Perfect Garlic Dill Pickles

I’ve had a bumper crop of pickling cucumbers in my garden this year: I believe it’s because we’ve had so much rain. I’ve been making pickles all summer long…

I’ve made batches of salty pickles, sweet pickles, and pickles that tasted a bit too much like vinegar. I’ve tried all different recipes in the hopes of discovering which one is my favorite, and I think these you see here are “it”.

These easy-to-make pickles are made with salt, vinegar, and just a little sugar. I like to add plenty of fresh garlic cloves, dill, and whole black peppercorns but the amounts you use are really up to you. They’re crisp, which I love, and hold their “snap” even after a while in the refrigerator. I think they’re the perfect pickle.

Perfect Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons organic brown sugar
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 handfuls of fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 4 large pickling (Kirby) cucumbers (or use a few more smaller ones): the total weight of the cucumbers should be about 40 ounces, ends trimmed off and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 very clean quart size mason jars with lids


  1. Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt, then set aside to cool.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar into the hot salted water, then add the garlic, dill, and black peppercorns.
  3. Place cucumber slices into mason jars. I worked hard to get all of mine in and they filled 2 quart jars perfectly.
  4. Pour the liquid with the herbs/spices equally over the cucumber slices in the 2 jars. You should have just enough liquid to cover all of the cucumbers. If not, then top the liquid off with enough water (or use rice vinegar) so that all of the cucumbers are submerged, but so there is still an inch or so of headspace above the liquid.
  5. Screw the lids on the jars and allow to stand at room temperature for 1-2 days before moving to the refrigerator for longer term storage. They will continue to ferment in the refrigerator but more slowly: consume within a couple of weeks.

–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.

Photo credits: Winnie Abramson