If you're craving a snack with a satisfying cool crunch, look no further! These homemade pickles are so delicious and easy to make you'll never go back to the store-bought kind. You can thank us later!
You know those times when you're craving something specific and you can't stop thinking about it until you get it? Yeah, that's how these homemade pickles are. Something about that briney crunchiness just makes it so darn satisfying!
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Most of us probably grew up with the jarred pickles from the store, which is fine! But here at Shelf Cooking, we are all about self-reliance and using what we have. Learning how to make homemade pickles is so easy and so tasty that you'll wonder why you haven't done it before! Just don't say we didn't warn you about how addicting they are…
The Benefits Of Pickling Vegetables
If you ask your grandma about how she spent her summers as a kid, she might say something about helping her mother with the pickling and canning of the produce from their home garden. Call it old-fashioned, but pickling vegetables is a valuable way to make the garden harvest last longer and stretch those pennies!
Not only is it economical, pickled vegetables carry a lot of health benefits! Pickles veggies maintain their nutrients, which makes them a great snack option. Plus, if pickled using salt (as opposed to vinegar), the fermented vegetables act as probiotics to keep your gut happy!
How To Use Your Homemade Pickles
So you've made your pickles, but how can you get the best use out of them? Here's some ideas so you're not stuck eating them one way. (Unless you want to, then more power to ya!)
- As a snack or a side – Obviously, grabbing a pickle spear from the refrigerator is a perfect quick and healthy snack. Or, serve a pickle as a side to a sandwich at lunch, just like your favorite deli!
- Potato salad – Dice up your homemade pickles and add them to our favorite potato salad recipe.
- Cheeseburger salad bowls – All the flavors of a cheeseburger, but in a bowl! Throw some homemade pickle chips in for delicious flavor.
- Use the juice! – We have a whole post about creative ways to use pickle juice. Who knew, right?!
- Deviled eggs – Mmm, we love the pairing of a zesty deviled egg with finely diced pickle sprinkled on top.
- Tuna salad – A classic! Add diced pickles to tuna salad sandwiches for some extra crunch and zing. While you're at it, don't forget chicken salad or egg salad sandwiches, too! Delicious.
Different Ways To Make Homemade Pickles
There are a few ways to make homemade pickles.
The first method is a quick and easy refrigerator pickle method using vinegar. The cucumbers sit in a prepared vinegar solution for at least 24 hours and then they are ready to go! These pickles can keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. If you're planning to eat your pickles fairly quickly, this is a great way to go!
The second method combines vinegar and salt (or pickling spices) and uses a traditional water bath canning method. Even though it sounds intimidating, it is a great beginner recipe for those getting started with canning! This blog tells you more about how it works.
Last, but not least, is the old-fashioned fermented pickle using salt or pickling spices. These pickles typically take at least 10 days to ferment, but are full of those good probiotics! They are also easy to make and shelf stable for up to a year. You can learn more about this method here.
For today, we're going to make the quick and easy refrigerator pickles, because we have a feeling these will go fast! Are you ready? Let's do this!
How To Make Homemade Pickles
To make these yummy pickles, you need only a few things:
- Wide mouth mason jars
- A wide mouth funnel
- Kirby, Persian, or pickling cucumbers (we don't recommend using other types of cucumbers, as they are likely to be soggy and sad).
- Vinegar, herbs, and spices
Ok, here we go!
Addicting Homemade Refrigerator Pickles
- 6 pickling cucumbers, Kirby or Persian
- 1¼ cup vinegar, white or apple cider
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 6 springs fresh dill, chopped
- In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and sugar over high heat. Whisk together until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the cold water.
- As the vinegar solution is cooling, slice the ends off the cucumbers, then slice each cucumber into quarters to create long spears. Alternately, slice into rounds instead if desired.
- Pack cucumbers into a 1 quart wide-mouth mason jars. Divide evenly the garlic, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and chopped dill, and add to the jars.
- Add cooled brine to the jars, making sure to cover the cucumbers completely. A wide-mouth funnel may be helpful for this step. If there is not enough brine to cover the cucumbers, add cold water to each jar until they are completely submerged.
- Cover jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Enjoy! The pickles will stay good in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.
Want to know what's really awesome about this recipe? You can use it for any other veggies you'd like! Try it with cucumbers, red onions, radishes, or summer squash. You'll surprise yourself with how many pickled veggies you never knew you loved! Let us know what your favorites are in the comments!
Need more fantastic recipe ideas? Take a look at these:
- The Shelf Cooking Meal Plan will be your new best friend! Try it today for only $1 and see why so many people just like you love it so much.
- This Buffalo Cauliflower recipe brings the heat just in time for game day!
- Need a simple meal the whole family will love? This Easy Cheesy Pizza Casserole will hit the spot!
Hope you love this one! It's kind of a big dill! 😉