Vertically sliced dill pickles on a wooden cutting board next to a jar of pickles (with logo overlay)

How to Make Crunchy Classic Dill Pickles at Home

Crunchy, fresh dill pickles are a great addition to any sandwich and are so easy to make. You only need a few ingredients and about 30 minutes!

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Dill pickles are the perfect topping for sandwiches and hamburgers, or to just eat on their own. Or at least that’s what I’m told. Personally, I don’t care for pickles, but Justin loves them.

Lately, he and the boys have gone grocery shopping together. And one day he came home with a cucumber. I asked why since it wasn’t on the list (I know, I’m the one who makes the grocery list). He said he wanted to make dill pickles.

I told him he was on his own for this recipe since I don’t even eat pickles. I had no clue where to even start, so he took the challenge. Justin prefers dill pickles and likes them on sandwiches or with anything BBQ-flavored. Sometimes he just grabs a pickle or two as a snack.

The first thing he did, as we usually do when trying something new, was to look up a few recipes to get ideas. And this meant another quick trip to the store to get a few things. But the ingredients are all ones that you buy once, and they last a long time, other than the fresh cucumber.

Dill Pickles Ingredients

Pickling Cucumber

At our grocery store, there is a cucumber that’s labeled as a pickling cucumber. Of course, this makes it easy to know what type to buy for homemade pickles. If you can’t find one called a pickling cucumber, then you want to look for one that’s firm and unbruised to give you the crunchiest pickles.

Garlic

We used 4 garlic cloves in the recipe. If you like garlic flavor, you can add a bit more. 

​Dill

Fresh sprigs of dill weed will give the best flavor for homemade dill pickles that taste similar to store-bought pickles. Dill weed has a slightly sweet flavor. If you prefer tangy dill pickles, replace the dill weed with dill seed. 

Peppercorn

​Black peppercorns add that pepper flavor to the pickles without getting the pepper pieces getting stuck in the cucumbers. 

Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes add a little bit of a kick to the pickles without being too much. If you want more spicy pickles, add more red pepper flakes to the pickle brine. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

By using apple cider vinegar, you are adding the health benefits of the apple cider vinegar. It’s also more mellow than white vinegar so it makes for more flavorful pickles. 

Water

Water is needed to help dilute the vinegar when making the pickling brine. 

Pickling Salt

Pickling salt is also called canning salt or preserving salt. It does not have any of the additives or anti-caking found in table salt. 

Other Flavorful Add-In Options

This recipe is for a basic pickle, but you could add so many different spices to it to change the flavors to your liking. Try adding some of these to the canning jars while the pickles go through the fermentation process. 

  • Mustard seeds
  • Bay leaf
  • Celery seed
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Star anise
  • Fennell seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Horseradish root

What’s the Best Way to Cut a Cucumber for Pickles?

There are so many ways you can cut the fresh cucumbers. It will depend on what you want to do with the pickles once they are ready. 

  • Pickle spears are perfect when you want them as a side dish or a quick snack
  • Thin slices are best when you want to add them to your favorite sandwich
  • Cut the pickles into pickle chips for hamburgers
  • For whole pickles, you will need smaller cucumbers, but you can leave them whole by just cutting the ends off

How to Can Pickles for Preservation

If you want to can your pickles to save for later, you’ll need to make sure the canning jars are sterilized before starting the canning process. Boil the glass jars and lids for about 10-15 minutes then remove from the water. After placing everything for the crunchy pickles in the jar, place the sealed jars in a pot and cover them with water, at least one inch above the top of the jar. Bring the water to a boil and boil for at least 10-15 minutes. You’ll know the canning recipe is finished when you press on the center of the lid and it doesn’t pop back open. Let the jars rest at room temperature until they are cooled to the touch. Store the cans in a dark pantry and they will last for up to 2 years until the seal is broken. 

Dill Pickles Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 1 pickling cucumber
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs dill
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling salt

Preparation

Start by washing the cucumber and slicing it to the size of pickles you want. Justin likes to make long sandwich-sized pickles rather than flat round pickles, but you can cut them in any way that you want.

Prepare the quart jars by making sure they are also clean and add your spices to the bottom of the jar. Justin makes them with sliced garlic, dill, peppercorn, and red pepper chili flakes.

It helps to add the seasonings to the jar first, so you know there is space. Then put the cucumbers in the jars, making sure to pack them in, but don’t squish them. You don’t want to bruise the pickles.

Make the pickling brine by combining the cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a rolling boil, then remove it from the heat.

Let it cool for a minute before pouring the hot brine into the jars over the pickles and spices. Make sure to leave a bit of space in case it expands, and seal the jars.

Wait until everything cools to room temperature, then store the pickles in the refrigerator. They will be good for a few weeks.

Vertically sliced homemade pickles on a wooden cutting board next to a jar of pickles (vertical)

Homemade Dill Pickle Leftovers

Storage: Keep the pickles in the vinegar brine in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

Recipe

Originally Published On: May 10, 2019

Updated On: June 3, 2024

Vertically sliced dill pickles on a wooden cutting board next to a jar of pickles

Dill Pickles

Crunchy, fresh dill pickles are a great addition to any sandwich and are so easy to make. You only need a few ingredients and about 30 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course:
Side Dish
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
cucumber
|
dill
|
pickles
Servings: 8 pickles
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 pickling cucumber
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs dill
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling salt

Instructions

  • Wash the cucumber and cut to the desired size for pickles
  • Wash and dry jars for pickles
  • Slice garlic and add to jars with dill, peppercorn, and chili flakes
  • In a small pot, combine apple cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt and bring to a rolling boil
  • Let brine cool for a few minutes and pour into the jars until they are almost full
  • Seal jars and leave out until they reach room temperature
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks
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Nutrition Facts
Dill Pickles
Amount Per Serving (1 pickle)
Calories 13
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1314mg55%
Potassium 78mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 1.8mg2%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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39 thoughts on “How to Make Crunchy Classic Dill Pickles at Home”

  1. We love making our own pickled anything. We attempted pickles once before and had an abundance of pickles we didn’t like. I will have to try these since it’s a small batch.

    1. We have tried to grow cucumbers a few times with very little success. I don’t know if it’s just too hot here or not enough pollinators or space. My husband wants to try again this coming fall though!

  2. Personally I don’t love pickles that much but everyone at my house is a big fan. We always make our own pickles at home. This recipe looks so easy and fresh. I have loads of dills and cucumber at my home, definitely going to try this!

  3. Oh yeah! I had forgoten how easy making your own pickles was!We used to make these, then somehow we stopped! Thank you so much for the reminder, this time I’ll try your recipe!

    1. My husband will eat a pickle with almost every meal, so he just put the lid on the jars since he eats them so quickly. We aren’t storing them long-term. The jar of pickles lasts about a week before they are all eaten.

  4. 5 stars
    Pickles always add a little taste to the dish and we always stash these in our fridge… We’ve never tried making our own but will try your recipe out for our own homemade dill pickles!

    1. You should give it a try again! We don’t “can” these to preserve for a long time, but they last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. My husband eats them quick enough that it works for us.

  5. Ray @ Superpowers Sold Separately

    OMGGGG Pickles! I LOVE pickles. My friend made some for holiday gifts a few years back. Thank you for this!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh man, my husband loves pickles and I have been in the market for a good recipe! He home makes his pickles too but adds Jalapenos and boiled eggs to his jar. I am going to show him this! As always it looks delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    I am going to have to do this with my daughter. It’s one of my most favorite things ever. And my daughter tries to steal my pickles all the time. My daughter would love doing this.

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