Types of Dill Pickles You Have To Try

Types of Dill Pickles

My favorite sandwich in the world is a salami grilled cheese with dill pickles, mustard and mayo.

I remember the first time I had it at a local deli when I was a kid.

I knew I’d found a lifelong favorite.

There’s just something about that crunch of the pickle when combined with the fatty goodness of salami in between two toasty slices of bread. Gooey cheese and the warm, slightly sweet hint of mayo have my mouth watering right now!

Of all the ingredients in this stack of yumminess, it’s the briny, salty goodness of dill pickles that makes this sandwich shine.

They have a singular crispness and mouthfeel compared to other pickles that makes them unique. The perfect dill has a snap to it when you take a bite, and the ideal balance of spice and vinegar.

What Are Dill Pickles?

As you might guess, what makes dill pickles different from other kinds of pickles is the use of the dill herb. During the pickling process, dill is included with the vinegar or salt brine the recipe uses. Other ingredients might also be used depending on the type of dill. We’ll touch on those ingredient differences a little later.

They are prepared using a salt brine or vinegar brine and a mixture of dill weed stems, and heads. In most dill pickle recipes, garlic is used as are red pepper flakes as well. Once the brine mixture is made, it’s poured over the pickles and then sealed so that the pickles have time to bathe in the mixture and full absorb it.

Dill pickles might be whole, halved, sliced or as a relish. Whole dills are usually consumed as is while halved or sliced dills are used in recipes like sandwiches or as a side with hamburgers or subs. Relishes are used to condiments or toppings but no matter how you choose to use them, there’s no mistaking the flavor they add to any meal. 

If you’re a dill pickle lover like me, and really, who isn’t, then you’ll really be craving them after you’re finished with this article, I promise!

Type of Pickle Key Ingredients Preparation Method Culinary Uses
Dill Pickles Dill, vinegar or salt brine, garlic, red pepper flakes Pickles are soaked in a mixture of vinegar or salt brine, dill weed stems and heads, garlic, and red pepper flakes. They are then sealed to allow the pickles to absorb the flavors. Whole dill pickles can be eaten as is, while halved or sliced pickles can be used in sandwiches or as a side with burgers or subs. Dill relish can be used as a condiment or topping.

List of Popular Dill Pickles

Dill pickles come in several varieties depending on how they are made, the ingredients used and so on.

Fresh Pack Dill Pickles

Fresh packed dill pickles are prepared in the opposite manner to other dill pickle varieties. Other types are added to the brine solution first and then dill is added at various later stages. Here, fresh cucumbers are packed in dill prior to adding the salt or vinegar brine.

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method
Fresh Pack Dill Pickles Fresh cucumbers are packed in dill before adding salt or vinegar brine. This is opposite to other dill pickle varieties where dill is added later in the process.

Genuine Dill Pickles

The genuine dill pickle gets its name from the method used to make it. Known as slow processing, the pickles are fermented first and it’s not until the final stages of fermentation (or after jarring) that dill (and other spices) are added to them. What also differentiates this dill pickle from others is that it has a higher lactic acid content.

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method Characteristics
Genuine Dill Pickles Slow fermentation process, dill and other spices are added during the final stages of fermentation or after jarring. High lactic acid content.

German Dill Pickles

German dill pickles (or Salzgurken in German) differ slightly from the traditional salty dill pickle flavor you might be familiar with. Their taste could be described as a mixture of sweet and sour, since sugar is added during the pickling process.

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method Flavor Profile
German Dill Pickles Sugar is added during the pickling process. A combination of sweet and sour.

Kosher Dill Pickles

Kosher dill pickles are probably the most well-known type of dill pickle. Interestingly, the term “Kosher” has a dual meaning in this situation.

The first usage refers to the certification of food in accordance with manufacturing in the Jewish tradition. By adhering to these dietary laws, a food will be certified as “Kosher” and deemed acceptable for consumption by followers of the faith.

The second usage refers to the stronger taste that is often associated with them. Kosher dill pickles have a more robust flavor since they have higher levels of both dill and garlic in the brine solution. 

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method Characteristics
Kosher Dill Pickles Adhering to Jewish dietary laws during production, higher levels of dill and garlic in the brine solution. Kosher certified, stronger flavor.

Overnight Dill Pickles

Overnight dill pickles are popular with at home pickle makers and also at delicatessens. Fresh pickles are packed in brine and refrigerated for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. The resultant pickle is typically brighter green and in terms of taste, the taste of fresh cucumber is more pronounced than pickles that have been packed in brine for longer periods of time.

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method Characteristics
Overnight Dill Pickles Fresh pickles are packed in brine and refrigerated for 24-48 hours. Brighter green color, more pronounced cucumber flavor.

Polish Dill Pickles

At the spicy end of the dill pickle spectrum, you’ll find Polish dill pickles. They have a very strong peppery spice and garlic flavor, much more than other kinds of dill pickles. Besides this, Polish pickles use salt brine and no vinegar, which makes them more sour. 

Type of Dill Pickles Preparation Method Flavor Profile
Polish Dill Pickles Strong peppery spice and garlic flavor, use salt brine and no vinegar Spicy, sour.

Differences Between Dill Pickles and Other Types of Pickles

For me, it’s hard not to love almost any kind of pickle but for those that have their favorites and are wondering how dill pickles stack up, we’ve got some handy comparisons for you to check out.

Dill Pickles vs Bread and Butter

While dill pickles and bread and butter share some common ingredients like salt, vinegar and mustard seed, the main difference between them is sweetness. Bread and butter pickles have sugar added to them during pickling which some might prefer as opposed to the spicy, robust flavor of traditional dill pickles.

Type of Pickle Flavor Profile Ingredient Differences
Dill Pickles Spicy, robust flavor No sugar added
Bread and Butter Sweet Sugar added during pickling

Dill Pickles vs Half Sour

The difference maker between dill pickles and sour (or half sour) pickles is the type of brine used. Dill pickles are almost always made with a vinegar brine while salt is used in the preparation of the sour or half sour.

Type of Pickle Brine used
Dill Pickles Vinegar brine
Half Sour Salt brine
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