Canning Pickles

pickles 1

Summer is almost over.

Kids are back to school.

The farmer’s around here are strolling through the fields. Most have already started.

You know what that means, right?

It’s pickle picking time!

Or, if I’m a bit late – which could very well be the case – it’s time to can! (We did ours over the past weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you were privy to some of those candid family canning photos.)

p;ickles 2

My mother brought over boxes and boxes of cucumbers (cukes) so we set up a folding table outside. Kiddo was outside helping along with my husband while I worked on a lot of YUM recipes and photos inside.

We ended up with 4 boxes leftover and 90 jars of pickles. Phew!

I did last years adapted recipe a bit differently (no big surprise there) so let’s hope this works out well. I should note that if you are going to use my recipe you need to at least 1) have a very cold basement (or a canning room; ours is called ‘the scary room’ , 2) have a fridge in your garage (or somewhere) that can hold all of the jars of pickles you are making because these are NOT boiled pickles and these are NOT sun pickles.

I have found what works best for me – because right now our basement is not as cool as it was last year – I cleared off a shelf in my refrigerator and I put as many jars of pickles on that shelf as I can. I continue to shake the ones in the basement. When the ones in the fridge pop, I place them on the storage shelf in the basement and then bring up another batch from the ‘waiting table’ and put those in the fridge. I continue to shake the ones still left on table 2-3 times a day.

UPDATE: 8/23/2013 – We just cracked open the first jar from this year’s batch – nice and crunchy. They have a nice zip and tang. So much better than store-bought. I would like to think this batch of 90 jars is going to last me until next summer, but not the way my husband goes through pickles.

canning pickles

Canning Pickles

Chrystal Mahan @NevermoreLane
4 from 1 vote


  • Per each quart jar:
  • 2-3 pieces of fresh dill
  • Fill the jars with cukes -cut how you like - do not stuff. You need shaking room.
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt or pickling salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of alum
  • 1 clove of garlic we use 2 - sliced
  • 1 pinch of pickle crisp
  • Large pot full of very cold water.
  • Cup to scoop the water.


  • Place all ingredients in jars.
  • Add cold water to almost fill the jars. You need enough shaking room.
  • Put on the lid and then the ring.
  • Make sure it is nice and tight.
  • Jars of pickles are to be left out for 2-3 days because you must shake them 2-3 times a day. We leave ours on a table in the basement, or when making a small batch we leave them on the counter.
  • After the 2nd or 3rd day place them in the fridge, or if your basement is cold enough, place them there.

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  1. I have 2 questions 🙂
    1 – what is alum? I have seen it in a few recipes for pickles now, and when I googled it it brings up chemistry stuff. Is it important for the canning of for flavor?
    2 – once the pickles have “popped” in the fridge are they sealed enough to be stored in a regular pantry?


    1. I buy McCormick brand Alum. Alum is Ammonium Aluminum Sulfate. It is a crystalline powder. It is a general purpose food additive that functions as a firming agent. In this case, it helps to give the cukes some crunch. While it does nothing for flavor per say, it does everything for the overall texture of your pickles.

      When canning, it is imperative your lids pop. This is how you know your jars are sealed and are now shelf stable and ready for long-term storage. Just like those you see at the supermarket with pop top lids.

      Thank you for stopping by! I hope that answers your questions Mame.

  2. Just to be sure when you say “fill the jars with pickles” you are referring to pickling cucumbers and not actual pickles that you are going to can in your own pickling solution? This may seem like a weird question but I’ve never heard of the term pickles in this sense unless they were already pickled…just cucumbers or pickling cucumbers.

    1. Sorry about that. I have edited the post to clear that up. Yes, I mean the cucumbers you are going to pickle. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. I am confused. If you are not boiling the jars, how do the cans “pop”? Isn’t heat required for the Ball vacuum seal to suction together and become airtight?

    1. Not with this recipe. It’s like a science project. The shaking with the cold water and the ingredients creates a vacuum. Combine that with the super cold basement or the refrigerator and they pop on their own. But you HAVE to shake them.
      I’m not a scientist, but husband explained it to me. All I know is that we did almost 100 jars and every single one of them popped. No boiling water, no boiling jars and no sunshine.

  4. I just checked and all of my cans popped! I can’t believe that it worked without heat. So, now that they have sealed how long can I keep them and can I store them outside of the refrigerator?

  5. I’m so excited you shared this recipe. I have one question though. I just bought a bunch of half gallon canning jars (for another purpose) and was wondering how this would work in one of them? Do you think the science would work the same way in a bigger jar? Or a smaller one for that matter? Should I just increase the recipe by two to make an equal half gallon, or do you think I would need to increase or decrease one or more ingredient(s) to make it work properly? I’m really thinking about giving it a try. Also, what kind of cukes do you use, are regular ones good enough, or are pickling cucumbers better (I know you got them from a garden, but do you know what variety they were)? HUGS

    1. I don’t think it matters what size jar you use because we used some that were smaller and bigger. We also made some that were baby dills, some were halves, some quartered , some sliced and some whole. I think as long as you keep the ratios in equal parts, it should still work. Kiddo was helping, so I know we had a few jars with extra vinegar and they still worked out. When we get to those jars we dump some of the liquid out after they have been in the fridge. We add water as a replacement. As for the cukes, I am unsure. My aunt has friends who are farmers and they do pickles every year to sell to the local pickle plants. My aunts and mom go pick buckets because they have so much. I have no idea what kind they plant.

      1. 4 stars
        I made these about a month ago with the addition of some spices (mustard seed, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes) and they were very good, but a little too salty for my taste. The kids loved them though! HUGS

  6. Newbie canner here, SUPER excited to try this recipe over the summer. Saying hi from the Yuck Stops Here link up! 🙂

  7. Chrystal – Guess What!?! Your Canning Pickles were the most clicked this week on The Yuck Stops Here! By a long shot! So excited for you, and I’ve already got the ingredients to make them myself, just need to make the time! CONGRATULATIONS & HUGS!

    1. Yah!! I am popular! Glad I decided to post that one. I am trying to take the time to bring out older recipes as I gain new readers so that they can be aware of them!

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