We start with our brine. For every quart of water, add 3/4 cup of white vinegar and 4 tablespoons of kosher salt. For a small batch (I did five pint jars), use two quarts. The last large batch I did, I used 4 quarts. Bring this to a boil. Let it boil for a couple minutes and remove it from the heat. Set aside and let it cool. Now go gather the rest of your ingredients and supplies. Go!
Ahhhh. Fresh-picked cucumbers. Make sure you scrub these pretty thoroughly or you will be making a science experiment in your fridge. Same goes for your jars. Soap and hot water, people.
Garlic (lots!), red pepper flakes, pickling spice, and….
Now, you need to decide if you want whole pickles, halves, spears, chips, etc. My cukes made the decision for me by being mostly curved. Chips it is!
1/4-1/2 inch slices will do just fine. Get to slicin’! Chop up some (lots) garlic and set it aside. Believe it or not, that’s the hardest part. Congrats! Now comes the fun part.
As for the following ingredients, it is purely a matter of preference. Some like a lot of dill, some like it extra garlicky, and some like it spicy…I happen to like all three. Put enough dill in the bottom to cover the bottom of the jar. Throw a bunch of the chopped garlic in. I put a clove or two of garlic in with the chopped stuff, just because it looks good. I don’t measure the red pepper flakes, either. I made one with a TON, just for kicks. I made sure to label that one “HOT”, so G-Money doesn’t get fed fire as a snack.
NOTE: This process is way faster and easier if you fill all of your jars at the same time.
Fill up your jars with the cucumber of your choice (Sumter’s for me) and…..
Pour enough brine in to cover the cucumbers completely. Make sure the brine is as close to room temperature as possible…we aren’t cooking here! Now, you’ve probably hear that you should leave some “headroom” when pickling. This is referring to canning pickles, as the heat from the hot water canning causes some expansion. We are not technically canning. Still, leave a little room so you won’t spill brine all over yourself when opening a new jar.
That’s it! Easy as that.
Don’t forget to shake up those jars at the end! Leave them at room temperature for a couple of days before refrigerating to let them “set”. They should keep until the new year or longer.
Have you made refrigerator pickles before? Do you have a better/different way of doing it? Do you think my babies are the cutest? Do you have an extra $500? Leave me a comment!