Learn how to make dill pickles with this easy recipe for canning dill pickles in slices or spears! Get crunchy dill pickles without pickle crisp by using this secret ingredients!
Having a few dozen jars of home canning dill pickles in my pantry is one of my favorite sights. And canning them myself with this easy dill pickle recipe is even better!
Since I like to keep my ingredients as pure as possible, this dill pickle recipe for canning pickles is made without pickle crisp!
Yet, the dill pickles in slices or spears are still crunchy and crisp thanks to a secret ingredient!
Dill Pickle Recipe for Canning
I grew up on store bought pickles. In fact, I could take down a jar of kosher dill pickle spears all by myself!
And when I started canning sweet pickles a few years back, I knew that dill pickles were going to be next on my canning list!
After a bit of experimenting, I came up with an easy and delicious dill pickle recipe that rivals any store bought pickle out there! Crisp, crunchy, with just the perfect blend of dill spices.
Fortunately, our garden produces cucumbers like crazy and I'm also looking for ways to use them!
This is just ONE day of harvesting our cucumber bed. From 3 plants we get this many cucumbers every day, from May through November!
Wash and drain cucumbers in a strainer to let the extra water drain away before canning.
Depending on how you like your pickles, you can slice them for hamburger dill pickles, or cut them in quarters lengthwise for dill spears.
Meanwhile, combine salt, water, and vinegar in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low while you pack the jars.
Before packing the cucumbers into the hot jars, you need to add the spices. To each quart jar add 2 heads of dill, contents of 1 bag of black tea (not the bag itself), 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and 2 peppercorns.
Then, you can pack cucumbers into the jars. If you are packing spears, I find that if you tilt the jar sideways, you can fit more in!
Next, cover the cucumbers with the warm vinegar mix. Be sure to leave a 1/4" headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a plastic canning knife and add additional liquid if needed to come back up to the 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims, then place and tighten 2-piece lids.
Process 20 minutes in a water bath canner. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a folded towel. Allow the jars to cool completely before storing.
If the jars are sticky after they have cool, wipe them down with a wet rag and dry before storing.
Note: If you have not successfully used tea in place of pickle crisp, you might want to use grape leaves instead. The black tea brand I have linked in the recipe works perfectly, but others may not.
- 4 pounds cucumbers cut lengthwise into quarters
- 6 tbsp canning salt
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups vinegar
- Organic Black Tea (we use this brand) 1 bag per jar
- Fresh dill 2 heads per jar
- 3 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 14 whole peppercorns
- Wash and drain cucumbers, then slice. Combine salt, water, and vinegar in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil.
- To each quart jar add 2 heads of dill, contents of 1 bag of black tea (not the bag itself), 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and 2 peppercorns. Pack cucumbers into hot jars and cover with vinegar mix, leave a 1/4" headspace.
- Remove air bubbles with a plastic canning knife, add additional liquid if needed. Wipe rims, then place and tighten 2-piece lids. Process 20 minutes in a water bath canner.