How to Make Dill Pickles Fresh From the Garden

Alright! This is John Kohler with, today we have another exciting episode for
you, I’m here in my backyard garden, and question I get a lot is “John, what do you
do with all that food?” I mean I got all these raised beds, these ones happen to be
like four foot by 15 feet, and it’s filled with 80 pepper plants, and as you guys can
see you got a pepper abundance. There’s just super peppers, I mean if you just look
in the camera, all the little red spots and behind me, there’s so many peppers, and
people as “John, what do you do all the food man, do you like sell it?” No I don’t
sell my food, I want to eat all my food, that’s why I’m growing and I want you guys also
to grow as much food as you guys possibly can to eat yourself, and eat it yourself fresh.
So one of the ways I really love to use my peppers is just to pick them and eat them,
another way I like to do it is actually I pick a whole bunch, and then I’ll juice
them and I’ll make like 32 ounces of pepper juice, and that’ll be my soup base. So I
use that as my soup stock to add other things into, maybe some nuts, some spices, some herbs,
and blend that up into creamy mixed soup mixture, and then I’ll cut up lettuce and other greens
from my garden and chunks of tomatoes and put some [inaudible] in there, and then have
a nice fresh soup all from my garden. Those are the ways I like to use my plants immediately.
But unfortunately even though I grow a lot, and juicing does use a lot of produce, I have
so much extra. So the extra I do two things with normally. One is I dehydrate them. So
I always encourage you guys to use dehydration as one of your primary storage vehicles, because
it will get you from point A to point B, point A from having fresh foods that you grow in
the summer to a point in the winter when you don’t have these fresh foods, but you can
still enjoy the bounties and harvests from your garden. So I love to dry my things like
peppers and tomatoes, also even things like greens, making my own kale chips, kale powders,
green powders out of different leaves in my garden, drying my different herbs, powdering
them up and having my own delicious herb shakers so I can flavor things with my own herbs that
I grew instead of buying herbs in little shakers out of the grocery store and they can get
expensive. And the other way I like to do is what I’m going to show you guys today.
It’s super simple, super easy, I’ve had episodes on it in the past, I’ll put a link
down below for my winter garden actually when I fermented some winter vegetables to make
a sauerkraut, but I like to do the same thing with my summer vegetables, and it’s totally
possible, it’s called lactic acid fermentation, and I guess I’m just going to go ahead and
show you guys how you can preserve some of your summer harvest, such as onions, beans,
peppers, and of course, the almighty cucumbers. Oh and okra, okra’s a good one, I think
I’m going to do that one too actually. But yeah, let’s go over to a table that I got
set up here on the garden, and share with you guys how easy making your own fermented
cucumbers or pickles can be. So now I’m going to go ahead and show you
guys how easy it is to ferment your own vegetables from your garden, or even if you don’t’
have a garden you bought them at the store, at home. Super simple, super easy, here are
some examples of what I did, this was ready in about two weeks, these are fermented peppers,
mostly pepperchini peppers in there, and these are fermented lemon cucumber halves that I
cut and then fermented. And those were ready in about a week. So you leave them out in
a cool, dark place or maybe on your countertop for about a week, for the pickles maybe five
to seven days, and two weeks for the peppers, and they’ll be ready. I mean one of the
favorite things that I used to have when I was a kid was picked pepperchinis, and I think
it was mescalas, I don’t know starts with an M, brand, and these are way better because
I grew them and they’re fresh. Most pickles that you buy that’s sitting on the counter
in a jar like this are basically heat processed, so you’re losing a lot of the beneficial
properties of eating it in its live and natural state. Once the fermentation is completed,
and you’ve done that outside your fridge, then you’re going to take off the top apparatus
which I’ll s how you in a minute, put a cap on it, and then put it in the fridge.
It’ll store easily for a half a year although if your pickles are anywhere near as good
as mine, they’re not even going to last a month unfortunately, because man, these
guys are so delicious. Anyways to make your own pickles super-simple, super easy, you’re
going to need a few things. A pack of pickles. I mean a pack of peppers, no a pack of cucumbers.
So we got a whole bunch of cucumbers here that I picked fresh. Next thing you’re going
to need is some clean water, so I’m using some reverse osmosis water, also you can use
some filtered water. I do not recommend using any kind of chlorinated water, this may affect
the culture. Next we’re going to need some salt, and so I have some Seasons 90 sea salt
here, which is the Sea 90 brand of salt that you can use in your garden, but also use for
eating, and this is the human grade version. The next thing that you may want to use are
some spices, so I have some fresh spices that I’ve picked fresh, including some sage and
some rosemary, and of course since we’re making dill pickles we’ve also got a sprig
of dill there. And then another [inaudible] that you could use fresh herbs and spices,
also sometimes use depending on what I’m making like onions and garlic in my ferments,
and also I got some pre-made dried spices. So you know it’s been really challenging
for me to find a really good pickling spice for cucumbers that doesn’t have cinnamon
because I don’t know why, some people in some places put cinnamon in it, I don’t
like cinnamon in my cucumbers, and so I just got this one, it’s Marshall’s Creek Spices
by Pure and Natural Spices Pickling Spice, 16 ounces, this was on eBay, and this stuff
is the bomb. The only thing I wish, I wish it was organic, alright. So those are the
main ingredients you’ll need, but you’ll need two more things. Number one, you’ll
need a jar. So I like to use Mason jars, right? And I like to use either the smaller 32 ounce
Mason jar, or the larger 64 ounce Mason jar, I prefer the 64 ounce Mason jar since you
can do larger batches, and the final thing you’ll need is actually, in my opinion you
should be using an air lock. So they have these little air lock things right here, that
basically you could get at a beer shop, so at my local beer shop these are a buck fifty,
buck and a quarter each. And basically what this does, this allows the ferment to off
gas, but not let additional air in, because we want to have an oxygen-deprived environment
for the lactic acid bacteria to flourish, you know if you just do this with a lid or
a cover set on top gently, you have a much stronger and larger possibility of a chance
of getting some kind of a negative or bad bacterial contamination, that’s why I only
recommend you guys using and fermenting in something with an air lock such as my ceramic
crock that I use to pickle or ferment my whole cabbages, or something like this, the problem
is you can’t just stick this into the Mason jar, you need something else. So the first
thing I looked into was this, this is actually called the Recap, and this was meant to go
on a Mason jar, and then you could actually have a cap on it and then you could actually
drink out of your Mason jar. And then what you would do is you would go down to a local
beer shop and then you would get, also when you were there you would get a little cork
stopper. And this cork stopper or rubber stopper, would actually fit inside the Recap just like
that, and then you would put this in here like that. And you know, if it was like this,that
would probably work if there was no leakage. The problem I’ve seen with the Recap so
I cannot actually recommend the Recap I’ve bought 20 of them, and they will not answer
my e-mails, and they leak, and they’re a defective design and they need to change it.
The problem is the seal at the bottom on my Mason jars, they just don’t seal properly,
even if I wrench it on really tight it might have a small leak, and then I’ve got to
get an oil filter wrench to undo how tight I put them on. So these could also be a challenge
to get on, so I cannot recommend the Recap and do not encourage you guys to buy the Recap
until they fix their defective design and minimally have good customer service to contact
me to replace all the defective ones, maybe I got a bad batch, with better gaskets, because
I did like this option, because it’s really simple, easy, you go ahead and buy these online,
you just go to the beer shop, get these two components, and you’re going to be [inaudible]
fermenting, so yes, no Recaps, even though they’re made in the USA, they’re garbage.
Alright, so the way I determined that would be actually less expensive and more beneficial
is this way, so I just went to a local Wal-Mart, got these plastic tops that go on the top
of the Mason jars, made by the same Ball or Mason company, and what I did was a drilled
a hole in it, in the middle, and then I got these little grommets. It’s like Gromit
and Oscar, no, Arthur and Gromit? Wally and Gromit, right. So I got these little silicon
grommets on eBay, so there’s a grommet here that protects that hole right down the middle
so that no additional air could get in, and the inside of this does not have any kind
of gasket either, so then I got these round gaskets also on eBay for really cheap in bulk,
right? So then I made my own. So then I drilled my own, made my own, they’re way cheaper,
you could buy these already pre-made, but they’re going to charge you a bunch more
than if you just buy gaskets and buy the little grommets here, and the plastic lids. So then
once you have this, you could screw that on, and that has a good positive gasket there,
and then you could put your air lock in there, and now you’re going to create a space where
oxygen can’t get in, but the CO2 coming out can actually bubble out of this guy. So
I mean that’s what I recommend, super-simple, super-easy. So next step is we just simply
got to pack the pickles in the jar, you could just dump them in, haphazardly, but then that
would leave a lot of airspace, air pockets, and I want to have as many pickles as I can
fit in this jar, so I might get a little bit anal and just place one pickle in at a time,
and try to get them as close as I can. So we’re coming back at you once I got them
all in there. Alright so I got about one layer of pickles
in there, we’re going to go ahead and drop in the herbs, I like to just drop in the herbs
on the side there, and I like to keep them whole, the flavor, the essence will actually
just percolate out into the cucumbers. So now I got the fresh spices in there, I want
to put some of these dried spices in there. So I mean I don’t know if there’s any
kind of measurement on how much you should put, but I just put a good solid sprinkle
full to make sure my cucumbers have really rich flavor like you’re used to buying at
the store. And I want to let you guys know, we got to get used to food tasting not what
it tastes like at the store, because food you buy at the store is industrial processed
food and it’s always made to taste consistent, like it’s always going to taste this way.
And especially when you grow things in your garden it’s going to taste better, and it’s
going to taste a little bit different and it’s not always going to taste the same.
And this is just one of the spices of life that I like to partake in, one of the spices
of [inaudible] that I do not like to partake in is different girls. Lauren, I love you.
So let’s go ahead and continue to pack the cucumbers into my jar. Alright so as you guys
can see, I got my cucumbers packed in here man, I really like to pack things in tight,
except I don’t like to pack in the fudge, but we’re packing in the cucumbers as tight
as we can for a few reasons. Number one to fit more, but number two so that when we do
add the water they don’t float up to the top and get above the water line, this is
very important, now if you’re doing something like peppers, I usually generally cut my peppers
in half to ferment them and then I’ll use a little weight on the top of this jar, and
what I find works pretty well is a smaller, I think it’s like an eight ounce Mason jar
standard lid that’ll actually fit into this wide lid, and I’ll use that to weight my
things down which is also available locally, they do have a glass weights and ceramic weights
that can cost you a bunch of money, but I just use some jars that I fill up with water.
We’re going to go ahead and put this last cucumber in here and shove it in so it’s
super tight and all these cucumbers can’t rise up. Look at that [inaudible] losing my
spices, forgot about those, alright. But yeah anyways the cucumbers won’t fall out now,
add a few more spices. Let’s see if we can fit one more cucumber in there really tightly.
Alright so I think we got all my cucumbers except one, I’ve planned that fairly well.
Next, one of the most important steps is to create the proper brine solution. So to do
this, what you’re going to want to do is you’re going to want to put the water with
the proper amount of salt. Now I’m using about a 3.5 percent salt ratio, so I’ve
got about one liter of water to about 36 grams of salt here. We’re going to go ahead and
pour that in and stir it up, so we’re going to get all that salt dissolved in there to
the best of my ability. Now there’s some people that say lactic acid fermentation requires
salt, well I don’t know that it requires salt, you can do it salt-free with some certain
vegetables, like I wouldn’t have a problem doing a salt-free sauerkraut if done properly,
but on things like cucumbers, they can tend to spoil quicker, and I want to always encourage
you guys to use salt, and use the healthiest salt you can like don’t get the white table
salt, I use the Sea 90 salt, if you can’t find the Sea 90 salt you can use a Himalayan
salt, the [inaudible] Sea salt, they’re just standard sea salt. I got this sea salt
from Italy, and it’s the big large granules, and that’s what I really like to use, I
don’t like to use any kind of iodized, processed salt made my man. But I do want to encourage
you guys to get the Sea 90 or the Seasons 90 salt that I’m using. I like that the
best because it has trace minerals that are good for us, also good for your garden, so
it’s kind of cool, I really like to use fertilizers that you could actually eat, and
I know some of you guys still use the manures, and I wouldn’t eat manure, but I would eat
rock dust, alright. Alright so we got that pretty well mixed up, now we’re just going
to go ahead and pour this mixture into all our pickles. And we want to make sure that
this is completely covered up to the top. Alright looks like it’s completely covered
up to the top, sometimes what I might like to do if I have to is add some extra brine
solution from the last batch, so this is some brine solution from the last batch where I
had a successful batch, and I’ll add a little bit of that as a salt starter culture to my
new batch to help it get fermenting and help it get going. This is an optional step that
I would encourage you guys to do, it’ll speed up the process a little bit. I guess
the last step is to just put your cap on, so once again we make sure we got that gasket
in there, we’re going to go ahead and screw this guy in, make sure it’s nice and tight,
and we’ve got a nice gasket seal so there’s no air leaks in there, and then it’s very
important to put water in the airlock up to the fill line, the bottom line, there’s
two lines. And we just got that in there, then we’re just going to put the lid on,
and we’re going to go ahead and set this in a cool, dark place, so like to do it usually
in a cupboard would be the best, you can put it on your kitchen counter, but I like to
keep it in the dark, and let this ferment, and occasionally, depending on where you live,
you’re going to have to make sure there’ still water in here, you don’t want the
water to run out, that’s very important, or this is not going to operate correctly,
and you just leave this out four seven days, five to seven days depending on your temperature,
your climate where you live, and then you’re going to have some pickles, you’re going
to take this top off, seal it with a lid, put it in your fridge, it’ll store easily
for the next six months to get you to the following season when you’re able again
to eat fresh fruits and vegetables out of your garden.
I really hope you guys enjoyed this episode learning how to make the pickles, I can’t
wait to have these little pickles, I’ve been snacking on my other pickles they are
amazing. And I want to encourage you guys, nothing is better than food you can grow and
process yourself, I want you guys to get away from eating processed foods, things that are
already made for you in the store, those are a lot of foods that contain different preservatives
that are preserving you and not healthy, and the food that you can grow yourself in the
garden is some of the best food that you could be eating and I’m glad that I got to share
with you guys another way I like to preserve my harvest so I can eat it later in the year
when I don’t have the cucumbers, because that time is coming up soon. If you guys liked
this video and want me to do more showing how I prepare my food, because I’ve been
preparing my own food for the last 20 years, I’ve been only gardening for 10 plus years
now, please give me a thumbs up to let me know, I’ll try to do more videos where they
show preparing food because I’m a chef in my own heart, in my own right, and be sure
to click that subscribe button down below to be notified of all my new and upcoming
episodes, I have new episodes coming out every three days approximately, and also be sure
to check my past episodes, I have over 1100 episodes on all aspects of growing your own
food, preserving your own food, making recipes so that you can be the healthiest person you
can, and we can do the least amount of impact in the world that we can. Be the change you
want to see in the world is what I like to say, and that’s also what Gandhi said actually.
So once again, my name is John Kohler with, we’ll see you next
time and until then remember, keep on growing.

100 thoughts on “How to Make Dill Pickles Fresh From the Garden

  1. holy cow!!! is that a monster green bean behind you. or the biggest cucumber ever?? that has to be the biggest cucumber I have ever seen. great video. thank you… thumbs up..

  2. John,
    Where did you get your t shirt? I want one so bad. Please respond.
    To plant a garden is to believe in the future.

  3. Great video, must try making the pickles. John, what is the brand of sea salt you mentioned and do you know where it is available online? Thanks!

  4. I always tie my herbs and spices up in cheese cloth before putting them in. I do that so that the tiny spices don't float up and rot. It's much easier to weight down the bigger cucumbers, but what about the garlic, dill, etc. raising up? Couldn't that cause mold also?

  5. you are so smart, I love the recap top idea a lot… but then you showed the grommet and lid idea… thank you

  6. Aloha John! im glad you mentioned about the mason jar lids….they do need to make a better for effective no-leak version. one for straws, one for fermenting….

  7. Couldn't you theoretically use those individual gaskets on your re-caps to fix the seal issue? That way you can use them? I love your videos! Such a wealth of knowledge.

  8. Hey John!! Just wanted to say thank you for all the wisdom and knowledge you impart and your throwing out there!!! Ive basically learned most of what I know about home based agriculture from you, and I'm glad to say I'm growing a shitload of greens!!! And eating them! I never comment on your videos because with so many subscribers you'll probably never see this but I just did a presentation in my sustainable ag class in school, where you and Curtis Stone were the focus. I'm sad to say that I really think alot of people aren't enlightened enough to understand what your doing, I'm 28 and most of the people in the class are 21 or 22 and all they are pushing for is the gilded monoculture-based and pesticide-laden bullshit we are being fed. I love your content man!!!!!! Keep up the good work because you seriously are inspiring a completely new generation of sustainablly minded ecolutionaries! Long live the Growing your Greens Channel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I love the dehydrator!! The greens from my carrots, I dry also, then grind them up to use in soups, stews, sauces, gravies, salad dressings, etc…. also, dehydrated carrot greens make a great tea!

  10. is it safe to sale just the juice to consumers, and all we have to do is sanitize and pour ?

  11. just fyi, when you comment offhand that you "don't like to pack in the fudge" some people will interpret as being anti gay. While I'm sure you were just expressing your preference, we live in a deeply homophobic society, so it is important to be aware of this fact, and not to accidentally reinforce negative social bias.

  12. If you could buy the gasket, then just put it into the first cap that you bought. If the second caps you bought didn't have a gasket either, then maybe they ALL come with no gasket.

  13. pickling salt works for pickling, as does kosher salt. different salt is applied at different rates. ideally add enough salt to float a fresh egg.

  14. It doesn't have to be that hard. If a little air gets in, it is no big deal. You don't need all those fancy devices. Put the walmart lid on it, make sure everything is under the brine with a little glass weight, and you are good to go. You don't want it tight, you want the brine to bubble out from the lid without a seal on it. It is perfect. Forget at the pricy equipment. Our grandmothers didn't have that shit, and they did it with simple stuff

  15. For the cap just use a couple layers of plastic wrap and the ring, poke a small hole and it'll hold the airlock.

  16. A quick and cheap way to cover a jar for fermenting is to take a standard coffee filter (I use some Melita-style unbleached), put it over the jar opening and slip a rubber band over. Keeps bad stuff out, but lets the gases out. I have no problems with this. I often will use a brine-filled baggie inside to keep the veggies below the brine level. All cheap, easy & easily obtained.

  17. organic gardening is like everything where people get into it for a good reason then they just start adding steps and processes way beyond what the essential idea was. just look at what has happened with Gluten Free. everything takes on a different reality when enough people get involved.

  18. you could also just drill a hole in the lid and close it with "micro pore tape," the stuff used by the medical field. it will prevent bacteria from entering unless it gets wet, which could be prevented in various ways depending on the application.

  19. WoW! John that really is interesting Mom taught me how to pickle but all the steps of sterilizing and certain things ie; Beets had to be done in a boiling water bath for hours after lol, mind you they always turned out so yummy! but like you said these afresh! and non cooked, so getting all the nutrients from them wish I could have tried those dills 😀 Thanks again God Bless you!

  20. Great video. Check out Mason tops. See, "pickle Pipe".Also, Spring water at store 88 cents a gallon. One tablespoon salt to one cup water. Easy.

  21. Putting the cap on to tight could be the problem. The problem I see is the recap doesn't have much of a lip to press the seal

  22. chunks of cauliflower and pieces of carrots can be pickled also…(with tiny pearl onions) . I also like the sweet pickle mixes……..look at the MANY pickled products in the stores…just copy them.

  23. LOL, I love your videos and when you shoot from the hip I think, man John you must be pretty high, but still, I don't care one bit. Don't like packin' the fudge either. Hahahah. People, chill. Make some pickles. LOL.

  24. It's not like it just is. Get to the point. Love your enthusiasm please respect the time of millions of people

  25. John…just tried a salt-free sauerkraut recipe, using lemon juice instead, and it turned out great. Do you think LJ would work for this?

  26. Hey John, Thank you for all your informational video's. I planted dill in my garden and it wants to go to seed very fast. Would you pick it before it goes to seed? What are your thoughts about using fish for fertilizer?

  27. Can u use the larger cucumbers instead of the small ones. U would have to cut them up into the spears of course bc they wouldn't fit in the jar.

  28. two tablespoons of salt to one cup of water poured over pickles kills all bad bacteria and creates enough kill off gases that force gas bubbles through the lid essentially preventing any bad bacteria entry into the jar. Make sure when screwing the ring on the lid that it is not tight but slightly loosened and a plate is under the jar to catch the overflow. After the fizzing has stopped then tighten the lid.

  29. fuckin hate cinnamon in the batch as well..just associates with sweetness and has no that umami fixture

  30. I just wanted a video to refresh my memory on pickling and this guy goes on his long diatribe that is really not necessary for this video.

  31. I like brine pickles without the %$#$% garlic…. I love garlic on everything else though…. I don't put garlic in my pickles and I don't put pickles on my pizza….

  32. This is what I use. Its easier and not pricey

  33. Don't change anything about how you do your videos. There is always someone trying to speed you up or slow you down in life. That's their issue not yours. Your love of all things veggie is contagious and keeps me eating well.

  34. Why is it so difficult to give up meat, especially red meat? Within one week of not having it my body starts to crave it.

  35. What about water in a zip lock bag laying on top of the liquid? I wonder if that allows air back in. Doesn't seem to.

  36. I literally fell asleep watching your channel, not that you're boring, I w as up toll 1am watching your video 😥

  37. Hey john, I had a question for you. Maybe you can help. I plan on getting a complete set of three fermenting lids by “Trellis + Co” which is similar to the “Kraut Source” fermenting lid you have used in another video. You get three for $30 instead of one for $30.

    My question to you is, after about a week of cucumbers fermenting with these kids, would I be able to remove these lids and replace them with regular mason jar lids without the fear of my jars exploding? When does fermentation stop and when am I safe to use regular lids and place these on a shelf. Also, how long will these jars last in my pantry. Unrefrigerated?

  38. Is that a Luffa Gourd behind you?? I would love to know your secret! This is my first year and so far I am pretty unsuccessful at it.

  39. I also have some tiny worm like things that 'steal' all the pollen from my cukes, pumpkins, zuchinni, and squash…. super tiny, fast moving, so small I can't even really tell you a color… but if I had to guess they would be reddish… Any ideas? Help? Thanks!

  40. hey John.. wondering your thoughts about the use of Apple Cider vinegar and white vinegar used in a pickling recipe. I'm growing pickling cucumbers for the first time and friend gave me this recipe to try.. they swear by it.. and in the comments, folks are making lots of recommendations on varying spices.. but the biggest changes are folks cutting the 2 vinegars by half or using one versus the other.. and then lots of complaints about salt amount.. and what kinds of salt.. So my questions: Vinegar choice? and salt content based on measurements in the recipe.. and.. do you have your recipe in print somewhere? Here is a Claussen pickle copycat recipe that i'm wanting to try.. thoughts on recipe?

  41. Once again could have been done in 5 minutes. I like your videos but you have a lot of time on your hands to talk talk talk

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