To start things off, this is the easiest way to pickle cucumbers and the recipe my mom has always used. These are crazy easy and super cheap to make, a true crowd-pleaser, and a great go-to gift for friends or coworkers.
I think these look the coolest when you use actual pickling (or “Kirby” cucumbers; at right) but you can also use Persian or English. Different cukes are good for different things – for example, pickling cucumbers naturally look the most like (duh) pickles, Persian are guaranteed in stock in most grocery stores, and English are good for different shapes and sizes (particularly stackers for sandwiches; see photo below). I’ve never used those super smooth, dark green garden cucumbers but I’m sure they’d work too. They just look funky, IMO.
The basic recipe for these below, with a few notes. Happy Pickling!
Dill Pickle Recipe
Makes about 6 pints
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 5 cups water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1 head garlic (about)
- 1 bunch dill (you won’t use all of this – good uses for extra dill are tuna salad, frittatas, etc…or other pickled items! Hint: next week’s recipe)
- 10 pickling cucumbers (or ~3 English cucumbers, or ~a dozen Persian)
- Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool (if you use a still-hot brine, the cukes tend to get browner quicker).
- Fill each jar with 2-3 sprigs of dill and 1-2 garlic cloves halved length-wise (depending on jar size). If you have one of those skinny, lame inner cloves, just snip the tip and count as 1/2.
- Fill jars with cucumber slices.
- Add more dill and garlic (about the same amount as the first round) to each jar.
- Fill jars with the cooled brine and fully cover all of the other ingredients. Refrigerate* and they’re good to go in 24+ hours.
*If I’m gifting these, I’ll usually hold off on refrigerating to avoid handing someone a sweaty jar of pickled things…yum. The pickles will still turn out fine, they’ll just lose the fresh green cooler sooner – similar to using a still-warm brine. As long as you advise said recipient to refrigerate after opening, you won’t poison anyone.