Easy Home Made Hot Garlic Dill Pickles

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What goes best with a hot pastrami sandwich, homemade potato salad, and an ice-cold soda? A homemade hot garlic dill pickle will make the meal perfect, of course. There are many recipes available, but this is one of the best, bar none, and it is rather simple. You will need to find the freshest possible essential ingredients, however. The amounts of the ingredients will vary, depending on how many hot garlic dill pickles that you intend to make.

You will need the following:

Pickling salt
Fresh, firm, tender, whole cucumbers- 3” to 5” long
Jalapeno peppers- one per jar
Fresh grape leaves – 2 per jar
Whole peppercorns
Fresh sprigs of dill weed
5% distilled white vinegar
Whole, garlic cloves, peeled – 3 per jar
* (Optional) Red peppers-crushed if you prefer extra hot pickles
Pickle jars
Two-piece lids (flats and rims)
Two very large pots
Small pot of boiling water
Large Mixing spoon
Metal tongs
Clean cloth dishtowel
Metal tablespoons

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

First wash your jars in the dishwasher or wash and rinse by hand. Sterilize the jars by submerging the washed and dried jars in a large pot of warm water; gradually increase the temperature until the jars and water reach a rolling boil: boil for 15 minutes.

Place lids, flats and rims in a small pot of boiling water.

In the other large pot, combine the following for the brining mixture:
2 quarts of water
2 cups of 5% distilled white vinegar
1-½ cups of pickling salt

Place brining mixture on heat source; increase temperature to boiling; boil until all of the salt is dissolved. Use the metal mixing spoon to ensure all of the salt is dissolved.
Remove pickle jars from the boiling water, turn upside down on a baking sheet and slide into a warm oven; you do not want your jars cold; they will break.
Keep the plain water on medium high heat.
In the meantime, peel three cloves of garlic for each jar.
One jalapeno pepper- sliced lengthwise (Important: slice the pepper lengthwise).
Separate 2 grape leaves for each jar.
Isolate ½ tablespoon of black peppercorns for each jar.

In each warm jar, insert:
3 cloves of peeled garlic
2 grape leaves
½ teaspoon of peppercorns
One lengthwise sliced jalapeno pepper

If you like your pickles hot, add more jalapenos and the crushed red peppers. If you prefer a very strong garlicky flavor, add more cloves of garlic and try crushing a few cloves of garlic for an even more intense garlic flavor.

Next, wash your cucumbers in cold water. Take a spice loaded jar and fill with cucumbers.
Place a tablespoon in each jar, (this prevents breakage), fill each jar with the hot brining mixture until the liquid is about ¾” from the top; add sprigs of fresh dill. The more you add, the stronger the flavor. Remove spoon.

Use the tongs to remove a sealing flat from the boiling water, with the seal side down, place on the jar.
Use tongs to remove a sealing rim; place it on the jar.

With the clean dishtowel, deftly wipe off the flat and rim; twist and secure the sealing rim, but not too tightly.

Place jars in the pot with the plain water. Create a hot water bath by adding water until all but the sealing rim is covered. Increase temperature to boiling.

Boil for at least fifteen minutes.

Turn off heat. Allow jars to cool undisturbed. You will intermittently hear a soft “popping” sound, which is the sealing flat adhering to the jar in an airtight seal.

When jars are warm to the touch, remove jars from the hot water bath to a cooling rack.

Although you may be tempted to just taste one, fight the urge and try not to disturb the pickles for at least two weeks or longer. The longer they set in the seasoned brine, the better the pickle, and the stronger the flavor. But when you do unseal the jars, be prepared for the taste of some of the best hot garlic dill pickles on this side of heaven! These gourmet delights are truly a taste treat definitely worth the wait. They are a delicious complement to any sandwich or meal. However, these hot garlic dill pickles are delicious all by themselves.

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