Grandma's Homemade Dill Pickles




I started making pickles homemade, because my kids have an allergy to all food dye.  If you have ever read the labels of store boughten pickles then you know that they all have dye in them.  Clausen pickles are the only ones that I have found that do not, but they are so expensive.  It was tragic for my kids because they absolutely LOVE pickles.  So we came up with an all natural solution that made everyone happy.

Step 1: Getting Started.

This recipe will yield approximately 8 to 10 quarts.

First, you need to gather your ingredients, jars, lids, Boiling-Water canning pot, and any other canning tools that you may need.

To prepare your jars: 
Wash your jars and rings in HOT soapy water.  Then dry them and set them off to the side.  Put your lids in a small sauce pan and slowly bring them to a gentle boil.  Let them continually boil gently until you are ready to use them. 

Gathering ingredients: 
3 quarts of Water
1 quart of Vinegar
3 teaspoons of Alum
3/4 cup pickling/canning salt
Fresh Dill
Fresh Garlic

Then, fill your boiling-water canning pot about 2/3 of the way full and start water coming to a boil.

Step 2: Preparing to Pickle.

Rinse your cucumbers and set them aside.

Preparing jars for pickling:
De-skin your cloves of garlic.  Place 3 heads of fresh Dill into bottom of jars (I cut the dill so that there is about 5 inches of stem with the head of dill).  Then place one large clove or 2 small-medium cloves of garlic in bottom of jar.  Next, fill your jars with your cucumbers.  I use pickling cucumbers fresh from my garden.  (In my opinion:  If making whole pickles, the best size for taste and crispiness is 3 to 4 inches.  If spearing your pickles, then I would use ones that are 4 to 5 inches in length and quarter them.)  Make sure to pack your jars tight with your cucumbers.  Add one medium clove of garlic to the top of the cucumbers.  Then put two more heads of fresh dill on the top.

Making your brine:
Take your 3 quarts of water, 1 quart of vinegar, 3 teaspoons alum and 3/4 cup pickling/canning salt and combine them into a 6 qt or larger pot.  Bring this mixture to a boil.  While this is coming to a boil you can start preparing your other ingredients into the jars.

Now your are ready to add the boiling hot brine to your jars.  Fill with brine until cucumbers and dill are covered.  Make sure you leave about 1/2 inch head space.

Step 3: The Final Steps.

Take a clean dry towel and wipe off rims of jars.  Make sure they are wiped clean and dry.  Then take your lids that have been boiling gently and place carefully on jars and screw on rings as tight as you can make them.  Place jars in boiling-water canning pot and put lid on pot.  Process pickles for 10 minutes (make sure water is boiling for the whole 10 minutes and water covers jars by 1 to 2 inches over lids).  Carefully remove hot jars and place on a clean dry towel. Wipe off lids of jars with another clean dry towel, then leave sit on counter for 24 hours.  This gives them time to seal and cool. 

Step 4: The Last Stage.

Let pickles sit for at least two weeks to let the cucumbers absorb the brine in for a good flavoring.  Mine barely make it two weeks and my kids are wanting to tear into them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my kids and family do.

**If Pickles do not seal, just put them in refrigerator for the two weeks and then enjoy.**

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    12 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Do they have a snap to them when you bite into them?

    2 replies

    Have been trying to find the right recipe for years! this is the only one that has the flavor I really like! :) thank you for sharing!

    Very nice stuff. :)To get that picklely colour your kids like, maybe try Turmeric. its a yellowish spice that comes from a root. Its used in some condiments for its colour and used in lots of Indian cooking.Its also one component in curry spice. I like to add it to some of my food because of its health benefits and love to add a bit to my broccoli soup. It then becomes a nice bright green soup. The thing I like about this spice is that the taste blends in well with other foods and doesn't over power them so long as you don't over do it. Guess you are going to have to go with your own sense of taste of how much to try with your stuff. Hope it works out with you.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I have been waiting to try this recipe although you cannot get fresh dill here in Alabama this time of year so I will have to use dry. Do you have an idea of how much to use if you used dried dill?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for taking so long. We grow our dill but we found some at Meijer. I would try 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried dill sprinkle half in the bottom with the garlic, and other half on top. Let me know how it turns out.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds good, I will let you know. We just had a break from the drought, so hopefully my cucumbers will start producing heavy again. Dill and cilantro grow and start to go straight to seed down here. That is why we cannot grow it. I never thought about trying to get it fresh in a grocery store though! Probably Publix would have it or one of the higher end stores. Thanks for the advice!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I do agree. Clausen pickles are good pickles. But I have 5 kids and with as much as they like pickles it would get too expensive for me to keep buying them. This way allows me to grow my own cucumbers, dill and garlic. Plus I know what is in them, and that they aren't getting the dye. I believe that my kids think that pickles are in there own food group or


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Clausen pickles would never compare to these home made babies! Thanks for sharing.