Refrigerator Pickles: Easy Way To Pickle Cucumbers

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How To Pickle Cucumbers

Learn how to pickle cucumbers the simple way and make the best dill refrigerator pickles you’ve ever had. I promise they’ll be a big hit!

Refrigerator Pickles

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!

I didn’t automatically know how to make refrigerator pickles, 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 intact.

Refrigerator Pickles How To Pickle Cucumbers 1
Refrigerator Pickles How To Pickle Cucumbers

Refrigerator Pickles: Pickle Cucumbers The Simple Way

5 from 4 votes

Learn how to pickle cucumbers the simple way and make the best dill refrigerator pickles you've ever had. I promise they'll be a big hit!

Prep Time
10 minutes
Active Time
10 minutes
Resting TIme
1 day
Total Time
1 day 20 minutes
20 pickles
Condiment, Snack
Estimated Cost




  1. Cut pickles into discs, spears, or sandwich slices and add to the jar with all ingredients except the water.
    Refrigerator Pickles How To Pickle Cucumbers 1
  2. Once everything is in the jar, fill to the very top with distilled or filtered water and screw the lid on very tightly.

  3. Shake the jar up to distribute flavors and leave on your countertop for 12 hours.
  4. Shake again and turn upside down for another 12 hours, making sure the lid is screwed on tightly to avoid leakage.
  5. After pickles have sat for a total of 24 hours go taste your creation – you won’t believe how good they are!
  6. Store in refrigerator and enjoy within a month for maximum freshness.
    Refrigerator Pickles How To Pickle Cucumbers

Recipe Video


Don’t limit yourself to pickle 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 because there are so many possibilities.


Serving: 1pickle | Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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Sometimes we eat our pickles within a few days. We hate to waste the well-seasoned liquid mixture, so when they disappear too quickly we just pack more fresh cucumbers in the existing liquid. We add a touch more vinegar and top off with more water.

Other Condiments and Snacks to Make

Don’t stop with refrigerator pickles! Here are a few other condiments and snacks you can make at home:

  1. Homemade Mayonnaise
  2. Homemade Ketchup
  3. Worcestershire Sauce Recipe
  4. Homemade Coleslaw
  5. Homemade Baked Beans

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!


About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Andrea Elisabeth Willoughby says

    Can you make the pickles without using vinegar? I am needing the probiotics for my stomach.
    Thank you

  2. Stella Bowman says

    These were great! I guess that there are no Probiotics because of the vinegar though. Still great tasting.

  3. Julie says

    Is it safe to make these a jar at a time as you have enough pickles and keep them in the refrigerator until you have enough jars to process a canner full? I only get about a half dozen pickles every day from my garden.

      • Julie Attoe says

        I understand that but I’d like to can them as I don’t have the space to refrigerate all of the pickles I make for the year. Is there any danger in keeping the ready to go jarred pickles in the refrigerator so that when I have enough jars to fill a canner I can do so?

  4. Dolores Blocker says

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    Thanks, Dolores

    • Kim says

      Dolores, I like to use Just copy the page url of what you want to copy from this site and paste it at their site (you’ll see right away where to paste it). Print Friendly removes ads, and you can also remove pictures and any extra text you don’t want. It took me a little practice, but I’m glad I found it!

  5. Geri Gerry says

    You don’t use ascorbic acid in your pickles? I have been making refrigerator pickles for years. Thing is that I make a lot at once. I keep them in canning jars in the fridge. How long would you keep them for?

  6. Mom says

    So glad you published your pickle recipe!! I have been wanting to try it ever since I tasted yours!

    • Ed Propst says

      Didn’t see an option to post a new comment, but just wanted to say that I’ve been making this recipe for years…and it ROCKS!!! Haven’t eaten a store bought pickle since then! Give it a try, it’s e-e-e-a-s-s-y!

  7. Ron Wilkerson says

    This sounds great. I like whole pickles. Will this do them to? I make my own pickles sometimes. I tried whole cukes about 8 to 9″ or os long. It took a while for them to complete the process of pickling but the end product was outstanding

    • Nancy says

      I like ’em whole, too, especially the Mini Dills from Claussen (though I detest that they have High Fructose Corn Syrup in them! Only reason I put up with that is because I can’t see any other way of getting non-cooked, non-limp pickles! 🙁 ). If this works for whole small ones, sign me up! 😀

  8. Gail says

    I made them and they were delicious – cucumbers fresh from the garden – but super soggy. Was I supposed to DRAIN them before refrigerating them?

    • Matt Jabs says

      No, if they were soggy they were soggy before the process because this process doesn’t make them soggy. I say try again and see how it goes, just make sure to check the cucumbers before making them.

    • susan says

      If you don’t use proper pickling cucumbers, they’ll be soggy. Also, add a tea bag of black tea. The tannic acid helps make them crisp.

  9. Martha Vogel says

    WOW! I made these a couple of days ago and we tried them just now and I have to say AMAZING!! Crunchy, sour and spicy! YAY! We had the pickling cucs growing and I don’t can our produce so this is a wonderful way to have fresh dill pickles. I am definitely keeping this recipe and will share it with my friends ??

  10. Patricia says

    These are fantastic pickles. I made my first jar yesterday with 2 cucumbers I’d just picked from my garden. Couldn’t be easier! I love that this is a recipe for such a small quantity. I plan to use this for the rest of the summer! Thanks!

      • Kerry roche says

        just wondering mine seems to be a little lacking in the flavor, does that mean I should leave them longer? Can I put them in the fridge or wait until the flavor is all the way there… as she thought I added extra still and red pepper because I love those spices so much but I just don’t taste them coming through all the way yet and it’s been about 27 hours

  11. Shannon says

    OMG…. I must say that I was a bit reluctant to try the recipe because almost ALL other recipes I found wanted days to pickle. I tried this recipe just yesterday. Surprised I am!! The cucumbers pickled. Not only that, they taste GREAT!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and the simplicity of it! My 11 year old daughter is even WOW’ed! (with the process and the taste) – Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. Elizabeth H. says

    Don’t like dill – can I add something sweet (maybe honey) and make these into sweet pickles?

  13. Lavada says

    I am getting ready to make a batch of my first pickles as we speak! My girls go through a jar at least once a week of the commercial brands so I thought, why not? At least I know what is in these creations! Thank you for all your knowledge on this site! People are astounded that I’m making my own clothes detergent and how much money we are saving! You guys are the best!

  14. Renée says

    I bought 2 bags of pickling cukes at the market last week meaning to do canning pickles. My week got away on me and if I don’t get them done the cukes will go bad. If I make all into this recipe will they keep as long as I have fridge space? (Beer fridge in garage might become the pickle fridge!)

  15. Dlagrand says

    And to answer someone’s question above – yes you can use while cukes – even big ones – they just take longer to cure all the way through. My fav veggies to use include cukes of all sizes, some sliced and some whole, carrots (try both sticks and ripple- cut slices, cauliflower, okra, cabbage (red and green, the red turns a beautiful shocking pink!), celery, and jicama (strange but true!). I just started a jar of tomatillos and small green tomatoes – can’t wait to try that. I like to add hot peppers to some as well.

  16. Dlagrand says

    This is a great way to make pickles – I do a similar technique which relies on fermentation to preserve them – so I don’t use vinegar but otherwise my recipe is much the same. Salt & water (roughly 1 T salt to 1 cup water), reused brine from the previous batch if I have some, veggies of choice, whatever herbs i have growing (basil, thyme, dill, etc), garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed or other spices of choice, and a couple of grape leaves on top to keep things crunchy (the tannins in the leaves are what do this). You can use wild grape leaves or buy pickled ones (I found them at whole foods but also have them growing in my woods). Leave the jar on the counter with a loose lid (it will get bubbly) a few days (depending on room temperature), poke everything down under the brine if it floats (a carrot or two wedged across the top of the jar helps keep everything under). If a white film develops, scrape it off and refrigerate. This is kham’s yeast and is not harmful can impart a bad taste. Refrigeration stops it. The jars can stay in the fridge as long as you need. They also can be left on the counter for a few days at a time if you need the fridge space. The salt (i very much prefer redmond real salt, but at very least use non-iodized sea salt) and developing acidity are what prevents spoilage. You are creating a climate that encourages beneficial bacteria over bad ones.
    A word about botulism – it is an anaerobic bacteria so is much more likely in sealed jars of food that have been improperly processed. These fermented pickles are not sealed and air is introduced every time you open the jar, so if something does go wrong with your batch – it is most likely do to spoilage bacteria than botulism. If the food tastes bad – dont eat it, but remember that botulism is virtually tasteless, so bad taste does not
    indicate botulism. I am not saying that food prepared this way cannot ever have botulism, just that it is very unlikely. It is much more likely in improperly heat canned foods.

  17. Evan Pincus says

    We’re making some right now with these MONSTROUS cucumbers that we picked yesterday. We could barely fit them through the top of the jar! Do they shrink at all?

  18. Cheryl says

    Hi, Matt!
    I just an hour ago put together my first jar of pickles for the summer…this year from our own cukes. Can’t wait to get to eat them! We have company coming to share in the goodness. Thanks for your help last summer. We are hooked! God bless you and your family.