Fermented "Crock" Dill Pickle Recipe
See making fermented pickles and sauerkraut for safety precautions and details on equipment needed.
Use the following quantities for each gallon capacity of your container.
- 4 lbs. of 4-inch pickling cucumbers
- 2 Tbsp. dill seed or 4 to 5 heads fresh or dry dill weed
- ½ cup salt
- ¼ cup vinegar (5%)
- 8 cups water
- One or more of the following ingredients:
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 2 dried red peppers (optional)
- 2 tsp. whole mixed pickling spices (optional)
- Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard. Leave ¼ inch of stem attached.
- Place half of dill and spices on bottom of a clean, suitable container. Add cucumbers, remaining dill, and spices.
- Dissolve salt in vinegar and water and pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and weight.
- Store where temperature is between 70° and 75° F for about 3 to 4 weeks while fermenting. Temperatures of 55° to 65° F are acceptable, but the fermentation will take 5 to 6 weeks. Avoid temperatures above 80° F, or pickles will become too soft during fermentation. Fermenting pickles cure slowly.
- Check the container several times a week and promptly remove surface scum or mold. Caution: If the pickles become soft, slimy, or develop a disagreeable odor, discard them.
Fully fermented pickles may be stored in their original containers for about 4 to 6 months, provided they are refrigerated and surface scum and molds are removed regularly. Canning fully fermented pickles is a better way to store them. To can them, pour the brine into a pan, heat slowly to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Filter brine through paper coffee filters to reduce cloudiness, if desired. Fill jar with pickles and hot brine, leaving a ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process as below, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
Recommended process for canning dill pickles
- Boiling water bath
- Pints: 15 minutes
- Quarts: 20 minutes