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TEXASMAC'S HOMEMADE DILL PICKLES
By Wayne McLerran
Posted 5/22/17

Assemble jars, lids, bands and canning equipment.  Wash jars, lids and bands
in hot soapy water.  Rinse well.  Dry bands and set aside.  Heat & sterilize jars
and lids in water to approximately 180 degrees, keeping them hot until used.  
Do not boil lids.

Place 2 or three sprigs of fresh dill in bottom of jars.  Pack cucumbers in jar.  
Fill the jars with the following heated solution to approximately ¼” from the top.

For 3 regular quart jars
4 cups water
1 cup vinegar (9% acidity)
1/8 cup salt
1/8 cup sugar

For 6 large-mouth quart jars
10 cups water
2 1/2 cups vinegar (9% acidity)
3/8 cup salt (1/4 + 1/8)
3/8 cup sugar (1/4 + 1/8

Mix and bring the solution to a boil.  Boil for 4 to 5 minutes.  Pour solution
into jars.  Close the jars rings (bands) finger tight with sterilized new lids.
Note – If the bands are tightly closed, when heated the expanding solution and
air may explode the jars.  Finger tight bands and new lids will allow the heated
air to escape, but the seals on the new lids will prevent air from entering the
jars as they cool.

Place jars in steam bath or water bath container with a lid.

Steam bath technique:
Place jars on a rack in the container with 3 or 4 inches of hot water in the
bottom.  The rack height should be sufficient to elevate the jars slightly above
the water level.  Close the container and apply sufficient heat to boil the water
– steaming the jars.

Water bath technique:
Place jars in the container with sufficient very hot water to cover the jars 1”
above the top of the jars.  Close the container and apply high heat.  As the jars
heat, expanding air in the jars will escape, producing bubbles in the surrounding
water.

IMPORTANT - With either technique, for crisp pickles, heat/boil the water
only until the pickles turn color from a dark green to a lighter yellow-green,
which takes only a few minutes, so monitor closely.  Over heating will turn the
pickles soft and mushy.

Quickly remove jars and set upright on a towel to cool for several hours to
room temperature.  Once cool, test the lid seal by pressing the center of the lid.  
If the lid does not flex up and down, it is sealed.  The bands may be removed
and reused if desired.  Store jars in a cool, dry, dark place.

Allow pickles to “mature” (absorb the vinegar solution) at least 6 to 8 weeks
before opening.  Pickles are best if chilled in a refrigerator before eating.


Wishing you great shooting,
Wayne