Garlic Dill Pickles



Fresh from the canner, these pickle slices are still turning from bright green to dark green.

raw cucumbers

You can use small, medium, or large cucumbers, but the larger they are (of course) the fewer you can fit in one jar.

filling jars

You can also do some sliced.  I have found that they are a little softer in texture than the ones I can whole but I like these for sandwiches and it doesn’t bother me.


My friend Lisa E. (pictured above) and I learned to pickle dills together.  The first recipe we tried called for pickling spices,  so we cooked up a batch of the vinegar with spices and Lisa, smelling the odor coming from the pot, mentioned that she wasn’t enjoying the smell of the spices and was reluctant to use them, wasting a bunch of cucumbers.  Although I hadn’t thought about it, I didn’t like the idea of my pickles tasting of allspice and Cinnamon either.  We looked furiously for a dill pickle recipe that would have a clean garlicky dill flavor.   We found only one that came close to our idea of how a pickle should be and it came from the Sonoma County Extension office.  We tweaked it just a little bit until it was perfect.  My sister, who is a dill pickle connoisseur called it one of the best pickles she’s ever had!  So here’s the recipe for you to try!


4lbs (2 quarts) freshly picked small to medium sized cucumbers

4 tbsp canning salt

4 cups vinegar

4 cups water

1 fresh head of dill weed per jar

1/2 tsp mustard seeds per jar

1 clove garlic per jar

6 peppercorns per jar


1.  Wash cucumbers thoroughly.

2.  For whole cucumbers, small sizes up to 4 inches are preferred.  Larger cucumbers should be sliced, quartered, or halved lengthwise.

3.  Combine salt, vinegar, and water in a pot.   Heat to boiling.

4.  Pack cucumbers into hot clean jars.  For each quart jar add: 1 head of dill, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and six peppercorns.  Fill with hot pickling liquid to 1/2 inch of  the top for quart jars, and 1/4 inch for pints.

5.  Process pint or quart jars of whole cucumbers in hot water bath for 10 minutes, jars of slices or halves for five minutes.
6.  Let the pickles cure for 4-6 weeks before opening to taste.

Recipe notes: I have updated this recipe to start off with a larger batch of brine.  Because of the irregularity of cucumber size and shape it is an inexact science to figure out how many jars of pickles you’ll get out of 4 lbs of cucumbers.  Sometimes you can only fit three in a jar, sometimes you can fit six.  So be prepared to whip up another batch of brine.  It’s truly fast and easy to do.  And remember that if you have leftover brine you can save it in the fridge for more pickling projects.


33 thoughts on “Garlic Dill Pickles

  1. alison

    I’m not much of a pickle person, but these sound delicious. I think I would like them more than the “regular” kind of pickles.
    A friend of mine pickled garlic scapes (the cut-off flower stalks) last year, in the same way you pickle “dilly beans”, and that was the first time I had pickles I liked.

  2. michelle

    I have never made pickles before but am going to this year with your recipe! I have cloves and cinnamon and just avoided making the typical pickles, since I knew it would be not to my liking…..your recipe is perfect for my flavor loves and thank YOU for sharing it!

  3. Karmyn R

    It is very similar to the pickles I usually make except for the peppercorns. I will have to add those and use this recipe this summer.
    I wonder how they would taste if you added in a bit of hot pepper too?

  4. Gwen Mozingo

    I use the same recipe as you!!! I just wanted to add that in additon to having crisp pickles, I use a large grape leaf in a pint and 2 leaves in a large. I live in the south so we have them growing wild. Just wanted to share a long time tid-bit that we have used for many years. Happy Canning.

  5. Kathy

    I’m so happy to see this recipe posted! We’ve talked about my failed pickles last year and that I would give yours a try. Seeing the cucumbers in the pictures above reminds me of going to the garden and eating them fresh from the vine. mmm!

  6. karina

    i’m delurking to tell you that i just tried this recipe! i just have a couple questions for you…
    I just wanted to test so i used an old jar (and the seal probably doesn’t work very well) so i don’t plan on storing it outside of the fridge but i was wondering how long they should sit before tasting them.. just until they’re cool or a couple days/weeks?
    i can’t wait to try! i’m so curious!!
    thanks again! i love your blogs!

  7. stitchy1

    They should sit for at least three weeks. Hard to wait, I know! I’m so happy you tried this out and hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

  8. karina

    oh man! after researching just realized i used fennel and not dill weed :-( apparently they have the same name in French… hope they turn out ok anyway!

  9. Blondie

    I can never find “pickling” cukes. Can I use the standard cuke for this? Or must I seek out the “pickling” variety.

  10. stitchy1

    Yes, you do need the pickling cucumbers. They are much smaller and they have a drier denser texture which is important for the pickle. Are there any farms near you? You can always call to see if they have any. It’s too late for this year but next year you could grow your own- they are very easy to grow. You can also call any smallish grocery stores in your area that tend to carry local produce and ask if any of their vendors have pickling cucumbers and that if they do you would be interested in purchasing a box of them. Sometimes stores can get things that they don’t actually carry because of low demands. Worth a shot!

  11. Blondie

    Thanks for your quick response! I made pickles a couple of years ago but I couldn’t remember if I used pickling cukes or not. I must have found them somewhere! And yes, next year I will be growing them! Thanks again and great work on your blog!

  12. Susan Ball

    I used the recipe today but didn’t have enough brine to fill the jars. You didn’t say how many jars, but I did 4 qts of whole and 3 pts of sliced. I had to stop in the middle and mix up another pot of brine so I could finish the pickles. I also added some red pepper flakes because we love spicy things. I always add them to my pickles, even the bread and butter ones. I look forward to tasting these. Your recipe didn’t say how long to wait to open them, but a blogger said about 3 wks. Maybe for 1st time picklers you might add approx number of jars and how long to wait to open them. They just might not read on or know to judge it. thanks, Susan

  13. stitchy1

    Hi Susan! That is an excellent point- you have to make more depending on how many pickles you have, how large they are (because the larger the pickles are the fewer fit in one jar). I put the brine quantity that was originally printed in the recipe we adapted. I have always had to make at least twice that amount and so I should change the recipe to reflect that. It will always be an inexact science since so much depends on how large your cucumbers are. However, I think that’s an important issue to address- thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  14. Ryan

    My wife and I found your recipe and made our very first batch of homemade pickles tonight. We grew the pickling cukes in our garden, so we are SOOO excited to get a taste of them. We’ll check back in September to let you know how they tasted. :)

  15. Ryan

    So we are not the most patient people in the whole world and we had a big harvest this afternoon of Tomatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers, Peppers and even a Pumpkin and a Honeydew Melon. We wanted to take a picture of it all and we decided to take a picture of all of it to post to our blog. ( and it reminded us of our pickles. We were supposed to wait 3 weeks which would be Tuesday or Wednesday, but we just couldn’t wait.
    I was like a little kid a Christmas opening the bottle. I felt my glands tighten up and my mouth start to water as the vinegar and dill flooded my senses. I let all three kids and my wife try them first and they said they were AMAZING! I bit into mine and I have to agree! I am the kind of guy who can open a jar of pickles and polish the whole thing off in one sitting and it’s going to be hard not to do that with these. What an awesome recipe! Thanks! We will be making batch number 2 tonight.

  16. stitchy1

    I am so happy to hear that you all really liked the way the pickled turned out!!! I checked out your blog and enjoyed the pictures of your kids and the earlier pictures of your garden. I didn’t see the recent pictures of your harvest but will check in again to see what you have up.

  17. Ryan

    Ok, Harvest pictures are up on the blog now :) And we ended up making our 2nd batch tonight instead of yesterday. We were able to make 7 quarts of spears and 3 quarts of whole pickles this time. Our last batch was one quart of wholes (which got polished off within an hour of opening it…) and one quart and four pints of Chips from the larger cukes. At least this time we have some of our chips to tide us over while we wait for this batch to pickle :D
    Not too bad for our first time ever growing and pickling our own pickles! Thanks so much for putting this recipe out there for us to find. Do you mind if we link to and/or share your recipe on our blog?

  18. stitchy1

    Thanks for asking- definitely feel free to put the recipe on your blog and link to mine. I think you guys have been very productive!

  19. Michele

    This may be a silly question, but after pickling beets and asparagus, I need to know what kind of vinegar.

  20. stitchy1

    That is not a dumb question at all! You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar- the main thing is that you make sure whichever you use has 5% acidity (it will say on the container) and don’t assume they’re all 5% either because my friend and I accidentally bought 4% once! I don’t like the flavor of pickles in apple cider vinegar, I feel it kind of muddles the flavor, but many people really like it. As soon as I get a chance I will add a note to the pickle recipe. I think that is an excellent question.

  21. Michele

    Hey, thanks for such a quick response!!! I choose to use the white vinegar. I’ll let you know how they turned out. Thanks again.

  22. stitchy1

    Nothing will happen if you use 6% vinegar except for a possibly very slightly more acidic tasting pickle than you’d get with 5%. The problem with 4% is that it doesn’t have a high enough acidity to safely preserve the pickles. Cucumbers are a low acid vegetable and so you’re relying largely on the vinegar to keep the food from going bad. Anything below 5% will not be safe.

  23. Paul Lap

    I pickled 16 1L jars yesterday and 12 500ml green beans with your brine recipe. Should be good for a while….
    How long do I wait before diggin’ in?

  24. stitchy1

    Paul- I would wait a minimum of 3 weeks. The Ball Blue Book Of Canning recommends waiting 4-6 weeks. What you’re waiting for is the brine and vinegar to completely saturate the cucumbers and for the flavors of the dill and garlic to really infuse them. It wouldn’t be unsafe to eat them sooner, but the flavor might be inferior.

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  26. Tadd Belden

    The lids kept blowing when I did this when processing…I tried your recipe exact with the exception of (1) extra clove of garlic. I thought it was the head space and increased it to (1) inch with same result. Wasted a lot of time…..Disappointing…..Any thoughts?

  27. angelina Post author

    I’m not sure what you mean by the lids blowing? Did you process the pickles in a boiling water bath? What kind of jars did you use? Did the jars explode or did the lids just pop off?
    Were you using two piece lids? I need more details. I know I’ve had a jar not seal once in a while but this is rare. I’ve had one jar break, but again – this is a rare occurrence.

  28. Amy

    So many cucumbers in our garden this year! Don’t like bread and butter pickles and this looked like a simple Dill pickle recipe. So thank you. Went to four stores and couldn’t find fresh dil, so I used dried. Might not be as tasty? Guess I know what we need to add to the garden next year. I’ll let you know how theyntun out in 4-6 weeks.

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