Grand Mammy’s Carolina Sharps Recipe

This fantastic Grand Mammy’s Carolina Sharps dill pickle recipe was shared with me by my friend, Andra Cook of Raleigh, North Carolina.  The recipe also appears in our cookbook called What’s Cooking America which was co-authored by Andra.

Once you make and taste these delicious Grand Mammy’s Carolina Sharps dill pickles, you will throw out any other dill pickle recipe cards in your kitchen.  Yes, these dill pickles are that good!

Also check out Andra’s famous Craven County Sweet Pickles recipe.  This sweet pickle recipe has become one of the most requested recipes on my web site in the United States!  Since I get many questions on this recipe, Andra has graciously updated and added additional comments on making these wonderful sweet pickles.


Grand Mammy's Carolina Sharps


Grand Mammy's Carolina Sharps Recipe:
Total Time
8 d
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dill Pickle Recipe, Grand Mammy's Carolina Sharps Recipe
  1. DAY 1 - Place cucumbers into a large container and cover with boiling water and pickling salt mixture (1 1/2 cups pickling salt to 1 gallon water).

  2. DAY 2 and 3 - Repeat the day one process by pouring off the salt water and recovering with fresh salt water.

  3. DAY 4 - Pour off water.  Cover cucumbers with fresh boiling water with alum (2 1/2 tablespoons alum to 1 gallon water).

  4. DAY 5 and 6 - Repeat the Day four process by pouring off the alum water and recovering with fresh alum water.

  5. DAY 7 - Pour off water.  Cover with equal parts cider vinegar and water.  This mixture should be boiling.

  6. DAY 8 - Pour off vinegar solution.  Pack cucumbers in jars and fill with equal parts cider vinegar and sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon pickling spices and 1 extra tablespoon sugar in each jar before sealing.

Recipe Notes

* Alum = aluminum potassium sulfate = ammonium aluminum sulphate = potassium aluminum phosphate.  Alum can be found in most grocery stores by the spices. 


Pickles    Preserved Foods Index    Southeast   

Comments and Reviews

10 Responses to “Grand Mammy’s Carolina Sharps Recipe”

  1. Judy

    How much sugar there are no instructions except to say it is equal parts sugar to cider vinegar. Please explain.
    Thank you,

    • Whats Cooking America

      You’ll need to figure out ahead of time how many jars you want to make and then calculate the amout of ingredients you need.

  2. Doug

    How much Dill do you add? At what point in the process is it added?


  3. Lynn E Keith

    Sliced length wise are across the cucumber?

    • Nancy

      Length-wise is slicing with the length of the cucumber, so you have long spears.

  4. Lynn E Keith

    Still don’t know the cider vinegar sugar ratio

    • Nancy

      The amount in the instructions refers to equal parts of the cider, vinegar and water and vinegar and sugar which would depend on the size of the jar or container you are using to make your pickles. A quart jar is 4 cups, you would use 1.33 cups each of vinegar, water and cider. If your jar or container is a pint, you’re working with two cups, which would be just over 1/2 cup each of cider, vinegar and water. So measure your parts based on the size of your jar. Hope that helps! Some of these heirloom recipes just eyeball the measurements.

  5. Stephanie

    You don’t heat up the vinegar and sugar when you pack the jars, correct? Just add the mix and the heat process to seal? Or does the vinegar and sugar need to be hot to add to the cucumbers?

  6. Lezlie

    It’s not vinegar, cider, and water, it’s apple cider vinegar that’s called for in equal parts. Vinegar made from hard apple cider. One cup of sugar for each 1 cup of vinegar. I cup of water, for one cup of cider vinegar. I heated it to boiling before pouring into the jars, to dissolve the sugar, and to avoid waterbath canning. The whole point is the cucumbers have been repeatedly scalded during the process and shouldn’t be cooked further. Further, boiling pickling syrup will activate the added spices and dissolve the added sugar better than room temperature will.


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