Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe, Jar at a Time
Looking for an easy pickle recipe? If you want to make one jar of refrigerator pickles or five, this is the perfect refrigerator pickle recipe. An easy and flavorful refrigerator dill pickles recipe, for small batch or large.
What foods say ‘summer’ to you?
Watermelon surely is on that list, in addition to ice cream and great hamburgers…right? What about barbecue? Not to get sidetracked, but here is a perfectly reliable pulled and smoked pork recipe.
And while thanks to the science of preserving dill pickles are eaten year-round, making refrigerator dill pickles is surely a summer thing given the abundance of fresh cucumbers that are hanging from the vines in our gardens.
Are you a dill pickle person or a sweet pickle person? I am fully, without equivocation, in the dill pickle camp. There are very few foods I really don’t like but sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles are at the top of that list (sorry if I’ve offended any of my sweet pickle friends). But, dill pickles? They are at the top of my ‘foods I love’ list..and that list of my family members as well….hence, the quest for the elusive, easy dill pickle recipe.
And not just any dill pickle recipe…we are die-hard Clausen-type pickle people…the refrigerated kind of pickle that crunches when you bite into it. Refrigerator pickles only, no heated pickles in this house.
Did you Know: We have William Shakespeare to thank for the phrase “in a pickle”; “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle” are lines in The Tempest.
So with a booming cucumber crop this summer, we are “in a (happy) pickle!” ( I know, but I just couldn’t resist!)
What Kind of Cucumbers Make Good Pickles?
Kirby cucumbers have a thicker skin that can stand up to pickling brine and remain good, crisp, and crunchy after they have been preserved. Medium-sized and aged cucumbers make the best pickles; look for cucumbers around 4-5 inches in length.
We grow two varieties of cucumbers each summer, a pickler, and regular slicing cucumber. This year we planted 3 Boston Pickling Cucumbers and 3 Dasher II Cucumbers, lovely dark green slicing cucumbers. We get many of our plants from our local Home Depot. They have an extensive variety of veggies from which to choose or seeds to start your own cuke plants. They have a wonderful program by which you can order online here and pick it up at your local store within hours or at your convenience.
Since amending my soil this spring, our cucumbers are doing much better than last year and I’ve already put up 8 jars of pickles, though there are only 5 jars of Refrigerator Dill Pickles left…hmmm…
With my three pickler vines, I get a steady stream of about 2-3 cukes every other day or so. I like to can them as soon as possible to keep them as crisp as possible which pretty much necessitates me putting up a jar every other day or so.
Keep a jar of brine in the refrigerator for large or small-batch pickles.
So I ‘developed’ a refrigerator pickle recipe that helps me quickly can the cukes when harvested. This refrigerator dill pickles recipe for small batch or large is based on a variety of recipes I have used in my quest of replicating that Clausen pickle taste that we are seeking. It also has the additional benefit of leaving out some of the unnecessary (in my book) additives that even my beloved Clausens contain.
The element of this pickle recipe that allows for the quick processing of your picklers is to mix up a batch of the brine (water, vinegar, and salt) and keep it in your fridge, perfect for small batch dill pickles. Once you have enough cucumbers for a jar (2-3 picklers typically fill a pint jar) it’s just a matter of preparing your cukes, adding some garlic, mustard seed, dill and filling your jar with your prepared brine…and presto…Refrigerator Dill Pickles! Done and Done!
Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe, Small Batch or Large
Did you Know: In his 1492 voyage in which he discovered America, Columbus rationed pickles to his sailors to keep them from getting scurvy. He even grew cucumbers during his stop in Haiti to restock for the rest of the voyage.
As you figure out your ingredient measurements for the brine, this chart might come in handy.
Jar by Jar, Crisp Refrigerator Dill Pickles
This pickle recipe will make it easy for you to put up a jar at a time of crisp and dilly delicious refrigerator dill pickles. The ingredients listed are for each pint of homemade dill pickles, making it easy to whip up a jar of small batch dill pickles
- 2-3 pickling cucumbers, prepared as you wish...sliced, spears or whole
- 4 sprigs of dill
- 1/2-1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- Pickle Brine
- 2 quarts cold water
- 6 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 3 ounces pickling salt
- Wash your pickles well and remove the blossom end.
- Slice them as desired...I typically keep sliced, spears and whole pickles on hand so I check my pickle stash and see which type we are low on.
- Add mustard seed, garlic and dill sprigs to your jar, then put your prepared cucumbers in.
- Add the brine to fill the jar and cover your cucumbers. If I have some parts of the cucumbers that rise above the brine, I snip of a piece of the cuke so that all parts of all cucumbers are submerged below the brine.
- Put lids on your jars and refrigerate. Because these are not being canned and instead kept in your refrigerator, you don't need special jars...just make sure the jars and their lids are clean.
- Our jars typically don't make it past one week before someone starts snacking, but if you can let them sit for 2-3 weeks they have more time for the flavor to develop. I've read that you should consume them before 3-4 months...we've never had any that last that long.
- Mix all ingredients in a pot over low heat and stir until salt is dissolved.
- Rremove from heat and chill.
- Store in a container in your refrigerator.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 pickle spears Serving Size: 1 pickle spear
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 9Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes!
Ingredients/Supplies for Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe:
- Ball Canning Jars – 32 OZ Wide Mouth
- Ball Pickling Salt
- Apple Cider Vinegar (filtered)
- and of course cukes, mustard seed, fresh dill and garlic as indicated in the recipe
If you are in the mood to pickle all the things, check out this recipe for Pickled Jalapeno Peppers, another easy recipe for first-time canners or for a holiday treat try these Spiced Pickled Cranberries. And, if you feel like being a tad more adventurous, give this recipe for pickled blueberries a try! The pickled blueberries are a little sweet, a little sour, a little tangy, a little fruity…and a lot yummy!
So there you have it my friends…easy refrigerator dill pickles recipe for small batch or large batches. I plucked 3 picklers off of the vines last night, so I’m heading to the kitchen to add to my dill pickle inventory. And since Kate (aka ‘The Incredible Dill Pickle Consumer’) is home for a couple of days my refrigerator pickle inventory will be quickly depleted.
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today!
I hope you have the opportunity to put up a jar of these refrigerator dill pickles!
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Until next time…
Lynn…have you tried your mix with okra? I have a bumper crop this year!!
Hi Kathy, I have not tried it on okra! In doing a quick search on the internet, it seems that the recipes for refrigerator okra pickles call for much more vinegar than what I use for my cucumber pickles. BUT…there’s no reason you couldn’t mix up a batch of the brine in the recipes for okra pickles and keep that in your fridge…right?
Let me know what you do…I’m curious.
Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you so much for this recipe. My potted cucumber plants are going crazy this year. (Last year they were devastated by a groundhog, so I had to put them on tables he couldn’t reach.) I resorted to freezer pickles, because my cucumbers were piling up and I needed to do something with them and my fresh dill plants before I went away for two weeks. I am hoping my plants are surviving under a neighbor’s care while I am gone. If so, I will now have a recipe for the rest of the summer.
Hey there BetteAnn, I do hope you foiled that pesky groundhog! If you do have a plethora of cucumbers, then, by all means, this recipe will serve you perfectly! Sadly, with our move, we don’t have a garden this year…but definitely planning for next year and anxious to get my cucumbers going.
Hope you are enjoying your vacation, wherever you are.
Thanks, love Clausen dill pickles, gotta try this recipe!
Oh good! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I just sent a couple of jars back with my daughter, so I hope to be replenishing my stock soon. It does seem that they are getting eaten quicker than I can make them and I don’t think any of my jars have made it to the 2 week point yet!
Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a fantastic Wednesday!
These sound like the perfect pickles, nice and crunchy. Thanks for the history lesson too, this post was so much fun to read!
Oh they are so tasty! Hope you enjoy them and glad you learned a little pickle lore!
My hubby loves pickles so I will have to try t his recipe for sure! They look so delicious! I love learning all the pickle facts! Thanks for sharing this!
Carolann…I hope he enjoys them as much as we do. In fact, we were away from home for just the past 2 days and I’ve got to get busy pickling all the little cucumbers that ripened in my absence.
Have a great weekend.
These pickles sound so divine! Will be trying for sure!!
Sam, when your summer rolls around you’ll have to give them a try…so easy and so tasty. And can be altered with more or less garlic and spices to suit your taste.
I love dill pickles, and bread and butter pickles, but don’t care for sweet pickles. I have been wanting to try and make some spicy refrigerator pickles. Years ago I use to can pickles, but this would be so much easier. I will have to try these.
Linda, these pickles are so very easy to make that it’s almost embarrassing…you can have fresh pickles on your table with just the littlest bit of effort. Hope you all enjoy them.
Thank you for this. My pickle vines don’t produce enough pickles to do large batches of them, and this looks like a great idea. I’m also looking for Sweet Pickle Refrigerator recipes that are tried and true.
Hi Lynne, it’s perfect for small batches of cukes…that’s exactly why I bottle the brine. Good luck with the sweet pickles! And happy canning.
These look great! Is there a good way to get bread and butter pickles super thin? It seems like the ones you have are a little more thick than my family usually likes.. Maybe a food processor slicer or a mandoline? Not sure, gonna have to do some research! Thanks so much for sharing!
Hmmm…I would guess that a mandoline would work…I can’t think why it wouldn’t. If you don’t mind, do pop back in and let us know what worked for you.
Have a wonderful week,
So we made it 8 days before “tasting” them, aka eating 1/2 the jar. My husband claimed them to be the best pickles ever. The cucumbers we used are from a neighbor who is practically dumping them on us, as mine didn’t do well this year, she used the disclaimer that they aren’t very flavorful and probably better off as chicken food but I just couldn’t do that with all of them. We will be making at least a few more batches….but I suppose we will give some to the chickens for her too.
OH YIPPEE Lauren!
You just made my day! I am so glad you and yours are loving these pickles…my family certainly does!
And I’ve had my share of ‘yucky’ cucumbers as well. Gardening is such a gamble some times. But thankfully you’re neighbor needed to offload some!
Thank you so much for popping in and letting me know how much you all enjoyed them.
Many hugs, Lynn
So glad you’ll save a few for the chicks…they need yummies too!
Just wondering if dried dill seeds can be used instead of fresh dill sprigsand what the equivalent would be. Your thoughts?
Good question Jenny!
According to The National Center for Home Food Preservation, “For each quart, try 3 heads of fresh dill or 1 to 2 tablespoons dill seed (dill weed = 2 tablespoons).”
I hope you enjoy your yummy pickles my friend!
This is my first venture making pickles. I picked your recipe because my garden only has enough pickling cucumbers for a jar or two. I was wondering though, I’ve read other recipes and they say boil your brine, why don’t you boil the brine for this recipe? What is the purpose to boiling brine for refrigerator pickles?
Using a hot brine over your cukes will result in a softer pickle…less crunch. With this recipe and procedure, you will achieve more of a crisp ‘Clausen’ like pickle. These are solely refrigerator pickles and won’t be shelf-stable like those processed with hot brine.
Hope this answers your question. Do let me know if you have more!
Wondering if I could use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, we really love dill pickles, won’t the a.c.v. make them sweet. Thanks, Louanne.
Good morning Louanne! Hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend.
You could surely sub the ACV as long as it is also 5% acidity. Think it would be a little ‘mellower’ in flavor and might also darken the cukes…but nothing ventured, nothing gained…right?
I’d love to hear how they turn out for you.
Have a great day my friend.
What would you suggest for making a “spicy” version of these pickle? ~ Just sliced the cukes, and am getting everything else ready for our pickles!
I would add some dried pepper flakes…I’d probably go ½ tsp, but you could surely go hotter.
Happy Pickling my friend!
Hi there! I just whipped up a batch of these bad boys and I’m super excited. I unfortunately didn’t read the whole post and just now realized I was supposed to use filtered ACV. I caught it in time to run the whole brine through a fine strainer but out of curiosity, will this ruin the pickles? I’m assuming since they’re kept in the refrigerator, there wouldn’t be any fermentation happening…Thanks in advance!
Hey Lauren, you will be fine with your unfiltered ACV…the critical thing is that it is at least 5% acidity. I’m so jealous! I didn’t get any significant canning done this summer with our moves…but already thinking ahead to next year.
these look good. i will check to see if Walmart has any pickling cucumbers in their produce section. how do you make the refrigerator pickles crispy? do you put something in the brine or is it the type of pickling cucumbers you use? i do want to try this recipe, i like claussen Pickles a lot.
Good Morning Heather,
Great question. Because we aren’t heating the pickles at all, they do remain crispy and crunchy! I do keep my pickle brine in the refrigerator so that when I pour it over the cukes, it is good and cold.
Have fun pickling my friend!
I love dill pickles, and my husband loves them even more!! I am with you–no sweet pickles or bread and butter pickle. I think this comes and a perfect time as I am planning out my garden and I will be sure to get some of these pickles to plant this year. My husband loves Classen pickles and my grocery store has been out of stock for about two weeks now. I think my husband is about to start going through detox symptoms from not having his pickles. They are expensive to buy, so I will love it if this recipe is like
Hi Mary! You just reminded me that I need to get some cucumber as well! I’ve been meaning to, but it slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder. And poor hubby! I do believe pickle withdrawal is a real thing!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.
I am terrible with measurements. If I want to make just 1 pint jar. Could you tell me the measurements for the brine for just 1 pint jar so I don’t have all the left over brine?
Good Morning Holly,
For a pint, try this:
1 1/4 cupswater
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
Are you sure about the amount of water here?
Yes, that is the amount of water! There are certainly more vinegary recipes out there, if that is what you prefer. But, you may just want to try one jar to see what you think. For one pint, the measurements for the brine would be:
1 1/4 cup water
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
Let me know what you think!
Kathy, 1 year later and I just caught that mistake in the pickle comment…you are right, it is 1 1/4 cups of water.
I may be misreading this but 2 quarts of water for the brine is 8 cups. For only making 1-2 mason jars, that’s a TON of leftover brine. Is the measurement for the brine meant for a large batch?
Hi Lindsay, You are right…I clearly need to clarify. The recipe for the brine makes enough for several pints. I keep it in the fridge and fill the jars as I pick the cucumbers. Thanks for the heads up and happy pickling!
Lindsay, 1 year later and I just realized you were right to question my measurements! Should be 1 1/4 cups water!
How long does the brine by itself keep?
The brine should keep for 3-4 months, plenty of time to get your summer harvest put up!
If the ratio for one pint is 1 1/2 oz water to 1 oz vinegar, why the great variance for the original recipe: 2 quarts water, 6 oz vinegar ? I just made the large brine and fingers crossed they turn out.
Hi Barbara, that ‘1 1/4 ounce water’ was a typo…it is actually 1 1/4 cups of water to 1-ounce vinegar. I hadn’t realized that typo was in there, so thanks for pointing that out. I went back in and corrected it…I can understand the confusion! In fact, I put up a jar of pickles this morning using the large brine recipe. Enjoy.
These look great! Was just having the pickle conversation with my brother this week. I hate bread and butter pickles, they literally make me gag. I do like little sweet pickles, but refrigerator dills are by far my fave! If I ever find any in a restaurant I find that if I rave they maybe will give me extras. Sometimes I wine to get them, and sometimes they will give me some to take home! Maybe to get me outta there! HA! Thank you thank you; can’t wait to try these!
Oh girl…Bread and Butter Pickles are the absolute worst! But, I’m not a fan of sweet pickles either. And I really only like crisp dill pickles…I guess you could call me a pickle diva! You’re a hardcore pickle lover if you do ‘take out pickles’! You go girl!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, my friend.
Tried this recipe for the first time this year. We had planted a smaller variety of cucumbers and grew dill in our raised beds garden. I was so excited to try this recipe because I’ve never made pickles and this recipe seemed so simple and easy. It did not disappoint. My whole family is loving these pickles. I cut some in chips, spears and sandwich stuffer sizes. My husband is ready to plant next year’s garden, so that I can make more. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Oh yippee! I’m so glad your family enjoyed these pickles as much as ours did. I was able to put up quite a few pickles before some mildew of some sort attacked our cukes! But we have enough that we will still be eating them for several months.
I really appreciate you taking the time to post your review! Thanks so much.
Made some of these pickles 3 weeks ago. Finally opened the jars to try them and wow!!! They are delicious!! So easy and taste wonderful! I made some more today. Thank you for sharing !!
Oh YAY! I LOVE it when people love our recipes as much as we do! Sadly, our garden was nothing short of a HOT MESS this year, and I didn’t get one cucumber before my vines all died back! We had some fungus sweep through while we were away on vacay…there’s nothing sadder! 😥 But I’ll live vicariously through your cucumber and pickle joy! 🥒