Crock Dill Pickles

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Cooking Goddess

Chef Extraordinaire
Jul 21, 2009
Home again in Ohio!
A quick, no-can pickle, to have on hand in your refrigerator during summer. I've never canned these, so I can't speak to the safety or quality if you do. I suggest you instead use a recipe developed for that type of processing.

This recipe, as given, makes a gallon of pickles. I used this as a base for what ended up being a pickle similar in flavor to what my Dad made. I also make only 1/4 recipe, since I pickle just one quart at a time. I suggest you use this recipe as a base for yourself, then adjust flavors to suit your taste buds. The writer of the article that included this recipe said he is supposed to be on a low-salt diet, so he reduced the salt and increased the vinegar. It resulted in a tastier, crisper pickle. However, for us, we found it to be tooooooo sour.


12 pickling-type cukes, 4-5 inches long, or 7, 6-7 inches long
2 C distilled white vinegar
5 C cold water
2 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced very thin
1/3 C pickling salt
4-6 dill heads, or 2 Tbsp dill seeds
1 gallon ceramic crock/glass vessel

Use fresh, crisp cukes. Wash thoroughly in cold water. (Also wash any fresh dill you may be using.) Six inches is ideal, but if you're using a smaller pickle you can cut the tips off each end so that the brine penetrates the cuke better and prevents the small cukes from going soft. You can split long cukes in half lengthwise so they brine faster.

Use a glass or ceramic container, not metal. If you don't have a 4-quart crock, the insert from a crock pot works fine.

Layer items in crock in this order:
- 2 heads of dill (or a Tbsp) and a crushed or sliced clove of garlic.
- Add a layer(s) of pickles until you're about halfway up the side of the vessel
- Add another 1-2 dill heads and the second clove of garlic
- Put your second layer of cukes, but leave 1 1/2 inches of clearance at the top of the container
- Top with another one or two dill heads, or a bit more dill seed
- Mix water, vinegar, and salt until all the salt is dissolved. Pour over the cukes, making sure they are completely covered
- Top the cukes with a clean plate, making sure the plate is weighed down so that all the cukes are completely submerged. I usually have more liquid than needed, so I put it into the clean jar that will hold the pickles when they are done brining at room temp. If you don't have extra brine, fill a jar with water or use a clean rock.
- Make sure the pickles are submerged the entire time they are curing. If you need more liquid. mix water and vinegar to a 2 to 1 ratio, water to vinegar.
- Cover the crock with a clean kitchen towel. If you think there is any chance that the towel will wick any liquid, make sure the crock and towel are on a safe surface. I learned the hard way to put it on a plastic lap tray...

My Notes:

Because my Dad did it, I put a slice of rye bread on top of the cukes (under the plate) for the first overnight, removing it about 24 hours after I finished packing the crock. Dad said it added to the "sour" of the pickles. I don't argue with his success. Make sure it's a sturdy slice of bread, not a soft sandwich rye. I use the heel part for this. You don't have to use the bread. It's just kinda a family tradition with me. :heart:

The recipe says he cures his pickles in his kitchen for 4 days. I put mine crock in the basement and check it every day - it takes about 7-8 days this way.

Once brined enough for your taste, pack the pickles and their brine into a clean jar(s) and refrigerate. If you have a second refrigerator with a lot of room, you can even pour them into a plastic container and put them in that way.

After they are refrigerated, we noticed that they mellowed with flavor. Ideally, I would be making a batch of these every two weeks, not eating the pickles until they had been in the fridge an additional two-week minimum. Practically, I'll be lucky if I make a second batch of pickles this summer. :LOL:

I don't know, dragn. We always put them in the refrigerator once they tasted the way we wanted. If you left them out longer, they might get too sour, too soft...or, worse yet, fizzy. Over the years I've gotten into a rhythm of making a quart at a time, starting a new batch when we crack open the new jar in the fridge. By the time we finish the quart, the fresh batch has pickled for about a week and rested in the fridge for about a month.
Thanks CG, - LOL can't see me getting into a routine for dills to make them by the quart. I'd rather make them once and have them handy in storage.

But I've copied and pasted for the day when I DO want to. :LOL:
I finally got around to making these pickles . I was a little hesitant with the rye bread, but this is the second recipe where someone said to add it ( I think Charlie D mentioned it in the past too), so I figured what the heck. I actually wrapped the piece in cheese cloth so it wouldn't disperse thoughout thee brine. I took the bread out this morning ( 24 hours later as directed), and although the pickles still need some time to pickled, I had to try one. I had sliced them in half, pre pickling, to speed up the process and cause al the cukes were not uniform size and shape, so I figured this would be the best way to pickle all of them in a kinda of uniform manner. Anyway, I tasted one that was on top, up against he bread, and it actually had a hint of Rye Bread flavor to it. It was delicious. Im not sure and probably doubt that the rye bread flavor infused the whole gallon jar, but I hope it did. I cant wait until I can devour the remaining pickles. Thanks for the recipe. Glad I finally got around to trying it. ( also got a jar of Charlie D's recipe going and a jar of my own ( which varies each time. Only thing I keep consistent is the salt to water ratio). Love pickles!!!
I didn't have a crock, but I did these in gallon jars, and they came out good, for a first attempt.
I brined them, with a number of garlic scapes, for the garlic flavor, some pickling spices (allspice, black and Szechwan peppercorns, coriander, cumin, dill seed, and bay leaf) plus some fresh dill heads. I used a brine with 5½ oz salt dissolved in a gallon of water, along with 2 tsp calcium chloride. No vinegar, which is what I was looking for. I cured them for 12 days in the basement, in 2 one gallon jars.
Naturally fermenting pickles, on the 5th day. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Top of the fermenting pickles, on 5th day. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Today I rinsed and transferred the pickles to a large container, to put in the fridge, and filtered the brine through some coffee filters. Here are some of the pickles, before I weighted all of them down.
Pickles, cured in brine for 12 days, going into the fridge. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The 2 County Fairs that I pickled were definitely soft, while the Wisconsin 58s were firm and crisp. Only sliced a small piece of each type to taste, but even that soft CF pickle seemed crisp - that calcium chloride did it's thing!
Looks good, pepper! I don't use a crock right now either. The one-quart that I had started showing issues with the glaze, so I pitched it. I now use either a jadeite bowl or a melmac mixing bowl. Even used the 4-quart insert to my slow cooker one time! Just so long as it's not metal, I figure it's fair game.

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