Refrigerator dill pickles are a great alternative when you don’t have the time or the equipment to make traditional canned pickles.
It is a perfect way for new gardeners who have not yet attempted canning to reap the benefits of a plentiful cucumber harvest.
But as an experienced canner, I also like refrigerator dill pickles because they come out super crisp every time. There is nothing more disappointing than to open a jar of pickles in the middle of winter, only to find out that the pickles are soggy.
Although we have figured out the Secrets To Making Crisp Canned Dill Pickles, there are times when we need to make a batch that is ready to eat within days, and not weeks.
However, there are also a few steps to take to make sure that these pickles turn out perfect as well.
How To Make Refrigerator Dill Pickles
There are a few important steps to follow when using any method for making pickles. First, you want to use pickling cucumbers and not salad cucumbers.
Pickling cucumbers are much different than the cucumbers that you find at the grocery store. First of all, they are much smaller in both length and diameter.
But they also have less of a seed core and have a tougher skin which results in a much crisper cucumber/pickle.
Use Fresh Cucumbers
It is also important not to use overripe cucumbers when making refrigerator dill pickles.
How do you know when a cucumber is overripe? It is quite simple. Cucumbers that have a yellow hue to them are not good to use to make pickles.
Another important step is to make pickles the day of picking the cucumbers. Fresh cucumbers equal crisp pickles.
If you buy your cucumbers from a local famer’s market, ask the vendor when they were picked. Most often, they have been picked within 24 hours of the market day.
Cut Off The Blossom End
And the final step to follow when making these refrigerator dill pickles, you must cut off the blossom end of the cucumber.
This is the end that has a smooth round circle. It is important to remove the enzymes that are found in this area to prevent soggy pickles. And if you are unsure of which end is the blossom end simply cut both ends off.
This recipe is great for those that want just a few jars of pickles, or are looking up to use a few cucumbers right away. I use about 7 pickling cucumbers for 3 pints of dill spears.
The most difficult part about making these pickles is waiting to eat them! It is best to wait the full 48 hours before taking the first bite. This will allow enough time for the cucumbers to absorb the flavor and become pickled.
Refrigerator dill pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month, if they last that long!
Mary and Jim
If you would like to receive our Recipes, DIY and Gardening articles each week, you can sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe
- 2 pounds pickling cucumbers approximately 7-8
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed (2 per jar)
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (1/4 teaspoon per jar)
- 3 teaspoons dill seed per jar (1 teaspoon per jar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns (1/2 teaspoon per jar)
In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water salt and sugar. Bring to a simmer.
While the brine is heating up divide the spices evenly between 3 pint mason jars. *You can also make this in one large container as well.
Wash the cucumbers and cut the ends off both sides then slice cucumbers into spears (or desired sections).
Pack the cucumber slices tightly into the jars.
Pour the hot brine into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch headspace.
Release any trapped air bubbles by running a plastic knife down each side of the jar.
Place lids (and bands if you are using mason jars) on containers and let cool. Place jars in refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 48 hours before eating.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms