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Dill Pickles

Updated July 31, 2020

Megan Erickson

SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist

Jars of cut cucumbers being prepared to make dill pickles.

Try this research-tested recipe for homemade dill pickles courtesy of the National Center for Home Food Preservation.


  • 8 pounds, Pickling cucumbers (3 to 5-inch)
  • 2 gallons, Water
  • 1 ¼ cups, Canning or pickling salt
  • 1 ½ quarts, Vinegar (5%)
  • ¼ cup, Sugar
  • 2 quarts, Water
  • 2 tablespoons, Whole mixed pickling spice
  • 3 tablespoons, Whole mustard spice
  • 14 heads, Fresh dill
  • 4 ½ tablespoons, Dill seed

Yield: Makes about 7 to 9 pints.


To Prepare

  1. Wash cucumbers.
  2. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard but leave ¼-inch of stem attached.
  3. Dissolve ¾ cup salt in 2-gals water.
  4. Pour over cucumbers, let stand 12 hours, then drain.


  1. Combine vinegar, ½ cup salt, sugar and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cloth. Heat to boiling.
  2. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp mustard seed and 1 ½ heads fresh dill to each pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  3. Secure lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (Altitudes above 1,000 ft require an increase in processing time).

Canning Tips


  • Temperatures higher than 185 degrees may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.
  • If a firmer textured is desired, follow a low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
  • Instructions on water bath canning can be found in this resource.

Adjusting for Altitude

Altitude (feet)
Water Bath (minutes added)
5 minutes
5 minutes
5 minutes
10 minutes
10 minutes

SDSU Extension recommends using evidence-based recipes when engaging in food preservation at home. The recipe above has been research-tested and provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Do not modify ingredients.

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