Make your own crunchy, tangy, and perfectly delicious pickles at home! Refrigerator pickles are surprisingly fast and easy to make. You can have homemade pickles in days, without any special canning supplies or skills. These Homemade Dill Pickles are perfect for snacking, for sandwiches, or on a burger or dog. The dill and black pepper essential oils amp up the flavor and work nicely with the garlic and peppers. Make them as spicy or as mild as you choose.
I have to admit, I was apprehensive the first time I made pickles. I had yet to find any store-bought pickles that really impressed me. So I did a bit of research and got the gist of the recipe down. I chopped up some cucumbers, added the brine, put the jar in the fridge and hoped for the best.
My first batch came out perfect. I was slightly shocked! The pickles were crunchy and fresh with just the right amount of acidity. A few more batches and I found a combination that was perfect for my taste buds. The Dill and Black Pepper Vitality oils intensify the flavor.
I make a few jars of refrigerator pickles every year. I am a huge pickle fan! Some get gifted to friends and neighbors, but I keep most of them for myself. I love that you can change up this homemade dill pickle recipe depending on what’s in season. They also make a thoughtful gift!
What is a Pickle?
A ‘pickle’ refers to anything that has been brined or fermented using salt and vinegar. The result is a slightly sour, crunchy vegetables with a long shelf life. The pickles we have come to associate with the term are typically made from cucumbers, but they can be made with any firm vegetables.
Pickles likely originated in India as far back as 2400 BCE. Pickling was an effective way to preserve food for long sea journeys. You will find pickling in almost all cuisines.
How to Make Homemade Pickles
There are several ways to make pickles. The flavor will vary depending on the amount of salt, the length of time to brine, and the ingredients used to enhance the flavor.
The easiest (and fastest) way to make pickles is by soaking and refrigerating them in a salt brine. You can pickle any type of vegetable in this fashion. Beets, carrots, asparagus, peppers, okra, and even green beans can be brine-pickled with great results. Any vegetable that you enjoy eating raw can be thrown in the mix and it will pickle nicely.
These types of pickles will not have the same probiotic benefits as fermented pickles, and they’ll have a shorter shelf life. Fermented pickles contain lactic acid, which preserves valuable nutrients in the vegetables. Pickles that have been fermented contain probiotics, which help support healthy digestion.
A refrigerator acts as a preserver, meaning it extends the life of food by slowing down the growth of bacteria. The taste and texture of the food remain intact for an extended period of time.
In this recipe, all you need to do is slice the vegetables, boil the liquids, and let the refrigerator do the rest of the work. These pickles can be enjoyed in as little as 24 hours, but 3 days is just right for me. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- Clean mason jars with warm soapy water and let them dry completely.
- Wash cucumbers and cut into 4-inch spears. Peel garlic and leave whole.
- Place the cucumbers in the mason jar first, packing them in tightly. Surround the cucumbers with equal amounts of garlic cloves and dill sprigs. Add more cucumbers until there is no space between the vegetables and the jar.
- Add 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes to each jar.
- In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a roaring boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and divide the liquid equally between the two jars. Let cool to room temperature.
- Once cool, add essential oils, seal the lid, and place it in the back of the fridge. After 2 days, sample a pickle from a jar. It should be crisp and slightly sour. You should be able to easily snap it in two clean pieces. If they are still kind of soggy, leave them be for another day or so before eating. Enjoy!
- You can use any variety of cucumbers, depending on what is fresh and in stock. I would recommend using organic cucumbers since you will be eating the skin. If using small cucumbers, you can leave them whole, or slice them into chips.
- The base of the pickling brine is salt, vinegar, and water. You can add more sugar if you want to sweeten them up. You can add or omit any of the ingredients in this recipe to your liking.
- Add peppers to increase the heat like red serranos or jalapenos. You can also add bell peppers to reduce the level of spice.
- The dill and black pepper essential oil should be added at the very end once the brine has cooled off a bit. Adding the oils to hot or boiling liquid will compromise the flavor.
Want a FREE Homemade Dill Pickles Label? Fill out the form below to subscribe to our email list and download a FREE PDF copy to print at home.
Once subscribed, you will receive an email confirmation with a password to access the file.