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Homemade Dill Pickles

Sliced homemade dill pickles are a great way to use up a bumper crop of cucumbers from your summer garden. This easy recipe is packed full of flavor!

three sealed jars of sliced dill pickles on a worn wooden background with weathered brick in the background

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I can always tell when The Husband has had one too many dill pickles by the tell-tale scent of dill emanating from his pores.  It isn’t an unpleasant smell, but it is definitely distinct.  After crawfish and chocolate pie, dill pickles are pretty high on The Husband’s list of favorite things to eat.  Really, they don’t last long at our house.  I buy a jar on Friday and by Sunday all’s that’s left is the brine.

But get this – he even drinks the brine!!  He says it helps prevent muscle cramps after a workout.  I say it’s gross. . .

The Husband’s love of dill pickles is the sole reason I decided to plant cucumbers this year.  Between our garden and my mother-in-law’s garden, there have been plenty to go around.

Because no one likes a limp pickle …

A cucumber is 95% water.  All that water can dilute your brine once you pack them in jars.  Soaking  cucumbers for 2-3 hours in salt water before pickling draws out some of the moisture and prevents this.

To get started making sliced homemade dill pickles, you want your slices to be about 1/4-inch thick. You can slice them by hand with a sharp kitchen knife, but if you’re going to be making a big batch of cucumbers, you might want to invest in a mandoline slicer. It makes quick work of this tedious step, just watch your fingers.

I recommend using pickling or kosher salt. Both are pure salt with no additives or anti-caking agents. Standard table salt can affect the quality of your pickles because of the additives it contains.

I haven’t been able to find a firm salt to water ratio, so my recommendation is to add enough salt until it tastes slight salty but not to the point where it knocks your socks off.

Be sure to use a nonreactive bowl and pot while doing this.  Nonreactive means something other than aluminum or copper.  Salt can cause aluminum to pit and vinegar will react with both metals and give the pickles a metallic taste.  In this case ceramic, enamel, glass, plastic, or stainless steel is the way to go. Once your pickles have finished soaking, drain them and discard the salt water.

overhead shot looking down into a glass jar of dill pickle slices

How to make sliced homemade dill pickle

Now you are ready to make your pickle brine. I like to use a combination of plain white distilled vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Combine the vinegars and water in a nonreactive pot with your salt and sugar. Bring it to a boil, then simmer just until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

I like to have several clean glass mason jars lined up on the counter for this next step. To each jar, add 1 teaspoon of dill seed, 1/2 teaspoon pickling spices, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic (time saving tip here — buy a jar of pre-minced garlic. It will save you so much time!).

Pack your pickle slices tightly into each jar. The pour your brine over the top and fill up the jar. Be sure to leave 1/2-inch of space between the rim of the jar and the top of your pickle brine. Seal them up and allow them to cure for about three weeks.

What’s the Difference between dill seed and dill weed?

picture of dill seed, head of dill and will weed

Dill weed refers to the leafy part of the dill plant. Dill seed is, you probably guessed, the actual seed. They are not interchangeable in this case. Make sure you get dill seed.

If you have access to a fresh dill plant, you can use the flowered part — called the head — instead of dill seed. Three heads of fresh dill equals 1 to 2 tablespoons dill seed.

How to Store Sliced Homemade Dill Pickles

If you have the room, you can store your sliced homemade dill pickles in the refrigerator and they will retain a crisp-like texture similar to Claussen pickles. Experts recommend you eat them within three months.

Unfortunately, I do not have that kind of refrigerator space, so I chose to can my pickles. Doing so causes them to be a tad softer, but does not impact the flavor.

Because these pickles are acidic, you only have to process them for 10 mintues using the water bath canning method. This means you don’t need any special equipment such as a pressure canner — only a stock pot deep enough to allow the jars to be covered by 1-2″ of water.

If you are new to canning, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving. The instructions are very clear and it goes into a lot of detail about the basics of canning.

Once you’ve canned your pickles and you’re sure your seals are set, you can store your pickles in a cool, dry place such as a pantry for up to a year.


four dill pickle slices speared on a silver fork resting on top of a mason jar of pickles

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three sealed jars of sliced dill pickles on a worn wooden background with weathered brick in the background
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3.57 from 23 votes

Sliced Homemade Dill Pickles

Sliced homemade dill pickles are a great way to use up a bumper crop of cucumbers from your summer garden. This easy recipe is packed full of flavor!
Course Snacks
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 pints
Calories 4.2kcal
Author Lisa B.


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons canning salt or kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 quarts water

For the pickles:

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canning or kosher salt
  • 6 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 3 teaspoons pickling spices
  • 6 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 6 pint mason jars and lids and bands


  • Slice cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  • Place slices in a large non-reactive bowl. Combine two tablespoons of salt and the water. Stir until salt is dissolved. Pour salt water over cucumber slices. Cover and let 2-3 hours. Drain the cucumbers and discard the salt water.
  • In a nonreactive pot, combine vinegars, water, sugar, and salt. Cover, bring to a simmer until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In the bottom of a pint mason jar, add 1 teaspoon of dill seed, 1/2 teaspoon pickling spices, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced onion. Fill jars with cucumber slices.
  • Using a funnel, carefully pour vinegar mixture over the cucumber slices, leaving 1/2-inch of room between the pickles and to top of the jar. Wipe rims with a clean damp rag or paper towel. Place a lid on each jar and secure tightly.
  • Allow jars to set for 3 weeks before opening.
  • Jars will last for up to three months in the refrigerator. Pickles can also be preserved using the water bath canning method. Properly canned pickles should be store in a cool dry place and are good for up to one year.


Serving: 1pickle | Calories: 4.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.9g | Protein: 0.2g | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 32.2mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg


  1. I may not like hamburgers but I LOVE me some pickles! I could eat a whole jar without any help!

  2. Father of the Bride

    Have you considered reusing the brine from the empty Clausen jars?

    • The Cooking Bride

      You could probably get away with reusing the brine at least once, but the more you reuse it the more watered down it will become. Eventually it will lose the pickle flavor.

  3. What is a pickling cucumber something like a gherkin ?

    • The Cooking Bride

      They are smaller than a regular slicing cucumber; usually have lighter green skins and more bumps. I have used regular cucumbers picked from my garden, but if you are buying your cukes from a store or farmer’s market make sure they are pickling cucumbers. Sometimes, particularly large grocery stores, the cucumbers will have a thin wax coating on the outside as a preservative. That coating will prevent the brine from soaking in.

  4. I love pickles that much, too! YUM! These look wonderful!

  5. Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I gave these a shot and they’re now cooling on the counter waiting a few weeks for me to open them and taste them! I can’t wait! 🙂

    • The Cooking Bride

      That’s great! I have some slices soaking in salt water on my counter right now. Probably going to make another batch tonight.

  6. If you want to make the clausen pickles–it is very similar except you put into refrigerator to cure and must remain in there. My brother makes them and gets pickling cuc’s, garlic, jalepeno pepper (optional and to taste), lots of dill and a few pepper corns.
    Clean and sterilize jars and lids as normal. Scrub and clean up cuc’s real good. Cook the brine as normal–I think he uses apple cider vinegar, salt and water. You can experiment with vinegars in smaller (wide mouth jars) with that. Cut pickles into long quarters, add peppercorns, garlic, dill/dill seeds (I use both for pickling). Then shove as many cut cuc’s into wide mouth jars. Cover with hot brine to normal levels in jar. Wipe rims and seal with sterile lids. Let cool a bit then put into frig. Ensure lids are tight (likely will not seal) but shake 1 time a day for about 2 weeks to distribute the spices and flavorings. My frig space is limited so if I go a batch, it will only be a couple. Do some searches online for refrigerator dill pickles. You can likely get some other suggestions.

    • The Cooking Bride

      Thanks Susan! I have a batch of fridge pickles curing right now. Still going to give them another week and see how they compare.

  7. Do you rinse the cucumbers off or just drain the liquid off after salting them overnight?

  8. Just a note, that you should maybe state what size jar you are using.

  9. Trying these today. Thanks for the clear, concise directions. The 6 pints you list is perfect for what I am making. I only grow pickling cucumbers. They are great for pickles and I think the seeds are smaller when using them in salads and sandwiches. I will let you know in a few weeks or verdict. Thanks again.

  10. I’d like a pickle without Garlic my husband is not a fan, so do I have to use it??
    Thanks for the help

  11. Am wondering why it is necessary to sterilize any canning jars when the produce we are putting in them to be canned or pickled are not sterilized and once in the jar, make it unsterlized as well? I have talked with Ball reps and of course they cannot go against their policy but one did mentioned she got my point. Esp, canning fruit and veggies when they are processed for more than 10 minutes, everything in the jar will be sterilized anyways. Anyone else wonder about this?

    • treasuredchaos

      I agree! I put my clean room temp jars upside down in a roasting pan with about a couple inches of room temp water in it and set my oven as low as it will go. (like 170 degrees) at the start of my prep. My jars heat up and I think are probably pretty close to sterile (they suck up the water and are also steamed), but i do it so the jars are hot when I start adding all the boiling liquids and they don’t break. I wonder if half the point of sterilizing wasn’t actually heating the jar to start with.

  12. Do you have to leave these pics in the fridge?

  13. Can I use organic English Cucumbers? I am planning on making pickles as a wedding favor and I can get english cukes much cheaper.

    • Hi Sterling, yes I think you could use English cucumbers and it should be fine. I am assuming because they are organic, they won’t have that waxy coating on them that some grocery stores put on their produce. The wax is what would prevent the brine from soaking into the cucumber.

  14. Michelle Dickinson

    I am wondering if I can use sea salt instead of kosher? Also my daughter is allergic to Apples, could I do all white vinager?

  15. When making my sweet pickles, I soak my slices in pickling lime for 24 hours. Then soak in water for 3 prior to cooking. This gives a very crisp crunch. Wonder if that would work for this recipe as well

  16. Hi, I’m new here so please bare with me. I’ve got acid reflux real bad, my doctor has me on drugs for it, but its addictive an I don’t like being dependent on any drugs. It was hard to get off it but I did, an found something better DILL PICKLE JUICE!!! Now what I need to know is how can I make the JUICE with-out the pickle? Can you walk me through it? Thks.

  17. Kathy Thompson

    My pickles are coming in spurts from my garden. Is it okay to refrigerate the brine and reheat if I don’t have enough pickles for 6 pints at a time? Thanks

  18. Can any large deep pan be used for the water boil portion of the pasturization?

  19. billiejo lear

    I am a first year canner. My mother canned when I was young but it was not something she taught me. I remember what canned pickles tasted like. I remember also they tasted nothing like a real dill pickle! I wasted the first half of cukes from my own garden making six different recipes before I gave up and started searching ‘pickles canned with apple cider vinegar’. I then found this recipe! This not just a great recipe for hamburger dill chips! THIS IS THE BEST RECIPE FOR: Fridge pickles AND regular dill pickle spears AND baby dills AND any kind of dill! They are amazing! NOW THIS is a dill pickle worth of canning! Thank You! <3

  20. 6 pints = 12 cups = 4 lbs of cucumbers– true? I have no way to weigh my cucumbers from my garden. This might be useful to others who are math challenged?

  21. Jackie Williams

    so you don”t have to use a canner for this recipe

    • The pickles will keep in the refrigerator unsealed for a few weeks. However, I usually end up with ALOT of pickles by the end of the summer, so I water bath can my jars so I can store them in my pantry.

  22. Danny Williams

    Hi Lisa,

    Are these considered sweet pickles? Or does the 2 tbs just take the bite off?


  23. Maybe I missed it, but I assume after you seal the jars, you stick them in the fridge. Is this correct? Since you are technically not water bathing them, I assume they are to be treated as refrigerator pickles. Please get back to me as soon as you can since I am hoping to start the process tonight. Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it!!

    • Hi Dianna! No, once you can them and the jars are sealed you do not have to store them in the fridge. There is a sufficient amount of acid in the jars from the vinegar to prevent bacteria from forming. You can store them on a shelf in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

  24. Another question: After you have sliced the pickles, added the water and salt for a period of 2 to 3 hours, do you rinse the pickle slices after you’ve drained the salted water from them? If you don’t, how can you gauge how salty they will be in the end? You wrote: “I haven’t been able to find a firm salt to water ratio, so my recommendation is to add enough salt until it tastes slight salty but not to the point where it knocks your socks off.” This would be great if the pickles hadn’t already been marinating in the salt water for a few hours before the actual pickling process begins. I really want to avoid overly salty pickles. Thanks for your expertise!

  25. 5 stars
    I love dill pickles and there’s nothing better than homemade! Thanks for sharing!

  26. 5 stars
    I was literally just thinking today about how I should try making some pickles – I’ve always wanted to but never tried it – and then completely by chance stumbled on your recipe! It’s clearly fate! Love all the little tips you have built in, too. I just know they are going to be amazing!

  27. 5 stars
    I’m a big fan of dill pickles! (although I don’t drink the juice!) Never tried making them before but interested in doing so after reading this.

  28. 5 stars
    Love pickles, and homemade ones are so much better than store bought ones. Of course, I love cucumbers, too, so its a challenge not to eat them before they can become pickles!

  29. Sarah Newman

    I’ve never made my own pickles before! Looks easy and fun. 😀 PIckle brine is supposed to be great for your gut too–your hubby is onto something!! 😉

  30. 5 stars
    5 stars for sure! Easy to follow instructions, my first attempts at drill pickles though I’ve made bread and butter before. Looking forward to trying these.. they’re just taking their bath…lol.

  31. 5 stars
    After soaking the pickles in salt water do I have to finish the process by putting them in the brine or can I let them sit after they are drained overnite and then put in brine

    If I can do they have to be refrigerated

    Thank you

    • Bob, I would leave them soaking in the water until you are ready to put them in the jars. Just to ensure they retain their moisture and don’t get limp. If you can them they do not have to be store in the fridge. They should be fine for 12-18 months as long as they are stored in a cool, dry place.

  32. Making this as we speak, and realized I don’t have enough dry onion. Can I use fresh onion? If so what would you recommend?

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