How to Preserve Dill Pickles With a Boiling Water Bath Canner

Dill pickles and the boiling water bath canning method go hand in hand and are often a cook's first foray into preserving and canning the harvest. A boiling water bath canner can be an extra large stockpot or it can be a special, enamel-coated canner. As long as the canning jars can fit in the pot and be covered with an inch or two of boiling water, any pot can serve as a boiling water bath canner.

Things You'll Need

  • Prepared dill pickle recipe
  • 18-quart stockpot, or enameled water bath canner
  • Pint or quart size canning jars
  • New canning lids
  • Saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Canning tongs
  • Canning funnel
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Canning jar rings

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Wash the canning jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse.

Place the lids in a saucepan and cover with water. Place the saucepan on a back burner of the stove and turn the heat to medium low.

Place the jars in the boiling water bath canner and fill with water. Place the canner on a front stove eye and turn the heat to high. Bring it to a boil as this will sterilize the jars.

Remove the jars, one at a time, using the canning tongs to tilt the jars and empty the water back into the canner.

Insert the canning funnel into the top of the jar and fill it with the prepared dill pickles. Fill the jars to approximately 1/4 inch from the top of the jar.

Use a pair of kitchen tongs to remove the lids from the simmering water in the saucepan. Center the lid over the filled jar and screw in place using a canning jar ring.

Place the filled jars back into the boiling water bath. Add more water if needed to bring the water level 1 to 2 inches above the tops of the jars.

Bring the water back to a boil, cover and boil for 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off under the canner, unless you will be doing a second load of pickles.

Remove the jars using the canning tongs and set them on a kitchen counter covered in a clean dish towel. You should be able to hear the jar lids "pop" as the jars begin to cool.

Allow the jars to cool fully. Press down on each lid to insure the jars have sealed. If there is no movement on the lid when you press on it, the jar is sealed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use jars that are specifically made for canning purposes. Old mayonnaise, pickle and other types of jars may crack during the boiling process.
  • Make sure that the rims of the canning jars are free of nicks and cracks. These flaws can keep the jars from sealing properly.


  • Ball Blue Book: The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing, Edition 32, published by the Ball Corporation - no author cited, 1994
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