Crunchy Dill Pickles

Recipe for Crunchy Dill Pickles


4 pounds small cucumbers
2 cloves garlic, peeled, for each jar
1 fresh sprig of dill for each jar
4 black peppercorns for each jar
2 quarts white vinegar
2 quarts water
1/2 cup pickling salt


Soak freshly picked cucumbers in a tub of ice water overnight. Remove and dry the cucumbers, then pack them into sterilized jars along with the garlic cloves, dill sprig, and peppercorns. (For pickle spears, cut the pickles lengthwise before placing them in the jars.) 

In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the vinegar and salt and boil for 5 minutes.

Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe dry the rims of the jars, then cap each with a lid and screw band.

Prepare a boiling water bath and process the jars in it for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the bath and set them on a towel on the counter. They will “seal” during the cooling-off process. Place any jars that do not seal properly in the refrigerator and use first.


Makes about 8 pints.

Reader Comments

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quarts instead of pints

instead of 4 pints I would like to make 7 or 8 quarts of the crispy dill pickle at a time, would it be safe to double the recipe or better to make 2 batches of brine and double ingredients for the jars. I'm concerned about the intensity of flavors if just doubled, I will be using spears.
Thank you JimR

how to make dill pickles

Hi, Jim. We would recommend making two batches of brine rather than doubling the recipe.


I've seen some recipes that brine the cukes for 1 to 2 hours before pickling. Is that good for crsipness?

brine cucumbers before pickling

Yes, brining improves the crispness and taste of the finished pickles.


also how long should we wait to eat them?

how long to wait until eating homemade pickles

The Editors's picture

We would recommend waiting at least a week, and 2 weeks if you can be patient. The flavor will be well worth it!


If i substitute zucchini for some of the jars is the recipe the same?

can I substitute zucchini for cucumbers in pickle recipes

The Editors's picture

Yes, you can substitute zucchini in the recipe. Enjoy!


I'm curious to know if the recipe is really calling for all of that straight vinegar? Just seems like an awful lot and no water dilution. Thanks!


The vinegar is added to 2 quarts of boiling water to make the brine. This is listed in the instructions, but not in the ingredients. We will add it to the ingredients, too.

Dill Pickles- Grape Leaves

I was told by an old Pickler to put a Grape Leaf into the jar
to keep the Pickles crisp. It worked for me !

Crisp Pickles

Let the brine cool to a slighty warm temperature. Add 1/4 tsp of alum to each jar of pickles. This will keep your pickles crisp. We tried these two things and it worked!

alum in pickles

never put alum in pickles. that's aluminum. You are putting metals directly in your food. it is very unsafe and not recommended under any circumstances by any food professional


The USDA states that alum is safe to use in the pickling process. What is the reasoning for you claiming that alum is "very unsafe and not recommended under any circumstances..."?

Crunchy Pickles

Will doing this with pepperoncini's and banana peppers make them crunchy too. I am finding they get too soft normally in canning.

Dill pickles

Can you substitute crushed red pepper for black peppercorns

substitute for black peppercorns

The black peppercorns are of course included to add some spice, so you can use crushed red pepper flakes if you like. However we would urge you to err on the side of caution as crushed red pepper flakes carry quite a bit more zing than whole black peppercorns. As they say: A little goes a long way!

Hi! This is my first time

Hi! This is my first time canning pickles. Thx for the recipe to try. Quick question- We live at 6500 ft elevation... do I need to add time to my processing for that like when water bathing fruit, etc?

Great question, Amber! When

The Editors's picture

Great question, Amber! When canning at elevations between 6,001 and 8,000 you should add 15 minutes to processing time.

I used to make good pickles

I used to make good pickles with no boiling water bath but ever since they tell you to boiling water bath them, mine are no longer crisp. What am I doing wrong? Doesn't the BWB at least cook them to some extent so they become not crisp?

Hello, Linda. The boiling

The Editors's picture

Hello, Linda. The boiling water bath is necessary. This heat treatment will destroy organisms that might cause spoilage and inactivate the enzymes that could affect flavor, color, and texture during storage. If you don’t want to do a water bath, you can store your pickles in the fridge and eat them as you would any other fresh food. As for crispness, our readers have made many suggestions for how to make pickles more crisp. Scroll through the comments below and have a look. Good luck!

This is the exact recipe I

This is the exact recipe I have always used. But I do add a pinch of mustard seed to help with Crispness. I have never done the ice bath and my pickles are always very crisp. We can pretty much the day of picking the cucumbers-3 days post picking.

Put a carrot in your jars to

Put a carrot in your jars to keep crisp.

I followed this recipe but my

I followed this recipe but my pickles were not crisp at all........they had soggy middles....the taste was there but not the crispness. Yes I did soak my pickles overnight. What might I have done wrong? I really want a crisp dill, I made lime pickles and they were crisp as all get out. So should I actually soak in lime before I dill?

Pickling lime is often used

Pickling lime is often used to increase crispness of the vegetable being pickled. Go ahead and give it a try!

I love really crisp pickles.

I love really crisp pickles. Can I use pickling lime with dill pickles like you do with the bread & butter pickles? If not, why? Thanks!

Yes, you absolutely can!

Yes, you absolutely can!

I've tried many dill pickle

I've tried many dill pickle recipes and they weren't very good. lol I am going to try this one. Many recipes say to wait so many days before eating so the fermenting process. Do you have to wait on these pickles and if so how many days?

Hi, Vicki, You should let the

Hi, Vicki, You should let the pickles sit for at least a week, maybe two; they need time to ferment—at least this recipe does. We have a “refrigerator” dill pickle recipe that cuts that wait time in half (to 3 to 4 days) here (the recipe is below the video, which is about 2 mins long, if you’re interested):

It is getting hard to find

It is getting hard to find regular dill pickles in the stores anymore because it seems they have been replaced with Kosher dill pickles. I don't like the kosher dill pickles. They don't taste the same and seem to leave an after taste. What is the difference in regular dill pickles & kosher dill pickles? Thank you.