Recipes » Canning and Preserving Recipes » Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles

Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles

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4.8 from 50 votes
Our family's Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles - Homemade with fresh cucumbers, dill, and garlic. Tested and approved safe canning recipe for shelf stable storage.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Our family's favorite dill pickles - Kosher dills with lots of fresh dill and garlic. Tested and approved safe canning recipe for shelf stable storage. https://www.lanascooking.com/favorite-kosher-dills/

Our family’s Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles – Homemade with fresh cucumbers, dill, and garlic. Tested and approved safe canning recipe for shelf stable storage.

I’ve been “puttin’ up” again, y’all! This time it was our favorite kosher dill pickles. And when I say favorite, I really mean these are a favorite.

Jars of kosher dill pickles sitting on a kitchen towel.

My daughter and grandson almost beg for these pickles every year. As a matter of fact, my old recipe notes say that the summer before our grandson was born, I put up 30 quarts of these dills. By the time he was born in September over half of them were gone.

I have lots of pickling and preserving recipes like my Pickled Okra, Basic Salsa, and Home Canned Tomatoes. Some I make only occasionally, but these Kosher Dills are a must for every summer!

Use proper canning procedures!

Before I get started with the recipe, I want to take a minute to mention the importance of using proper canning procedures. If you haven’t canned before, or if it’s been a while since your last canning session, please review the process and get all your equipment ready before you start.

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One of the best resources for new and seasoned canners alike is the Ball Blue Book. It’s published by the people who make the Ball canning jars. It’s available in lots of locations and on the web at amazon.com.

Some other good online resources

The National Center for Home Food Preservation even offers a free online course in food preservation. It’s well worth the time for the amount of information you get!

Now, let’s get started making Kosher Dill Pickles!

Notes About the Ingredients

Photo of ingredients needed for making kosher dill pickles.

For each quart jar of pickles, you’ll need approximately 5 pickling (or Kirby) cucumbers, one tablespoon of pickling salt, one tablespoon of dill seed (or 3 heads of fresh dill, a sprig or two of fresh dill fronds (optional), five black peppercorns, and two nice fat garlic cloves.

When purchasing your produce, keep in mind that a full boiling water canner can hold seven quart or pint jars. So, if you want to make a full canner load of pickles just purchase enough produce for seven jars.

I tend to use quart jars for kosher dills because they fit the cucumbers best. Pickling (or Kirby) cucumbers are typically no more than 6 inches in length and will fit easily into quart jars.

Pickling (or Kirby) Cucumbers

For making pickles, you will need to find pickling cucumbers, also called “Kirby” cucumbers. You absolutely don’t want waxed cucumbers or English cucumbers for your pickling recipe.

Although “Kirby” is a specific variety of cucumber, these days any pickling cucumber tends to be referred to as a Kirby cucumber. They’re the shorter, plumper, sort of stubby looking cucumbers with a prickly surface. I’ve seen these called salad cucumbers in some produce sections but technically they’re simply pickling cucumbers.

The cucumbers can be left whole or cut into halves or quarters. I typically cut mine into halves unless they’re really large in which case I’ll quarter them. It doesn’t really matter so do whatever suits you best.

Dill Seed or Fresh Dill Heads

Dill seed is easier to acquire than fresh dill heads. It’s available in practically every grocery store and from online spice and herb sellers. Some years I have a good crop of dill so I have fresh dill heads available, but I can’t always depend on that. The availability of dill seed is very predictable.

If you happen to have fresh dill heads and want to use them, they work really well in the recipe. You’d use three fresh dill heads in place of each tablespoon of dill seed (1 fresh dill head = 1 teaspoon dill seed).

The fresh dill fronds are optional. I usually place a sprig or two in each jar merely for appearances. They’re pretty in there!

Pickling Salt

Yes, you really do need a special kind of salt for pickling. Pickling salt is widely available and easy to find. It doesn’t have any kind of anti-caking or anti-clumping agents in it so it’s very pure. The additives in other salts can turn your pickles dark or make the liquid cloudy. It’s possible to use other salts, but amounts would have to be adjusted to accommodate for the differently sized salt granules. Better to just stick with canning salt.

Garlic and Black Peppercorns

Make sure that the garlic you use is fresh and free from blemishes. The peppercorns should be nicely fragrant.

Vinegar

Although I didn’t include it in the ingredients photo above, vinegar is a very important part of the pickling process. It’s the ingredient that gives pickles their distinctive tart taste and, most importantly, the ingredient that prevents botulism from forming in pickled foods.

Most pickle recipes call for distilled white vinegar and that’s what I use. I’ve been asked whether other types of vinegar can be used such as cider vinegar and the answer is yes. As long as the vinegar is at least 5% acidity.

Just keep in mind that substituting cider vinegar will change the taste and color of your pickles. They’ll have a more mellow taste and will also be darker in color.

Vinegar such as wine vinegar, salad vinegar, or homemade vinegar should not be used unless you can verify that it has an acetic value of at least 5%.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

The Canning Process for Kosher Dill Pickles

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Start by Heating a Canner Filled with Water

The first thing I do when I start a canning session is to fill my canner with water and start it heating on the stove. It takes quite a long time to bring that much water to the boil, so I try to get a start on it first thing in the process. Check the canner periodically while you work to make sure the water stays at a steady simmer.

Prepare the Jars, Lids, and Rings

Washing canning jars in soapy water.

My second step is to wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse them well making sure all traces of soap are removed. Drain on a clean kitchen towel.

I put the clean jars in the canner and let them heat up along with the water. Some people hold them in a 200 degree oven. The canner just works best for me.

You need the jars to be hot when you’re ready to fill them because putting hot food in a cold jar can cause breakage. Likewise, putting a cold jar of food into boiling water is just asking for broken jars and all your hard work to end up in the bottom of the canner.

Photo collage showing prepped jars and lids holding in hot water.

Put the lids in a small pan with enough water to cover them. Set the pan on the stove with the lowest heat possible just to keep them warm until they’re needed. Set the rings aside.

Use Caution! Remember you’re working with lots of boiling water when canning. Always use a jar lifter for removing jars from the hot water to prevent scalding.

Prepare the Produce

Peeled garlic and a fresh dill seed head on a cutting board.

Peel and halve the garlic. If you’re using fresh dill heads, trim them and set them aside with the garlic.

A cucumber and knife on a cutting board.

Prepare the cucumbers by removing 1/16 inch from the blossom end of each. You’ll need to remove that tiny little sliver because there is an enzyme that remains in the blossom end of cucumbers which can cause your pickles to become soft while in storage. Cut into halves or quarters as you wish.

Make the Brine

For each quart jar of pickles, measure 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar into a saucepan. Bring the water and vinegar to the boil. While the brine is coming to the boil, fill the jars (see next section).

Fill the Jars

Jar containing salt, peppercorns, and dill.

In each quart jar place 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon dill seed (or 3 heads fresh dill), 6 black peppercorns, and 2 halved garlic cloves. As noted above, each dill head counts as a teaspoon of dill seed. I only had a few heads this time so I used one head of dill and 2 teaspoons of seeds in each jar.

Add Cucumbers and Hot Brine to Jars

Photo collage showing cucumbers and brine added to jars.

Pack the halved or quartered cucumbers into the hot jars.

Using a canning funnel, pour the boiling vinegar and water solution over the jar contents leaving 1/2 inch of headspace (the space between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar).

Peeled garlic cloves on top of brine in jar.

I realized right before I was about to put the lids and rings on that I had not included the garlic in the jars. Yikes! Just goes to show you that with this recipe it’s never too late to add an ingredient. You could even slip a hot red pepper in there at this point if you wanted to!

Clean the Jar Rims and Add the Lids

Cleaning jar rims and adding lids.

Wipe the top rim of each jar carefully with a dampened paper towel. This is to make sure that there is nothing on there that would prevent the lid from forming a complete seal.

Place the lids on top of the jars and screw on the rings until just finger tight. Don’t force the rings or tighten too much. The jars must be able to expel air during the canning process in order to create a seal.

Canner filled with jars.

Process Using Low Temp Method

Place the jars in the canner rack and lower them into the simmering hot water. Place the cover on the pot. Process in simmering hot water (180-185 degrees) for 15 minutes (low temp pasteurization method).

Notes About Processing Times

Normally, you begin timing at the point that the water has returned to the boil. However, for these pickles, I use what is called the low temperature pasteurization method. This method prevents over cooking the pickles and helps them to retain crispness during storage. The low temp method can only be used for high acid recipes and must be monitored carefully to make sure the water remains above 180 degrees for the entire processing time.

Processing time must also be adjusted for altitude. For this recipe using quart jars, the processing time is:

  • 15 minutes for altitudes from sea level to 1,000 feet
  • 20 minutes for altitudes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet
  • 25 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet 

If using pint jars, processing times are:

  • 10 minutes at 0-1,000 ft altitude
  • 15 minutes for 1,001-6,000 ft altitude
  • 20 minutes above 6,000 ft altitude

Cool Jars and Test the Seal Before Storing

Finished jars of pickles cooling on a dish towel.

At the end of the processing time, carefully remove the jars from the canner, place them on a clean dish towel, and allow them to cool completely (24 hours recommended).

After jars are completely cooled, you may remove the bands. Be sure to test for a complete seal. Any jars that failed to seal are not shelf-stable but may be stored in the refrigerator.

How to test the seal? First, gently press the center of each lid. If there is any movement then the jar did not seal. Next, gently pull upward trying to lift the jar by the edges of the lid. If the lid pulls away, obviously it didn’t seal. The pickles are still good, but can’t be stored outside of refrigeration.

You will notice when you remove the jars from the canner that the cucumbers have become a more olive color and there is undissolved salt in the bottom of the jar. That’s normal. By the time the jars have cooled overnight all the salt should have dissolved. If the salt still hasn’t dissolved after sitting overnight, gently turn the jar over a couple of times to mix and disperse.

Store the jars in a dark, cool place. I recommend six weeks of standing time for the flavors to fully develop. For best quality, the pickles should be used within one year.

And just like that, you have seven beautiful jars of Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles!

Have you tried this recipe? I’d love for you to give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or in the comments section further down. You can always stay in touch on social media by following me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest and Sign Up to Get my Newsletter, too!

Recipe

Our family's favorite dill pickles - Kosher dills with lots of fresh dill and garlic. Tested and approved safe canning recipe for shelf stable storage. https://www.lanascooking.com/favorite-kosher-dills/

Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles

Our family's Favorite Kosher Dill Pickles – Homemade with fresh cucumbers, dill, and garlic. Tested and approved safe canning recipe for shelf stable storage.
4.78 from 50 votes
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Canning and Preserving
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 70 servings
Calories: 25kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 35 cucumbers pickling type (estimate 5 cucumbers per quart; more or less may be needed)
  • 7 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 7 cups white vinegar 5% acidity
  • 7 cups water
  • 7 tablespoons dill seed or 21 heads fresh dill
  • 42 black peppercorns
  • 14 garlic cloves peeled and halved

Instructions

  • Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • For each quart of pickles, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar to the boil.
  • Meanwhile, in each jar place 1 tablespoon pickling salt, 1 tablespoon dill seed (or 3 heads fresh dill), 6 black peppercorns and 2 halved garlic cloves.
  • Pack halved or quartered cucumbers into jars. Pour boiling vinegar and water over cucumbers in jars. Affix the lids and rings.
  • Process in simmering hot water (180-185 degrees) for 15 minutes (low temp pasteurization method).
  • Remove jars from canner and allow to cool completely (24 hours recommended). Remove bands and test for complete seal. Store in a dark, cool place.
  • Recommend six weeks of standing time for flavors to fully develop.

Notes

About processing times: Normally, you begin timing at the point that the water has returned to the boil. However, for these pickles, you will use the low temperature pasteurization method. This method prevents over cooking the pickles and helps them to retain crispness during storage. The low temp method can only be used for high acid recipes. Jars are processed in simmering hot water (180-185 degrees) for 15 minutes. You must monitor the process carefully to ensure that the water temperature does not drop below 180 degrees during the canning process.
Processing time must also be adjusted for altitude. For this recipe using quart jars, the processing time is:
  • 15 minutes for altitudes from sea level to 1,000 feet
  • 20 minutes for altitudes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet
  • 25 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet 
If using pint jars, processing times are:
  • 10 minutes at 0-1,000 ft altitude
  • 15 minutes for 1,001-6,000 ft altitude
  • 20 minutes above 6,000 ft altitude
After the jars have cooled, be sure to test for a complete seal. To test, first gently press the center of each lid. If there is any movement then the jar did not seal. Next, gently pull upward trying to lift the jar by the edges of the lid. If the lid pulls away, obviously it didn’t seal. The pickles are still good, but can’t be stored outside of refrigeration.
You will notice when you remove the jars from the canner that the cucumbers have become a more olive color and there is undissolved salt in the bottom of the jar. That’s normal. By the time the jars have cooled overnight all the salt should have dissolved. If the salt still hasn’t dissolved after sitting overnight, gently turn the jar over a couple of times to mix and disperse.
Store the jars in a dark, cool place. I recommend six weeks of standing time for the flavors to fully develop. For best quality, the pickles should be used within one year.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1halves | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 703mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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124 Comments

  1. Used this recipe to make some pickles recently and they are the absolute BEST pickles I’ve ever had! Was a little too salty for me, so just made another batch with half the salt and we will see how that goes. I do have a question… Have you ever used this recipe to make relish? Would it work with that?? Would make some tasty relish!

    1. Hi Kerri — I haven’t made relish using this recipe, but I have taken these pickles after they were made and chopped them finely to use as a relish. It was really good.

  2. If you do pints instead of quarts does the recipe make 14 pints? Can you cut the recipe in half to only do 7 pints?

    1. You can do pints if you like. You’ll have to cut your cucumbers down to fit the pint jars. You can make any amount you like. Half the recipe should make about 7 pints. Use half the salt, dill, etc. per jar for pints. How many jars you get just depends on the size of your cucumbers.

  3. Hi Lana: Do you leave the garlic in the jars? Joy of Cooking says to heat with the brine then remove garlic cloves as they create bacteria. I’m confused lol

    1. Raw garlic can be very dangerous when stored in oil at room temperature. The garlic in this recipe is neutralized by the acidity in the vinegar. However, you can certainly remove it if you’d like. I leave it in.

  4. Can you do pickle chips instead of pickles cut the long way for this recipe? We use the chips in our house and I was curious before I made them. Thanks!

    1. You can them exactly the same way and for the same time as in this recipe. Just use the pint jars in place of quarts. You may have to select smaller cucumbers or cut down larger ones to fit.

  5. 5 stars
    Tried these last summer. Best dills ever! All my grandkids love them so they are definitely a redo each year. They are a bit salty for my taste but the kids say don’t change a thing! Thanks for a great recipe. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. My grandkids love these, too! By the way, you can reduce the salt in these pickles without affecting the pH. There’s so much vinegar that they will still be safe for canning with half the amount of salt.

  6. Question- is that much salt needed to keep them shelf stable or is it for taste? Trying to figure if I can lower the salt a bit. Thanks!

  7. About to try your recipe. Query: You indicated you should cut the ends of the cucumbers off so they would not become soft. I actually prefer soft, but not mushy. If I do not cut the two ends off, will I end up with soft or too mushy to eat?
    Thanks

    1. I can’t say, Glen, since I always cut that little sliver off when making pickles. Always have. but I wouldn’t think they’d become too mushy to eat.

      1. Thanks. Follow up query. Should the jars be fully submerged during the boiling process, or can the water level stop just below the top of the jars?

  8. I am always afraid to use quart jars in my canner because recipes say to have an inch or two of water on top of the jars. I have a large canner but if I fill that full when it boils it will boil over. Yours looks like it has hardly any water on top of the jars. Just wondering…

    1. My canner is deep enough to have just an inch of water over the tops of the jars. Getting the depth of water just right is definitely a balancing act that comes with experience. This is a low temp process recipe so the water won’t be boiling.

  9. my old pickle recipe that I use is the same as yours except it calls for mustard seed instead of peppercorns. What is the difference in taste, better or not?

  10. Hi Lana!
    This was my first year growing cucumbers, so of course I had to pickle some! I’ve made refrigerator pickles that have been delicious but I wanted to try actually canning some. My question is can I use pickling spices, mostly because I already have them on hand.

    1. Well, sure, you can use pickling spices if you want to, but your pickles will not taste the same and they won’t be “kosher dills.” Commercial pickling spices (like McCormick, etc) usually contain cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, clove, red pepper, black pepper, cardamom, and mace. That’s a very different flavor profile from this recipe which uses only dill, black pepper, salt, and garlic for flavorings.

      1. Thank you Lana! We decided to follow the recipe as is since we already have pickles made with pickling spice. We are making this recipe today. So excited to try them! One question, if we happen to have any jars that don’t seal and need to put them in the refrigerator, is the wait to eat time the same as the jarred one, 6 weeks. Just checking for the hubs cause I know he’ll ask as he LOVES pickles!! LOL

  11. Hi Lana,

    I want to try this recipe but could not find a water bath canner anywhere and ended up getting a Fruitsaver brand steam canner. Do you know how this recipe could be transferred to that application? Especially times and if the jars would have to be sterilized? TIA!

    Sina

      1. Thank you! I went ahead and tried it after doing some research but before seeing your reply. Fingers crossed! They sound and look amazing!

  12. Good morning! Thanks so much for this recipe, it was referred to me by a friend. She’s a novice as I’m a very green beginner!
    I’ve seen recipes that add onions and for an onion lover, it sounds good.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks again!

    1. That would usually indicate that the jars were not packed with enough cucumbers and too much empty space was left for the brine to fill. I always have some brine left over.

  13. Was having a bad day, still had pickles to can and thought I’d added everything to the jars until this morning!!! I have 8 quarts of pickles with NO added pickling salt…. For some strange reason, I did not add the salt. Are these pickles now trash or omitting the salt is no big deal?

    1. The pickles are still safe to eat assuming you followed correct canning procedures. They certainly won’t taste the same. But, no, they’re not trash :-)

      1. So glad to hear that!! I’ve canned a large amount of pickles from this recipe and followed the recipe exactly but had too much on my plate yesterday. Still waiting for the 6 weeks to enjoy them.

  14. 5 stars
    These are THE BEST pickles I’ve ever made. We’ve been searching for a recipe that tasted like my Nana’s and we’ve finally found it! They stay so crunchy and the flavor is incredible.

    1. Hi Cristina. Yes, you can as long as it is at least 5% acidity. It will, however, change the taste and appearance of your pickles. They’ll have a “mellower” taste and the apple cider vinegar will probably darken the pickles as well.

      1. Thank you for the answer. I have a couple more questions, if you can please help me.
        I used the ratios in your recipe, but instead of white vinegar I used apple cider vinegar 5%, and also added 1/2 tablespoon of sugar per 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar (used salt, too: 1 tablespoon pickling salt per 1 cup of water and 1 cup vinegar). Questions:
        1) Is it ok to use sugar like I have written above?
        2) When I added the brine ingredients in the pot on the stove to boil, I did not mix the ingredients (manually with a spoon). Does the boiling process mix the brine ingredients uniformly? I just want to make sure that everything got distributed uniformly in the brine so that in each jar there is a correct ratio of water/vinegar/salt/sugar.
        Thank you.

      2. Hi Cristina – First, yes, your ingredients are thoroughly mixed if they’ve dissolved and come to the boil.

        Second, about the added sugar — I’d be wary of doing that unless I was going to store the product in the fridge (in which case the boiling water sealing process wouldn’t even be necessary). Home canning recipes have to be within a specific pH range in order to be shelf-stable and avoid the possibility of developing botulism. In this case, the vinegar to water ratio is likely high enough that the small amount of sugar you added wouldn’t affect the outcome very much, but I can’t possibly know that without lab testing. Also, the NCHP says “it is possible to affect the safety of a home-canned good by using too much sugar. Sugar is, after all, a carbohydrate, and carbs impact the density of foods. Extra sugar also slows down heat penetration.” Now, again, the amount of sugar you added is probably not enough to cause problems, but canning recipes are written very specifically for a reason. They absolutely have to be safe from a pH standpoint and correctly sealed in order to be stored outside of refrigeration.

        If I’d made the pickles the way you describe, I’d store them in the refrigerator just to be certain of safety. I can’t imagine why you’d want to add sugar to dill pickles, anyway :-)

      3. Thank you for the quick reply.
        I added the sugar as a taste preference, and I did put the jars in the fridge after about 24 hrs after canning them. I also saw this recipe on the NCHFP website https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/quick_dill_pickles.html, and it uses sugar, but less vinegar than water. What do you think in terms of ph and safety, especially since I used more vinegar

      4. If the recipe was on the NCHP website you can be absolutely sure that it has been tested and proven safe for home canning and pantry storage. They’re recognized nationwide as the highest authority in home canning.

    1. According to the USDA’s latest research, alum may be used to firm fermented pickles, but has little crispness effect on quick-process pickles like these.