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)

Ingredients:

  • 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.)

Instructions:

  1. Slice your cucumbers into approximately 1/4 inch spears. Make sure they aren’t taller than the height of your jars. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add your fresh add-ins to your jars (minced garlic, dill, etc.).
  5. Finish by pouring enough brine into each jar to cover the cucumbers.
  6. Seal and store in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.