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Spicy Southern Pickles

Spicy Southern Pickles

After visiting the famous Katz’s Deli in NYC and devouring one of their pickles, chef Shane McIntosh of Ocean Catering went back to Georgia to create his own version of the perfect pickle. Although these sweet and spicy dill pickles rest in a brine for 2 to 3 weeks, they're worth the wait.


This recipe makes a very large batch of pickles. Feel free to halve or quarter the recipe.


  • 40 pickling cucumbers, cut in spears and soaked in water overnight
  • 1 gallon water
  • 6 Cups cider vinegar
  • 6 Cups white vinegar
  • 1 Cup pickling salt
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 12 1-quart mason jars
  • 36 cloves garlic
  • 24 south Indian round chiles
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 3 yellow onions, chunked
  • 1 Pound fresh dill
  • ½ Cup black peppercorns
  • ¼ Cup mustard seed


Bring the water, vinegars, salt, and sugar to a boil to dissolve. Let cool.

Wash mason jars thoroughly and let air dry.

In the mason jars, evenly distribute and layer the garlic, chiles, bay leaves, onions, dills, and peppercorns.

Strain the water from the cucumbers and place the cucumbers in a bucket.

Pour the hot liquid over cucumbers leaving a ¼-inch of space at the top of each jar. Cover the jars with their lids and tighten the bands.

Line a large stock pot with the mason jars. Fill until the top of the jars are covered, and bring to a boil. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Then cool the jars to room temperature in the water.

Remove the jars from the water and let cool.

Hold the jars at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks, and then enjoy. Pickles can be stored unrefrigerated on pantry shelf until opened.