Kosher Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles Pickling is one of those culinary processes that I’ve always wanted to dive into, since I find myself eating pickles at least once or twice a week.  I just love crisp dill pickle slices on top of a juicy burger or spicy pickled green beans submerged in my Sunday morning Bloody Mary.  I’m actually not sure why I haven’t tried this process sooner – it’s so easy.  Simply combine fresh cucumbers with brine, herbs and spices.  Let the mixture sit for several days and you have homemade pickles!  Continue reading for the recipe.

Dill Pickles

Kosher Dill Pickles
Adapted from David Lebovitz.

4 quarts water
6 tablespoons kosher salt
18-20 small cucumbers, scrubbed (I used mini hot house cucumbers)*
9 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly crushed
2 tablespoons pickling spice
6 bay leaves
1 large bunch of dill, washed

Dill Pickles

Start by making the brine.  In a large pot, combine 1 quart of water with 6 tablespoons of kosher salt.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until salt is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the remaining water.

Prepare three 1 quart jars by filling them with boiling water, then dumping it out.  This will ensure that the jars are good and sterilized.

Keep in mind that you will need to divide the garlic, spices, bay leaves and dill between your three jars.  Start by placing some of the spices and dill at the bottom of each jar.  Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure they fit snugly together.  Insert bay leaves and garlic while you are packing the cucumbers.  Finally, top each jar with remaining dill and spices.

Fill the jars with brine so that the contents are completely covered.  Cover the jars with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band or kitchen twine.  Store in a cool, dark place for 3 – 6 days.**

Start tasting your pickles on day 3.  Once they reach a desired taste, refrigerate them.

* Your final product will only be as good as your starting cucumbers.  Be sure to taste one of the cucumbers before pickling.  If the cucumber tastes bitter, don’t use it.

*** Making pickle spears requires less time than whole pickles.  You can start tasting your pickle spears on day 2.


  1. says

    Hey there fellow San Diegan! Love this recipe, I made something really similar earlier this summer, along with a batch of bread and butter pickles and pickled onions. Since making them the first time, I have made mannnny more batches of pickles, I cant seem to stop! I suppose there isnt really anything wrong with that though is there? 😉

  2. Brandon Matzek says

    @jessica @Jennifer @ Green Peccadilloes Spicy pickled green beans are a must in your Bloody Marys! I usually just buy a jar of pickled green beans; however, they can get a little pricey. I will work on a Bloody Mary recipe this month. Stay tuned!

    @The Cilantropist Greetings! I don’t see anything wrong in making repeated batches of pickles :) Especially since the process is so easy.

    • Jane Wilson says

      I need help.  I made pickled dilly beans with garlic….the garlic at the root end of some cloves turned blue after they were hotbathed.  what caused this and is it safe?  thanks for help.

      • says

        Hi Jane, your pickles should be safe to eat. I would just discard the garlic. Here is some fancy scientific info I found on the Internets:

        “Blue, purple or blue-green garlic may result from immature garlic or garlic that is not fully dry, from copper pans, or from a high amount of copper in the water. Garlic contains anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment that under acid conditions may turn blue or purple. A blue-green color also may develop in pickles made with stored red-skinned garlic. Except for blue-green color resulting from an abnormally high copper-sulfate concentration, such color changes do not indicate the presence of harmful substances.”

        Quoted from here:

  3. says

    I LOVE dill pickles but have never tried making them myself. I need to try this in the next couple weeks. I also would like to make the spicy green beans also. Now I’m salivating. LOL.

  4. says

    This is so easy! I always thought it would be hard to pickle something! (Wow– that sounds almost dirty!) I have also fallen in love with pickled okra. Wonder if I could try that…


  5. says

    I love dill pickles. I have no “end of the season” cukes, but I might just have to buy some pickling cukes at the farmer’s market to make this. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    This is just what I’ve been looking for as I have a good crop of cucumbers this year and don’t have much time to can this year. This recipes looks lovely! A quick pickle recipe is handy to have with a garden surplus! Thank you LA.

  7. Brandon Matzek says

    @Elizabeth HA!!! Almost dirty 😉 I really enjoy pickled okra. Okra is in season now too. I’ve seen different varieties at the farmer’s market. Please let me know if you try it!

    @Lee Ann Agreed. I just got a bunch of cucumbers in my CSA box. I am thinking about making another round of these pickles!

  8. says

    That’s a very easy recipe. I’ve always wanted to learn how to pickle cucumbers. Question, what if I don’t have the jars, can anything else be used instead?

  9. Brandon Matzek says

    @Marina I would really recommend using glass jars. You could try to use a different glass container (bowl, baking dish, etc.); however the cukes need to be complete submerged in the brine. This might be a difficult task in something other than a glass jar. Never use plastic, metal or enamel containers. And always make sure the container you use is sterilized (with boiling water).

  10. RavieNomNoms says

    What great pictures! Thanks so much for sharing this, I have been looking for a good dill pickle recipe (I am not really a fan of sweet). So thank you!

  11. says

    i *love* dill pickles! this recipe is fabulous with lovely photos! i also save the brine from the organic dill pickles I buy, then I purchase mini cucumbers and make more pickles with little effort!

  12. Brandon Matzek says

    @Brie I’ve heard of that method before, but haven’t tried it yet. I am going to have to give it a go next Summer. Thanks!

    @Eliot Thanks for the tip!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Pickling spice mixes can vary. Usually they contain mustard seeds, coriander, allspice, bay, black pepper and red pepper flake. Sometimes cinnamon and clove.


  1. […] Jews didn’t invent the pickle, but deserve credit for helping to spread its good name. Obviously there are many different kinds of pickles, and you can pickle pretty much anything, but the classic kosher dill is perfection. Start by making your own pickling spice, and make a lot more than you need. (Once you have it, you can start using it whenever you have more vegetables than you’ll have time to cook and eat.) Once you have your pickling spice, the rest is super easy, assuming you can handle waiting out the 3-7 day pickling period. Recipe here. […]

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