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Ball Kickin' Dickles

best sweet & spicy pickles in the world

Ball Kickin' Dickles—As with a lot of good stuff, this recipe came about by accident. I couldn’t find a “hot red pepper” in the original version, so decided to be brave and try habaneros…The hot spicy sweet is much better!! And if you don’t like hot food? No worries! My husband hates hot spice, but will eat these out of the jar with a fork.

**I also use this recipe for relish. Just dice everything as small as you can with a knife. A food processor might over-do it.


8 lbs  Cucumbers, 1” diameter or smaller (big ones work, but are not  as crisp or pretty), cut into 1/3” slices

2 lbs Small to Med White Onion, sliced

4 Habanero Peppers, seeds removed, cut into fourths  

1 Sweet Red Pepper, diced to 3/8” square pieces or strips (for color)

2/3 C Pickling Salt (Pure Sea Salt may be used if in a pinch)

4-6 C Ice (crushed seems to mix better)

4 C Cider Vinegar

2 C White Sugar

2 C Dark Brown Sugar

2 Tsp Dill Seed

2 Tbsp Mustard Seed

2 Tbsp Minced Garlic

1” Ginger Root

½ tsp Turmeric


1-Cut cucumbers as directed and place in large bowl, cover with pickling salt (1st) and ice, then cover with water to just over the cucumbers. Cover and let sit in brine for about 3 hours. Rinse thoroughly and let sit in colander for 15 minutes.

2-About 45 min before rinsing cucumbers start heating water bath water.  (It takes quite a while for that much water to boil) Jars and lids (in sauce pan) in to sterilize for hot packing. 10 minutes boil before packing.

3-About 5 min prior to rinsing cucumbers, place vinegar, onions, peppers, brown and white sugar (NOT THE CUKES YET!) in large soup pot and bring to a boil, add cucumbers (NOW THE CUKES!), return to a low boil and time for 3 minutes, add spices, time for 5 more minutes.

4-Shortly before cucumbers done, place jars on cloth towel for packing, use slotted spoon to pack with cucumbers to ¼” from top.(I try to watch for the peppers and remove so no one has a surprise!), cover with pickle juice to ¼” to top.

5-Wipe the top of the jars to ensure a good seal, place lid on and secure with ring cap.  Place in water bath for 10 minutes and remove.  Ensure the lid seals by listening for the “pop”.  Also, depress the lid and ensure there is no movement due to lack of seal.

6-Let them cool and then remove the ring for storage. 

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