Ready to get in on the home-canning fun? Or maybe the avalanche of homegrown cukes from your garden has you in a real pickle. Either way… homemade pickles to the rescue!
Making refrigerator pickles is super easy and super satisfying, and the result is, well, dill-icious.
So, trust us on this: You can pickle that! Get to your kitchen quick, cause here’s our recipe for easy garlicky-dill refrigerator pickles.
- 1–2 pounds cucumbers
- 4 springs fresh dill
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work)
- 1–1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 4 cloves garlic (or 10… the heart wants what it wants)
As far as equipment goes, all you’ll need is a pint jar or two with their lids.
- Prep the produce. Wash the cucumbers and dill sprigs. Slice the cucumbers into the shapes you’d like. You can use a crinkle cutter or a knife if you want pickle chips or cut the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters or eighths if you want spears. If you decide on spears, you may need to trim them a little to make sure they fit in the jar(s).
- Assemble the brine. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, vinegar, and pickling salt and mix well. Pickling salt is super fine. So, it should dissolve easily into your brine. Set this aside briefly.
- Pack the jar(s). Snugly pack your prepped cucumbers into one or two pint jar(s), then nestle two dill sprigs and two cloves of garlic (whole) into the jar(s).
Make sure they’re all snuggled with each other. Then, pour your brine into the jar(s) — making sure to submerge the contents of your jar(s) with the brine completely.
You may have some extra brine leftover depending on how many cukes you had, how you sliced them, and how tightly you packed your jar(s). Replace the lid on your jar(s) and put your prepped cucumbers in the fridge to chill.
- Let them sit. You can start eating your pickles after at least 1 hour in the fridge. But the longer they sit, the more flavorful they’ll be. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, but the real question is — will they last that long?
Wanna experiment? Here’s how you can mix up your fridge pickles with some other flavor combos:
Bread and butter
Some like it sweet! To make bread and butter pickles, nix the garlic and replace the dill with about 2 cups of white sugar. Then add a smattering of mustard seeds. You’ll need to heat your brine in a saucepan to melt the sugar before pouring it over your cukes.
Fire and ice (aka sweet-hots)
Sweet-hots, or how Mark Wahlberg says “sweethearts,” are both sweet and spicy. Like the bread and butters, you’ll need to toss the dill and replace it with 2 cups of white sugar. In this case, you’ll also be adding pepper juice and red pepper flakes. 🥵 How much is totally up to you — you know your limits. Again, make sure to heat your brine to melt the sugar.
And if you like it fire and couldn’t care less about the “ice,” just add as much pepper juice or red pepper flake as your warm-blooded heart desires to the basic dill recipe above.
We’ve got good news! There’s only one thing you need to do to ensure that these refrigerator pickles are as close to a traditional kosher pickle as a fridge pickle can get: Replace the pickling salt with kosher salt. You may need about 50 percent more kosher salt than pickling salt, and you will need to heat your brine to get the larger salt granules to dissolve. Boom. Done!
If you follow this one basic rule, you can create new pickle flavors to your heart’s desire using all manner of veggies, herbs, and spices. The rule: Never decrease the amount or ratio of acid in your recipe (in this case, vinegar). Your pickles need to be at the right acidity to discourage bacterial growth. So, keeping enough acid in the recipe is key. Other than that though, have fun!