How to Make Homemade Spicy Dill Pickles

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.

Homemade spicy dill pickles in mason jars.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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
  • Peppercorns
  • Coriander seeds
  • Dill seeds
  • Hot red pepper flakes
  • Fresh dill weed
  • Pickling salt
  • White vinegar
  • Garlic cloves
Spicy dill pickles ingredients on a marble surface.

Ingredient Notes

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.

Equipment Needed

Here are the kitchen items you will need for making this spicy pickle recipe and canning the pickles:

How to Make Spicy Pickles

It’s not difficult to make these hot and spicy garlic dill pickles. Here are the steps:

  1. Stir or whisk the dry spice ingredients together to make a pickling spice. 
  2. In a large non-reactive container, place 1/2 of the pickling spice and one bunch of dill sprigs. 
  3. Add the cucumbers. 
Collage of prepping ingredients for making spicy dill pickles.
  1. Combine the pickling salt, vinegar, and water.
  2. 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. 
  3. Pour the brine over the cucumbers.
  4. Add remaining pickling spice, garlic, and remaining dill. 
  5. Let stand in a cool dark place for about three weeks for fermentation to take place.
Collage of cooking spicy dill pickles for canning.

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.

  1. Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Drain the pickles, reserving the brine. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
Collage of canning spicy dill pickles.

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:

Homemade spicy dill pickles in mason jars and two spice jars.

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

These hot and spicy pickles go perfectly in an Olivier Salad, a Russian-style potato salad. And they complement burgers and sandwiches.

Homemade spicy dill pickles in a mason jar and fresh dill beside it.

More Pickle Recipes

Favorite DIY Recipes

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 in mason jars.

Homemade Spicy Dill Pickles

Homemade spicy dill pickles are the best. 
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to make homemade Spicy Dill Pickles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 120
Calories: 6kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kathryn Barnes

    When you say crab boil can I use Old Bay Seasoning? I an intrigued by this recipe. I love the story and your web site. Thank you!

  2. Spangler

    I came across your recipe and story recently because I wanted to can some spicy pickles. I was tickled when I saw that you fermented them. When I lived in S. Korea my wife’s grandmother did the samething except we walked down to the river and got big river rocks to weigh down the pickles… 😀

    • stephaniemanley

      You know these were some of the best pickles I ever made. I very much miss the summer that I spent in Michigan. The produce there was flat out amazing. If I could get super fresh cucumbers again I would make pickles the same way again.

  3. Sandra Rice

    5 stars
    I’m sorry about your fiance;(
    I have never jarred or canned anything, but I love to cook and I do have a garden. I just usually end up giving things away or creating new recipes to use my veggies in.
    I love Famous Dave’s pickes, basically it’s the juice. So I save it when all the pickes have been eaten out of the jar and then just cut up my cucumbers and throw them in the juice and it’s yummy..
    I would love to recreate that pickle juice so I can continue to “jar my cucumbers”! Is there anyone who has recreated that recipe and, if so, may I have it?

  4. Anonymous

    To everyone, thanks for well wishes regarding Michael. I dedicated my book to him, and try to do things that would make him proud. These pickles would have received a very favorable remarks from him. His parents loved the pickles. I was told that drinking pickle juice was a Russian cure for a hangover. Thankfully I haven’t had to try that one out.

  5. Fay

    Eau Claire… I worked up in Sister Lakes til last summer (just a few miles away from Eau Claire). Berrien County is a wonderful place in the summer for those of us that love fresh produce. I’m gonna go pick cherries soon 🙂 Any ideas for those?

    • Stephanie

      Fay, somehow I missed the cherry season. I wished I had some ideas on that one. Living in Texas, those are a real treat. We don’t get many of them.

    • Terry

      Cherry jelly, some of the best I ever tasted. I live in Texas and had a cherry tree in my orchard once.Those and pears were the only ones you could count on not to get a ‘freeze’.

    • Anonymous

      You know, I didn’t get a chance to make anything with the cherries. I was only up there from March until November, and cherries wasn’t something I had the chance to try out. I do have a recipe for Cherry Bounce here online.

  6. Gail

    I enjoyed your story & I intend to try your recipe. So sorry for your loss..hope your heart has healed some.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • Stephanie

      I would love to say my heart has healed completely, and I have moved on. I think of him daily, and miss him. I don’t feel the need to can quite as intensely as I did 😉

  7. CherylK

    I tried fermenting pickles once and they didn’t turn out at all…pretty sure it was something I did wrong, though! In any case, this looks so good and your instructions are so detailed that I think I’ll give it another go.

    I’m very sorry about Michael…what a terrible loss for you.

  8. Fran

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s not easy to put all of yourself out there like that.

    Now… I’m on the way to the market and am thinking about picking up the pickles — I have the rest of the ingredients in the house, but have to think about what I would do with all those pickles! 🙂 They sure do sound good though.

  9. A. Jenkins

    I know exactly how you feel. I lost my ex-husband in a motorcycle crash in Jan, 2009 (we were always very close) and I cooked, canned and froze stuff like a maniac that year. It was great therapy and I was told to start my own catering business. Still thinking about that, but like you, it helped w/ the grief. God bless you and hopfully each day will get a little easier. BTW, I absolutely love your website and visit it often! Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • Stephanie

      I don’t think they taste like Claussen, the crab boil spice mixture gives it a very different flavor. They aren’t plain sour dills though 😉 Ted, do you have any of your recipes for pickles you would like to share?

      • Lgranrose

        Stephanie – I am in Minnesota – and I usually can pickles as well and they go like hot cakes! My brother in law got mad because he brought two of my jars to his in laws dinner and they ate all of them and he didn’t get one. However, I have been using the peppers (Thai, banana and jalapeno) from my garden and I use distilled water – because we like spicy. How do you think the distilled water will work for fermenting –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2024


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.