Pickles are great, they are good on sandwiches and on burgers and alone as a side! You can even fry them up like I did here for a great, Southern snack! They’re classic in a deliciously, vinegar-y, salty way. I bet you’ve always just bought them at the store and thought nothing of it. But, the fun thing about making your own pickles is that you get to be really creative! You can really mess with the ratios of flavors and add different ingredients to your pickles to make them just how you like them. We experimented heavily, and so this “recipe” is more of a rough outline for the things you can do when making homemade pickles! We added in some jalapeños to flavor the cucumber and now we have pickled peppers too!
I really like the classic dill flavor, and I also enjoy a stronger vinegar flavor, so I used fresh dill and a 1:1 water, vinegar ratio. This takes about a week to pickle, instead of the typical 3 days, in order for the vinegar flavor to become mild enough to enjoy. You can also try dill seed, it will add a stronger dill flavor that is more typical of dill pickles!
Making homemade pickles also means that you can cut the cucumbers in any way you like and that you can eat them at any stage in the pickling process! If you plan to experiment with under-pickled cucumbers (cucumbers that are still bright green, crunchy, and have a bit of that fresh flavor, but are slightly pickled in brine), I would recommend that you lower the ratio of vinegar to water.
Makes enough for 4, 16oz jars
3 pounds Persian cucumbers
2 cups vinegar (I used white vinegar, but many people use cider vinegar)
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4, 16 ounce mason jars with sealable lids
For fresh, dill pickles
4 garlic cloves, cleaned and diced
4 green onions, white part chopped, green stalk saved for later use
16 fronds fresh dill
8 teaspoons dill seed
4 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
4 teaspoons rainbow peppercorn (whole)
For “bread ‘n’ butter” spicy pickles
8 fronds fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, cleaned and diced
4 green onions, whites chopped, green stalk saved for later use
4 tablespoons hot sauce
4 tablespoons rainbow peppercorn (whole)
2 jalapeños, sliced
4 tablespoons honey
My favorite pickles were the spicy, bread and butter pickles, but it is something you can experiment with each time you make them!
Begin by cleaning the cucumbers and cutting off the stems. Then, you can chop them however you like!
I like both spears and slices, so we made a variety!
Next, set the vinegar, water, kosher salt, and sugar on the stove to boil. This will be your brine. Stir it occasionally to make sure that the salt and sugar are dissolving into the liquid.
While the brine is heating up, prepare your jars! You can divide up the ingredients equally between each jar, as I have them listed, or you can get creative and make your own ratios!
Arrange the ingredients into each jar.
Next, stuff in the cucumber! Be careful how you arrange them, sometimes they can be hard to fit and you definitely want enough room for them to sink into the flavors at the bottom!
After the brine reaches a rolling boil, pour it over the the contents of each jar and seal the jars. I recommend labelling the jars if you are planning on making different types to experiment with. It is good to know which ratios are in each jar, and sometimes it is difficult to tell after the pickling!
Store them in the refrigerator for at least three days before eating! Once they have pickled, open them up and enjoy!