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Can Your Own Pickles

Since dill pickles are stored in vinegar, and vinegar is acidic enough to kill bacteria, pickles are an easy, safe thing to can with very little equipment.

What you need to can...
large pot
mason jars, lids, bands
canning thongs (some way to get jars in and out of boiling water)
something to keep the jars off the very bottom of the pot

Ingredients for pickles...
pickling cucumbers
dill spice mix

Sterilize your jars by putting them in boiling water for five minutes.  This will prevent them from cracking when you put them back in the water with the pickles in them (cold glass in boiling water = broken glass).  Create your brine; 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 water, dill mix.

Prepare cucumbers in slices, spears, or whole.

Always buy new lids with sealing wax (you don't want to rely on a reused seal).  Turn the bands tight, then loosen just a bit.

Pickles need to be in a boiling bath for at least 15 minutes.  You should see little air bubbles being released from the jars (you may be able to see a few in the pictures).  

Remove jars from water, set on counter.  In the next 12 hours, every lid should 'pop' to seal.  If you can still 'click' the lid after 12 hours, put in the refrigerator and eat soon.  The jars that pop/seal will be safe in the pantry for about a year.

Enjoy your pickles!

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