When you have a surplus of cucumbers, look no further than this easy recipe for refrigerator pickles. You can make them with just 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours to brine. You don't even need to turn on the stove!
If I'd known how ridiculously easy it was to make crispy, salty, dilly, tangy pickles, our refrigerator would never have been without them - especially in summer months. No cooking required. Zero. You don't even have to boil water.
What are Refrigerator Pickles?
Refrigerator pickles are made without they typical steps of canning, made instead with raw cucumber slices and brine - very little effort and they're ready to eat within hours. The upside of this is that they easy to make and incredibly crispy and delicious. The downside is that they are not shelf stable, i.e., but will last several weeks in the refrigerator. (Good luck on them lasting that long! 😉 )
In our CSA share this week, we had several Kirby pickling cucumbers and a beautiful bunch of fresh dill. Kirby cucumbers are those odd shaped cucumbers, covered in sharp little bumps. They aren't the most attractive of cucumbers, but they do stay crunchy in brine.
Kirby cucumbers and fresh dill sprigs look to me like pickles. But pickles require a whole canning process, right? A variety of spices, sterilized canning jars, boiled brine, and achieving a proper seal. So what's a lazy girl to do?
So I looked around at some of my favorite food blogs and came across this recipe from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Ironic as Deb is the antithesis of lazy.
Could it really be this simple?
Something you should know.
I'll warn you that these homemade pickles are intensely flavorful. If you're on the fence about liking vinegary, piquant dill pickles, these aren't for you. But should you be in the piquant pickle loving camp, you'll find these addictive.
- For a milder vinegar flavor, use apple cider vinegar instead of standard white vinegar.
- To add a bit of spice, stir a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, raw jalapeno slices, or ¼ teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes. You can also add celery seed, mustard seed, and/or whole garlic cloves for added depth of flavor.
More Pickling Recipes to Try
And if you happen to love the magnificent Mama Lil's Bread & Butter Pickles & Peppers: sweet, spicy, salty. You can make something similar with a simple riff on this refrigerator pickle recipe - Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles. And definitely don't miss my other quick pickles: Pickled Asparagus or these Pickled Beets, Pickled Red Onions, and Pickled Banana Peppers, all honey sweetened and so delicious. Giardiniera is another must-try - Italian pickled vegetables like cauliflower, bell pepper, carrots, and celery,
[Updated: a couple of commenters found the original recipe for these too salty. Upon review of the recipe, I agreed! I've adjusted it accordingly.]
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles:
Step 1: Fill clean jar with thinly sliced cucumbers (ideally Kirby).
Step 2: Stir brine ingredients together (kosher salt, vinegar and chopped fresh dill) and pour over cucumber slices.
Step 3: Close jar lid and shake to distribute brine. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours then enjoy!
Refrigerator Pickles Recipe Video
Easy Dill Lovers Refrigerator Pickles
- 2 cups thinly sliced Kirby cucumber
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Add cucumber slices to a clean 1-pint jar.
- Add vinegar, salt and dill. Close the lid and shake to distribute ingredients. (Liquid will not cover cucumber slices. Don't worry. The salt will draw liquid from the cucumbers in a couple of hours.)
- Place the jar in the refrigerator and remember to shake it once or twice in the next few hours.
- In about 6 hours, you'll have delicious, crispy pickles.