “button”). Remove bands and store up to a year.*

*if jars don’t seal, you can store them in the refrigerator

Happy Pickling!



2 comments on “Preserving the Harvest: Garlic Dill Pickles

  1. Thank you for the recipe! I love garlic dills and I definitely want to make them at home so I don’t need to buy any dills from the store. Are refrigerator pickles easier to make? I know they don’t last as long but they seem like less work! Thanks again.

    1. The real benefit of canning your pickles being able to do a big batch once from a garden or farmers market surplus and keep them on the shelf. If you are looking to do small batches, refrigerator pickles seem right up your alley, just combine all the ingredients in a jar and pop the jar in the fridge. After 3-7 days of infusion, they are ready to go! Check out my Refrigerator pickles post if you have questions.

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