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can you substitute dill weed for dill seed in pickles

Do you know how much dill seed is equivalent to one head of fresh dill?? I am going to make pickles, and fresh dill is not available. Thanks in advance for your help. – Judith Cartwright (8/22/01)

Dill seed is not a good substitute for fresh dill weed because of the difference in flavor strength but it does depend on the recipe. The seed has a camphorous, slightly bitter flavor, and the weed has a delicate flavor. The differences are like night and day.

Answers:

If you must substitute, see below:

Equivalents:
3 heads dill = 1 tablespoon dill seed
1/2 ounce dill seed = 1/2 cup fresh dill
3- to 5-inch sprig of fresh dill = 1/4 teaspoon of dried dill weed.

In real life, outside of coffee-table beautiful home canning books, some gardeners may find that their cucumbers are ready before their dill weed is.

Other canners will find that their store has a deal on cucumbers but there’s no fresh dill weed within miles to be found.

Linda Ziedrich says that if a recipe calls for a fresh dill umbel and you don’t have one, use one teaspoon of dried dill seed instead. [1] Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. 2009. Page 14.

So, you need to substitute some dried dill for the fresh. Purists may say “perish the thought”, but here’s some tips on how:

Or it’s the dead of winter, you are doing winter canning with imported cucumbers (despite the very remote odds of getting a crisp pickle with them), and the balcony where you grow your herbs in the summer has howling winds from Siberia whistling through it off of Lake Michigan.