These refrigerator dill pickles took me too long to make! They are a fun summertime project to make and to eat. These pickles are made with simple ingredients and, best of all, no canning is required. These pickles are sweet and savory and go with everything that needs a pickle. The best part about this recipe, aside from the best homemade pickles you get at the end, is how easy this recipe is!
While these pickles only take an hour in the fridge before they’re ready to eat, they will be better if you let them ferment overnight in the fridge.
What are “Refrigerator Pickles?
Simply put, they are refrigerator pickles because they ferment in the fridge! You don’t actually need to can them, just pack your clean cucumbers into a clean jar with the brine and dill and you’re all set. After letting the pickles ferment in the fridge for an hour (but overnight is best), they’re ready to eat!
Best Cucumbers for Pickles
There are many cucumber options out there, but the question still remains- which cucumber is the best option for pickles? The truth is, is that any veggie or fruit will work for pickling, but some will work a little bit better than others.
- Persian: My favorite for pickling is the Persian cucumber. It’s engineered to be small and crisp without many seeds.
- Boston Pickling: This variety is famous for it’s short and crisp cucumbers. The flesh is crisp and the skin is thin. The Boston Pickling is harvested around three to seven inches.
- Calypso: This cucumber is designed as a hybrid for pickling and eating raw.
How to Make the Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Making the refrigerator dill pickles is actually quite easy, it just takes a couple of staple ingredients and about half an hour of your time.
After gathering all of your ingredients, make your brine. Your brine will consist of vinegar, sugar, salt and aromatics. Bring the brine to a boil and let boil until all of the granulated bits have dissolved into the vinegar. Let your brine cool for about 15 minutes.
Add the cucumbers and dill to the jar and then add the slightly cooled brine to your jar.
Ingredients for Pickles:
- Cucumbers: There are lots of great options for cucumbers. I used Persian cucumbers because of their size and low seed count.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is crucial when making pickles, it’s what makes the cucumbers ferment into pickles! You can use any type of clear vinegar but I prefer less acidic and mild flavor of rice vinegar.
- Sugar: White sugar adds a sweetness to the pickles and will cut through the flavor of the vinegar.
- Salt: Adding salt will balance out the flavors of the brine.
- Aromatics: Fresh herbs like dill, peppercorns and garlic add in more flavor to your cucumbers. While you won’t be eating your aromatics, they add in a flavor to the pickles.
When the brine is put in with the cucumbers and dill, the cucumbers will be a bright green color. After about an hour, the color will begin to fade to a dark green. This is normal and is part of the fermenting process.
What to do with Leftover Pickle Brine
After you’ve eaten your pickles, what are you going to do with your brine? As it turns out, theres actually a few things to reuse your brine instead of just tossing it.
- Meat tenderizer: The vinegar in the brine helps tenderize protein fibers. For every pound of protein, add half a cup of pickle brine to your marinade.
- Bloody Marys: Add a tablespoon or so to your Bloody Marys or Michelada’s for that pickled vinegar flavor.
- Sauces and Dressings: Replace the vinegar in sauces and dressings with your pickle brine.
- Pickleback: Chase your shot of whiskey with a shot of pickle juice (yes, this is a real thing).
- Peanut Butter Pickleback: Take that pickleback shot up a notch and try it with Skrewball peanut butter whisky.