From: Recipes

How to Dill Pickle ANYTHING


Step One: Jars

Whenever you’re preserving anything, it is super important to make sure your jars are sterilized well. If you have a dishwasher this is easily done by running your jars through a cycle. Alternatively, you can sterilize jars in the oven or with boiling water, but (as you can imagine) each of these have their own safety issues.

Jars can be any size/shape/volume you’d like. Generally canning jars are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased from any grocery store (by the spices) or Canadian Tire/Wal Mart/SuperStore/etc. Jar mouths come in three sizes: wide mouth, gem and standard. It doesn’t matter what size you use so long as you have the right lids/rings to go with them.

*if you’re buying a flat of jars, they will come equipped with rings and lids! If you have jars and just need to purchase lids (or rings) make sure you know what size to get!

There are three components to a canning jar: the glass jar, the ring and the lid. Both the ring and the jar are reusable (provided there are no serious dents or chips out of the glass) but it is best to purchase new lids for each use. This is because the rubber seal on the lids is delicate and once imprinted, won’t make a good seal the next time.

Tip: The key to preserving is heat. The jars, the lids and the brine should all be as hot as possible when you’re canning. This not only creates a great seal on your jars but prevents any bacteria from entering into the process. Once your jars have been sterilized, keep them warm if possible while you prep your produce.


Step Two: Prepping Produce

When you’ve picked out what to pickle, do all the chopping at once so you don’t have to stop between filling jars. This week we’ve grabbed some cauliflower, kohlrabi, carrots and beans to turn into jars of dilled goodness. Chop your produce to whatever size/shape you’d like to fill your jars. If using kohlrabi, remember to peel the skin off first.

Step Three: Brine

If you’re a dill pickle connoisseur, you likely already have your own basic brine recipe you’re in love with, but below is a favourite recipe of our team. Don’t be afraid to adapt and play with your recipe to accommodate different tastes. Experimentation is the name of the game!

  • 3 parts water
  • 1 part pickling vinegar
  • 1/4 part coase salt
  • *you can also add pepper to taste*

Yep, it’s that simple.

Decide how many jars you’re planning to fill and adjust the volume of the brine accordingly. Get that on the stove and move on to the next step while it boils.


Step Four: The Spices

Take your still warm jars and put some dill in them. There is no tried and true amount of dill to add as it is completely based on personal preference and jar size, but we recommend using the fronds and heads from a couple stocks.

This is also when you can add other flavours and spices. We like to add some garlic cloves or hot pepper slices or mustard seeds. When adding spices, remember that a little goes a long way. The brine will do it’s work to infuse the produce with the flavours your introduced to the jar.

If you’re using hot peppers remember to wear gloves when slicing them. Trust me, we’ve learned the hard way that pepper oil is really difficult to wash off your hands/eye/tongue/etc.

Step Five: Filling the Jars

You’ll want to pack the jars tightly and neatly. This will make it easier to get at those pickles lately as well as allowing any air bubbles access to escape. When packing your jars, be sure to leave at least 1/8 inch of room between the produce and the top of the jar. We don’t want anything compromising the lid seal later!. Speaking of lid seals, now is an optimal time to put your lids into a saucepan and cover them with water. We don’t want to boil them but we do want to heat them up to make sure the rubber seal is malleable. Turn these to low on the stove so they’re ready to go once your jars are.

Step Six: Pouring and Sealing

Once you’ve filled the jars with spices and produce, it’s time to fill them up with the bubbling brine. Use caution when doing this step as it is important that the brine be at a full rolling boil when you add it to the jars. Using a measuring cup with a spout or a pitcher, slowly pour the boiling brine into the jars. It’s important to do this slowly to allow the air bubbles in the jars to make their way to the top. Once the jar is full of enough brine to cover the produce (roughly 1/8 inch from the top of the jar), use tongs to grab a lid from the pot on the stove and place it on the jar. Quickly tighten the ring over it (don’t over tighten, you’ll have a chance to tighten these again later) and set aside. Tip: Tightening the ring on jars that are boiling hot can be painful. Have a tea towel nearby to help protect your hands from the heat in the jars.

Step Seven: Waiting and Enjoying

Let the jars cool at room temperature and feel ridiculous amounts of pride every time you hear the “pop” of a lid sealing. Depending on the density of the produce (carrots will take more time to pickle than, say, kohlrabi) you’ll have to wait around 4 weeks before enjoying the fruits of your labour. Remember, anticipation only enhances your enjoyment.   Of course dill pickles are not the only kind of pickles out there. We’d love to hear your recipes for your favourite quick pickles, sweet mixed, mustard pickles and bread & butter pickles. Send them to us at