Homemade pickles are one of the best things you can make with the bounty from the backyard garden. Cucumber plants always seem to produce way more fruits than a family can eat at one time, so making pickles is a great way to preserve the harvest. One of our favorite cucumber varieties for making pickles is Supremo due to the disease-resistance of the plants and the uniform size of the fruits.
We've often struggled with pickles staying crunchy after the water bath canning process. We've tried pickle crisp granules and that works okay, but they're still not as crunchy as we'd like. This year we tried a new method that works very well and makes delicious, crunchy pickles.
This technique takes a little more time and preparation because you have to let the pickles set for several hours while coated with salt, but it's well worth it! We pickled quite a few jars of sliced cucumbers and cucumber spears this year and were very happy with the results. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
- Fresh Pickling Cucumbers
- 2 Quarts Water
- 2 Quarts White Distilled Vinegar
- 2 Cups Pickling or Canning Salt
- Black Peppercorns
- Garlic Cloves
- Fresh Dill Sprigs
1) Slice the pickling cucumbers to your desired thickness or cut into spears. It's important to use fresh cucumbers that are still firm. Older cucumbers that have become spongy won't be very crispy once preserved.
2) Place the cucumber slices or spears into a large bowl and coat liberally with pickling or canning salt. One cup of salt for a large bowl of cucumbers should be sufficient. Mix the bowl with your hands to ensure all the cucumber pieces are coated well. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3) Remove the cucumbers from the fridge and wash thoroughly to remove any salt. Rinsing them over running cold water should be sufficient.
4) In your preferred canning jars, place 1-2 garlic gloves, a teaspoon of black peppercorns, and a few fresh dig sprigs in the bottom of the jars. Then pack the jars with the pickle slices or spears.
5) Prepare your brine on the stove by heating 2 quarts of water and 2 quarts of white distilled vinegar. Add 1 cup of pickling or canning salt and bring to a boil. You can multiply or reduce this brine recipe however you'd like depending on how many pickles you intend to make.
6) Pour the hot brine into the jars leaving 1/2" of head space in the jars. Clean the jar rims, add lids, and secure the jar bands.
7) Place the jars into a boiling hot water bath ensuring that water covers the top of the jars. Leave the jars in the water bath for 15 minutes.
8) Carefully remove the jars and allow them to cool and seal.
9) Enjoy your crunchy pickles! We like to keep a jar in the fridge as they make a quite tasty snack when they're cold.