Well, it’s finally time to make pickles! I didn’t plant my cucumber seeds as early as I usually do this year, so I just picked my first bunch of cucumbers yesterday. I weighed them out and ended up with a little more than 7.5 lbs. I also gave some to my mother-in-law, so there may have been about 8 lbs all-together.
This post originally started out as a step-by-step guide for processing hamburger pickles, but I got so caught up in getting them in the water bath, I forgot to take pictures! So, instead of a list of steps, I’ll share the recipe and some tips I’ve found helpful. Note: Most of the canning recipes I’ll be using on this site will come from the Ball Bluebook of Preserving. I still consider myself relatively new to canning, as I’ve only been doing it for a few years now. I find it’s best to stay with safe recipes from the professionals. I do have a homemade pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce recipe that you’re sure to love that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks once the tomatoes are ripe and ready to go!
Hamburger Pickles (This will make 12 pint jars)
7 lbs cucumbers, sliced or cut into spears
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp canning salt
7 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp water
7 cups vinegar
Bring the above ingredients, except cucumbers, to a boil and maintain boil.
Per pint jar, add: (This measurement stays the same whether you make 3 pints or 12 pints)
Rounded 1/8 tsp of pickle crisp
2 heads fresh dill
2 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seed
Rinse your cucumbers with cool water and if there are still little bumps, use a NEW, clean scrub sponge. (I DO NOT recommend using a previously used sponge on your cucumbers. This could lead to cross-contamination and could make you VERY ill.) I have VERY sensitive skin and break out with hives if those bumps touch my skin, so the scrubbing is a must for me. (You could where gloves and long sleeves when you pick, but when it’s hot, that’s not much fun either.)
Next, remove the ends off the cucumbers and cut into 1/4″ slices or if you prefer, spears. Once all the cucumbers are cut, pack them into the hot pint jars and add the spices listed above. Add boiling salt/vinegar/water mixture and remove air bubbles. Leave 1/4″ headspace between liquid and top of jar and wipe the top of the jar clean. Add the two-piece caps and process in a boiling waterbath for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove lid of canner and allow jars to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the water. This allows them to adjust to the cooler air and will help to ensure that the jars don’t crack.
It’s at this stage that you will begin to hear the tell-tail sign that your canning was a success….the wonderful “POP” sound of the lids being sucked down, creating the seal that will allow you to keep those hamburger pickles for years to come!