Learn how to make the easiest refrigerator dill pickles! Refrigerator pickles are great because anyone can make them – no special skills or equipment required. These are garlicky, salty, and crisp, and are the perfect addition to a picnic.
Dill pickles are one of my favorite things to have on hand. I love the salty, cold, garlicky, crisp crunch of a refrigerator dill.
In the summer, we love to make refrigerator dill pickles often. They are so easy to make, and we’re always so happy to have a full stock of them in our refrigerator. They keep for a few weeks (although we usually eat them quicker than that).
I’ve been making refrigerator sweet pickles for years, and we love them. Then we decided we had to try to make our own zesty dills. Thankfully, it was just as easy as making the sweet version!
I started with Annie’s recipe, and added a few things to make them zestier. I also like to add onions and carrots for a little color, and for another way to use up some summer produce.
It doesn’t take long to make the brine and prepare the pickles for the refrigerator. Once they are in the fridge, you can eat them after two days. They will get more flavorful if you let them sit in the fridge for a few extra days before opening.
Since they aren’t canned, refrigerator pickles aren’t going to last forever. You should be able to store them in the refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks before they start to get a little soft. Of course, ours don’t last that long, so we don’t usually have that problem! :)
Note: Since these are not canned, they are not shelf stable. These pickles do have to be stored in the refrigerator.
Type of Cucumbers to Use
Pickling cucumbers are the best choice to get that nice crisp, crunch when you bite into them!
We’ve tried using English cucumbers before, and it wasn’t that successful for us. The pickles were too soft. We’ve also used regular cucumbers, and although they weren’t as soft as the English cukes, they were still a little too soft. Learn more about the different varieties of cucumbers in this post.
I like to put the pickles in glass jars, but if you don’t have jars, you can use plastic containers with lids, like Tupperware or even disposable plastic containers. As long as the container has a tight fitting lid, it will work!
Step by Step Instructions
- You’ll want to start by rinsing your pickling cucumbers, and then soaking them to remove any dirt.
- Trim the ends, then slice the cucumbers into spears, or slices if desired.
- Mix up your brine in a large bowl.
- Place fresh dill and garlic in the bottom of Mason jars.
- Add your cucumbers, carrots, and onions, if using.
- Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling the jars to the top.
- Refrigerate for two days before eating.
I’ve had this happen to me, it’s the worst! The first rule of thumb is to taste the brine before pouring over the pickles. Make sure it’s not crazy salty before you cover the cucumbers with it.
Make sure that you use coarse Kosher salt, NOT sea salt. Sea salt will make these super salty.
If you’ve already made the pickles, and they are too salty, you can try shaking the jar, pouring out half the brine, and adding more plain water. Refrigerate and try them again the next day. This should help the situation, but depending on how bad they are, you might not be able to salvage them.
I don’t think so. These instructions are specific for making them in the refrigerator.
Watch the video below to learn how to make refrigerator dill pickles:
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Super Easy and Crisp Refrigerator Dill Pickles.
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped into large pieces
- ½ cup onion sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced, optional
- 2 quarts pickling cucumbers I think any cucumbers would work, this is just what I’ve been buying from the Farmer’s Market
- 4 ½ cups water
- ⅝ cup white vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole peppercorns
- Wash the pickling cucumbers and place them in a large bowl full of water to soak and remove the dirt.
- Trim the ends off the cucumbers, and slice them into spears.
- Make the brine: mix your water, vinegar, and salt in a bowl, and stir until salt dissolves.
- In the bottom of each jar, place some dill and garlic. I prefer these wide mouth jars, but any glass jar will do. This recipe will make about four 16 ounce jars of pickles.
- Stand the cucumber spears up in the jars. Slip some onions and carrots (if using) in between. The jars should be quite full.
- Take a ladle and pour the brine over the top of the cucumbers, making sure they are covered. Add the peppercorns and more dill on top. Put the lid on tightly.
- Keep in the refrigerator for two days, then open them up and enjoy!
This post was originally published in September 2013. It has been updated with new photos and more tips.