This is the BEST Refrigerator Pickles recipe! An easy old fashion family recipe for crunchy zesty dill pickles. No canning needed. You’ll never buy store bought dill pickles again!
Best Refrigerator Pickles
Want to know how to make your own homemade refrigerator pickles? Here’s a simple dill pickle recipe with photos and step-by-step instructions that your family will love for generations just like ours.
A Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe Your Family will Love!
If you are looking for a homemade dill pickle recipe, look no further! I absolute love my aunt’s old-fashioned homemade refrigerator pickles. Heck, I love anything with dill, especially this amazing dill pickle dip!
While I was visiting my home town in Oklahoma, my aunt made a few jars of these amazing dill pickles so I could take photos and share our family’s secret recipe with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
This homemade dill pickle recipe has been in my family for many years. My Aunt Tricia said that over time, she and my Uncle have added their own touches and ingredients to the original dill pickle recipe. I swear, they are the best pickles I have ever eaten!
How to make our Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe
Enjoy this easy old fashion family recipe for crunchy zesty refrigerator pickles. Best of all, there’s no canning needed.
What Cucumbers Do you Use for Pickling?
Be sure to select very firm cucumbers. Do not buy commercially waxed cucumbers, they will not pickle properly. I recommend shopping at an organic grocery store or your local farmer’s market.
My aunt’s cucumbers are called “National Pickling” cucumbers, they are irregular shaped and bumpy. She recommends using whole cucumbers for crisper pickles. They pick their cucumbers small just for pickling. Pickling cucumbers are often sold as “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers.
How Many Cucumbers Do You Need To Make Pickles?
- 2 quarts Water
- 1 quart White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Pickling Salt (*makes enough liquid for six 1 quart jars)
- 4-6 Cloves of Garlic Chopped (about 2 cloves per jar)
- 1 Onion Chopped (a small handful per jar)
- Fresh Dill
- Peppercorns (4 per jar)
- Ball Pickle Crisp (1/8 tsp per jar)
- Grapevine Leaf – one per jar (optional – it’s supposed to make the pickles crisp.)
*Note: Old-fashioned pickle recipes often call for Alum. Alum is a salt compound with varied uses from shrinking tissues, acting as a preservative, and helping to firm and crisp pickles. Alum contains aluminum which is linked to toxic effects if it is consumed in a large amount over time. However, most people do not eat large amounts of pickles. An updated alternative to Alum for making pickles crisp is Calcium Chloride. Ball has a product called Pickle Crisp, made with Calcium Chloride, that is supposed to work great.
If you want to omit this part of the recipe, I have read where soaking cucumbers in ice water for four to five hours before pickling is another way of making pickles crisp.
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How Do You Make Refrigerator Pickles?
1. Wash the cucumbers before canning by rinsing in water.
2. Sanitize the jars and lids. Clean jars with hot water and soap. My aunt placed her lids in boiling water and took them out gently with tongs.
3. Combine water, vinegar and salt to a pan and heat to nearly boiling. This makes the brine. The recipe says “Heat mixture just hot enough to put finger in.”
4. Add garlic, onions, Alum or Pickle Crisp (which ever one you prefer), fresh dill, 4 peppercorns and one grapevine leaf (optional) into a jar.
Our family recipe has no exact measurements for these items. You can see the amount of fresh dill my Aunt used in the jars here. It’s a good handful!
5. Pack cucumbers into the jars.
6. Use a funnel to pour the liquid mixture over the cucumbers in the jar.
7. Seal the lids on the jars and let them cool.
8. After the jars have cooled, place in the refrigerator for about 2 months to pickle before eating. Some have said they ate them after a month and they were delicious! It’s hard to wait.
How long will homemade pickles last?
If you’re like me and eat them right away, not long! They should stay in the refrigerator for 2 months, then make sure you eat them within two weeks after you open the jar. If you make these pickles, let me know!
Originally published on July 9, 2012
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- 2 quarts Water
- 1 quart White Vinegar
- 1 cup Pickling Salt *makes enough liquid for six 1 quart jars
- 25 Small Cucumbers
- 6 cloves Garlic Chopped (about 2 cloves per jar)
- 1 Onion chopped (a small handful per jar)
- 2 bunches Fresh Dill
- 24 Peppercorns 4 per jar
- ¾ teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp 1/8 tsp per jar
- 1 Grapevine Leaf per jar optional - it's supposed to make the pickles crisp.
- 6 1 Quart Mason Jars
- Wash the cucumbers before canning by rinsing in water.
- Sanitize your jars and lids. Clean jars with hot water and soap. Place lids in boiling water and remove gently with tongs.
- Combine water, vinegar and salt to a pan and heat to nearly boiling. This makes the brine. Our family recipe says "Heat mixture just hot enough to put finger in."
- Add garlic, onions, Pickle Crisp, fresh dill, 4 peppercorns and one grapevine leaf (optional) into a jar.
- Pack cucumbers into the jars.
- Use a funnel to pour the liquid mixture over the cucumbers in the jar.
- Seal the lids on the jars and let them cool.
- After the jars have cooled, place in the refrigerator for about 2 months to pickle before eating.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below.
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Originally published on July 9, 2019. Last Updated on August 30, 2020 by Amy Locurto