I don’t know about your guys but my family goes crazy over pickles. Especially the dill variety. If a group of us are out for a casual family gathering and the majority of us order a sandwich or burger, we have to guard those pickles. Our little ones will keep watching to see if they can grab an extra spear or two. Not that I mind sharing.
But, really …since they love them so much, why not make the most amazing, fresh and delicious dill pickles at home? You don’t even have to bother with the whole sterilizing and canning that’s usually associated with pickle making. These guys are happy to hang out in your fridge for up to one month. Not that they would ever last that long. Not in my house, anyway.
This recipe comes from Jennifer Segal at Once Upon A Chef. The only tweaking that I did to the original version was to decrease the amount of red pepper flakes. I just wanted to be sure they wouldn’t be too spicy for our little guys.
The first step (so easy) is to bring the vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Be sure to use a non-reactive pan such as stainless steel, ceramic or glass. Do not use an aluminum pan …that could give your pickles an unpleasant metal taste! Simmer and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the cold water. That’s it. You now have your brine. It is placed in the refrigerator until it is cool. If you want to hasten that process, add some ice cubes to the cup when measuring the water.
While the brine is chilling, slice the Kirby cucumbers in half or into wedges. Have your wide-mouth glass quart jars ready and stuff the sliced cucumbers into the two jars. I find that if you grab a sprig of dill and stuff it into the jar along with every few slices of cucumber, you can be sure to distribute it evenly.
Next, you’ll add the seeds, garlic and red pepper flakes to each jar. Of course, do your best to divide the ingredients evenly. That also goes for the last step of adding the chilled brine to each jar. The cucumber slices should be completely covered with the brine. If you’re a bit short, just add a little water to top off each jar.
As you can see, the process is soooo easy. But, wait …here’s the hard part. Those jars are now placed in the refrigerator for a full twenty-four hours. I know. It’s really hard to not just bite into one of those spears. But trust me on this. It is worth the wait.
Kirby cukes are plentiful right now. Why not try this at home? They can be cut lengthwise in half. Or in quarters…as I have here. You could also slice them horizontally to make sandwich-style pickles. And here’s another tidbit for you. When you finish the jar of pickles, the delicious brine can be used again to make more pickles. I would remove the wilted dill and replace it with a fresh supply. Add some more sliced Kirby’s and tomorrow you’ll have a fresh supply of crunchy delicious dill pickles.
homemade refrigerator dill pickles
Adapted from Once Upon A Chef
No need for sterilizing of jars or special canning equipment. A couple of glass quart size jars will do the trick right in your refrigerator. After 24 hours, you have crispy delicious dill pickles.
- 1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers, cut into halves or spears (about 6 or 7)
- 16 fresh dill sprigs
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled & halved
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if desired)
Combine the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass or ceramic) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate the brine until ready to use.
Stuff the sliced cucumbers, along with the dill sprigs, into two clean wide-mouth 1-quart glass jars. Add the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and chilled brine into the jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine completely covers the cucumbers.
Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. Cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.