How to Make Pickles

One great way to preserve all of those delicious fresh vegetables for the winter is by pickling them. In this video, Iʼll take you step by step through the process of seasoning, jarring, and sealing up your cucumbers to make tasty, crunchy pickles right in your own kitchen.

The first step is to choose the right pickles. You want to pick them before they get overripe, because the canning process can make them soggy if theyʼre too tender to begin with. A good pickling cucumber is one that is fully grown, but still that bright green color. Next, you have to make your pickle juice. Start by boiling equal parts water and vinegar, then add your spices. This is where you can get really creative and add as little or as much flavor as you want. You can buy pre-mixed pickling spices, or make your own combinations. You know me: I like to add a LOT of flavor, so this is my recipe:

Dill, coarsely chopped and fresh from my garden (of course)

The amounts can vary, so flavor it to taste. Let that simmer, and chop up your cucumbers. For sandwich or burger pickles, slice them horizontally into medallions. For long pickles, slice them vertically into spears. If you cut them the long way, make sure to trim the ends so that they fit entirely in the jar below the rim. Before jarring my pickles, I like to throw a whole clove of garlic and sprig of dill into the jar. Then I squeeze as many cucumber slices in as I can, and fill it with my hot pickle juice to just below the rim of the jar. Then I sprinkle another pinch of each of my spices on top, and screw the lid on tight. To vacuum seal these pickles, you can either use a pressure cooker, or put them in a large pot of water deep enough to submerge the jars completely and boil them. Then take them out and let them cool - youʼll even hear the lids pop as they seal! Now you have delicious homemade pickles that will last for over 6 months on your shelf. Make sure you hear that pop again when you open them, and you know youʼve got fresh, flavorful snacks all winter long.