Hot Slice (of Pickle)

4 lb pickling cucumbers, sliced
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pickling salt
6 teaspoons peppercorns
6 dried pili pili peppers
3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, minced

Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Prep the lids/jars. Evenly divide all of the spices, shallot and garlic between 6 pint jars . Add the cucumber spears. Pour in the vinegar mixture. Close the jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Allow to sit 2 weeks before eating.

Yield: about 6 pints

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:

Can you stand more canning? I have done so much canning this year, I barely have any non-canning recipes saved up to post. I am actually a little annoyed that it is suddenly so cool and I have nothing to can right now. I did a ton of canning during the long stretches of high heat and humidity we’ve had recently and it was pretty brutal, even though I was canning late at night so I could go to bed and escape the hot kitchen and downstairs. Anyway, these pickles are really good. I wanted to make a sandwich slice that was different than the spears I had made and came up with the idea of a hot and spicy pickle. They are so good on a hamburger and I can’t wait to have them in the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich. YUM!

Tip: It is a little harder to gauge how many slices fit in each jar since they are sliced and not always evenly so make sure you prep a couple of extra jars just in case.


  1. This looks great! I love hot pickles. Oh, I got your cookbook yesterday. I can't wait to try something from it.

  2. It looks delicious. I love hot things in general, but I dont think I've had hot pickles 🙂

  3. Rachel,

    Could you suggest a good substitute for the pili pili peppers?

  4. What is the rationale in this recipe for using dried chile peppers as opposed to fresh? I have lots of ripe chile peppers — Aci Civri, Bulgarian Carrot, and Habañero — and I'm wondering if any of these might be a good substitute for the pili pilis, but of course this brings us back to the dried vs. fresh question. Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Dave,
    I used the pili pili pepper because it is very small but very hot. I didn't not want to take up a lot of space in the jar with peppers since I was making cucumber pickles, not a pickled pepper-cucumber combo. If for some reason you don't want to use pili pili peppers, I would use another small, dried pepper. Dried peppers have a more concentrated flavor than fresh.