If you know anything about me, then you’ll know I love (LOVE!) pickles. I was that stereotypical pregnant lady who craved pickles throughout every trimester, and pickles are still one of my favorite go-to “healthy” snacks. Pickle spears happen to be my favorite; when we go out to eat, I always look forward to my burger and fries being accompanied by a crisp, juicy dill pickle spear. Nothing could be better!
That’s why I decided to make my own homemade refrigerator pickles when we picked up a slew of cucumbers at our recent produce farm trip, a family tradition every late summer.
This recipe doesn’t use your typical “pickling cucumber”. For a breakdown of the difference between regular cukes and pickling cukes, visit this article. Honestly, taste-wise, I can’t tell much of a difference. We didn’t pick any pickling cucumbers at the produce farm… only 5 or 6 of these gigantic cucumbers, some of which were bigger than my head!
If you want my personal opinion, I think the larger slicing cucumbers work better for spears anyway. They’ve got the right amount of crispy skin to soft, seed-y center ratio that I prefer in a spear!
On this particular day, I didn’t have access to any fresh herbs in the house. My go-to herb when making pickles is obviously dill – lots and lots of dill – but I was still in my PJ’s and I wasn’t about to go to the grocery store for a little dill. If you’ve got some (or have time to buy some), I highly recommend it!
Luckily, we’ve always got a Costco-size jar of minced garlic on hand… so I loaded up those jars with lots and lots of garlic. Ask my husband: you can’t over-garlic pickles.
Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 32 oz. of brine (roughly 4 8-oz jars of pickles)
- 2 extra-large slicing cucumbers (if you can’t find extra-large, grab a few extra… you’ll need enough to slice and fit into 4 jars)
- 4 c. water
- 2 c. distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- any add-ins (minced garlic, fresh dill, peppercorn kernels, etc.)
- Slice your cucumbers into approximately 1/4 inch spears. Make sure they aren’t taller than the height of your jars. Set aside.
- To make your brine, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and swirl to help the sugar and salt dissolve.
- While your brine is in progress, add your cucumbers to your jar. Don’t pack them super tight, as you’ll want room for the brine.
- Add your fresh add-ins to your jars (minced garlic, dill, etc.).
- Finish by pouring enough brine into each jar to cover the cucumbers.
- Seal and store in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.