Ever wondered the secret to extra-crunchy pickles? Here’s what you need to know, plus a recipe for garlicky dill refrigerator pickles.
We received a batch of refrigerator pickles from our CSA. Then, we received a bunch of dill.
Really, it’s like Lancaster Farm Fresh begged us to make pickles, and who am I to say no to a pickle that practically falls into my lap?
Here’s the thing about pickles. That perfect crunch and snap when you bite into a pickle is the best part, right? Right. But so often, pickles are soft and soggy and not satisfying.
How do we remedy that? The answer: refrigerator pickles!
The heat-treating necessary to safely can food is the main culprit responsible for pickle sogginess. Pickling under refrigeration eliminates this need, so we’re well on our way to nice, crisp pickles.
Tips for Making Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles
- Use the right kind of pickles: Standard eating pickles won’t cut it. You’re looking for… drumroll please… pickling cucumbers!
- Use the freshest pickles possible. The cucumber start to dehydrate shortly after picking, which is why a cucumber left in your vegetable drawer gets wrinkled and soft pretty quickly. Go to the farmer’s market, buy pickling cucumbers, and get home and start pickling, STAT!
- Measure your ingredients! Not enough salt and a vinegar ratio that is too dilute or too strong are responsible for your soggy pickle woes.
Of course, now that we’ve established how to get our pickles nice and crunchy, there are dozens of flavor options.
Bread and butter, sweet and sour, hot and spicy pickles. (Why do pickle names come with two adjectives?)
In my book, there’s only one worthy type of pickle: garlicky kosher dills. Brine the pickle whole for extra crunchiness, and slice into spears or rounds before serving.
Or if you’re like me, serve whole because half the joy of a pickle is biting right into it, amiright? Yes, please!
Extra Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles
Extra crunchy, garlicky dill refrigerator pickles.
- jar with watertight lid
- pickling cucumbers (as many as you can fit in a jar)
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh dill
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- pinch of whole black peppercorns
- Place all ingredients in an appropriately-sized jar with a watertight lid.
- Fill to top of jar with filtered water.
- Allow to sit in refrigerator for 24 hours. After 24 hours, flip upside down. The following day, turn right-side-up. Repeat flipping daily for 10 days.
- Enjoy! The pickles last ~3 months in the refrigerator.
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