Anyone can make these easy homemade refrigerator pickles. Fresh cucumbers and a flavorful brine create a crisp delicious pickle with no canning required! They take only a few minutes to make and you'll never want to buy store bought again.
Why this recipe works:
- This recipe uses very few ingredients. No special pickling salt or hard-to-find spices needed.
- No special canning equipment needed. Because these are refrigerator pickles, you simply brine the cucumbers in the refrigerator and they last a really long time.
- They are very easy to make - no cooking experience necessary!
- If you love a pickle with an unbelievable crunch and great flavor, you'll love these!
These are seriously the best dill pickle you'll ever enjoy!
How to make them:
- All you have to do is heat the brine that consists of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to the point were the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Next you will pour the brine over your freshly cut cucumbers which are nestled nicely in your Mason jars with garlic, fresh dill, and peppercorns.
- Stick them in the refrigerator for a week and voila - they're ready!
You were waiting for some catch, right? Like I lure you in with the word easy but then when you read the recipe you're all like "What is she talking about? That's not easy." I wouldn't steer you wrong, my friends. This is easy.
Where can you find pickling cucumbers?
I've always found pickling cucumbers at the farmers market. Starting this summer, I decided to grow my own!
Grocery stores will carry them as well, but they are definitely a seasonal item. Some stores might try to convince you that other types of cucumbers are pickling cucumbers, but don't be fooled. Pickling cucumbers have a very unique look and taste and it should be no surprise that they make the perfect pickles!
They are not canned in a water bath or pressure cooker.
There are a few recipes that I make every year and then process in a water bath so that I can store them in the pantry. Namely my Vanilla Bean canned Peaches and my vanilla bean homemade applesauce.
These are refrigerator pickles, however, which means that you just put everything in a jar, refrigerate, and wait. No canning. No sealing. Easy.
How long can you keep refrigerator pickles?
- The salt and vinegar keeps them safe for a short while at room temperature, but to preserve them you will need to keep them refrigerated.
- I recommend storing these refrigerator dill pickles no longer than two months in the refrigerator
- Be sure to always use a clean utensil to pull them out as you do not want to contaminate the liquid from dirty hand germs
- If you eat all the pickles, you can definitely reuse the brine and add more fresh cucumbers
Because of the popularity of this recipe, I get a lot of questions and comments. Here are the most common questions I get with this recipe along with my answers:
- Q: Your recipe seems so simple with very few ingredients, do you know why most of the recipes call for the addition of mustard seed, coriander seed and dill seed? Do you know how that would change the flavor? A: I find that the fresh cucumbers, fresh dill and fresh garlic along with the brine are all that you need and people really do love them! You can certainly add additional spices but they aren't necessary to still get great taste and texture.
- Q: Can I add other vegetables to the brine? A: Yes! I've had readers tell me they added fresh green beans, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. and they all worked out amazingly well.
- Q: Do you have to use pickling cucumbers? Can you use regular cucumbers? A: I get asked this a lot. Pickling cucumbers are ideal because they are small and firm so they give that great pickle crunch. You can pickle any kind of cucumber, but because of the moisture content in slicing and English cucumbers, they will be more mushy but they will still taste great.
- Q: Can I reuse the brine? A: Yes! That's why I recommend always using a clean utensil to get the pickles out. You don't want to introduce any bacteria from dirty fingers. Use the brine over and over again.
- Q: Can I use whole cucumbers or do I need to slice them? A: Yes, you can use whole. They just might take a longer time to absorb all of the flavor from the brine. Slicing them just makes the pickling process go faster.
Favorite pickle inspired recipes:
What's not to love about a crunchy dill pickle from a fresh cucumber when you're eating a loaded club sandwich or a stuffed burger?
But did you know that pickles are fantastic in other recipes too? You'll want to try these:
I love to hear from my readers, so be sure to leave me a question or comment below!
Full Recipe Instructions
Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
CLICK TO PLAY RECIPE VIDEO
- 10-12 pickling cucumbers
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- big bunch of dill
- 1 head of garlic (skins removed, cloves smashed (less if its a strong garlic))
- 10 peppercorn kernals
- Slice cucumbers into ¼ inch slices or spears. Set aside
- To make brine, combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and swirl to make sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Add cucumbers to jars. Do not pack them super tight as you you'll want room for the brine. Add the fresh dill, smashed garlic, and peppercorns to the jars. Finish by adding enough brine to cover the cucumbers. Seal with an airtight lid and store in the refrigerator for at least one week. Pickles should be good for at least 4-6 weeks after that.
- This recipe made enough for me to fill one pint and fill two quart jars.
- Makes 3 quart sized jars
- The amount of dill and garlic can vary depending on taste. I prefer to pack my jars with a ton of fresh dill which is why I don't specify a specific quantity, but you can add as little or as much as you prefer.
- The intensity of the garlic will impact the intensity of the pickles. If your garlic is particularly strong, use less if you are sensitive to the taste.
This post was originally created in 2015 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure, but this reader-favorite recipe has always remained the same.
Can you freeze these?
I've never frozen pickles
Great recipe- the only change I made was using green tomatoes from my garden. Excellent switch!
I am new to your web site and looking for a recipe for all those unexpected cucumbers from the garden. I appreciate what I have read so far, including things I used to cook a lot, so ere I am. I will be doing a pickle for some huge cucumbers that my husband missed in the garden mid week and now they are huge. Looking forward to reading your web site and sharing the results of this first pick adventure. Unexpected cucumber growth in Denver Colorado
Do they always have to stay in the fridge or can they come out and store in a cupboard
They need to be refrigerated.
Also can I pour the vinegar in hot, or should I wait till it cools ?????
Either works, but they may soften if you pour in really hot vinegar.
SUGGEST THAT YOU TELL EVERYONE TO COOL THE HOT COOKING LIQUIDS BEFORE POURING OVER THE CUCUMBERS TO AVOID LIMP PICKLES. sorry. I already typed this out before I saw it was all caps. My apologies to all.
(don't know how to change all caps for lower cases without deleting the message)
Best regards from Denver
10 peppercorns per jar?
Yep, give or take
Used the first time I ever pickled and they were great. Just made another batch with jalapeños, seranos and habernaros.
This is the BEST pickle recipe I have ever tried & I have had the best. I ate a while jar in one night!
So, I missed the part about waiting a week to eat them… made them on Monday and brought them into work yesterday and today and my coworkers are raving! Not sure what I made will even make it to next Monday. Should I be concerned?
No concerns at all! I've eaten them right away. I just find it takes a week for them to really soak up the flavor, but they are fine to eat right away! Glad you enjoyed!!!
Ca. I still go thru the canning process with this recipe for them to last longer?
You can, they will just not be as crisp.
Yeah...made that mistake once...never again! Slimy, squidgy pickles? Uck!lol
Can I cut back on the vinager?
Yep. It's just a matter of taste.
Going to try this recipe this weekend! My husband and I do not like sweet pickles, more garlicky and vinegary:). Does the sugar in this recipe make the pickles sweet?
The sugar only helps balance the acid and salt. Definitely doesn't make them sweet.
Great recipe, we are still eating them at Christmas. Make a great gift for pickle lovers.
This came out amazing! Me and my family love it, question though! I know you said the pickles are good until 4 weeks, is that the same for the brine if I’m reusing it for more pickles?