Hello , this is Chef John from food wishes dot com with homemade dill pickles .
That's right .
I'm gonna show you how to make your own pickles the old fashioned way , which means naturally fermenting them using a little more than salt .
But before we go any further , I should warn you , I've only done this a handful of times .
So what I don't know about pickling could fill a book but having said that hopefully this video shows with just a little bit of info that anybody including people like us can make their own delicious pickles at home .
So let's go ahead and get started with the three most important things you're gonna need .
So first up , we're gonna need some pickling cucumbers .
And I believe this variety is called Kirby , which is the most popular variety .
And what we want them to be is fairly small and very , very fresh and firm .
And then besides those little cukes , we also need some dill weed and you really do want to try to find flouring dill .
And while you can , and many people do use the dry dill made from just the leaves , I believe it's the flowers that really impart that classic flavor .
And then besides the dill and the cucumbers , the real key ingredient here , the salt and the basic brine , we're gonna make calls for one tablespoon of kosher salt per cup of water .
And of course , I'll give specific info on the blog post .
You can also use sea salt or something called pickling salt .
But what you'll want to avoid is just regular table salt that might not work .
But like I said , we'll cover those specifics on the blog post for now .
Let's go ahead and put this pickling brine together .
So I went ahead and measured some nice cold fresh water into a sauce pan to which I'm gonna add some peel garlic as well as the aforementioned Kosher salt .
We will also want to add some traditional pickling spices , which includes some whole coriander seed as well as some black peppercorns .
I'm also gonna toss in three or four bay leaves and not only is that gonna be for flavor , but apparently there's tannins in that leaf that help keep the pickles crisp .
And then last but not least , I'm gonna put a couple of whole cloves in there and we'll go ahead and give that a stir and because my water was really cold as were my cucumbers for that matter , and we want to ferment this at about 75 degrees .
Ideally , I decided to put it on low flame for just a minute just to take the chill off the water , sort of bring it up to room temp maybe a few degrees over and then just a few short seconds later , my salt had dissolved and that brine was ready to use .
So , like I said , I only did that to take the chill off and dissolve the salt a little faster .
So , feel free to ignore that entire step and just stir yours until it dissolves .
And then once our brine is set , we are ready to start the lacto fermentation process .
Oh Sounds scientific , doesn't it ?
And what we're gonna need is something to do that in .
And for me , I like to use this old Boston baked bean crock , which I find is the perfect size for a £2 batch .
Plus it looks like something they'd used back in the olden times .
And we'll start off by putting some of our dill weed in the bottom , followed by some cucumbers , followed by a little more dill weed , followed by more cucumbers .
And then once our dilling cucumbers have been properly crocked , we will carefully ladle and or pour in our brine , which again should be at room temp .
And we do want to fill that pretty much all the way up .
And then one minor but fun task , you definitely want to give this crock the old shaka shaka , the old tapa tapa , which should and probably will bring any air bubbles up to the top .
And then speaking of the top one other very important factor is our pickles ferment .
We want to make sure they stay below the surface .
So , what I like to do is take a small brami and place it right on top like this and then we'll just top that with a little extra brine and that should prevent any of those cucumbers from being exposed to the air .
Speaking of which I just checked with the spoon to make sure there was no air bubbles trapped underneath .
And then what we'll do is we'll cover that and transfer it somewhere where it's gonna stay hopefully at a consistent temperature somewhere between say 65 and 75 .
So for me , this old wooden beverage cooler works perfectly and we'll place that in and we'll let it ferment for about a week and of course , we're gonna peek at it .
So this is me looking at mine after about four days and thanks to million of beneficial microorganisms , we have fermentation going on .
So don't be scared .
If you see bubbles , you may even see a little bit of foam .
Your briny liquid may get a little cloudy , but if you measured your salt , right ?
None of these things should be a problem .
And by the way , at any time , if your brine level drops , just top it off with a little fresh , so I will assume you'll be checking yours every day .
And if this is your first batch , probably like seven or eight times a day .
So I let mine go for another four days and after eight days , this is what it looked like .
You may very well get a little bit of this white mold forming on the top .
That's nothing more than yeast .
I believe .
Nothing to be worried about .
You could just skim that off .
But here's another way to do it if you want , which is kind of a cool trick .
If we transfer this into a bowl , you can flood the top with fresh brine and that's gonna wash away anything that was floating at the surface .
And at that point , we could continue brining , but like I said , might have gone for eight days .
So I'm actually gonna try one of these to see if they're done .
So let me go ahead and pull it out and it certainly looks like a pickle .
But let's see if it sounds and tastes like a pickle , sound check , taste check .
There's nothing like the taste of a homemade naturally fermented pickle .
Of course , it has that briny flavor like all pickles .
But it also has that signature sourness that produces at lactic acid forms during the fermentation process .
And the longer you let these ferment , the more sour they will get .
So like I said , about a week to 10 days is usually what I go for .
But again , that's gonna be one of the variables you're in charge of .
And for me , at least it's never not fascinating that this is achieved with nothing more than a simple salt brine .
I mean , it's borderline magic and obviously there are thousands of different combinations of pickling spices you can use .
You are after all the Don Rickles of your pickles .
So don't be a hockey puck and think you have to use the exact same spices you don't .
And once you've tested them and you've determined they've fermented long enough .
The last official step is to transfer these into something you can put in the fridge .
And of course , you're gonna want to top them with the brine and in case you're wondering , that's gonna look extra cloudy when you first pour that brine in .
But the good news is that sediment will settle and that brine will clear up .
So as I mentioned earlier , don't worry about a little cloudiness .
That just means everything worked right .
And then we'll latch that up and transfer it into the fridge where we can enjoy these for months to come .
How many months ?
Exactly , I can't say for sure .
But somewhere between several and many and by the way , the next time the kids are looking for a science project for school , this is the perfect project .
And you get to eat the results .
I mean , a baking soda and vinegar volcano is fun and interesting , but it makes a terrible snack .
So whether you do this in the name of science or simply in the name of something to put next to a sandwich .
I really do hope you give this a try soon .
So , head over to food wishes dot com for all the ingredient amounts and more info as usual and as always enjoy .