- 4 pounds pickling cucumbers (4-inch)
- 14 garlic cloves, split
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- 2 3/4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
- 3 cups water
- 14 heads fresh dill
- 28 peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash cucumbers. Cut a 1/16-inch slice off blossom end, but leave 1/4 inch of stem on the other end. Cut in half lengthwise. Heat salt, vinegar, and water to boiling. Pack cucumbers into pint or quart jars, adding 4 garlic halves, 2 heads dill, and 4 peppercorns. Add 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes per pint, if desired.
Pour hot vinegar solution over cucumbers to within 1/2 inch of top. Adjust lids and use conventional boiling-water canner processing or lower temperature pasteurization (technique below).
Pasteurization at temperatures below boiling
Processing at temperatures lower than the boiling point of water may result in a better quality product. Follow directions carefully to avoid possible spoilage.
1. Place jars in a canner half filled with warm water (120 to 140 degrees). Add hot water to a level of 1 inch above jars.
2. Heat the water to 180 to 185 degrees. and start a timer. Process for 30 minutes, checking with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature stays at least 180 degrees (temperatures higher than 185 degrees may soften pickles).
3. Immediately remove the jars from the canner at the end of processing time.
4. Put jars on a rack or cloth so air can move freely around them.—Source: Oregon State University and Pacific Northwest Extension