Dill Pickles

Total Time:
240 hr 15 min
15 min
240 hr

3 pounds pickles

  • 5 1/2 ounces pickling salt, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches long
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 large bunch dill
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved.

  • Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Set aside.

  • Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into a 1-gallon crock. Add the cucumbers to the crock on top of the aromatics. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers in order to completely cover. Pour the remaining water into a 1-gallon ziptop plastic bag and seal. Place the bag on top of the pickles making sure that all of them are completely submerged in the brine. Set in a cool, dry place.

  • Check the crock after 3 days. Fermentation has begun if you see bubbles rising to the top of the crock. After this, check the crock daily and skim off any scum that forms. If scum forms on the plastic bag, rinse it off and return to the top of the crock.

  • The fermentation is complete when the pickles taste sour and the bubbles have stopped rising; this should take approximately 6 to 7 days. Once this happens, cover the crock loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3 days, skimming daily or as needed. Store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator, skimming as needed. If the pickles should become soft or begin to take on an off odor, this is a sign of spoilage and they should be discarded.

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4.1 45
<span>Mine turned out mush :(I  love the brine flavor though...I followed directions to the tee, used a stone crock with weights and lid. are they supposed to be in a canning jar on the counter</span><br /><span>??</span><br /><br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Persian pickles? Whyyyyyyyyy????????????????? Kirby pickles. Always. And never any red pepper flakes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I put up the first batch of these pickles last night and cannot wait to give them a try but has anyone ever tried using this method on other vegetables?  I have peppers in the garden and it seems like this might work well for pickling them as well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought these were awesome if you like a fermented pick. I left out the peppercorns and dill seed. Also added extra garlic and they came out fantastic.  Dont worry about the salt, pickles are supposed to be salty and store bought are usually saltier then this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love Alton Brown and I love fermented pickles - so this should have been a combination sung by angels. Instead, I waited theough ten days of fermenting, skimming and stirring to end up with a batch of gorgeous, crispy pickles that were too salty to eat. And by too salty, I mean it burned my lips and mouth and couldn't be spit out fast enough. Reducing pickling salt from half a cup to just a tablespoon seems about right. Maker beware: use Much Less Salt and you may have something, otherwise all you have done is wasted your time, cucumbers, and half a cup of salt. <div><br /></div><div>Three stars because the recipe isn't good, but it is salvageable. </div> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mine ended up with a rust scent and flavor (I threw them out). I didn't follow directions. Don't use a metal lid during fermentation! They smelled amazing as they fermented though, I will definitely be trying again.<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love pickles. I didn't like these. Gross item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wonder if the types of airborne yeasts in different areas of the world and their availability in high rise apartments and condos, explains some of the inconsistencies people seem to have with this recipe. Is there such a thing as "pickling yeast", so people in arid or high altitude or otherwise void of good airborne yeast places can have more consistentsy in their results? I had good luck, but I live in a house not far from Alton Brown. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome! Easy to make. They taste like the barrel pickles you get at the deli, delicious and crispy! Much better than cooking them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mine never did bubble so I think something went wrong. The pickles came out delicious but WAY too salty to eat. I'm going to try again and see what happens. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've found that good brined pickles are a hit-and-miss project. Sometimes everything works and you have the best pickle ever. And sometimes it's a disaster. In 1989 my mom made the best batch ever. Since then, we've had good and bad. I think water, pickling temperature, freshness of cucumbers, growing season, and many other things decide wether your pickles are good or not. Brined pickles are so good they're worth it to keep trying. They're just like fine wines, some years are better than others. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe years ago as a refrigerator pickle, as he says in the episode that if you don't want to ferment your pickles, you can just make refrigerator dills instead. Well, at the time I was a college student, and didn't have a croc or a desire to ferment the pickles, but instead to make the juicy, crisp, fresh dills I ate out of my father's refrigerator every week growing up as a child. Well this recipe is WAY too salty for refrigerator pickles. However, I was not to be stopped, and once I realized just how salty the recipe was, I remade the brine and tried again. They were fabulous! I can only imagine that all that salt is necessary for warding off bacteria in the croc. My notes for this recipe show that I made the 3 pounds of pickles, but decided only 3 oz of salt was necessary for the job. Try them as refrigerator dills with extra garlic and a little bit of vinegar. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i absolutely love this recipe.added extra of all veggies...I like it hot and spicy! recipe was also very easy to make. adding water to bag to hold pickles down is an excellent tip. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this a couple times now, and the only thing I changed was omitting the red pepper flakes, as my critics (son and friends did not like the heat with the pickles. (They do like very spicy food, but not in pickles. With that one variation, the pickles were wonderful - they really did taste like the pickles found in barrels in NY deli's. Thank you Alton. I hope to have one last batch before the growing season is over. Sandie Sudberry item not reviewed by moderator and published
Couldn't have been any easier, fuss free or inexpensive. I've got two quart jars of fine crunchy dill wedges in the fridge. Since I didn't have a crock, I used plastic food service buckets. Worked fine, and I weighed down the pickles with brine filled ziploks. I recommend putting the brine filled ziplok into another one. It keeps the brine from leaking out. Wish I could post a photo ... they look really neat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic recipe that is so good. Gave to some of my customers who asked for some and they loved them, I like to strain the cloudy sediment from fermentation process and put into fridge, never last more than a couple weeks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these and we think they are very good. But ... Many other pickle recipes say: "Remove and discard a 1/16-inch slice from the blossom end of fresh cucumbers. Blossoms may contain an enzyme that causes excessive softening." Alton is shown cutting off the stems in the video. Alton's written recipe says to "snip off the blossom end STEM". This is confusing since there really is no stem at the blossom end of a cucumber. So, to play it safe -- I just cut off a bit from each end. But I'd really appreciate it if the Food Network website would clear this up for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best pickle recipe I have ever made! The pickles have the most amazing fermented kick! I am addicted to them! I make them all the time, and give them away as gifts. They don't involve stinking up the kitchen with vinegar, and they aren't super salty. So easy to make, but waiting a week is torture if I am out. I have found that 8 days of fermentation works best for the moderate temperature of my house. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Really good pickles. I let them go for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks in the crock, and they were really good and sour. The aroma coming from the crock after the first week made it hard to not eat one then and there. I used bottled spring water which seemed easiest. I never noticed bubbles forming, and there was hardly any scum to speak of until after 2 weeks and even then there was very little. Overall, the hardest part was getting a crock, but my local hobby shop had plenty of them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best pickles I ever ate. I added a hot pepper for some heat. Which worked grate. item not reviewed by moderator and published
trying to make pickles and its been 3 days but the water is cloudy. I used distilled water but i see no bubbles or scum forming. Am i doing something wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great pickle recipe! Not your mom's I am sure, but none the less very, very good. I have a suggestion for those of you who rated the recipe but did not make it, don't rate it until you try it, use a blog to have your say! It s a different, fermented pickle-not vinegar based or your mom's or anyone else's. How can you say it was bad when you don't see a need to change from mom's or good housekeeping, or kerr, or a science experiment or etc, etc.,etc. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe makes good pickles. I think more information would be helpful for those canners who are newbies-like the one who thinks you need to use vinegar in fermented pickles or the one that doesn't understand you SHOULD use distilled water when canning otherwise the minerals in city water can/will make your pickles cloudy. I just put up about 160 4" cukes in this recipe. Waiting now for couple of weeks to pass till I can eat em up! Tx Alt. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First batched turned out great, but not nearly enough garlic for me. For the next batch I used several cloves of garlic and substituted the red pepper flakes for a few cayennes from the garden. Perfection. Salty, sour, spicy, garlicky perfection. If your pickles aren't sour, you didn't ferment long enough. I tasted a couple as the process progressed, at one week, two weeks, and three weeks. It took three full weeks for the lactic acid to build up, and once it did......yowza. Very nice sour flavor, but not that sharp vinegar up-in-nose sour. More of an all over the tongue tangy sour. Just what a pickle should be. By the way, I used a clean food grade 5 gal plastic bucket, a clean plate, and a bag of brine. Worked fine. Alton, you are the man. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I forgot Alton had made a fermented pickle recipe. Because of the comments below and stuff read elsewhere, I'm going to monitor the temperature of where I keep them (between 70 and 75 F) and make sure to keep them topped off. Meredith: These aren't supposed to have vinegar. Doing so would defeat the point of fermentation. You use vinegar in fresh pack pickles, and salt brine in fermented pickles. For everyone else who had problems, you can check the troubleshooting guide here: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/food_safety/preservation/hgic3101.html (note that it overlaps vinegar and brined pickles though) item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is rare that I find a recipe on foodnetwork.com that is not good, but this one is awful. I followed the recipe exactly, and this is the result: a pickle that is way too salty and totally lacking that vinegary taste that exemplifies why I love pickles in the first place. Too much salt &amp; needs vinegar! This recipe was just a giant waste of my time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time I did it exactly to specs and found the pickles WAY TOO HOT. The next time left out the red pepper, increased garlic, left ot the dill seed(thought it superfluous). I don't use distilled water because I live in NY and our water is supposed to be the best in nation. They turned out very good, and this is now my goto pickle recipe. BTW I like relish on my hot dogs and one of these chopped relatively fine with mustard is the way to go! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm no food scientist but I don't think you are suppose to use distilled water. Alton's receip calls for filtered or bottled water. Distilled water has all the minerals removed and I don't think it makes for "Good Eats." item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe exactly, used pickling salt, distilled water, all fresh ingredients. No fermentation, no bubbles, no scum. Left for 14 days and all I got was VERY SALTY baby cucumbers. I don't get it. I purchased a real crock and everything! I am upset because I was looking forward to these. :( item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was ok, but it just isn't the sme as my fave:I had an awesome refrigerator pickle recipe from my ex-mom in law. I lost my book with the recipe. I know all the ingredients, but forgot measurments. Anyone ever heard this recipe Water Vinegar Salt chopped garlic onion jalapeno peppers (sliced) dill weed (prefer fresh, but dried ok) It all sits on counter(covered) for 2 days, then placed in jars and refrigerated for 1-2 weeks. I cant remember how much water, vinegar and salt. I know it's 1tbspn of dill and garlic. Thanks! miller4285@yahoo.com item not reviewed by moderator and published
at my best friends moms recipe and then there was your show!!!! WOW!!! thank you!!! now I'M handing out the recipes!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
For those not interested in a science project, or lacking space to keep pickles soaking for several days, here is a much easier way to make great dill pickles. 1. Get copy of Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cookbook. 2. Look up Kosher Dill recipe. 3. Follow recipe, preferably using pickling cucumbers and dill that were picked and refrigerated no more than 3 or 4 days before canning. Skip the hot peppers if you like. I've been making these for 25 years, and never seen a reason to change recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am trying this recipe now with my biology students to show them how lactic acid fermentation works. However, I was thinking about your results and have concluded that your cucumbers must have had some issues. Even good-looking cukes can go bad and they can do so very quickly! They must be really firm all over with no softer areas. Those soft spots indicate rot beginning inside them. As for the flower end, I saw where a tad bit of discoloration can enter the fruit. As the blossom forms and the ovary closes around the end where the pollen grains entered into the female flower's ovary, I can see how it would be inevitable for pathogens to get into that end. Follow Alton's advice and cut it out! I bet a pre-existing fungus is the source of the problem if all other conditions were met. Try again! Keep on trying !(Science teacher, but professional horticulturist.) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Many, Many Years ago (Circa late 30s early 40s) my Mother pickled peppers, cucumbers and other veggies in a crock which held approx 5 to 10 gallons of pickling fluid. The crock was kept under the Kitchen sink - it was an open arae as the sink was not in a cabinet. The crock stayed there year round. There was a wooden cover with a handle that fit into the crock. I think my Dad made the cover. All we had to do was lift the cover, stick our hand into the brine and pull out what ever we wanted to eat when ever we had the urge. I have been searching for a recipie that would allow me to set up the same system in my home. Your recipe seems to fill the bill with a few exceptions. You say store in the refrigerator for up to two months. Mother did not store in a refrigerator - all we had was an ice box at the time - and as I said that crock was basically full year round with delicious pickled peppers and cucumbers. Can you advise me on this as to any possible changes to make to your recipe to prolong the storage period and/or not refrigerate the product (A five gallon crock won't fit to well in a refrigerator)? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my first time with this recipe and I was curious about whether I'm doing it correctly or not. I'm using glass crocks because I couldn't find anything else. YES or NO? I have the lids on the jars but they aren't secured down. They just sit on top YES or NO? The fermentation has taken longer than 3 days to actually begin. The items have CO2 bubbles on it but nothing's rising. The water's cloudy however. I'm a Science teacher doing this with my students and I just want to make sure I'm doing this correctly. Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Dan from Brooklyn, I'm wondering if you have a lot of mold in your environment; that could very well cause them to "implode." You can order a test for household mold. I made these last year, kept them near an open window, and they turned out great! Those that made it past four or five months in my fridge started to get a little soggy, but I wasn't supposed to keep them around that long anyway. I added garlic and hot banana peppers to mine, too, to "Polarize" them (made them like my mom's Polish dills, only better, but don't tell my mom about that). item not reviewed by moderator and published
the thing you MUST do is check the level of the brine .. You may have to top it off a couple times a day depending on how the fermentation goes.. Also it is VERY important to use fresh firm cukes.. I used air dried red sea salt on my last batch and they began bubbling after 24 hours . .mmmm mmm goood! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the instructions exactly. My ingredients were good (specific pickling salt, good cukes from whole foods, and the spices were good and fresh). The first time I did the recipe this is what happened: - fermentation evidently started after 2-3 days; I saw bubbles rising from the sides of the crock. - after a couple more days, I checked on the cucumbers and some had sort-of imploded. Some were soft to the touch and basically were disintegrating from the inside. - After the allotted time period (and after discarding any that got soft) I tasted the remaining ones that were still firm and, while tasting good, there was a slight funkiness. I got rid of them too. The second time, I thought I would modify my method a bit: - I made sure to cut off the blossom ends (well, is this the stem end or not? I cut off the stem end, even though I see stems on professional pickles) - Instead of Brita'd tap water (in Brooklyn, NY), I used bottled spring water. - Same results as the first batch. If anything it was slightly worse. So, what did I do wrong? I can't think of anything that I did differently than the recipe. What does the softening and "imploding" of the cucumbers indicate? Thanks, Dan item not reviewed by moderator and published
After 3 days my pickles have not stared bubbling, the brine has become cloudy though. I this ok? Smells great though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy and good. Just use NON Iodized salt (pickling salt) and Distilled Water. If you have a good ferment I stick em in the fridge to slow it after 3 days. I also place a kitchen towel over the top and secure it to crock with a bungee cord. Let's air in to help w fermenting and keeps bugs and other stuff out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these pickles at home and they were AMAZING! I didn't have access to any fresh dill, but I put in some dill weed. My friends and family loved them and so did I! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Another great Alton recipe. Easy, but it takes time. The only thing I can think of that Douglas from Johnstown, PA. did wrong was maybe he used tap water. He specifically said, don't use tap water because of the chlorine, it would kill the benificial bacteria. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Like pickles? Like a little heat? Try these! They're dilly, garlicy, salty and wonderfully spicy! The garlic/dill/salt will get hook you and the red pepper flakes will keep you warm. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a lot easier than it sounds. I've had my cukes fermenting for 10 days now and I'd say they're finally done. I checked them about every 2-3 days, not every day, and only had to wipe down the crock once, I think because I stirred the whole mix up every time I checked them. The pickles taste great. They remind me of "Bubbie's" brand. item not reviewed by moderator and published
doesn't work. followed the instructions to the letter, and 7 days later, no bubble, no scum, no pickles. i've tried alton's refrigerator pickles, and they've turned out great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First, I'd ditch the red pepper flakes. But I make this with green and wax beans. Carrot, zucchini, too. Although I do the long-term canning sometimes, you can just get a big glass crock like the one I got at Target and skip the canning process. They keep in the bottom of the fridge for a long time that way.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Maybe try again with less salt item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't think it's <b>ever</b> safe to mess with the ratio of ingredients when pickling, unless you're a fermentation expert or a fan of botulism.<div><br /></div><div>If you don't like the results  try different recipes until you find your match.</div> item not reviewed by moderator and published
If they didn't taste tart, fermentation didn't take place.  That could be from using table salt instead of pickling salt or using water treated with chloramine.  When they ferment, they taste delicious.  If you ferment them in a glass jar, you can see the bubbles. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You're worried about "brine" leaking out of your ziplocks? OK. well, at least it sells more storage bags. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't work here, but it's the blossom end that should be sliced. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am making these now and have a clouded water issue. Seeing as how this is an old recpe I will never get an answer from it. Did you ever get a reply on the cloudy water? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cloudy water is 100% normal during the fermentation process! <br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are fermented pickles, which is why they don't have vinegar and why they are salty.  The salt is necessary for preservation without the acidity of vinegar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Keep trying. explore more resources for fermented cukes. My first year's attempts went to compost. Second year I had circa 50% success rate. Much higher now a couple years later. Suggest you find a jar of lacto-fermented pickles from some local supplier to taste the result -- if you have not tasted before -- and that may keep you trying. I still love Claussen vinegar pickles and make vinegar pickles here and there, but fermented's rock. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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