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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Add a grape leaf

Years and years of nice crisp pickles, whether cucumber, zucchini or green bean....common denominator is a nice large grape leaf (wild or domestic). Pouring the boiling liquid over the grape leaf which is placed on the top of the jar releases tannins which promote the crispness! My pickles have never failed as long as I have a grape leaf to add to each jar. :)


That's the same way my mother and I make dill pickles. We heat our jars in the oven, pour the brine over the packed jars and they seal on their own, without waterbathing. Have you done it this way? I'm not sure the old way is the best as I don't see any recipes on line that don't require waterbathing. Just wondering if you've got an opinion.


To answer a ? about using Zucchini

I imagine you could use any type of vegetable. Red onion,Yellow Squash,Carrots,Green pepper,Banana Pepper,anything firm & hardy.

The easiest way ever

I've taken a cucumber sliced them up to desired slices & placed back into an empty all ready like Vlasic or any brand. Save that pickling juice. Pickles last a very long time so just keep adding to your jar.I have made them from scratch too. Seasoned Rice Vinegar would be really good instead of White Vinegar I think.I haven't done this yet however when I make a salad I just add a few splashes of this some salt,pepper,Garlic Powder or even Goya seasoning.I've also made the pickles in Robust Italian Dressing really good b/c it's so flavorful.

Dill pickles

Do you wash the cucumbers before or after you soak in ice water overnight?

Washing Cucumbers

The Editors's picture

Gently wash the cucumbers to remove dirt or any other debris, then soak them.

Washing cucumbers

Wash cucumbers before you place them in ice water for the night. The instructions state that you only drain and dry the cukes after they have soaked in the ice water


Please add a print button on recipes .

Printing recipes

The Editors's picture

Hi Bev, All of our recipes have a green “print” icon at the top of the page for printing! Cheers, your OFA editors

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

The Editors's picture

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

How To Make Dill Pickles

If making quarts instead of pints should I increase the processing time from 10 minutes to 20?


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

The Editors's picture

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 Editors's picture

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 Editors's picture

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?