1 1/2 pounds Kirby or Persian cucumbers
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dill seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or kosher salt

  1. Prepare the jars: 
    If you are planning to jar your pickles for long-term storage, boil and sterilize the jars and their lids in a large pot of water. 
  2. Prepare the cucumbers: 
    Wash and dry the cucumbers. Make sure to trim away the blossom end of the cucumber! This will keep your cucumbers crisp and prevent them from wilting. You can leave the pickles whole, cut them into spears, or slice them into coins. The sky is the limit!
  3. Put it all in the jar!
     Divide the garlic, dill seed, and red pepper flakes (if you want a little kick!) between the pint jars: 2 smashed cloves, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar. Then go ahead and pack the cucumbers into the jars But make sure they are more than 1/2 inch below the top of the jar. 
  4. The pickling brine:
     Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Pour the brine over the pickles, filling each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top. You might not use all the brine :)
  5. Remove air bubbles: 
    Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
  6. Tighten the lids
    Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
  7. Want Longer Storage?
     For longer storage, place the jars in a boiling pot of water. When the water comes back to a boil, set the timer for 5 minutes, then remove the jars immediately. Make sure the lids pop down; if they do not, refrigerate those pickles and eat them first.
  8. Cool and refrigerate
    Let the jars cool to room temperature. If you processed the jars, they can be stored on the shelf. If unprocessed, store the pickles in the fridge. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.

     Canned pickles will keep for at least a year on the shelf and for several weeks in the refrigerator once opened; refrigerator pickles will keep for several weeks.