Canning pickles

This is where my husband comes in. His family has been pickling and canning for several generations. As with our other differences, until meeting him, I had not pickled or canned anything. Ever.

Now we are on our 3rd year of the Annual Gettin’ Pickled get together with family and friends.

We pick up bushels of pickles from our local Hutterite colony. They have a process to wash and sort the pickles by size so that packing them into the jars is so much easier. We tried this from another supplier our first year and it was quite a process to get them washed and sorted.

Canning dill pickles is a great way to hang on to the beauty of the garden, keeping the delicious crunch and tanginess of homemade pickles so you can enjoy them throughout the year.

The canning process involves sealing the jars to create an airtight environment, preventing spoilage and maintaining the quality of the pickles. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to can dill pickles:

Gettin’ Pickled Canned Pickle Recipe

  • Pickling cucumbers (Kirby cucumbers are ideal)
  • Fresh dill sprigs
  • Garlic cloves, peeled (use this handy garlic peeler to save your fingers and keep the vampires away!)
  • Pickling salt (non-iodized)
  • White vinegar (5% acidity)
  • Water
  • Black peppercorns
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for added heat)
  • Habanero peppers

Picking Equipment

Canning Pickles
Carefully Pour in the brine while canning pickles


  1. Prepare the Cucumbers:
    • Wash the cucumbers thoroughly and trim off the ends. You can cut them into slices or leave them whole, depending on your preference.
  2. Sterilize the Jars and Lids:
    • Wash the canning jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse them well.
    • Place the jars and lids in a large pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes to sterilize them. Keep them submerged in simmering water until ready to use.
  3. Prepare the Brine:
    • In a saucepan, combine water, white vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Keep the brine warm.
  4. Pack the Jars:
    • Place dill seeds or fresh dill sprigs, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes (if using) into each sterilized jar.
  5. Pack the Cucumbers:
    • Pack the cucumber slices or whole cucumbers tightly into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the top of the jar.
  6. Add the Brine:
    • Carefully ladle the hot brine into the jars, covering the cucumbers completely. Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
  7. Release Air Bubbles:
    • Gently tap the jars on a countertop to release any air bubbles trapped within the cucumbers and brine.
  8. Wipe the Jar Rims:
    • Use a clean, damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars to ensure they are clean and free from any residue or brine.
  9. Apply Lids and Bands:
    • Place the sterilized lids on the jars. Screw on the bands until they are fingertip tight, meaning not too loose and not overly tight.
  10. Process in a Water Bath Canner:
    • Fill a water bath canner or a large stockpot with water and bring it to a boil.
    • Using a jar lifter, carefully place the filled jars into the boiling water, ensuring they are fully submerged. The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch.
  11. Process the Jars:
    • Place the lid on the canner and start the timer. The processing time will vary depending on your altitude and the size of the jars. For pint-sized jars, process for about 10 minutes. For quart-sized jars, process for about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove Jars and Cool:
    • Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and carefully remove the jars from the canner using the jar lifter.
    • Place the jars on a clean towel or a cooling rack to cool. Avoid placing them on a cold surface, as rapid temperature changes can cause the jars to crack.
  13. Check the Seal:
    • As the jars cool, you’ll hear a “ping” sound as the lids seal. Press down on the center of each lid to check if it has sealed properly. If the lid does not flex or pop, the seal is secure.
  14. Label and Store:
    • Label the sealed jars with the date and content.
    • Store the cooled and sealed jars in a cool, dark, and dry place. Properly sealed canned pickles can last for up to a year or more.

Canning dill pickles is a wonderful way to savor the flavors of summer all year round. By following these steps and ensuring proper sanitation and sealing, you can enjoy your homemade pickles even during the colder months.

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