Slow-brined Kosher Dill Pickles

When my friend Michelle mentioned she was planning to put up a batch of pickles, I couldn't resist joining in. Alice was also game, so we made it a threesome. We scheduled our pickle-making, gathered our supplies, and purchased an entire bushel of perfect pickling cucumbers from Frank's, a local (Howard County, Maryland) farmers stand just around the corner from Costco and Trader Joe's. The bargain price per pound was only $1! (But a bushel is a GIGANTIC amount!) Every single cucumber was perfect. The quality could not have been better.

We started with the bread and butter slices, one batch of regular and then a batch of spicy. (I always make mine spicy after trying the pickles at Famous Dave's.) We followed with a batch of Kosher Dill spears. After Alice and I left, taking some cucumbers with us to process at home, Michelle continued with another Kosher dill recipe and some sweet relish!

 Check out Alice's cool bee apron!

I decided to try making slow-brined pickles with my share of the extra cukes. I found a recipe by Alton Brown that looked fairly easy. These are the old-fashioned kind of pickle you can find in a huge barrel in a real Jewish deli. They are naturally fermented, full of probiotics which are excellent for your gut, and full of flavor which is excellent for your mouth.

Slow-brined Kosher Dill 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
Stir salt into one gallon of water and set aside. Wash cucumbers and cut off blossom end. Place all spices and fresh dill into bottom of one gallon-sized crock. (I divided the cukes into 2 smaller jars instead.) Place cukes on top of spices and pour brine over them. Fill gallon-size ziploc bag with remaining brine and place bag on top of crock to hold pickles under the brine. Let sit at room temperature for 6-7 days. Check daily--skim any scum from top of crock and rinse off bag whenever necessary. After 6 days, taste pickles for sourness. When sour enough for your taste, refrigerate. Should last up to 2 months in the fridge. If pickles become soft, this is a sign of spoilage and those should be discarded.

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  1. Move the pickles from the countertop to the fridge after 7 days. The flavor is excellent. The texture is somewhat soft, but hoping they will crisp up in the fridge.


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