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I pickle when my cucumbers are ready. It’s a continuous process, sometimes I have a lot of cukes and other times I have barely enough to get one jar’s worth. If you have a large amount of pickling cucumbers you may want to double or triple this recipe. I can only fit four jars into my biggest stockpot and this brine recipe is just right for four jars of pickles. Today I only made three jars and had to save the leftover brine for the next batch. Granted these are not grandma’s vizes uborka, but we can keep it well beyond the middle of winter, besides we like dill pickles all year long.

2 kg pickling cucumbers
8 large fresh dill
8 garlic cloves cut in half
2-1/2 cups white vinegar
6-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarse pickling salt
1 long red pepper cut in for pieces or 4 red chilli peppers

• Wash and sterilize four wide-mouth 1quart jars in a preheated 225F oven for ten minutes.
• Next wash the cucumbers under cold running water. Cut off the blossom ends and place in a large bowl of cold water until packing the jars.
• Wash the dill and peel the garlic cloves. Set them aside.
• Place the vinegar, water, sugar and the salt in a large pot.
• Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
• Meanwhile place 1 dill and two garlic cloves in the bottom of the prepared jars.
• Fill the jars with the pickles, leaving plenty of head space.
• Add a slice of red pepper or a small chilli pepper to the jar.
• Place the jars near the simmering brine.
• Ladle the hot brine into the jars, covering all the pickles, but leaving some headspace.
• Wipe the rims, put on the lids and screw on the caps.
• Place the jars in a hot water bath covering the tops.
• Boil for 15 minutes.
• Pour off some of the hot water and remove the jars.
• Let the jars cool and place in a cool dark place for six weeks before using.


  1. Your pickles look so beautifully Hungarian! With this red pepper addition. I pickle in a very similar way, but always add (apart from dill) black pepper corns and mustard grains.
    My mum has always instructed me to cover jars only just below the lid level with hot water. I have always done as she said.

  2. That's a really good advice Sissi. Mind if I use it from now on? Leaving plenty of headspace is so vague.

  3. Zsuzsa, what I meant was the hot water bath stage. My mum never covers the lid with water. She said that otherwise the lid might start getting rusty. On the other hand I have been using the standard recycled lids.

  4. I see. They do go after a while, but I have more than I can use up. The alternative of course is doing them in the oven. Some of these instructions, and here I am referring to mine, are there simply because somebody has always done it that way. Weather there is actual merit in doing the thing who knows. I am no chemist of physicist. I will ask the smarty-pants of the family what he thinks about it.




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