The keys to a good Dill pickle in my opinion in to let the cucumbers set in ice water overnight if possible (that helps make them crispy), use the freshest spices as you can possibly get your hands on, and let your pickles set up for at least 2 weeks to cure.
These pickles can be made in a water bath canner or a stock pot with a wire rack in the bottom, just make sure that your jars do not knock together or they will break. Pickles, tomatoes, and jams can be canned in a water bath canner everything else must be canned in a pressure canner.
Step 1: Ingredients
4 large cucumbers, about 8 inches long
Ice water - if you have time, soak your cucumbers overnight, if not see step 3
1 qt. white vinegar
1 cup. sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 small onions, peeled - We get Sweet Vidalia onions here, I usually put slices of them in instead
1 tsp. mixed pickle spice - Here is where I put 1/2 mixed spices + 1/2 Kosher spices
*Optional - Slices of celery, 1 in each jar - I have seen it with this recipe and without, I did not use it with this batch and and never noticed a difference in the taste. Although, be aware that celery does have a high amount of sodium, so if that is an issue - you may want to add it.
If you have more than 4 large cucumbers or you are in doubt as to how much brine you need; especially if you are using a different shape - wholes vs spears, etc. you can double or triple this and keep it in the fridge for later.
**Southern Trivia - Before Gatorade and even today - people here in the South and possibly elsewhere, will drink pickle juice or the pickle brine to replenish their natural body salts especially when it is very hot out. There are some stores here that even sell it frozen as a treat.