Pickled Dilly Carrots




About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Mart...

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:

*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.

Like this!

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.

Blanch the carrots to be canned for 90 seconds and the 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.

Once the timer goes off...

quickly remove them from the water.

Then immediately run them under cold water for 90 seconds, or plunge them into ice water.

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.



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Frozen Treats Challenge

      Frozen Treats Challenge

    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I place a whole jalapeno chilli or two into the jar, gives a nice bite.


    2 years ago

    Thanks for a very tasty sounding recipe! I love pickled beets, but have never tried carrots pickled!

    Question: I've been disappointed in the taste of fresh produce for several years now. I think they either pick them too early' or use less tasty, but more durable varieties. Would organic carrots have a better "starting" taste before being pickled? Thanks!

    1 reply
    Paige Russellloubee2

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks loubee2!

    You are so right about the tasteless direction commercial fruit and veggies has gone. That's why I prefer to shop at farmer's markets for my produce and I try to buy organic as much as possible. I definitely think it results in a better tasting finished product.

    I'm also finally have space to have a garden this year, so I'm trying some heirloom varieties of carrots to see what new flavors (if any) can be had! My fingers are crossed. :D

    Marcus Audens

    2 years ago

    Sounds good. I have been pickling cauiliflower in sweet gerkin brine, for a time and that has turned well. I like a sweeter brine, and sweet gerkins are a favorite here.

    1 reply
    Paige RussellMarcus Audens

    Reply 2 years ago

    Ooh, I bet sweet cauliflower is delicious! I'll have to try making some. :D


    2 years ago

    OOOooo !! How nice. I really love these, and have not had any for many many years. Great instructable on how to make them two ways ! Thanks for telling us how to make them. My mouth is watering now.

    1 reply
    Paige RussellJPod

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks JPod! If you try making them, be sure to share pictures!

    Neil the geeky

    2 years ago

    Hi, this looks excellent; how did the results from the two styles of pickling compare?

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    great photos specially the 'cover of your book' wit has so many colors. Made want to try. Congrats!