We eat a lot of dill pickles in our house. I’ve bought them from the store for years but with our family’s recent fermenting kick, we’ve decided to make our own. My sweetie has some fermenting in the cupboard right now but I’m a little too impatient for that.
Fortunately, I have an easy recipe for Fresh Refrigerator Dill Pickles which are ready for munching in just a couple of days.
I cut several cukes off my very prolific plants along with some sprigs of dill and was ready to bask in the miracle that is harvest season.
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A Pickle Obsession
Farm kid #3 is our real pickle aficionado. He loves dill pickles and won’t touch a sweet pickle with a 10-foot garden stake. He came to the right place as we are definitely a dill pickle family.
When he was about 3 years old we went on a road trip up to Canada. Driving through Idaho we stopped for dinner at a roadside diner. He told me he wanted a pickle sandwich (which he had never had before) and while I was explaining that there was no such thing, the waitress jumped in and said they could do it.
Really? Yeah, really.
So there sat my toddler eating a pile of pickles sandwiched between two pieces of white bread, declaring this was the best vacation ever. It’s a miracle he didn’t throw up in the car.
Luckily that was the first and last pickle sandwich he ever ate, although he always orders his hamburgers with extra pickles and judges a restaurant based on how many “extras” they actually give him.
Minimal Ingredients Needed…
Fresh dill pickles, or refrigerator pickles, as they’re sometimes called, require very few ingredients.
I used pickling cucumbers since that what I grew in my garden this year and you should really pick them when they’re small which clearly I did not. No worries, just cut the pickles the height of the jar and if you have overgrown ones like I did, cut the remaining ends into slices.
If you didn’t grow them yourself or can’t get pickling cukes then you can use regular cukes too.
And Very Little Work…
Add one or two garlic cloves to each jar. If you want the pickles to have a slight kick then dice up the garlic. If you leave the cloves whole they will not be spicy.
I use wide mouth pint mason jars and since these are refrigerator pickles you don’t need to sterilize the jars first. Score!
Add several fronds of fresh dill to each jar. Don’t worry about exact amounts here, the pickles will be delicious even with slight variations.
Garden tip: plant dill next to your Cole crops like cabbage and broccoli. The dill will attract a beneficial type of wasp that feeds on cabbage moth larvae. We tested this tip this year and it totally works!
Cut the cucumbers into spears or slices. If cutting into spears, first cut the cucumbers so they are about 1/2 inch shorter than the top of the jar. Add the spears to the jars, packing them as tight as possible without forcing them. If using slices, pack them in until they are about 1/2 inch from the top.
Make the brine by mixing the water, vinegar and salt together stirring until salt is dissolved. Place a large frond of dill on the top of each jar and then fill the jar with the brine until all the cukes are completely covered. Screw on lids and place jars in the refrigerator. Leave for two days and then enjoy within 3-4 weeks.
For Fabulous Results
These really are the best tasting pickles. They are super crisp with a bright, fresh taste that that even fickle pickle-boy loves. When he tried them yesterday he asked if we could have hamburgers for dinner this week. Extra pickles, anyone?
Fresh Refrigerator Dill Pickles
6 small to medium cucumbers
1 bunch fresh dill
3 large cloves garlic, minced*
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp. kosher salt
Gather your ingredients and 3 wide-mouth pint mason jars. Wash pickling cucumbers, removing any thorny bumps. Cut cucumbers into spears or slices.
Place 1 clove of minced garlic into the bottom of each mason jar. Add 2-3 small fronds of fresh dill.
Add cucumber spears to jars, packing tightly.
In a large liquid measuring cup add water, vinegar and salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Pour brine into each jar, covering cucumber spears completely.
Screw on lid and put in refrigerator for 48 hours.
Use within 1 month.
Note: Dicing the garlic will make the pickles slightly spicy. Leave the garlic cloves whole if you don’t want the spiciness.
What’s your favorite way to eat pickles?