These delicious dill pickled carrots can be either canned for long term storage, or, more simply, made to be kept in the fridge for up to 3 months. In this instructable, I'll show you both methods for making and preserving these tasty snacks!
Step 1: Safe Home Pickling
This recipe is a project that I made to go with my Instructables Canning & Preserving Class. I will not be going over all the safety ins and outs of home canning and pickling in this instructable, so I highly recommend that you read through Lessons 1, 2 & 3 of my class before you give this recipe (or any other home pickling or canning) a go!
Step 2: Tools & Equipment
Here's the equipment you'll need to make each style of dilly carrot:
- large pot
- slotted spoon
- deep canning pot w/ round rack
- jar lifter
- lid lifter
- shallow bowl (I use a glass pie pan)
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- measuring spoons
- medium saucepan
- (x1) clean pint and a half jar*
- (x1) clean pint jar*
*It's not necessary to sterilize the jars. Washing and drying them is enough as we'll be using cold storage in conjunction with the vinegar for the refrigerator version and we'll be boiling water bath canning the other batch of Dilly Carrots for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Recipe
This recipe is a bit of a 'choose your own adventure'. I did both a canned jar and a refrigerator jar of dilly carrots so I could contrast and compare tastes and textures of each. If you prefer to just do two canned jars instead and skip the refrigerator one, I've provided the recipe amounts for that as well.
The A/B Split Test Recipe (1 pint jar for canning & 1 1/2 pint jar for the refrigerator)
- (x1) pint jar
- (x1) 1 1/2 pint jar
- 1 3/4 lbs of carrots (approx. 12 lrg carrots)
- 1 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dill seed
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic
2 Canned Pints Recipe
- (x2) pint jars
- 1 1/2 lbs of carrots (approx. 8-9 lrg carrots)
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dill seed
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic
Step 4: Prepping the Carrots
To prep the carrots for either or both preservation methods (fridge or canned), fill your large blanching pot halfway with water and set it to boil.
While the water is heating up, we'll prep the carrots! Cut the ends off and peel 'em.
Starting with the pint jar, cut enough carrots into thin spears (the length of the jar minus 3/4") to fill it.
Repeat for the 1 1/2 pint jar. (Or the other pint jar if you're doing 2 canned.)
Make sure you cut enough so that the carrots are packed nice and tight.
Now to blanch the carrots. Set a colander on a towel next to the now boiling pot of water and get your slotted spoon ready.
refrigerator dilly carrots for 3 minutes. Blanching veggies before preserving – whether your canning, pickling, drying, or freezing them – helps slow down the enzymatic spoiling process and keeps the carrots a more vibrant color.
Step 5: Packing the Jars
Now it's time to pack the carrot spears into their respective jars along with the de-skinned garlic cloves, dill, and spices.
Add 2 garlic cloves, a sprig of dill, and half of the peppercorns and dill seed to each jar.
Lean, stack and fill the jars with their 'like sized' carrot spears until the jars are packed snuggly full.
Step 6: Making the Brine
Now it's brine time! Bring the water, vinegar and kosher salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cold burner to cool.
Step 7: Setting Up the Canning Station
If you're giving the canned version a go, it's time to set up the canning station. Fill your canning pot that works with pint jars 3/4 full of water and set it to boil. Put the sealing lid(s) in a shallow bowl (or pie plate in my case). Set out the lid lifter, jar lifter, lid ring, and a clean towel to set the hot jar(s) on post canning.
Step 8: Filling the Jars
While the canning water is boiling, fill the refrigerator jar with brine*, completely covering the carrots. Use the ladle to push down on the carrots, making sure they're snug in place. Screw a lid on and put the jar immediately into the fridge. Those are done. Great work!
*In most cases, for refrigerator pickles, you will want to let the brine cool to room temperature before adding it to the jar of veggies. The reason I didn't for this jar was because we had already added heat to the veggies so it wasn't going to ruin any fresh crispness -- and I had a pause in the canning process and wanted to make use of that time.
If you're only making the fridge version and/or want to save your fridge from the extra work of cooling down the hot brine, you can definitely wait to fill the jar of refrigerator dilly carrots until after the brine has cooled to room temperature.
Now to finish the canned jar(s). Fill the jar with the still hot brine, leaving 1/2" headspace. Then rinse the ladle and use it to transfer some boiling water to the shallow bowl to soften the sealing compound on the lid.
Tap the jar to release any air bubbles that may be hiding in between the carrots. Wipe the top edge of the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel and use the lid lifter to set the lid in place. Screw on the lid ring, lightly tightening it.
NOTE: Do not screw the lid ring on super tightly as bubbles and air will need to be able to escape from the jar
Step 9: Canning Dilled Carrots
To properly can vinegar pickles, follow the same boiling water bath canning steps outlined in Lesson 2 of my Canning & Preserving Class:
- Once the water is boiling, use the jar lifter to place the dilly carrot jar(s) in the rack of the canning pot .
- Set your timer for 10 minutes once the water has returned to a roiling boil.
Each veggie will have it's own safe boiling time. If trying anything other than carrots, I would recommend searching for a trustworthy recipe online to find that particular vegetable's boiling water bath canning time.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you live more than 1000 feet above sea level, please refer to the Altitude Adjustment Chart above for how to adjust your processing time.
- Once the timer goes off, use the jar lifter to remove the jar(s) and place it on the towel to cool.
- After one hour, remove the outer lid ring and lift the jar by the edges of the sealer lid to ensure that you achieved a proper seal. If the lid comes off easily, a seal was NOT achieved and that jar must go in the fridge immediately and be eaten within 3 months.
- For all jars with a proper seal, let cool on the towel for 6 hours before labeling and moving to the cupboard or pantry.
Step 10: Storage Tips
Refrigerator pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Canned pickles will keep in a cool, dry storage area for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
NOTE: For both versions, for maximum deliciousness let pickles rest in brine for a minimum of 4-5 days before serving.