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Garlic Dills recipe: garlic dill pickles
In this recipe, you ferment cucumbers to make dill pickles. This means you’ll be setting up special conditions that allow "good" bacteria to grow on your cucumbers. These bacteria do not spoil your cucumbers. Instead, they digest the cucumber’s sugars and produce lactic acid, changing the vegetable’s flavor and texture—and turning your cucumbers into pickles in about three weeks. The lactic acid also helps to preserve the pickles.

Recipe Conversions

What Do I Need? .
10 pounds pickling cucumbers, 3 1/2 to 5 inches in length CAUTION
Follow recipe exactly. Careful setting up and monitoring of conditions—ingredient quantities, temperature, time, and cleanliness—are essential to the success and safety of fermented pickles.
1/4 cup whole mixed pickling spices
2 bunches of fresh dill
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup coarse pickling salt
1 gallon of water
10 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
a soft vegetable brush
a 5-gallon plastic bucket or crock
 a glass or ceramic plate
•  a zipper freezer bag (unused)
•  a clean towel
•  a cheesecloth
• a large, deep, stainless-steel, nonreactive pot
•  6 to 8 1-quart glass jars (clean)
•  canning equipment
•  a narrow plastic spatula  
Questions about ingredients or supplies? Read the pickling tips .
What Do I Do ?


NOTE: Please read the pickling tips and general canning instructions before starting this recipe.

Using a soft vegetable brush, thoroughly scrub the cucumbers in cool running water. Cut 1/16 inch off the blossom end. Discard any cucumbers that are bruised or damaged.


2. Put half the pickling spices and 1 bunch of dill in the bottom of the plastic bucket or crock. Add the cucumbers.


3. Mix the vinegar, pickling salt, and water, dissolving the salt completely. Pour over the top of the pickles. Add in the garlic, the remaining spices, and the dill.


4. You must use a weight to fully submerge your pickles in the brine—or risk spoilage during fermentation. To do this, first cover the pickles with a glass or ceramic plate (no metal, please) that’s a bit smaller than the opening of the crock. Then fill a zipper freezer bag with more brine (make the brine with original recipe proportions of salt, vinegar, and water), make sure it’s tightly shut, and place it on the plate .


5. Cover the crock with a clean towel and store at cool room temperature (70° F–75° F is ideal).


6. Check the crock every day, and skim off the film that forms on the top (this usually starts after a day or two). Make sure the pickles are covered completely with brine. If necessary, make a little more brine following the original recipe proportions.

The scum on the brine surface is yeast growth. If you don’t remove it, your pickles will spoil.

7. Let the cucumbers ferment until evenly colored (olive green) or evenly translucent throughout. This should take about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. At this point, you can safely eat the pickles. If your pickles are not yet well-flavored with dill, you can leave them in the crock longer—but the total time in the crock should not exceed 3 weeks.

Don’t taste your pickles until they are evenly colored or evenly translucent throughout.


8. Strain off the brine from the crock through the cheesecloth to remove impurities. Place the strained brine in a large nonreactive pot.

During fermentation, there may be a few white spots on your pickles. Don’t worry; they’ll go away when you process them.

9. Prepare your jars and lids . Pack the pickles in the clean, hot jars , filling to within 3/4 inch of the top of the jar rims. Add a few sprigs of dill for garnish.


10. Bring the brine to a boil and pour it over the pickles, covering them completely and filling to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jars. To remove air bubbles, gently run the plastic spatula (don't use a metal one) around the jar, keeping the utensil between the pickles and the jar's inner surface. If necessary, add more liquid to readjust headspace. Wipe any residue off the jar rims with a clean, damp towel. Apply lids and screwbands evenly and firmly until resistance is met—fingertip tight.


11. Process jars for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


12. Let the pickles sit for at least 1 week before eating, so the flavors can mellow.

What Else Can I Try? .

How do you encourage "good" bacteria to grow?
Learn more about fermentation.

Share & Discuss: What is your method?

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