No-canning-needed quick dill pickles

My imprecise recipe 

Best pickles!!!These pickles are AWESOME (as you can see from my gratuitous use of exclamation points on the recipe card). The friend who shared her recipe calls them refrigerator pickles. Since you don’t process them in boiling water (i.e. can them) you have to keep them in the fridge, but that’s what makes them so crispy. I’ve made these with my friends for the past few years (pickling is always more fun with a friend) and they earn high marks from pickle-lovers.

First, find yourself a few pounds of pickling cucumbers. These are small varieties especially made for pickling – I’ve had better luck finding them at farmers markets than the grocery store.  If you grow your own cukes and want to pickle them, make sure to only use the ones that are small, firm, and darker green. Last summer I grew “asian cucumbers” and they worked beautifully too- they were very dense and had small seed cavities. Wash your cukes and set them aside. Next, bring to boil in a big pot:
4.5 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
6 tablespoons canning salt

Spices ala carte

Repeat: "I am the SPICE MASTER"

I have found that most very very good recipes (i.e. my gramma’s baked beans) contain moments of imprecise-ness. Here is where this recipe allows for personal interpretations. You’ll need some faith in your ability to estimate the spice ratios. You can do it!Spice the jar

In each (previously washed) canning jar, put approximately:
2 bay leaves
big sprig of fresh dill
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1-3 dried chili peppers
a couple cloves of fresh garlic
a pinch each of whole coriander and whole allspice

Pack the cucumbers

Pack each jar with baby cucumbers. I like to keep them whole, but I've also tried halving or quartering them.

Fill with vinegar/salt solution

Fill with vinegar/salt solution

Wait a few weeks

Wait a few weeks

Fill each jar nearly to the top with boiling vinegar/salt solution. Put the lid on, put them in the fridge, and wait a week or so. From what I’ve read online you’re only supposed to keep the jars around for a few months. If you and yours love dill pickles then it’s no concern because they’ll be gone much sooner. Since I’m the only dill-pickle-eater in my house sometimes it takes me a while to eat through them. In case you’re in the same situation, I can assure you that I’ve eaten them 6-8 months later with no ill effects (if anything, they tasted even better!).



  1. missuskim · June 27, 2012

    Hi! I was wondering if i could have your permission to post a link to your recipe on my blog? It’s brand spankin’ new and I just tried making your pickles today!!!

    • foxflat · June 28, 2012

      Of course! I’d love for you to. How did they turn out?

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  6. Helena · February 28, 2011

    What do you have to do to make sour pickles?

  7. Sally Godard · October 3, 2009

    Yum! These look beautiful, and I agree, I think they’d last a long time in the refrigerator. I gave up on dill pickles a decade ago, in part because they weren’t turning out crunchy. This looks like the solution! (And I really like your advice on spices.)

    • foxflat · October 5, 2009

      ooo yeah, these are definitely crunchy and crisp! And I’m glad you support my idea that they probably last a while in the fridge 🙂

  8. Read · September 30, 2009

    That looks like some good pickles there? Do you do exports to foreign countries? I think we could make refridgerator pickles a worldwide phenomenon! I hope you leave some for me so I can compare this year’s batch to last year’s.

  9. Bethany · September 30, 2009

    kt – the canning is intense! kudos – love it. i wish you lived closer … so i get my hands into one of those jars!

  10. barefootrooster · September 30, 2009

    i love refrigerator pickles. LOVE. these look delicious! (note to self: grab more pickling cukes at the farm stand…) also, what a gorgeous green!

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