Small batch preserving these Pickled Carrots is easier than you think. Grow your own or buy carrots in season, then pickle them with dill and garlic for a dillicious treat!
Pickled Carrots with Dill and Garlic
Whether you’re the sort of person who enjoys preserving and canning or a supermarket pickle shopper, this recipe is for you!
Capture the sweetness of fresh carrots alongside fresh dill and intense garlic by pickling your very own at home.
These pickles have just the right ‘pucker power’ as declared by our family of pickle lovers. We love to eat them straight out of the jar, with other pickles, or on a platter with fun appetizers like Nacho Deviled Eggs.
My Pickled Carrot Inspiration
We moved to Calgary in 1998 when our daughter Julia was 3 weeks old. New city, new baby, new house, new job…it was a huge step for us.
Soon I learned that gardening is much different in Calgary that it is in Saskatchewan. The shorter summer season sometimes makes it quite tricky to produce a decent yield. I started out small by growing the simple things: Peas, Beans, Lettuce, and Carrots.
It just so happened that my very first harvest from that garden coincided with Julia’s first birthday. She wouldn’t eat baby food and went straight from milk to these solids: toast, yogurt, and pickles. What a fun combination! I pickled everything I could from that first garden harvest…including carrots!
Handy Equipment for Making Pickled Carrots
While small batch canning is a relatively simple method to learn, you will need a few key pieces of kitchen equipment to help things go smoothly:
- water bath canner (or a large stock pot).
- a rack that fits inside the canner or pot (can be made of metal or silicone). One with handles is best but not necessary.
- a ladle or measuring cup for pouring brine.
- a jar lifter
- a magnetic wand (for grabbing those lids and rings out of the hot water)
- a timer
- glass jars with two piece lids.
- another pot for the brine.
How to Choose the Best Carrots for Pickling
You don’t need to grow your own carrots for this recipe. However, I suggest buying the fresh, young carrots (with a diameter of around 1 cm) from your local farmer’s market. If you must use larger carrots, make sure they don’t taste ‘old’, give them a good peel and quarter them length ways.
How to Make Pickled Carrots
- Fill a hot water bath canner (with a canning rack) with water and bring to a boil while you:
- Scrub and trim baby carrots to fit a pint jar. Peel, trim, and quarter mature carrots length ways. Clean and prep garlic and dill.
- Wash and inspect 6 pint jars (I always do an extra jar just in case) and their lids. Be sure there are no chips on the jar rims and that there’s no rust or dents on the lids.
- Sterilize Jars – Set jars upside down in a large cake pan, add an inch or two of water. Place in a 250 F oven for ten minutes and keep warm until you are ready to fill them.
- Sterilize Lids – Place lids and lid rings into a pot and fill with water. Set on stove and heat until they just begin to boil.
- Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
- Make Brine – Add water, vinegar, and salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil so that the salt dissolves.
STUFF THE JARS
- Take jars out of the oven one at a time and add one half of garlic followed by a flowering dill head.
- Quickly but purposefully arrange the carrots in the pint jar until the are so tightly packed you can’t add any more.
- Ram another garlic half into the carrots, then add a pinch of dill seed. Top with hot brine, leaving 1 cm head space.
- Quickly cover with hot lid and screw on the sealing ring until it’s just tight, but not crazy tight.
HOT WATER PROCESSING
- Place jar in canning rack and repeat until all your jars are finished. If your hot water canner looks too full of boiling water, remove some. If you need more, take it from the kettle.
- Lower the canning rack into the canner. Make sure there’s an inch of water above the jars.
- Process at a rolling boil for 10 minutes at sea level or 20 minutes at over 3000 ft altitude (or see hot water processing chart HERE), adding boiling water as needed to make sure the jars are covered.
- Remove and let sit on counter overnight before moving. Check to make sure all jars have sealed (the lids should be depressed in their centres) and refrigerate any that have not sealed.
- Allow pickles to sit in the brine for a few weeks. Enjoy!
How Long Should I Store My Pickled Carrots?
When stored in a cool, dark spot properly sealed pickled carrots will last for 5 – 6 months. However, I have some just past the year mark and they are just fine.
Do not consume if the brine has clouded, smells odd, or becomes carbonated. When in doubt, throw it out!
Helpful Hints For Pickled Carrots
- Keep small carrots whole or peel and quarter older carrots. Cutting them this way will make it possible to pack them tightly in the jar. Measure how long they need to be using one of your pint jars and cut them all to size at once.
- Have everything (carrots, dill, dill seed, garlic, hot brine) ready and waiting for when it’s time to pack the jars is key.
- Jars, brine, and waterbath must be hot (or boiling in the case of the waterbath).
- Do not over tighten the lids. Air needs to escape during the hot water canning process.
- Processing time differs according to altitude.