Hands down, this is our favorite kosher dill pickle recipe! With fresh cucumbers and onions, spicy garlic and jalapenos, and a few spices, everyone who eats these pickles will be coming back for more!
We’ve been working on our Kosher dill pickle recipe, and we’re excited to share it with you!
Y’all, when I tell you that this recipe makes the most mouthwatering pickles, I’m being as honest as I can. I’ve had pickles that other friends and family members have made. They’re absolutely delicious, don’t get me wrong, but our recipe tops any I’ve ever had.
…and don’t even get me started on store-bought pickles…
If you’re adventurous, you might even add a little homemade ranch seasoning mix into the recipe for a zesty, tangy flavor!
What are “Kosher Dill Pickles?”
Most people hear the word “kosher” and immediately think of the Hebrew laws that define the foods that are ok for Jewish people to eat.
Now, I can’t tell you all about all the Jewish food laws. But if you’re interested in knowing more about the history of Jewish food, check out Claudia Rodin’s The Book of Jewish Food.
If you’re just looking for more of a history of pickles, themselves, PBS Food’s History Kitchen talks about that, and it’s pretty interesting!
When it comes to pickles, the word “kosher” is more about the pickle recipe itself. Most if not all kosher-style pickle recipes contain garlic. To be honest, I feel like all the pickles we’ve ever made are kosher style, if that’s truly the case!
What Kind of Cucumbers are Best for Pickling?
That’s a very good question, actually. It’s also a question that you’ll find millions of answers to across the internet, and most of them will be different from the next.
We tend to like English cucumbers as pickles. There aren’t as many large seeds as some of the other cucumber varieties. We’ve also found them to give the best crunch after the pickling process is complete.
We don’t like mushy pickles!
The English cucumbers are longer than most typical slicing cucumber varieties. Measuring an average 14 inches, there’s plenty of pickle potential, pals!
If you happen to find smaller versions of English cucumbers (that could be pickled whole), they have a slight advantage. Their skin is thinner than a lot of “pickling cucumber” varieties, so the brine will penetrate into the fruit faster and more effectively.
What Do I Need to Make This Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe?
The standard ingredient list for kosher pickles contains:
- Cucumbers – You can use any cucumber you like, we’re just preferential to the English cucumbers. Slice them, cube them, cut them into spears, or leave them whole (provided they’ll fit into the jar). We’ve found 5 full sized English cucumbers usually does about 4 quarts of pickles.
- Onions – We like to use red onion in our canning recipes because they taste stronger to us. You can use whatever you like, but the stronger the onion, the more flavor it will impart.
- Garlic – The reason “kosher dill pickles” are “kosher” is because of the garlic. You can’t put too much, either. If you want more garlic flavor, add more cloves, smash the whole cloves, or use minced garlic. (One of these days, we’re going to just make a big jar of pickled garlic, I swear!)
- Vinegar – We’ve only used distilled white vinegar in our pickles, but you can use apple cider vinegar. Whatever vinegar you use, make sure it’s 5% acidity if you’re going to process the jars in a canner.
- Water – Regular tap water will work.
- Sugar – Now, don’t freak out. There isn’t enough sugar involved in this recipe to make these pickles sweet. If you’re looking for more of a bread and butter pickle, we’ve got a recipe coming soon for those!
- Salt – We use pickling salt when we’re canning pickles, but really, you’d be safe with pink Himalayan salt, sea salt, or kosher salt (Imagine that! lol).
- Pickling Spice – You can make your own or buy your pickling spice. Either way, it’ll add a lot of subtle flavors to your pickles.
- Mustard Seed – Mustard seed adds a hint of spice to the pickles.
- Peppercorns – These also add a little spice, but they also deepen the overall flavor.
- Dill – If you’re using fresh dill from your garden (or the grocery store), that’s all you’ll really need. A couple of heads in each jar will do. You can also do like we do (sometimes) and use dill weed and dill seed.
Our Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe
We made these before using the recipe found in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. They were great, but we found they were a bit too salty for our taste. We decided to reduce the salt and change up some of the other ingredient amounts, too. Here is our kosher dill pickle recipe:
Step 1: Slice Cucumbers
Slice cucumbers ¼” thick, discarding the ends. We use a mandolin (like this one) to ensure uniform slices. (Uniform slices aren’t necessarily that big a deal, we’re just super picky about details.)
Step 2: Slice Onion
We do ours rather thin (about ⅛”). The more slices of onion, the more surface area to spread flavor throughout the jar! (That last part may or may not be true, but we do it, anyway.) If you want to add some jalapeños for a super spicy kick, slice those up now, too.
Step 3: Prepare Your Jars
We typically use quart sized Mason jars. It’s usually easiest for us to boil our jars to sterilize, but you can use the oven method (bake for 20 minutes at 225°F/120°C), or sterilize them in your dishwasher (if your machine has that setting).
Step 4: Make the Brine
Add 1 quart vinegar (5% acidity), 1 quart water, ¾ cup sugar, and ⅓ cup pickling salt to a pot. Add 2 tablespoons pickling spice to a tea infuser, sachet bag, or directly into the brine. If we ever add the pickling spice directly into the brine, we like to strain it out through a wire sieve afterward. Mix the brine and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Pack the Jars
You can add the spices (mustard seed, peppercorns, dill weed & seed) now, or wait until the end. Spice amounts per jar – 1 teaspoon mustard seed, 2-3 peppercorns (more for more spice), ½ teaspoon dill weed, ½ teaspoon dill seed. Layer in your onion, garlic (whole cloves or minced), and cucumbers until the jar is full, leaving ½” headspace. Tap the jars to pack, or use a kraut pounder (or “pickle packer” as some like to call it) to get as many cucumbers in as possible.
(Warning: Using the kraut pounder could result in mushy pickles toward the top.)
If you’re trying to ensure crispy pickles, I would also recommend (though it is optional) adding ¼ teaspoon of Pickle Crisp to each quart sized jar (or ⅛ teaspoon if you’re using pint jars).
Step 6: Add the Brine
Pour hot brine over cucumbers leaving ½” headspace. Using a plastic or wooden utensil (like this jar de-bubbler, or a chopstick), make sure there are no bubbles in the jar. Add more brine as necessary to ensure ½” headspace.
Step 7: Clean Jar Rims
Wipe rims clean with a paper towel and white vinegar. This will ensure there are no defects in the rim of the jar, and that the rim is clean. Omitting this step could result in faulty seals, or jars that don’t seal at all.
Step 8: Add Lids and Bands
Adjust bands to finger-tip tight.
Step 9: Process Jars
Process the full jars for 15 minutes in water bath canner. (Ball has more information on how to use a water bath canner if you need it.) Turn off heat, and allow jars to cool for 5 minutes. Remove jars from water bath canner, and place on a towel on the counter. The towel helps to avoid temperature shock if the counter is too cool so the jars don’t crack.
Be sure you allow the jars to cool for at least 12 hours to ensure they are at room temperature. Double check all lids to make sure they sealed. If any lids did not seal properly, place in the refrigerator and enjoy immediately.
Kosher-Style Dill Pickles
- 8 lbs Cucumbers (We use English Cucumbers)
- 1 qt Vinegar 5% acidity
- 1 qt Water
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Pickling Salt
- 2 Tbsp Pickling Spice
- Pickle Crisp (Optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 tsp Mustard Seed
- 9 Peppercorns (or 3 per quart jar)
- 1½ tsp Dill Weed
- 1½ tsp Dill Seed
- 6 cloves Garlic minced
- 3 Jalapeño Peppers
- Prepare cucumbers by washing. Cut off ends of cucumbers. Cut cucumbers according to how you like them (chips, spears, etc).
- Wash jalapeños and slice (or cut a small slit into the pepper if leaving whole). Peel garlic cloves. Place pickling spice into a tea infuser.
- In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and tea infuser filled with pickling spice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes making sure salt and sugar have fully dissolved. Remove from heat, and remove tea infuser.
- Pack cucumbers into a hot, sterile quart jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. In each jar, add ½ teaspoon mustard seed, one head of dill, one bay leaf, 1 clove of garlic (can be crushed to release extra flavor), and one jalapeño.
- Add ¼ teaspoon Pickle Crisp to each quart jar (or ⅛ teaspoon in pint jars), if desired.
- Ladle hot pickle brine into each jar, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, and top jars off (still leaving ½ inch headspace) with brine, if necessary.
- Clean rims of jars by wiping with a paper towel dabbed with vinegar. Place lids on jars, and tighten bands to finger-tip tight.
- If canning, move onto canning instructions. If not, allow jars to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Make This Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe for Us!
Canning Instructions (Pickling)
- Water bath canner
- To ensure good seals on jars, wipe rims clean with vinegar soaked paper towel.
- Place lids and bands on jars, adjusting band to finger-tip tight.
- Place jars onto elevated rack over simmering water in canner. Slowly lower the rack into the simmering water.
- Adjust the heat to medium-high, cover canner, and bring to a full rolling boil. When full boil has been reached, start timer.
- Process pint or quart jars for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover from canner, and let jars cool for 5 minutes in the canner.
- Remove jars from canner with jar lifting tongs, place on a towel on your counter. Do NOT retighten bands.
- Allow jars to cool on counter top for 12 hours. Check seals, label, and store jars.
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Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.