How to Make the Best Crunchy Dill Pickles?

Are you wondering how to make the best crunchy dill pickle? I have the best recipe for homemade pickles and it’s easy if this is your first time making dill pickles.

Do you have an abundance of cucumbers like me and want to know how to make a crunchy crispy dill pickle? There is nothing like homemade dill pickles!

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The goal for homemade pickles is to not have mushy pickles but crunchy pickles.

You know it’s right when it has a pickle crisp bite.

What Kind of Vinegar Do You Use for Pickles?

White vinegar is the best, in my opinion.

You can find canning recipes with apple cider vinegar but I think white vinegar gives it the proper flavor and it also keeps the cucumber the beautiful shade of green they were meant to be.

Prepping the Cucumbers

Wash the whole cucumber and make sure to cut off the blossom end of the cucumber.

Leaving it on can give you a mushy pickle.

Then you will want to cut your cucumbers into spears or chips.

I cut my smaller pickle cucumbers or Kirby cucumbers into spears and cut my regular cucumbers into chips.

Water Bath Canning vs Pressure Canning

I learned how to can and preserve with a water bath canner. The one I own would definitely be considered vintage. It’s quite old but it still works.

Using the pressure canner is my preference but for crunchy dill pickles, you need to use the water bath canner. The pressure canner would turn the cucumbers into mush.

whole cucumbers in a large bowl

Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe

Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time10 minutes
Cool Time1 day
Total Time1 day 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dill pickle, dill pickle chips, dill pickle spears, homemade dill pickles, preserving cucumbers, refrigerator dill pickle, use cucumbers, water bath canning
Servings: 10 pints


  • water bath canner
  • pint jars with lids
  • sharp knife
  • Large Measuring Cup
  • measuring spoons


  • 24 pickling cucumbers
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 large bunches of fresh dill
  • 8 tsp mustard seeds
  • 8 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar You can use more but I don't like my pickles at all sweet. (the purpose of the sugar is to cut the acid taste of the vinegar)
  • 8 tbsp sea salt or pickling salt


Preparing Jars

  • Wash jars in the dishwasher and then preheat the oven to 200°. Place the jars on a cookie sheet and heat for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. While jars are heating in the oven put the lids and rings in a small saucepan, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and leave lids and rings in water until you want to use them

Prepare the Whole Cucumbers

  • Wash the cucumbers and then trim the tops and bottoms, cut into spears or chips

Prepare the Pickling Brine

  • Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stirring to make sure that the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool down while you are preparing pint jars.

Putting the Jar of Pickles Together

  • Put a large chunk of dill in the bottom of the jar, then a garlic clove, 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, and 1/2 tsp of black peppercorns. If you're using quart jars double the ingredients.
  • Cover the cucumbers with the brine mixture, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  • Put a lid and canner ring on the jars.

Refrigerator Pickles

  • At this point, you can put your pickle jars into the refrigerator and let them sit for at least 24 hours. They will only get tastier the longer they sit. The best flavor is about 5-6 days.
  • The pickles will be good for 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator

Canning Process

  • Fill the water canner 3/4 full with water, and add 1/4 cup vinegar to the water to help prevent lime film. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Load the jars into the canner basket. Carefully lower the canner basket into the boiling water. I use high-heat plastic gloves to protect my hands.
  • The jars need to be completely covered if they aren't add more water and bring it back to a boil then let boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes carefully lift the basket out of the canner with the heat gloves and place it on a wooden cutting board.
  • Once the jars have cooled and the lid has been sealed. If the top dimples up and down with a slight push, it hasn't sealed. You can change the lid and reprocess.
  • I take the rings off, wash the jars, and store them in a cool to room temperature, dry place (my pantry) after 24 hours on the counter.

Home Food Preservation

Making your own pickles is a great way to use your excess cucumbers and jars of pickles that you made are sure to be better than anything you can buy from the grocery store.

I have dill in my garden but my cucumbers were behind my dill so I did have to go to the farmers market to get fresh dill but the garlic came from my own garden.

jars of processed crispy dill pickles

Extra Treat

You don’t typically see me but I shared a little video just for my blog followers!


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  1. This recipe looks so easy so I might give it a try. I canned pickles one time and they tasted terrible! It was a long time ago and I’m not sure what the recipe was. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Lynn! Also, it was good to see you on video!! Your home is beautiful!

    1. It was easy and the water bath was only 10 minutes. I’m actually going to make another batch tomorrow.

      You know how much I hate to be on video!!!

  2. Doc's Mom says:

    The ingredients do not list sugar but the directions have it listed. Sugar in dill pickles?

    1. Hi –
      Thank you for pointing that out to me, yes you put a little bit of sugar in dill pickles to cut the acid from the vinegar. It does sound wrong but it works.

  3. Lynn, how much is a little bit of sugar??? Is it a 1/8 tsp, or 1/4 tsp or what??