Spice up your canning adventures with incredible homemade Spicy Dill Pickles! These tangy, crunchy, and fiery delights are the perfect way to preserve summer’s bounty and add a kick to any meal. These pickles bring a satisfying crunch and a burst of heat to burgers, sandwiches, or just as a snack right out of the jar. Homemade canned pickles make a thoughtful and delicious DIY gift! They’re healthy, low carb, and keto friendly.
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Best Spicy Pickles
Spicy dill pickles are easy to make and with one unique ingredient, you get a special flavor. I bet you won’t guess what that unique ingredient is! Keep reading to find out.
Canning as Therapy!
I have been unable to separate cooking and events in my life for as long as I remember. During the summer of 2008, when I lost my fiancé in a motorcycle accident, I began to can. Some people drink their sorrows; that summer, I tried to put my broken heart into jars.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of delightful fresh fruits and vegetables. Michael and I had bought a house out in the country, and we planted a monster garden. While growing up, both sets of parents had gardens, but planting one yourself is different. We planted about 25 tomato plants and a wide variety of other vegetables. In addition to what we grew, there were all sorts of vegetable stands where we lived.
I canned spaghetti sauce, spaghetti sauce with meat, dill pickles, dill pickle relish, strawberry jam, and blueberry preserves. One day I went out and picked peaches then spent the rest of the weekend canning them. There was some irony there; I really don’t enjoy jams and jellies very much.
My Favorite – Spicy Garlic Pickles
My favorite thing I canned was homemade spicy pickles. These were wonderfully hot and spicy pickles and some of the best spicy dill pickles I had ever made. I added crab boil to give them extra flavor.
Before canning spicy pickles, you actually have to allow them to ferment for about three weeks. This is what makes homemade spicy dill pickles so delicious. Once fermented, it is time to can your pickles to get them ready for long-term storage.
Why You Are Going to Love This Spicy Pickles Recipe
If you have never tried fermenting your own pickles, this is your chance to do so. You will achieve a flavor so dense you will want to ferment your own pickles again and again.
Homemade Spicy Pickles – Ingredients You Will Need
Here’s your shopping list for making this spicy pickles recipe:
- Pickling cucumbers
- Crab boil – secret ingredient!
- Bay leaves
- Coriander seeds
- Dill seeds
- Hot red pepper flakes
- Fresh dill weed
- Pickling salt
- White vinegar
- Garlic cloves
This recipe calls for 10 pounds of pickling cucumbers and makes 13 pints or 7 quarts. How many pickles does it make? See this handy produce converter.
What Are the Best Cucumbers to Use to Make the Best Spicy Pickles?
If you’ve ever tried making homemade spicy pickles in the past and they ended up mushy, it could be because of the variety of cucumber you used. See this guide on cucumbers for the best kinds to use to get that desired crisp texture.
What Is Crab Boil?
Crab boil is a mixture of spices in a packet that you drop into boiling water when you cook crabs.
Here are the kitchen items you will need for making this spicy pickle recipe and canning the pickles:
- Non-reactive bowls
(Virtually any glass or ceramic bowl)
- Water-bath canner or pressure canner (if you prefer this method)
- Canning rack
- 13 pint-sized canning jars or 7 quart-sized jars
- Canning jar lids and bands (new lids for each jar, bands can be reused)
- Canning ladle, funnel, and bubble popper
- Canning jar lifter or tongs
- Large stainless steel saucepan
- Fine mesh strainer
How to Make Spicy Pickles
It’s not difficult to make these hot and spicy garlic dill pickles. Here are the steps:
- Stir or whisk the dry spice ingredients together to make a pickling spice.
- In a large non-reactive container, place 1/2 of the pickling spice and one bunch of dill sprigs.
- Add the cucumbers.
- Combine the pickling salt, vinegar, and water.
- Bring to a boil in a large stock pot, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the brine over the cucumbers.
- Add remaining pickling spice, garlic, and remaining dill.
- Let stand in a cool dark place for about three weeks for fermentation to take place.
It will take about three weeks until the cucumbers are fully flavored and the fermentation is complete. You will need to check the brine daily, remove any scum that may form, and pop the fermentation bubbles.
Once the fermentation is complete, these are fantastic refrigerator pickles.
Canning Spicy Pickles
After about three weeks, it will be time to put up the pickles.
- Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Drain the pickles, reserving the brine.
- Strain the brine through a sieve, pour into a large stainless steel pot, and bring to a boil. When a rolling boil has been achieved, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pack the pickles into the hot jars leaving 1/2 inch of space at the head end. Pour hot brine into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace if necessary by adding more hot brine.
- Wipe the rims of the jars, center the lid on the jar, screw the band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Place jars in a water bath canner – the top of the jars must be covered entirely with water. Bring water to a boil and process for about 15 minutes. Remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars. Allow the jars to cool and store.
If you have questions about water bath canning, see this detailed guide on water bath canning.
What’s the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning? Water bath canning is simpler and suited for food preparations with high acidity. Pressure canning should be used for safety reasons for food preparations with low acidity. Read more about these two canning methods.
This post is not intended to be a guide on canning. Please go to other websites for more information about canning. Here are a couple of sites to check out:
How Long Do These Best Spicy Pickles Last?
Unopened: You can store unopened hot and spicy pickles in a cupboard or on the counter for around 12 to 18 months.
Opened: Once opened, your spicy garlic pickles will generally stay fresh for several weeks in the fridge.
How to Use These Spicy Dill Pickles
More Pickle Recipes
Favorite DIY Recipes
- Boursin Cheese
- Classic Hollandaise Sauce
- Homemade Crackers
- Homemade Cream Cheese
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Taco Seasoning
- Sweet Hot Mustard
- Vanilla Sugar
Check out more of my easy DIY recipes for making pantry staples.
Recipe adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Homemade Spicy Dill Pickles
- 2 to 3 bunches of fresh dill
- 1/4 cup crab boil
- 2 bay leaves crushed
- 1 tablespoons pepper corns
- 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoons dill seeds
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 10 pounds picking cucumbers (4 inches long with ends trimmed)
- 1 1/2 cups pickling salt
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 16 cups water
- 6 garlic cloves
- Combine all of the dry spice ingredients in a small bowl. In a large clean crock or glass or stainless container, place half of the pickling spice and one bunch of dill. Add cucumbers, leaving at least 4 inches of space between the cucumbers and the rim of the container. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine pickling salt, vinegar, and water.
- Bring to a boil and add salt stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. When the brine has cooled to room temperature pour pickling liquid over cucumbers and add remaining pickling spice, garlic, and remaining dill over the top. Place a large clean inverted plate on top of the cucumbers and weigh down with a couple of quart jars filled with water and capped. Cover with a clean towel. Let stand in a cool place the temperature should be about 70 to 75 degrees, let stand for about three weeks.
- It will take about three weeks until the cucumbers are well flavored and the fermentation is completed. You will need to check the brine daily and remove any skum that may form. During fermentation, bubbles will form. After about three weeks it will be time to put up the pickles. Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Drain pickles reserving the brine. Strain brine through a sieve and pour brine into a large stainless steel pot and bring the brine to a boil. When a rolling boil has been achieved to reduce heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Pack pickles into the hot jars leaving 1/2 inch for headspace. Pour hot brine into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on the jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.