Pickles

canning how to make best dill pickles | Family Cuisine

Canning is a process of preserving food by heating it to temperatures that destroy microorganisms and allow safe storage. Canning is done in jars, which are then sealed with an airtight lid. The jars are placed in boiling water for a

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Canning how to make best dill pickles

Have you ever wondered how to make easy Dill Pickles at home? With the abundance of cucumbers and fresh dill at the farmer’s markets and CSA’s, let’s do something other than tomato cucumber salads, shall we? I love this recipe because it’s EASY to make. We are going to walk you through the canning process too so you don’t have to feel intimidated to process and make your own pickles this season!

Canning Dill Pickles

Reading: canning how to make best dill pickles

Easy Dill Pickles

Pickles are the best! Especially pickles made from the abundance of in-season cucumbers found at the end of the summer. We want to share with you an easy recipe to make dill pickles that you can either process in mason jars to preserve the taste of summer all year long, or to quickly put up in the refrigerator to use up your cucumber supply now!

What type of cucumber is best for pickling?

Either way, let’s start with the basics: what kind of pickle should you use? Definitely always start with the best possible produce you can find when you want to preserve something. Let’s face it, if you preserve a mediocre vegetable in some vinegar, it isn’t suddenly going to turn in to a better vegetable just because you place it in vinegar.

So for our dill pickles you want to source out small and freshly-picked cucumbers that are not bruised or damaged in any way. We like the smaller and younger cucumbers because they stay crunchier than the more mature large cucumbers that have larger seeds and softer flesh.

How to Make Dill Pickles

How do I make cucumber pickles?

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Once you have found the best cucumbers, you can decide whether you want to preserve the cucumber in canning jars using a boiling water canning method, or you can make refrigerator pickles. If processed properly, canned pickles are shelf stable, unopened, for about a year. Refrigerator pickles will keep for 3 months in your refrigerator. We’ve included instructions for both in the recipe. It’s slightly more complicated to process using a boiling water canning method but we’ve got you covered with some tips below.

Canning 101:

Canning is simply the process of preserving food in jars to become shelf stable. To do this you need to use clean and intact jars and submerge them in a boiling water bath for a specified period of time. This process eliminates any oxygen from the jars making the food shelf stable. However, this lack of oxygen could create a dangerous environment for the growth of a bacteria called botulism. This is super rare and can be prevented by following a few basic rules to assure you are canning safely. Once of the most important aspects of canning is to make sure that your food has a high level of acid. If the food isn’t naturally high in acid, like say cucumbers, you need to create a pickle liquid that is high in acid, like one that is made up of vinegar, to assure that nothing dangerous can grow in your processed jars. Below are some tips to help you safely process your pickles:

  1. Follow the recipe. Whether it is our recipe, or a recipe from another reputable source, follow it to assure you are using the correct amount of vinegar to water.
  2. Follow the instructions: Take care to follow specific instructions when a recipe tells you to leave a certain amount of headspace or not to disturb the canning jars after they’ve been processed. They all play a roll in making sure the lid seals properly.
  3. Check to make sure that the lid has sealed after going through the canning process by pressing down in the center of the lid. If it doesn’t move when you press down on it, it has likely sealed. To take it one step further, remove the band and try to remove the lid. If it doesn’t come off easily your jar has sealed properly. You can store the jars with or without the bands on.
  4. For additional information on canning safety and procedures check out The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

How to Make Quick Dill Pickles

What equipment do you need to can?

While they sell many kits and specialized pieces of equipment to can, you really need just a few basic things to start. If you feel like you are going to process a lot of fruits and vegetables, it might make sense to invest in them, but if you are just starting out begin with this small list:

  1. A large pot that will leave fit a pint sized jar (on a rack) with 1-2 inches of space above it for the water to boil.
  2. A rack that can rest in the bottom of the pot to prevent the jars from cracking while they are being processed.
  3. Mason jars that are made for canning, such as Ball or Kerr jars. We prefer pints because they require a shorter processing time, so tend to make crisper pickles.
  4. Brand new lids. You cannot reuse old lids when you are canning.
  5. Bands. They can be new or old, but just make sure they are not rusting.
  6. Tongs or a utensil to safely remove hot jars from hot water. They make jar lifters that do come in handy, but we made do without one.
  7. A funnel to easily pour pickle liquid into the jars. We also made do without this, but it can make it easier.

Canning Cucumbers to Make Quick Dill Pickles

How long do you have to boil jars for canning?

Each recipe should give you a specific instruction on how long to process each jar. It depends on what you are processing. For our recipe we are processing pints, so we recommend to process for 15 minutes in boiling water, and then let sit for 5 more minutes before removing to rest for 12-24 hours because checking the seal.

How do you sterilize canning jars?

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You can clean jars, lids and bands in warm soapy water and then place in water to boil for 5 minutes. The lids and bands do not have to be warm when beginning the process of canning, but the jars do, so if it’s best to leave them at a temperate of at least 180ºF after sanitizing. The jars need to be warm to prevent them from breaking when your pour in the hot pickling liquid. Another method to sterilize the jars and bring them to temperature is to put them through a sanitizing cycle in the dishwasher right before you are to begin the process.

Easy Dill Pickles

A beginner’s Guide to Canning

Food canning can seem daunting since there’s a little science that happens, but it is actually easy and can be great for those who have a garden or an abundance of food to use up (especially in the Summer), since you can preserve it and store it for winter when things aren’t as in season! When you properly can foods, the container will be airtight to prevent spoilage (you want that pop at the end)! Depending on the type of food, you can keep it stored for differing lengths of time, typically about a year! Canning is just so cool.

How to Make Dill Pickles

Have cucumbers but don’t want to make pickles? Try these cucumber recipes that we love:

  • Israeli Salad
  • Herb Cucumber Salad
  • Tomato Cucumber Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Yogurt Dressing
  • Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Easy Dill Pickles

Read more: how to make koshir dill pickles | Family Cuisine

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