Thursday, August 5, 2010

Making Deli-Style Dill Pickles: Part Two

Finally, after weeks of fermentation our dill pickles are ready to can! At this point the pickles should be thoroughly flavored with dill and translucent throughout.
When the pickles are ready, strain the contents through a colander, removing the pickles and collecting the brine from the pot in another stainless steel/unchipped enamel pot. All of the spices and dill should be caught by the strainer, leaving you a pile of sorted pickles (if there are any that didn't "make it" pick them out and discard them now) and a pot of brine.

Bring your brine to a rolling boil on the stove and boil for approximately 5 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature before filling jars. Simultaneously, process your jars and lids in near boiling water to prepare them to use for canning.

Fill jars with pickles, ensuring the jars are full but not packing the pickles in too tightly. Fill jars with the cooled brine, leaving a half-inch of head space at the top. Use a tongue depressor (or other skinny flat object) to move pickles around slightly and free any trapped air bubbles in the jar. Place lids on jars, screw down bands to fingertip tight and place jars in water to process for 15 minutes (with the lid on the canning pot).

Remove lid and let cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing jars from water, placing in an out of the way spot on the counter and covering with a towel. Allow jars to sit overnight; check them the morning to ensure all jars are properly sealed (make sure the lid is "sucked down" and doesn't pop or move when you press on the top of it).
Congratulations! You've finished your dill pickles!! Grab a burger (or a pregnant friend!) and enjoy one now!

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