Make it from Scratch Recipes

Garlic Ghost Pepper Dill Pickles

This garlic, homemade pickling spice and ghost pepper pickle recipe has a delicious and mouthwatering kick you will want to make over and over again.

When it comes to pickling, you really can’t go wrong as long as you use a lot of spices, clean jars or cans, and fresh and clean produce. This recipe is one that I created, combining a few other recipes that I found over the last few months. What I like about it is that it has the perfect combination of that classic dill flavor and a garlicy ghost pepper aftertaste kick!

One of the things I like about this recipe is that it has significantly less sugar than most pickle recipes…. PLUS you can use this homemade pickling spice for any style of pickles you decide to make! Inspired by the Secrets to Crispy Pickles found on NPR

Ingredients: (makes about 5, 1 quart jars of pickles)

Homemade Pickling Spice (2-3 TBL per jar)

  • 3 TBL whole black peppercorns
  • 3 TBL mustard seeds
  • 3 TBL coriander seeds
  • 3 TBL dill seeds
  • 1.5 TBL whole allspice
  • 1.5 TSP crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14-16 broken up bay leaves

Homemade Pickling Brine

  • 3 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 6 cups of water
  • 7.5 TBL pickling salt
  • 1.5 TSP white sugar

Remaining Ingredients

  • about 10-14 pickling cucumbers kept whole or sliced
  • 25-30 whole garlic cloves (peeled and lightly smashed)
  • 2 small fresh ghost peppers
  • 1/2 TSP of dill (fresh or dried) per jar

Now what you say!?!?!

  1. First, make the Homemade Pickling Spice
  2. Combine ingredients from the Homemade Pickling Brine in a pot and bring to a simmer
  3. Put 2-3 TBL of Homemade Pickling Spice in each jar
  4. Add 1/2 TSP fresh or dried dill per jar
  5. Add 4-5 whole, smashed garlic cloves per jar
  6. Slice the ghost peppers into thin slices and divide evenly amongst the jars (a little goes a very long way)
  8. Slice the cucumber into quarters, long ways, and then cut in half
  9. Place the cucumber slices into the jars, packed tightly without smooshing the cucumber (don’t let the slices get higher than the neck the jar)
  10. Pour the Homemade Pickling Brine in each jar, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace after just covering the cucumbers
  11. Make sure you place the sterilized tops and rings of the jars on the jars, avoiding skin contact to help prevent contamination
  12. Process in a canner water bath for 10 minutes, starting the timer after the water starts to boil
  13. Once you remove the cans, they will start to cool and you should start to hear the jars pop as they seal
  14. Store in a cool and dry place for 10-12 days… note that they get even better the longer they marinate… after opening, they can be stored for up to a year!

If you decide to make this recipe, please share your reviews and photos!!


Need more canning gift ideas for the upcoming holidays?? Check out my Homemade Limoncello & Orangecello Recipe!!

Homemade Limoncello & Orangecello


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  • Reply
    September 2, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Omg this looks so good!! And it reminds me I need to get my fire cider started!!!!! Winter is coming!

    • Reply
      Lisa Barrieau
      September 2, 2018 at 9:03 am

      You should try making it! The flavor is awesome!!! These are a great addition to a nice cheese board. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hellen Lazowska
    September 9, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Hi, I’ve always wanted to pickle my own pickles, but I do not know how to do my own canner water bath. Do you have a post for that??

    • Reply
      Lisa Barrieau
      September 9, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Hello Hellen,
      I should do a water bath post soon! It is really simple. You can get a canning water bath for around $25 at Target. All you do if fill it with water and turn the stove on high. Before the water comes to a boil, lower the sealed jars on the rack and then top with hot water so the cans have about an inch of water over them. Cover. Once the water comes to a full boil, start the timer indicated by your recipe. For this one, set a timer for 10 minutes. Then pull the rack up and place the cans on a cool and dry counter. As the cans cool, you will hear the lids pop, sealing the jars! 🙂 Let me know if you have questions! Good luck!

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