How to Make Pickles: Kosher Ball Canning Recipe With Fresh Dill

Cassandra Smet
by Cassandra Smet

Today I'm making pickles. I have pickle spears and slices I'm making, so join me in my kitchen to learn how to make pickles. It's a great frugal canning idea for using up cucumbers as well.

Besides cucumbers, I also use bell peppers in my pickle recipe. They add so much flavor by adding a couple of slices in each jar.

I filled two grocery bags full of cucumbers of all different shapes and sizes, and I'm going to try to get can all of these today. I also stopped at the farmer's stand to pick up two more sprigs of fresh dill for today.

Pickle recipe

Ball canning recipe for kosher, dill, homestyle pickles:

  • 1 quart vinegar 
  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 heads of fresh dill
  • 16-24 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 50 medium cucumbers
  •  8 small red or green peppers
Washing cucumbers and peppers

1. Wash the cucumbers and peppers

First, make sure to wash your cucumbers and peppers. Then start slicing the cucumbers and making spears or slices and place the cucumbers in a bowl. Cut the bell peppers and add them to a separate bowl

Soak the cucumbers and peppers while setting up your cutting station and gathering everything you'll need to can pickles. After the cucumbers and peppers soak, scrub them to ensure they're clean.

How to make dill pickles

2. Add ingredients to the jar

I put 1/4 tablespoon of alum in my jars to keep the pickles crisp. Then I add a half tablespoon of garlic and then, of course, dill. Next, I'll pack the jars full of the cucumber slices as tight as I can. I usually will top it with another little sprig of dill. 

Now I'm going to heat my leftover brine, and I have my canner warming up.

How to make homemade pickles

3. Add brine

The way I have my kitchen set up for canning pickles is to have a pickle-cutting station with my bowl with the cucumbers I'll use for pickles nearby. I have my washed cucumbers on the counter behind me, so all I have to do is reach back and grab a cucumber each time I need one for slicing.

Once the jars are packed with slices or spears, fill each one with the warmed brine. You can add peppers to the jars as you pack them for extra flavor.

Dill pickle recipe

If your cucumber sticks above the edge of the jar, take a knife and cut the parts off that will be over the headspace you need in the jar. You can use the cut parts to fill in spaces in each jar.

If you have brine left, wait until it's completely cold, then dump it back in a container you've labeled pickled brine. The next time you make pickles, you can use the leftover brine. You can keep it for up to a week. 

How to make pickles

How to make pickles

Place your jars in the canner, let the canner do the work, then set them out to cool. That's it; we've made a lot of pickles that will last for months. I've made pickle spears and pickle slices, and even with cleaning up, it wasn't difficult at all.

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