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Okay, I don’t say Best Ever lightly. But I can’t stop eating these pickles.
Seriously. I made one jar of them a week ago and they were SO GOOD I went straight back to the farmer’s market and got enough for half a dozen more jars.
You know, to last me the week until the next farmer’s market.
Even though I was all about the refrigerator pickled okra last summer, I had never made dill pickles before.
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But this year I planted some pickling cucumbers in my garden and I figured I should try making pickles with some farmer’s market cucumbers before I have cucumbers from my own garden.
Since I don’t usually have a huge yield in my garden, I’m very stingy with my home-grown produce and always want to do the Best Thing Ever with whatever I grow. So a dill pickle trial run was in order.
For some reason I was skeptical that they would actually taste like dill pickles. To me, fresh dill doesn’t smell or taste like dill pickles, so I didn’t think homemade ones would stack up to what I was used to.
They stacked up and far surpassed!
I brought the rest of the jar to work and passed them out to my coworkers like candy. One of them went straight to the farmer’s market and got her own cucumbers to pickle.
Why these refrigerator dill pickles live up to the name Best Ever
- They’re fresh, crunchy, tangy, garlicky, and full of that dill pickle flavor — even after only a day in the fridge.
- They are SO STINKIN’ EASY to make. You just throw a few ingredients in a pot, bring to a simmer, cool, and pour over your cucumbers in a jar. These are refrigerator pickles, so there are no canning baths and whatnot to worry about.
- You can make half a dozen jars of pickles in hardly more time than the time it takes to make one jar. And trust me, you’ll want to. The only real additional time is extra time spent peeling garlic and cutting your cukes.
- When you price it out, they are way cheaper than storebought pickles — almost half the price — especially if you’re getting cucumbers in season from a farmer’s market. More on that in a minute.
Definitely worthy of using my own precious homegrowns, if I end up with any!
More on cost
I spent about $7 at the farmer’s market on enough cucumbers for 6 jars of pickles (18). I did shop around and avoided the one vendor selling pickling cucumbers 3 for $2.25 since the other two were selling them for $1.50 a pound and 2 for a dollar.
Add maybe 50 cents worth of white vinegar (I get a biggish jug), 50 cents worth of garlic, $3 for dill… I already had mustard seeds and whole peppercorns but if you need to get some they will give you SO MANY PICKLES.
Anyway, I figure it averages out to less than $2 a jar. I pay about $3.50 for storebought pickles and these are so much better!!
I seriously don’t think I’ll ever go back to store-bought pickles again.
Supplies and tips for making refrigerator dill pickles
Lucky for me, they only sold mason jars by the dozen at the grocery store. Because the moment I took a bite of that first pickle, I knew I had to make more. LOTS more.
These wide-mouth pint-sized canning jars are the ones I used. Since these are refrigerator pickles, you can use any other clean glass jar like a spaghetti sauce jar too. You may, however, run into issues of your pickles floating, or need to adjust the amount of liquid to the size of your jar.
If you are using standard pint-sized canning jars, get cucumbers that are no more than 4 1/2″ long or they won’t fit! For the pint-sized wide-mouth mason jars, one jar fit exactly three cucumbers, or 12 pickle spears.
I cut most of my pickles into spears but I did do one jar of crinkle cut slices for sandwiches too. Here is the mandoline I used to crinkle cut my pickle chips!
A note: This recipe is for refrigerator pickles, so these are not shelf stable! You will need to keep them in the fridge until they’re gone. I read that refrigerator pickles will keep for a couple months in the fridge, if you can manage not to eat them all in a day or two!
These taste great even after only 24 hours but will become more flavorful after another day or two.
I have portioned the recipe to make one jar of pickles, but if you hover over the “1” where it says it makes 1 pint-sized jar, you can adjust the slider to tell you how much of everything you’ll need for however many jars you want to end up with!
Best Ever Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Wash cucumbers and cut into spears or slices. Pack into a wide-mouth pint-sized canning jar, or any clean glass jar. Since these are refrigerator pickles a canning jar is not necessary. Tuck several sprigs of dill in between the cucumbers.
- In a non-reactive saucepan (see note), combine the vinegar, water, garlic cloves, salt, sugar, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Pour liquid over cucumbers in the jar. Make sure to include all the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and garlic. (If making multiple jars, include two cloves of garlic per jar and divide the mustard seeds and peppercorns approximately evenly between jars.) If you are using a slightly larger jar and the liquid doesn't fully cover the pickles, fill the rest of the jar up with water.
- Close the jar and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours but preferably 48 hours. Enjoy!