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Old-Fashioned Pickle Barrel Pickles

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Rating: 5/5
3 reviews

ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   5 lbs

recipe id: 5209

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5 pounds pickling cucumbers of uniform size (about 4 inches)
4 tablespoons pickling spices (McCormick's or mix your own)
6 bunches dill, washed and chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled, more if desired
1 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup pickling salt
2 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon powdered alum*
8 grape leaves (optional)


Scrub pickles with a vegetable brush and rinse with cool water. Allow to dry thoroughly.

In a large stoneware crock or a non-reactive deep enamel kettle, sprinkle in half of pickling spices, dill and garlic over the bottom. Layer cucumbers in crock, filling within 3 inches of top. Sprinkle with remaining pickling spices, dill and garlic.

Mix vinegar, salt and alum (optional) and 2 quarts of water. Pour over cucumbers, to cover.

Weight with a plate and cans, making sure cucumbers are completely submerged. Cover loosely with cheesecloth. Check pickles each day and skim off scum as it forms. They may not begin to form until fifth day. Do not stir pickles, but make sure they remain completely submerged in brine at all times. If necessary, add additional brine. Leave for 3 to 4 weeks.

Pickles will turn an olive-drab color and texture will be soft-crisp and be uniformly translucent. Let stand an additional month to develop flavor, replacing brine as necessary.

* Alum will help with making pickles crisp, as will grape leaves.

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7 calories, 0 grams fat, 1 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein per ounce. This recipe is low in fat.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
Great recipe! I only made one pound as a test batch and they turned out really well. We just tried them now after letting them sit for two months. That was the hardest part - waiting!

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This was our first attempt at homemade pickles. They had a pretty good crunch to them and good flavor. Does anyone know if this will work for pickling other vegetables too like carrots and cauliflower? I'd like to make a pickled veggie blend but not sure if this same method is appropriate or not. Also, I'd never heard of grape leaves as an alternate to alum so I found that really interesting. Learn something new every day!

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
Very good recipe, fool proof works every time. I scaled back to 3 lbs and the end product was excellent. One time without garlic for a traditional dill pickle and it turned out perfect. Pickles turned out crisp every time.

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