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How to make Pickles

Do you want to learn how to make pickles from scratch?

I’ve got you covered with an easy steps and my favorite homemade sweet pickle recipes, dill pickle recipes, canning instructions and much more below.


Cucumbers for pickling must be freshly picked, or not over 24 hours old. Fresh dill is best when seeds are full grown, but not so ripe that the seeds fall off the stalk. Do NOT use iodized salt. Use a good, clear pickling vinegar.

Pickles will spoil if not kept completely under the brine. Use half as much brine as measure of pickles. (2 cups pickles = 1 cup brine) To make the salt dissolve faster, mix with a small amount of water first, then add to the rest of the water.


I’m going to explain the brine portion which is important part of canning and learning how to make pickles.

A salt brine is a solution of 1 cup salt to 5 cups water. A weak brine of 1 cup of salt to 9 cups water will cause quicker fermentation. Pickles kept in this brine will spoil in a few weeks unless the scum that rises to the top of the jars is constantly skimmed off and the brine kept clear.

It is best when all fermentation stops and the pickles are done, to remove them to jars, cover them with their own brine, or add fresh-cooled brine, and seal.

Pickles will shrivel if too much sugar or salt is added or if the vinegar is too strong. Pickles that are cured (salt, or dill pickles), may be made into sweet, sour or mixed pickles and will not shrivel.

Learn How to Can Food

How to Make Pickles from Scratch


Cucumbers picked fresh from the vines every day may be preserved in strong salt brine for storing until they are made into sweet, sour/dill or mixed pickles.

Leave from 1/4″ to 1/2″ stems on the cucumbers, wash carefully without removing the prickles and put them, as they are gathered, into a large stone crock.

Make the brine (following) to fill the crock half full. This will completely cover the pickles when full. When ready to use, first soak the pickles in cold water until freshened.

For every 2 quarts of water, use 2 cups of salt. Boil, skim until clear, then cool.

Now that we are learning how to make pickles, if a good dill pickle recipe is needed – I’ve got just the one for you.


100 cucumbers, 4 inches long
1 large bunch dill
2 small horseradish root, diced
onion, sliced in pieces

10 quarts water
1 cup salt
3/4 cup vinegar

Scrub cucumbers. Soak in salt water overnight (1 cup salt to 4 quarts water).

Drain and wipe dry the next day. Place in 2 quart sterilized jars with layers of dill, small pieces of horseradish, onion and peppercorns.

Bring the brine ingredients to a hard boil and pour over all. Add a small piece of alum to each jar if desired. Seal at once.

Delicious Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe #MissHomemade


8 cups cucumbers, sliced
2 cups onions, sliced
2 cups white sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, salt and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and add sliced onions and cucumbers. Boil for 20 minutes. Immediately can in hot, sterilized jars. NOTE:This recipe can be doubled which will make 7 pints and a few left over to eat.

Sweet Sandwich Pickles from Scratch and more #MissHomemade

When you are learning how to make pickles, these are a must-try.


1 quart sliced cucumbers
2 quarts water
1/4 cup salt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup homemade brown sugar, packed
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 TBS pickling spice
8 cups white sugar
1 pint vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric

Use large green cucumbers. Scrub well. Cut off ends, but do not peel. Slice thin. Dissolve salt in water and pour over pickles and onion. Let stand for 3 hours. Drain.

Tie mustard seed, celery seed, and pickling spice together in a small bag (cheesecloth). Mix sugar and vinegar together in a large stock pan and drop in the spice bag. Bring to a boil, and add the onions and cucumbers.

Bring to another boil. Discard the bag of spices. Add turmeric; stir. Pack with liquid to cover in sterilized jars; cool and seal.

Learning how to make pickles really is easy isn’t it?  I have the best Pickled Beets recipe below – check it out.

Pickled Beet Recipe – Pickling Beets


Vegetable Canning Chart

Fruit Canning Chart

SWEET DILL OIL PICKLES  (Like Grandma Used To Make)

50 dill pickles (or 4 quarts), sliced
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 quart vinegar
1/2 cup white peppercorns
1/2 cup pickling spice
6 pounds white sugar

Drain brine from dill pickles, dry and cut crosswise in 1 inch pieces. Add the remaining ingredients. Place the mixed spices in a thin bag and tie. Boil all for 3 minutes and transfer to a large crock. Let stand for 1 week, stirring everyday. Then pack into jars and seal.


50 cucumbers, 3 inches long
2 medium onions
1/2 cups kosher salt
1 quart vinegar
1 cup salad oil
2 TBS mustard seed
2 TBS celery seed
1 cup white sugar

Slice cucumbers without peeling, approximately 1/8″ thick. Slice the onions. In a large bowl, mix the cucumbers and onions together and spring with salt. Let stand for 12 hours; drain.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside for a few hours. Pack into sterilized jars with the liquid. Adjust rubbers, place covers on loosely. Put jars in hot water and simmer 15 minutes. Seal.


50 small cucumbers
3 cups vinegar
1 cup water
2 cups white sugar
pickling spice
fresh dill

Soak cucumbers overnight in cold water, adding 1/3 cup pickling salt for every quart of water.

The next day, drain and dry. Boil vinegar, water and sugar together until clear. Add cucumbers and simmer until they lose the grass green color.

Place 1 teaspoon of pickling spices with 6 stalks of dill in the bottom of each jar, add the pickles and cover with the hot vinegar syrup. Top off with another piece of dill on top. Seal.

small cucumbers
1 cup salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup dry mustard
2 quarts vinegar
1 quart water

Soak cucumbers in cold water. Drain and dry. Mix dry ingredients together and then add the vinegar and water gradually. Pour over cucumbers to cover. Cover with a plate and weigh down. Ready for use in several weeks.

*If a large crock is used, fresh cucumbers and pickling brine may be added from day to day until crock is full.


300 two inch cucumbers
2/3 cup salt to each quart of water
1/2 gallon white vinegar
1/4 cup dry mustard 1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup pickling spice
1 whole ginger root, broken
4 pound white sugar

Wash cucumbers, cover with water boiled with salt and let stand overnight.

The next day, drain and dry cucumbers; layering in a large crock. Mix vinegar, mustard, salt, spices, ginger root and 1/4 cup white sugar together and pour over pickles.

Every day stir in 1/2 cup white sugar until the 4 pounds is gone. Bottle and seal.

Best Watermelon Pickles from Scratch and more #MissHomemade


6 cups water
9 cups pared watermelon rind**
4 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon oil
1/4 tsp clove oil

Day 1

Heat water to boiling in a large saucepan.  Add the rind and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until rind is tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain thoroughly and place in a glass bowl. 

Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Pour this syrup over the rind.  Cool; cover and let stand overnight.

Day 2

Drain rind, reserving syrup.  Heat syrup to boiling; pour over rind.  Cool; cover and let stand overnight.

Day 3

Repeat as directed from instructions above from Day 2.

Day 4

Heat rind and syrup to boiling.  If desired, tint with 1 to 2 drops of red or green food coloring (I don’t).  Immediately pack pickles in sterilized jars and seal tightly.  Makes about 3 pints.  Now you have learned how to make pickles many different ways.  Enjoy.

Now that you have learned how to make pickles, please feel free to visit more canning recipes below. 


Pickled Beans, Cauliflower, Red Peppers