I was never a huge fan of pickles until I decided to make a batch of my own. And now I can’t get enough of them! The crunch factor makes them that much more enjoyable than store bought pickles. The best thing is that they are seriously so easy to make.
Pickling cucumbers is a very simple process. These pickles are made with a very basic brine of equal parts cider vinegar and water mixed with salt. The brine gets poured over the cukes and transforms the vegetables into pickles.
There are three things to consider when pickling:
1. The brine
2. The cucumbers
3. The seasoning
In terms of the brine, you can keep the ratios the same, and make more or less brine to suit the amount of pickles you want to make. You can also swap out the cider vinegar for rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or another vinegar to suit your taste.
In terms of the cucumbers, Kirby cucumbers are the classic pickling cucumber — they hold up better than English cucumbers during pickling, remaining firm and crunchy instead of becoming overly soft. No matter what cucumber or vegetable you use, make sure they are ripe and feel firm — avoid limp or wrinkly vegetables. Wash the vegetables before pickling and cut away any bruises or blemishes.
For the seasoning, the more popular one for dill pickles comes from the dill seed. It’s not something that most grocery stores carry, but you can find it at Whole Foods, or many smaller co-ops with bulk herb counters.
They last in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks. If you would like to preserve and make your pickles shelf-stable, sanitizing the jars in boiling water is an important step.
- 1 pound Kirby or Persian cucumbers
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoons dill seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or kosher salt
How to Make:
- Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil
- In the meantime while the brine is warming up, wash and dry the cakes. Trim away the blossom end of the cucumber, which contains enzymes that can lead to limp pickles. Leave the pickles whole, cut them in half, spears or slice them into coins
- Add the spices to the jar including the smashed garlic cloves
- Pack the pickles in the jar as tightly as you can without smashing the cucumbers
- Once the brine is boiling, pour over the pickles, filling each jar 1/2 inch from the top
- Let it cool to room temperature and move to the fridge
- They will be ready to eat within 48-72 hours