You’ll love these fresh homemade pickles! This recipe for dill refrigerator pickles is ready in 1 to 3 hours, depending on how you slice your cucumbers. Recipe yields 1 medium jar of pickles (about 2 cups sliced pickles or 16 spears).
1 medium-to-large cucumber or 2 small cucumbers (ideally 12 ounces total)*
1/2 cup water, at room temperature or cooler
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
For pickle rounds (“chips”), slice the cucumber(s) into thin rounds, about 1/8-inch thick. Or, for spears, slice them in half lengthwise, then slice the halves lengthwise into quarters, then slice the quarters lengthwise into eighths. If your spears are long like mine (from one long cucumber), slice them through the middle so they’re not too tall for your jar. Set aside.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes (if using) and black pepper. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.
Place the cucumbers into a wide-mouth jar about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, tall enough to offer at least 1 inch of extra space on top (for pickle spears, it’s important that all the pickles fit snugly, vertically—a wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar would work well).
Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Tuck the bay leaf into the side of the jar. Pour the all of the liquid over the cucumbers so they’re fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for pickle rounds) or at least 3 hours (for pickle spears). The flavor will continue to develop over the next couple of days. These pickles will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
*Cucumber options: For thinly sliced pickles, I love to use English (seedless) cucumbers. Kirby, Persian and garden-variety cucumbers will also work great. For pickle spears, use two Kirby or small garden cucumbers (about 6 ounces each). Or, use one longer garden cucumber (about 12 ounces) as shown here—you’ll just need to slice the spears in half through the middle so they’re not too tall for your jar.
Change it up: For sweeter pickles (bread and butter pickles), you’ll need to add a lot more maple syrup (which will make the mixture more brown) or sugar. Add it to the vinegar mixture, to taste, before pouring it over the cucumbers. Sweetness is so subjective!
Can I can it? No. This recipe is a “refrigerator pickle” recipe. It is not designed for canning in a water bath, and it has not been tested for canning safety. Please do not attempt! Follow a recipe specifically designed for canning instead.
▸ Nutrition Information
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