I’ve had many nicknames in my life.  Dianasaur followed me into adulthood, but most of them I outgrew.  The other title I still earn on a regular basis was given to me by my father: “The Pickle Monster”.  Both my sister and I have been pickle lovers since we could eat solid food.  Our family would go through at least one large jar of pickles a week because not only would we pile 10-20 pickles on each sandwich, but we would often eat them straight from the jar whenever the craving hit.  Our brand of choice was Heinz Hamburger Dill Chips, and nothing else would satisfy.  Fortunately, after 3 years of experimenting , I’ve created my own perfect pickle recipe.

This is just a basic dill pickle recipe; strong vinegar taste, mildly salty, hint of dill.  It has garlic and pepper but they aren’t strong like in kosher dill pickles.

You can use use a crinkle cut mandoline to cut the pickle chips, or slice your cucumbers into spears if you want giant crunchy pickles.

cucumber-spears-to-pickle

All the old pickling recipes I looked at call for either a grape leaf or cherry leaf in your jar to keep the cucumbers crispy.   I don’t know if it really makes a big difference, but since I have both cherry trees and a grape vine I include a leaf in all my pickles.  I’ve got 8 more cucumbers to pickle so plan on experimenting with the necessity of the leaves in my upcoming batch.

By the way, you may notice that I don’t list a yield or serving size for the recipe.  That’s because the number of jars you can make will depend on what size jars and if you do chips, spears or whole cucumbers.  Plan on this making about 4 mason jars worth of pickles, but if you have leftover brine you can always refrigerate it until your next pickling day.  It makes around 8 cups of brine as long as you don’t let it boil too long before using.  That’s very important because if it boils more than a few minutes, your brine will get overly salty.  Yes…voice of experience speaking…very sad experience.

I use pickles on sandwiches and burgers, pair them with firm white fish, even serve them as appetizers!  Are you a pickle monster?

hamburger-dill-chip-recipe

Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup
    pickling salt
  • 2 cups
    apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups
    water
  • dill sprigs, garlic cloves, grape or cherry leaves, peppercorns
  • sliced cucumbers

Cooking Directions

  1. Place pickling salt, vinegar and water in a large pot and heat on high. Stir until salt is dissolved.
  2. Place a sprig of dill, garlic clove, grape or cherry leaf and 8 peppercorns in each hot, sterilized jar (you can easily sterilize the jars by running them through your dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water).
  3. Pack the jars as tightly as you can with cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch of head room.
  4. When vinegar brine begins to boil, ladle hot brine over cucumbers until covered (about 1/4 inch headroom).
  5. Wipe the rim of the jar then place lids and rings on the jars and process 5 minutes in a waterbath canner (boil for 5 minutes with the whole jar submerged in the water).
  6. Let sit 24 hours and refrigerate any whose lids have not popped in.

Approximate cost/serving:  This cost me hardly anything!  I got my jars free off of craigslist and reuse lids that are in good condition.  I grew about 40 cucumbers this year from 8 seedlings that cost me $4.  The vinegar I get by the gallon.  All in all this came out to under $1 per mason jar of pickle chips.

Vegetarian/Gluten free:  Yes to both and vegan too!


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