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Grandma’s Dill Pickles

This treasured dill pickle recipe is like an old friend. These crispy spears have a slightly salty, tart flavor with a good balance of dill, garlic and peppers. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Process: 15 min.
  • Makes
    9 quarts


  • 11 cups water
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 12 pounds pickling cucumbers, quartered or halved lengthwise
  • 9 dill sprigs or heads
  • 18 garlic cloves
  • 18 dried hot chilies


  • In a stockpot, bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil; boil 10 minutes. Pack cucumbers into nine hot quart jars within 1/2 in. of top. Place one dill head, two garlic cloves and two peppers in each jar.
  • Carefully ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. . Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Editor's Note
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 4 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 727mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • LPHJKitchen
    Jun 23, 2020

    Love this recipe! Very similar taste to what my mom makes! The only change I made was to make some jars without the chili peppers, worked just fine!

  • Shelley
    Sep 7, 2019

    This is the first really bad recipe I have made from Taste of Home. These pickles were so unbelievably salty. We had to throw them all out. Very disappointing.

  • rivabk
    Aug 18, 2015

    This looks like a good recipe almost like my grandmothers but processing time of one reviewer at 180 degrees should be 30 minutes not 10. Place jars in simmering water (150 degrees) and bring up to 180. Keep at 180 to 185 for the full 30 minutes. This is an approved method by USDA and does make for a crisper pickle as does pickle crisp added to the jar.

  • Almey8
    Aug 11, 2015

    Made these last year. Too salty & not crunchy

  • danielleylee
    Aug 10, 2015

    These turned out really good! They have a good bite to them and they were crisp. I followed the sgofpv suggestions to make them crisp not mushy. We used all homegrown ingredients perfect way to use up garden produce.

  • donnakship
    Oct 20, 2014

    Do I have to have the dried chilies or can I leave them out? I don't want hot pickles.

  • hannahb_83
    Oct 20, 2014

    If you trim off the blossom end of the cucumber about 1/16 of an inch, your pickles will stay crisp. There are enzymes in the blossom end that cause the softness.

  • ConeConcoctions
    Oct 16, 2014

    This is a fabulous recipe. It was my first time pickling and although they did come out a bit mushy, the flavor is amazing! I would definitely recommend this to everyone.

  • lindalubelle
    Aug 13, 2014

    My pickles tasted good however they were mushy. How do I get them to be crunchy? I am new to pickling/canning!

  • TasteJerseyFresh
    Aug 11, 2013

    These pickles are so wonderful, I have NO desire to try another!!! Thanks Gramdma for this simple and delicious recipe.