July Can Jam: Dill Pickle Chips!

23 Jul

It’s can jam time once again friends.  I can’t believe I’ve been regularly canning now for the last seven months.  At first I was all like, Eek!  I have to can something!  I’m skeered!  Now I’m all like, meh, I can knock some canning out after an evening’s drinking cheap beer to get the taste of a two hour staff meeting out of my mouth!  True story!

There have been some highlights from the jam (Herbed garlic ‘shrooms for example) and some lowlights (Let’s not dwell on our failures, am I right pals?).  All of this jamming was to prep the jammers for exactly this moment, the moment of bounty.  The problem is that in Seattle, we’re a wee bit behind in our bounty moment.  My cuke plants have tiny lil’ baby cukes. Which are very cute, especially if you imagine them in top hat, tails and monocle (you know it’s hard to find an image of a novelty cucumber wearing a monocle.  All I could come up with are those bible thumping conservative veggies from Veggie tales.  Boo hiss!), but not pickleable just yet.

Cute! But not ready...

This month, the item of choice was the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, squash, and melons.  Of course, I chose cucumbers.

Now I have plans, friends.  I’m gonna get a mess of pickling cukes soon and ferment them in several different ways.  I had figured that I probably was not going to hot water bath can too many, because I didn’t think I would like them as much—wouldn’t be as crunchy, as sour, as much like the NYC style deli pickles I’ve loved since I first tasted a Claussen, which I still argue is a good substitute in a pinch.  I’m wasn’t born and raised in NYC, you see, so I wasn’t running around the Lower East in short pants buying pickles for a nickle out of a wood barrel. I was sorting my Garbage Pail Kids at my grandma’s (who gave us more expensive, and very importantly to me at the time, name brand foods!  I was kinda a lil food snob) eating salami and pickles.  Ah, childhood.

But then my friend growandresist brought over her jam item, dill relish, and it was delicious.  So I was a bit more hyped to try my hand at a canned pickle.  I decided on dill pickle chips, as I’ll probably do most of my fermenting of whole pickles.  And they turned out pretty awesome.  I’ll admit, I winged it on this recipe, as not one in particular floated my boat, and I didn’t have time for a multi-day recipe this time.  And…success!

Winging It Dill Pickle Chips

Adapted from here, and from here (page 26, Classic Quick Dill Pickles ) and here (page 302, Dill Sandwich Slices).


5 lbs pickling cukes

There's something hopeful about a counter full of pickling cukes.

4 cups white wine vinegar

4 cups water

5 Tbsp sugar

½ cup pickling/canning salt (total)

1 medium sized onion, diced very small

2 T dill seed

2 T dill weed

1 T mustard seeds

1 T plus ¼ t turmeric

4 bay leaves

Garlic to your preference—I used about 6 cloves.


  • Scrub and wash your pickling cukes.  Cut off ends.  Slice them into nice pickle chip sized slices.
  • Put the sliced cukes into a large bowl with cold water and ¼ c pickling salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric.  Let sit at least 2 hours, but up to 6.  I did 2 hours, as it was the evening and I needed to kick back soon.  Did I mention I had already celebrated happy hour?  Anywho, put a plate on top of the bowl to hold all the chips under the water.

This two hour soaked function to keep the pickle chips crisp, and it worked!

  • Make your brine.  Dice your onion very small.  Add it and all of the above ingredients except the cukes and garlic (vinegar, water, sugar, rest of the salt, and spices) into a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, keep it on low until you’re ready for it.
  • When your canning kettle is boiling, get out your sterilized jars and add garlic to each jar.  I sliced each clove and put about 4-5 slices into each jar.  If I would have had fresh dill, I would have added it to each jar, and of course used it for the whole shebang.  I wasn’t able to come up with any fresh dill this time, but I had plenty of dill seed and dill weed in my brine, so it worked out OK.  Obvs, I will use plenty of fresh dill down the road in my further canning and pickling projects.
  • Remove the pickles from the soak they took in the bowl.  Drain and rinse them.
  • Pack the pickle slices into the jars.  Really pack them in there.  I found that shaking the jar as I added each handful of chips settled them in there.  Leave one inch of headspace.
  • Ladle the brine into the jar.  The onions will really come up to the top, so use a chopstick or tongs to push them back down under the brine.

Ready for the kettle.

  • Use a paper towel or clean cloth to clean off the rims of your jars.
  • Toss your lids into a small pot of hot water.  Let them cook for a few minutes.  Then place them on top of the jars.
  • Hot water bath process for 15 minutes.  Go here for instructions on proper hot water bath canning.  Don’t be afraid! It’s easy and t’is the season, folks!
  • After 15 minutes, remove from kettle and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

My first pickles of the season! I'm (possibly a little bit too much) excited!

Taste wise, these turned out great.  I did have another minor setback.  So far in the jam, I’ve only had one problem.  When I was processing my aforementioned canned ‘shrooms, a jar broke in the kettle.  This time, I had one jar not seal.  I think it’s because of my own laziness.  I needed another jar but I didn’t have a final lid sitting in the not quite boiling water, so I tossed a lid into the water at the last second, but only heated it up for probably 15 seconds before using it to seal the last jar that i hot water bath processed.  I think either that fact, or the fact that the ring on the unsealed jar was misshapen, caused my problem.  So, make sure you fully heat your lids and use only lid rings in the best condition for your canning.  You do NOT want all of that work to go to waste.  However, the unsealed jar did give me an excuse to taste the pickles right away, and I was really happy with the results.  Tangy, zesty, spicy, not sweet, not too salty, and just a little mustardy.  Really good!

Grill up some burgs!

And, fermentation time is coming!  Check this out!

Soon to be a fermented full sour pickle! Stay tuned!


17 Responses to “July Can Jam: Dill Pickle Chips!”

  1. tigress July 24, 2010 at 4:34 AM #

    very nice! i kinda feel the same way that you do about ‘canned’ cukes. and i have a bunch of little babies not quite big enough to ferment. but i gots big plans for dem! 🙂

    your recipe above is inspiring – ’cause i do like a good crunch!

    • ohbriggsy July 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM #

      thanks, tigress! i was away for the weekend–which was actually a hot one in Seattle–and my baby cukes appear to be entering adolescence! they’re finally medium sized! now i wanna buy a few pickling crocks and get fermenting! do you have one of those fancy German ones? i want!

  2. Patti Warren July 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM #

    great website…..informative and entertaining, love the humor. thanks for the great istruction…I guess I will give it a try


    • ohbriggsy July 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM #

      thanks, patti! definitely give it a try! canning is really not as hard as it looks! it’s the season too! i’ve been looking forward to cukes, tomatoes (had my first really good ones of the season yesterday!), peaches, nectarines, and apricots all year! and we get them for a few glorious months! i have to stop myself from being overwhelmed and focus all my projects. let me know how it goes if you try the recipe!

  3. sonja July 26, 2010 at 7:38 AM #

    3 cheers for winging it style canning! i will concur – they turned out delicious!!

    • ohbriggsy July 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM #

      thanks double S! it is kinda double S-esque to wing it while canning, wouldn’t ya say?

  4. fluffybuttfarms July 26, 2010 at 9:26 AM #

    I just followed your recipe and they look great! Thanks for the easy instructions and helpful pictures 🙂

    • ohbriggsy July 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM #

      thanks! let me know if you like them! i had a jar not seal, so i had an excuse to try them early, and i thought they were delicious. i hope to p[ost more of my cuke adventures in the coming weeks!

      i like your blog, btw! you’re doing some cool stuff! im jealous! awesome that you’re a cheese maker. that’s my next goal, to try my hand at cheese. i made a simple soft goat cheese a few years back, but i want to try mozzarella, feta and ricotta salata. i’ll have to peruse your blog for tips! also, i like that wall art that you showed in your cheese post–did you get that on etsy?

      • fluffybuttfarms July 26, 2010 at 9:55 AM #

        Yeah, I’m a beer maker so I’m used to delayed gratification 🙂 But it is so, so tempting right now to crack one of those babies open and try them … argh!

        Please do try mozz, feta, and ricotta salata–they are super-simple once you get the hang of them! I don’t know if you have access to raw milk, but if you do, it seems pretty difficult to mess up those three cheeses. Otherwise, you just have to make sure you don’t get ultra-pasteurized/homogenized milk; it won’t work for cheesemaking. The ricotta salata I have made is much better than feta cheese from the store (I think)–if you like salty things, it’s fantastic. I’ve made one about twice each month now, I think, because I like it so much 🙂 Last night I was up til one a.m., not only canning the pickles but making my second-ever cheddar! It’s in the cheese press as we speak and again, I’m antsy to know how it tastes but patience, me…

        The wall art is indeed an etsy find from the user DesignedDesigner. Really easy to put up but looks so much nicer than the plain white walls!

        By the way, it’s so funny–I found your blog via Googling for pickle advice, but I read through more and saw you’re from StL. I grew up there and left when I was about 22! Obligatory StL question: Where’d you go to high school? 🙂 (Me, Parkway West, class of ’95.)

        Anyway, I look forward to further canning adventures–I’ll be following along as I feel quite inspired after my first canning step actually worked!

      • ohbriggsy July 27, 2010 at 12:15 PM #

        beer! that’s another thing i want to make! speaking of delayed gratification, i made wine back in the summer of 08 and am just now trying it. it will make an ok sangria, but it’s nothing to write home about. i figured beer would be much more instantly gratifying! i guess it’s all about what you’re used to.

        i’m definitely gonna try cheese making. i need to get a few supplies. i can get raw milk at farmer’s markets here, so that’s good. i made my goat cheese with raw goat’s milk i was drinking for a while. i love salty stuff, so i wanna try ricotta salata and feta. do you get your cheese making supplies online?

        good to know that the wall art was easy to put up–i worried that it would be a disaster to get it straight on the wall without curling, mishaps, etc.

        st louis! i went to cor jesu academy, class of ’93! i left at 18, returned for a bit, but havent lived there for any substantial time since ’97. i like visiting though! i love all the people with st louis ties i’ve found on this blog since i started posting! speaking of following along, i gotta make some time to check out your blog. it looks like you’re doing some awesome stuff!

        yes, definitely keep canning. do you make fermented pickles and/or kraut? i love both but havent had much success yet. this is gonna be my year!

  5. Mike July 27, 2010 at 11:05 AM #

    Great post. I live in Seattle, used to live in NYC and all our in-laws in in STL, so I saw this and figured it was the recipie I had to try. Made these last night, now just have to wait it out to try them. If you are looking to make these again with fresh Dill, the Yakima fruit market up in Bothel has (or at least had on Sunday) big stalks of fresh Dill. I hope my pickles come out ok, the problem with buying way too much Dill is the inevitable inability to resist tossing gobbs of it in the jars. I went with a not so scientific 2 T = 2 fistfulls per jar conversion 🙂

    • ohbriggsy July 27, 2010 at 12:18 PM #

      thanks, mike! what a connection, too: nyc, seattle, and stl! three great places, imho.

      i hope the pickles turn out well for you. i wonder if the fresh dill will make a difference. thanks for the tip about the fruit market. i’ve driven by that fruit market before, so thanks for the heads up. i was surprised that the farmer’s markets havent had much dill yet. and my dill out in the garden isnt having a stellar year. anyway, let me know how they turn out!

  6. Small Time Explorer July 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM #

    You crazy domestic now Briggsy! Loved it. I was cracking up the whole time and could totally hear your voice.

    • ohbriggsy July 29, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

      look at us, both blogging! who’da thunk it, what 7 years ago? i woudn’t! love your blog too. this time, ive gotta come visit. ive never been to NO!


  1. Pickles! « Welcome to Fluffybutt Farms! - July 26, 2010

    […] followed this recipe here and it was pretty easy, although I felt like I had to water bath these jars forever since […]

  2. My Own CanJam Cucurbit Roundup | Grow & Resist - July 31, 2010

    […] Oh Briggsy and Dill Pickle Chips. They look great and sound delicious. Crispy dills!  Can’t wait to taste and know I’ll be begging when their fermented full sours come around! […]

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