Cucumbers tend to ripen all at once leaving you with a bumper crop. This year I dehydrated pickles to make some delicious dried pickle chips!
This year I seem to be having a lot of luck with my cucumbers. Too much luck! In fact, after eating what I can, making pickles, giving them away to friends, and more, I still have a lot of cucumbers. For something different, I’m going to make pickle chips!
Use Your Best Cucumbers
Unlike other recipes, where you can use older cucumbers that are not at their prime, you want your best cucumbers for this recipe. It’s essential for this recipe that your cucumbers are very firm. Older cucumbers tend to lose cellular structure to the body of the cucurbit, making them mushy. You want your chips to stay together, not fall apart. And be sure to choose smaller cucumbers that have tiny seeds. Large seeds tend to be more leathery and are not good dehydrated.
First, Brine the Cucumber Slices
After you wash and dry your cucumbers, you’ll need to brine them. Here’s my go-to brining recipe for these dehydrated pickle chips:
- Four cucumbers, sliced thin
- 1 Tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- Mix all of the wet ingredients, adding the salt last, and stir until the salt is dissolved.
- Now add the cucumber slices, stirring well. Make sure all of the cucumber slices are coated well.
- Let this sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Too long may make the cucumbers soft.
Next, Dehydrate the Pickles
Take the slices out of the brine and lay them on a piece of parchment paper if you’ll be using your oven. Or you can place them on dehydrator pans if you want to use a dehydrator. Make sure that the cucumber slices are in a single layer. Doubling up will take extra time to dry and the slices may not dry fully between layers.
I taste my chips at this time to see if they need more salt. You can shake a bit of salt over the top if you think you may need more. You can also salt them when they are done, but the salt will stay on better if you do it when the slices are damp.
Use and Oven or Dehydrator
Place the parchment paper on a baking sheet and place this in a very low oven. I try to get mine at 175°f, but sometimes I need to go a bit higher. It can take 20-30 minutes to dehydrate the pickle chips in the oven, possibly a bit longer if the chips are thicker.
In a dehydrator, you can simply plug it in or set it at a low heat setting. I have two dehydrators. One is an Excaliber and needs the temperature set. The other is an older model that just turns on when you plug it in. Either way, it could take a few hours or even overnight, depending on your dehydrator model. I set my Excaliber on 140°f and that seems to work fine. It usually takes about 8 hours or so.
Storing Your Dehydrated Pickle Chips
While there usually isn’t a lot left once these are done, sometimes I do need to store them. Make sure your chips are completely dried out and then cooled off. I store mine in quart jars since the lid seals really well. Then no moisture can get in. A silicone zip-top bag would work well too. Just so long as you can seal out and dampness, they will be fine for a few weeks. If they last that long!
Be Creative with Flavors
These dehydrated pickle chips are great as they are, but sometimes I want something different. Here are a few ways that you can individualize the recipe:
- Add a few tablespoons of hot sauce to the brine
- Shake a bit of cayenne pepper on the damp chips before you dry them
- Use celery salt instead of plain salt
- Add fresh ground pepper to the tops before you dry them
- Sprinkle Ranch seasoning on the chips
- Add some fresh or dried dill to the brine
- Add a clove of crushed garlic to the brine.
Have you ever made dehydrated pickle chips? What is your favorite way to flavor them?