Sunday, August 5, 2007

Crock Pickles

Making crock pickles is an annual tradition in my family. As a kid, it was always exciting to test the first pickle. As an adult I still find the first crock pickle of the season to be a joy. My Grandmother, who is going on 93, doesn't make the pickles anymore. The family 5 gallon crock has been handed down to my Dad who so graciously brings the crock to my house every year to set the pickles up (thanks Dad). (honestly, I don't know what my Dad would do with 5 gallons of pickles. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with 5 gallons myself, but they always seem to disappear pretty quickly.)

One of the secrets to good crock pickles is freshly picked firm cucumber pickles. Personally I prefer the smaller pickles, but traditionally the rounder medium pickles are used. It's one of those recipes that you can easily tweek to your liking.

Main ingredients:
Fresh picked firm cucumber pickles
Fresh dill (I use 2-3 bunches for 5 gallons)
garlic, cloves peeled (I use 2 heads for 5 gallons)
pepper of some variety. (half sharps, sharp, jalapeno, bannana) (I use one-half sharp of 2 jalapenos for 5 gallons )
Canning salt
White vinegar
a crock, a plate, and a quart jar filled with water for a weight

Brine: make enough brine to fill your crock (for my 5 gallon crock I make 2 1/2 gallons of brine)
1 gallon water
1/2 C canning salt
1/2 C vinegar
-Bring brine to a rolling boil
After washing your pickles and dill, it's time to fill the crock.

The first layer should line the bottom of the crock with dill (about 1/3 of your dill), then add about half of the pickles with garlic and pepper. Add another layer of dill, pickles, garlic and peppers, finish with the top layer being dill.

Pour in the brine, making sure all the pickles are well covered. Invert a plate over the top of the pickles and place your water filled quart jar on the plate. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature for about 24 hours.
Taste a pickle to see if they are ready. Larger pickles may need more time to set up. Once you're satisfied with the flavor transfer your pickles to jars with some brine and refrigerate. YUM!


Xanthe said...


Katie said...

I make dilled pickles, but have never done the crock method. How do you clean/sterilize the crock? I have several of them that were given to me, but who knows what they were used for before I got them!
Love this tute!

Lori said...

My grandmother always made salt water pickles in a crock with a plate to hold them down in the has been making them for a couple years now in grandma's crock and plate......they are sooooooo good! My husband doesn't care for them, so I guess maybe they are an "acquired taste".