It’s no secret that many things from your own kitchen are more flavorful, healthful, and nutrient dense than store-bought. Pickles are no exception.
Since we began pickling our own cucumbers, store-bought pickles seem so limp, soggy, artificially colored, and unappealing. You read that right – artificially colored. Certain brands of pickles have added yellow #5 to give their sickly-colored (translation: not so fresh) pickles a little color boost. With all we know about the health implications of food dyes, it’s high time we avoid store-bought and learn how to make our own pickles. This method is so simple, and you will love the outcome!
This recipe was derived from lots of personal taste testing trial and error. Out of all the recipes I’ve tried, this is the best. You don’t need any special equipment – we’re not going to can these pickles. They’re called “refrigerator pickles” because you allow the vinegar and other ingredients to tenderize and flavor the cucumbers with no need for cooking. You end up with crispy, fresh, delicious pickles that have all the raw nutrients in tact.
Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles
You will need
- 1 quart jar with a lid
- 2-3 pickling cucumbers (as many as you can fit in the jar)
- 5 sprigs of fresh dill (or 1 Tbsp dry dill)
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (or garlic scapes), crushed and minced (we use 4)
- 3 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
- ½ - 1 Tbsp kosher salt, to taste (I use ¾ Tbsp)
- distilled or filtered water – enough to top off jar (where to find water purification systems)
- 20 black peppercorns, optional (find high quality peppercorns here)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional (find high quality chili flakes here)
Cut pickles into discs, spears, or sandwich slices and add to the jar with all ingredients except the water. Once everything is in the jar, fill to the very top with distilled or filtered water and screw lid on very tightly. Shake the jar up to distribute flavors and leave on your countertop for 12 hours. Shake again and turn upside down for another 12 hours, making sure the lid is screwed on tightly to avoid leakage. After pickles have sat for a total of 24 hours go taste your creation – you won’t believe how good they are! Store in refrigerator and enjoy within a month for maximum freshness.
Notes from the kitchen
Don’t limit yourself to pickled cucumbers, use this recipe with just about any vegetable. We omit the dill and use the recipe for okra, bell peppers, and more. Adjust the spices and be creative – there are so many possibilities.
At times we have eaten up our pickles within a few days – and hate to waste the well-seasoned liquid mixture – so when the pickles disappear too quickly, we reuse the liquid mixture by packing more fresh cucumbers in the jar. We add a touch more vinegar and top off with more water.
Do you have cucumbers or other veggies coming out of your ears? Give this simple pickling recipe a shot, I promise you won’t regret it!