It’s that time of year in late Spring…early Summer, when when we are harvesting the bounties of our gardens, if we’re lucky enough to have one. We have a garden, but we haven’t had much luck with cucumbers. But, like the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”! Right? I was fortunate enough to be invited by one of my good friends to visit a beautiful and bountiful garden of a friend of hers, where they had so much bounty, that they were giving it away! They also had fresh dill growing like crazy! I came home with two boxes of cucumbers and a bag full of dill! Well, what did I do with all those cucumbers and dill, you ask? I made icebox dill pickles, of course!! They are also referred to as refrigerator dill pickles.
Reading: how to make icebox dill pickles
The same friend, that hooked me up with the cukes, also shared her super easy recipe for icebox dill pickles with me! Oh happy day!
With that single bounty of two boxes, I was able to put away 19 quarts of pickles. It seems like a lot, but they are so good, I’m just hoping they last through the Summer! We’re big pickle eaters!!
Once you try this delicious recipe, you’ll never buy store bought again. And did I mention how easy it was? So, without further adieu, here ya go!
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Icebox Dill Pickles
First thing you do is wash all your jars, lids and rings. Put the lids and rings in a pot on the stove, in water. I wasn’t sure why this was done, so I researched it and found out that the hot water softens the rubber on the lid to create a better suction. Who knew?
Next thing you do is heat the brine. I use a stock pot for this. You’ll use canning/pickling salt, water and vinegar.
Put the water and salt in the pot and turn it on to med/high heat and stir until salt completely dissolves. Add your vinegar and continue stirring. You’re going to want to keep the brine hot, but do not boil it though, as it will begin evaporating. Once it’s hot, lower the heat.
Next, I create an assembly line, of sorts. I put a clove of garlic, a dried red pepper, a sprig of dill, a grape leaf (for crispness) and some chopped onion into each jar.
Selecting the Best for Pickling
As I said, I came home with two large boxes of cucumbers. I ended up not using all of them as some were either too small or too soft. For pickling, you want to select very firm ones, especially if you like crisp pickles. If they’re too bendable, you probably won’t get the desire crispness.
Slice the washed cucumber however you prefer. (I bought a little nail scrubber from the Dollar Tree. It really helps to get the bumps off, when washing.) I like the rounds, but you can spear them, if you like. Cut off and discard the ends if you are making rounds.
Begin stuffing your jars. I put a few in and shake the jar, just a little to help pack them down. Try to get as many as you can in, but be sure to leave room for the brine. When you get up to the mouth of the jar, add another clove of garlic, red pepper and a small sprig of dill to top it off, then leave about an inch at the top.
Now comes the fun part. Be very careful here as the brine is extremely hot! I use a funnel and a ladle to add the brine to the jar. I hold the funnel with a hand towel. You need some kind of protection between your hand and the brine. Trust me…I speak from experience. It’s HOT!!
Fill the jars until you have about a half inch left at the top. Then put your lid and ring on and tighten firmly.
As the jars begin to cool, you’ll be able to hear a “pop”. That means it’s sealed. Let completely cool and put them directly into the refrigerator. That’s it!!! They can be eaten practically the next day, but the longer they sit, the more flavorful they will become.
These pickles are easy and so worth the little bit of effort that they take to make. Your family and friends will be asking for more and I think these would be a great homemade gift idea. They would go great in gift baskets for housewarmings, birthdays, showers and even Christmas! There’s so many possibilities!
My Amazon picks:
&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> <br /> Do you have cucumbers coming out of your ears? Give this recipe a try! You won’t regret it! Drop me a note, if you make them and let me know how you like the recipe and be sure to subscribe to Love To Frugal so you never miss a post! Other recipes you might like to try: Easy Orange Chicken and 10 Cheap and Easy Slow Cooker Meals