A homemade pickle has a unique flavor that is unmatched. If you’ve been trying to figure out how to pickle cucumbers, you’ve come to the right place. These pickled cucumbers can be stored for several weeks and are ready to eat after a quick chill in the refrigerator.
They are tangy and refreshing, crisp and crunchy, and offer garden-fresh flavor. Despite being fully seasoned, these pickles aren’t too salty. They are perfectly balanced and perfect for burgers, snacks, and more.
1. How to Pickle Cucumbers
These homemade fresh pickles will win you over! The preparation time for these dill refrigerator pickles ranges from one to two hours.
Making these pickles is so simple! You just require to follow these steps:
- Trim and clean the cucumbers.
- Cut your cucumbers into desired shapes.
- Prepare a simple brine made of water, vinegar, and seasonings
- Place the cucumbers into the jar, add some fresh dill and garlic
- Tightly seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator.
2. Homemade Pickled Cucumber Recipe- 4 Easy Steps
Quick pickled cucumber recipe with garlic and dill that is extra crunchy and briny. These simple refrigerator pickles can be made and eaten the following day.
- 2 medium-to-large English cucumbers
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 2 ¼ cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/2 tablespoon peppercorn
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- Few sprigs of fresh dill
Let’s go through the steps for making a quick pickle.
2.2.1. Prepare Cucumber for Pickles
Thoroughly clean the cucumbers, specifically around the stem area, to wash off the soil that may contain bacteria. Toss out cucumbers that appear moldy or damaged. To prevent pickles from softening, remove the blossom end. For the best results pickle within 24 hours of picking cucumber.
Slice your cucumbers into thin rounds, about ⅛-inch thick. You can also cut them in wedges or can slice them lengthwise. It really depends on your preference.
2.2.2. Prepare the Brine
In a bowl, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, celery seed, ground turmeric, peppercorn, and red pepper flakes. All you need to do now is stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and let simmer for 8 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and keep it aside.
Layer the cucumbers into wide-mouth jars. Top the cucumbers with some dill and garlic. Add the bay leaves to the side of the jars.
2.2.3. Pour the Cooled Brine into the Jars
Pour the brine over the cucumbers so they’re fully submerged. Use the back of a spoon to press down the cucumbers a little bit to make sure that they are completely submerged. If your jars aren’t full enough the pickles float in the brine.
2.2.4. Seal the Jars and Refrigerate
Tap the jars a few times to remove any air bubbles and let the cukes settle. Place the jars in the fridge for at least an hour with their lids tightly on.
Before using the pickles, give them an entire night in the refrigerator for the best results. The flavor will intensify over the next couple of days.
These cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months when stored in an airtight container.
Tips for Extra Crunchy Pickles
Sprinkle the cucumbers with a tablespoon of course salt and toss the cucumbers with the salt and then let them sit for up to an hour or you can add a bunch of ice cubes and let them sit in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes (optional step, but this gives up extra crunch). But always rinse off the cucumbers to remove the excess salt before placing them in the jars.
To ensure successful pickling, use cucumbers with few seeds and avoid using a regular cucumber. There are too many seeds in a regular cucumber.
3. Things to Remember When Picking Cucumbers
When picking cucumbers, you should always use fresh cucumbers with no defects. Fresh cucumbers produce crisp pickles. Choose the best cucumbers for pickling by adhering to the following steps:
- Cucumbers that have been waxed commercially should not be used for pickling because the acid or salt will not permeate them perfectly.
- Always choose cucumbers that are firm and undamaged.
- Choose cucumbers with a length of 4 inches for dills and about 1 1/2 inches for gherkins.
- For relishes and bread-and-butter style pickles, store odd-shaped, more mature cucumbers.
4. The Best Cucumber for Pickles?
When you make homemade pickles, you should select cucumber varieties specifically meant for pickling.
Kirby, Persian, and green cucumbers are the best and most commonly preferred for pickling due to their thicker skin. The thicker skin allows the pickled cucumber to continue to be crunchy after preservation. But Japanese and English cucumbers may also work well for pickles. No matter which variety you select, try to find cucumbers that are fresh and firm.
5. Pickling Brine
You can play with different flavorings for the brine. A simple brine only needs vinegar, water, and salt, but you can flavor the brine and the vegetables by adding various herbs and spices.
You can include spices like turmeric or coriander as well as fresh herbs like dill, rosemary, and thyme. It is entirely optional to flavor the brine with additional spices or flavor enhancers. Furthermore, you can modify the spice mixture to your liking.
Note: Instead of using the huge plastic jugs of distilled white vinegar, use high-quality vinegar. Use rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white or red wine vinegar.
6. Why let the Brine Cool Before Pouring over Cucumbers?
A hot vinegar brine is used in the majority of other pickle recipes to help the brine penetrate through the tough vegetables. Let the brine cool to almost room temperature if you’re pickling more delicate vegetables, like cucumbers or thinly sliced onions.
The brine used to make these pickled cucumbers is at room temperature. Since cucumbers are tender and easily absorb flavor, pickles made with a cool brine have the best flavor, texture, and color.
7. For How long you Should brine Cucumbers?
If you are going for the refrigerator method, then you can brine your cucumbers for anywhere between 12 and 48 hours. It’s best to brine them for a while before eating. This is necessary because it takes some time for the cucumbers to absorb the essence of vinegar and seasonings so that they could retain a pickle-like flavor.
Icebox pickles with a basic cucumber flavor can be made if you wait only a few hours. It will be worth the wait if you give the cucumbers a few days to develop the tangy aroma.
8. Quick pickles or Canning?
Canning isn’t a good idea. It’s hard for people to jump into an intensive canning or sterilization process. The basic difference between quick pickling and regular pickling is that the canning process is not involved, and the vegetables must be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a month or two of being prepared.
Everyone does not prefer canning. There aren’t many of us who will jump on a lengthy canning process or do all the sterilization and hot water baths involved in the process, no matter how energized we may feel on a given day.
Quick pickles or refrigerator pickles are common vegetables that are pickled and stored in the fridge in a brine of vinegar, water, salt, and occasionally sugar.
The procedure only takes a few minutes, and once the flavorful cukes are refrigerated, you can eat them the very next day! And they can last for up to two months in the refrigerator.
9. Tips for Better Pickle Texture
Hopefully, these ideas will help you to make pickles with a crunchier texture.
9.1. Use fresh vegetables
Veggies are at their crunchiest and firmest when they are fresh from the plant. The sooner you can get your cucumbers or any other vegetables into the jar, the nicer texture your final pickles will have, even though it’s not always feasible to pickle things on the same day they were picked.
9.2. Cut off the blossom end from your cucumbers
A cuke’s blossom end contains an enzyme that can produce limp pickles. Trimming it away will improve your texture right away.
9.3. Take note of your chop size
Vegetables lose their crispness the more you slice and mince them. Because of this, whole dill pickles are much crunchy than finely sliced bread and butter pickles.
9.4. Observe your processing time
A pickle that needs to be preserved must spend some time in a hot water bath canner. That heat kills germs and ensures a good seal, but it ends up slightly cooking your produce. To prevent your pickles from losing their texture by spending any more time in the canning pot than is absolutely necessary, be sure to closely monitor your timer.
9.5. Try Making Refrigerator Pickles
You can completely omit the canning process and make refrigerator pickles if you can’t stand how heat changes the texture of your pickles. Although not shelf-stable, these pickles will last a very long time in the refrigerator.
10. Nutrition Facts
Pickles not only add a crunchy, tangy bite to your favorite sandwich or burger, but they also do a lot more! Pickled cucumbers contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals in their tangy brine.
Depending on the type, they have different nutritional values. For instance, a whole dill pickle contains roughly:
- 20% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K, which keeps bones strong and aids in blood clotting.
- 6% of the calcium that adults need for healthy nerves, strong bones, and teeth.
- 6% of the daily recommended Potassium intake, which supports healthy nerve function.
- Provides 3%–4% of your daily Vitamin C needs, an antioxidant that guards against cell damage.
- 1% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight, and immune function.
- Pickled cucumbers are a wonderful source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been linked to a lower incidence of a number of chronic conditions, including age-related macular degeneration and Type 2 diabetes.
11. Types of Pickled Cucumbers
There are numerous varieties of pickled cucumbers, which vary depending on the type of cucumber used as well as the spices and other ingredients. The most popular are dill pickles, with all forms utilizing the flavorful spice dill seed. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cassia, and other aromatic spices may also be used. Hot spices such as black pepper, ginger, mustard, and capsicum are added to enhance the flavor of the pickles. For a distinctive flavor, herbs like basil and thyme are added to the pickles. You can also add onions and garlic. Some have sugar added, making them sweet.
A gherkin is not only a pickle of a particular size but it is also a specific species of cucumber, the West Indian or Burr cucumber (Cucumis anguria), which is different than what is technically referred to as the cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The West Indian cucumber is used to make traditional pickles, but the term “gherkin” has come to refer to any small cucumber that has been pickled in a sweet vinegar brine, nonetheless of the type of cucumber used.
11.2. Kosher dill pickles
Kosher dill pickles are typically not kosher in the sense that they have been made under rabbinical guidance, which would guarantee that no utensil used to prepare the pickles had come in contact with food that was not kosher.
Kosher dill pickles are made in the traditional way by the Jewish pickle makers living in New York City, with a lot of garlic added to the brine.
11.3. Polish-style pickled cucumbers
Traditionally, they are prepared by allowing them to naturally ferment in a salty brine, which causes the pickles to turn sour. The brine used to make Polish-style pickled cucumber contains no vinegar.
11.4. Butter and bread
A significant amount of sugar is added to the brine of bread-and-butter pickles, giving them a sweeter flavor than dill pickles. They are more frequently used in fully flavored sandwiches, like hamburgers or potato salad.
You can follow this pickle recipe to learn how to pickle cucumbers, but don’t limit yourself to only cucumbers. You can pickle different varieties of vegetables like beets, carrots, cabbage, garlic, onions, or peppers. By following these easy steps, you can enjoy pickles anytime you want.