Sunday, June 23, 2013

How to Make Easy Old-Fashioned Refrigerator Pickles

If you're old enough to remember drug store barrel pickles, or like me and have never eaten them, you will absolutely fall in LOVE with these easy to make, long lasting, homemade, refrigerator pickles...

I know it's been a little while since I've posted on my blog.  I've been busy with a new job.  But, I'm still active in my garden and hope to post more articles soon.  On with the show...

You don't even have to have a garden to make these pickles.  You can buy all the ingredients at the store.  But it's extra fabulous if you do have a garden since it will give you something to do with all that dill and those pickling cucumbers you were prepared enough to plant.

The great thing about these pickles is you only have to make the brine once.  Then you just eat the pickles as you like, and add more cucumbers to the brine.  No need to make more brine.  It will last you all season.  

These pickles are not cooked, so they will spoil after a few weeks.  You'll need to keep an eye on them so that they don't contaminate the rest of the jar.

Be prepared, this recipe requires overnight sitting.


  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar (ie, regular vinegar)
  • 2-3 T pickling salt
  • 1 sprig of dill
  • ~5 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Pickling cucumbers *
*Pickling cucumbers are firmer and crisper than regular cucumbers, which will get too soggy in the brine.


  1. Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a non-reactive pot*
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat
  3. Remove from heat, let cool
  4. Fill a clean glass or plastic 2 quart jar about halfway with brine. Or split brine among multiple jars.
  5. Let jars sit overnight in refrigerator
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the jar making sure brine covers cucumbers.
  7. Pack in those cucumbers tight
  8. Secure lid(s) and refrigerate at least 3 days
  9. As you eat the pickles, replace them with new cucumbers
*What's a non-reactive pot anyways? Basically you can use glass, stainless steel, or (non-chipped) enamel-covered pots.  Don't use aluminum (without enamel covering), cast iron, or copper pots. And definitely not Chester Copperpot.

I like to use a dedicated jar for the pickles since it tends to keep that pickle smell after it's been cleaned out.

These pickles are so easy to make and so fabulous.  I hope you enjoy them all season long!


Unknown said...

These pickles are so good I had to leave a comment. When are we having hamburgers?

Lori said...

I have made refrigerated pickles may times, I have not had them spoil. Generally speaking the vinegar acts as a preservative. Did yours spoil or was that said as a disclaimer?

MuttNut said...

I have had them go bad. They become kind of soggy and unappetizing looking after a while. I'm not sure that they are actually rotten, but I wouldn't eat them. Fresh, uncooked pickles will go bad. If you cook them, they will last a lot longer, but they're not as crispy.

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