Get your jars ready: If you are going to can your pickles you will need to boil and sterilize the jars and their lids. If you are planning to make refrigerator pickles, washing the jars and lids is fine.
Prepare the cukes: Wash and dry the cucumbers. Be sure to trim away the blossom end of the cucumber, as it contains enzymes that can lead to limp pickles. You can leave the cucumbers whole, or cut them into spears, or whichever shape you like.
Spice up your veg: Divide the spices of your choice between the jars
Pack the cucumbers: Pack the cucumbers into the jars. Leaving about 1/2 inch below the top of the jar. Pack them in as tightly.
Pickling brine: Combine the vinegar, water, salt and other spices in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Pour the brine over the cucumbers. Fill each jar to within 1/4-inch of the top.
Remove the air bubbles: Gently tap your jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if needed.
Tighten the lids: Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
If Processing: For longer shelf life your pickles will need a hot water bath. Fill your canner with enough water to cover the jars by a full inch. Boil the water, place jars into boiling water, wait for water to return to a boil and keep them in there for 10 minutes. Once they are finished, use tongs and carefully take jars out and let them cool.
Cool and refrigerate: Let the jars cool to room temperature. If you processed the jars, they can be stored on the shelf. If unprocessed, store the pickles in the fridge. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
Storing canned pickles: Canned pickles will keep for at least a year on the shelf and for several weeks in the refrigerator once opened; refrigerator pickles will keep for several weeks.