Canning Part I: Pickles

Last Friday night, YC and I decided to try our hand at canning for the first time with the canning kit he got me for my birthday back in November. We got some fresh garlic cloves, dill and pickling cucumbers at the farmer’s market and set about on our first experiment in canning.

Here is the recipe we used:


  • 8-10 pickling cucumbers
  • Fresh dill
  • Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. pickling salt
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups water


1. First, we washed and rinsed the jars and lids. The mason jars went into the canner pot filled with boiling water. The lids went into a small pan with boiling water.


2. Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil.

3. Cut the heads off of the cucumbers and slice them longways.



4. Remove a jar from the pot. We found a $7 canning kit at WalMart that made the whole process a lot easier. I recommend picking one up.


5. Place a clove or two of garlic and some heads of dill in the bottom of the jar. Then fill with pickles.



6. Using a canning funnel, fill the jar with the vinegar/salt/water mixture up to the head. Then, remove a lid from the saucepan using a magnet, center over the jar, and place down. Secure with a screw top and tighten until just tight or “finger tight.” Don’t overtighten!


7. After all of our jars were filled, we placed them all back into the canner and processed them for about 15-20 minutes. You can read more about processing and canning basics here. Then we put them on a thick towel to dry and cool off.


Now we just have to wait five weeks for our pickles to finish pickling.


Up next: Canning Part II: Strawberry Jam!

**Disclaimer: always use care and caution to avoid contamination and prevent bacterial growth. For more information, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

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