Sunday, July 22, 2012

Refrigerator Pickles

Homemade pickles! These jars of crunchy cukes are lining the entire top shelf of our fridge currently.

They are so much better than any store bought pickle - they have a great "snap," aren't too salty, and have tons of dill flavor without any preservatives or chemicals. Best yet, they are super easy to make - no canning needed! All you do is pop them into jars or Tupperware containers and store them in the fridge. In fact, they are better this way because they stay much crunchier than if you can them in a hot water bath.

We have a million cucumbers from our garden right now, so pickling them is the best way to use 'em up. But you can of course use cukes you get from the grocery store. Just pack them tightly into canning jars or any other container (you want them all touching), and fill in the cracks with garlic, onions and other flavorings.

Then fill the jars with a hot brine made of vinegar, water and salt. Screw on the lids, and set them in the fridge to cool down.


You're supposed to wait 10 days for them to properly "pickle," but they start tasting like pickles after only about 5 hours, so that's my suggested wait time. If you can wait a full 10 days before chomping into one, you deserve a medal. We are pickle addicts, so our jars are usually all gone within a day or two. 

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

4 pounds, 4-inch cucumbers (enough to fill three large, quart-sized or six small pint-sized canning jars)
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole mustard seeds
6 Tbsp. dill, minced

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt and bring to a boil. Boil until salt is dissolved, then take off heat.

Meanwhile, pack cucumbers into jars and top with garlic, onions, peppercorns, mustard seeds and dill. Fill each jar with an equal amount of the hot vinegar mixture. Screw lids on and store in the refrigerator. Pickles are ready to eat within 5-6 hours, but will last in the fridge for two weeks.

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