This is how to make pickles at home easily. With some mini cucumbers and pickling spice you can enjoy this homemade dill snack year round.
Want to cook more homemade foods and meals this year? This is how to make pickles at home, it’s easier than you’d think. Make them mild or spicy just like you love them. You’ll never buy them in the store after this!
Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe
I mean I am not saying we don’t eat them by themselves, we totally do that too. Another favorite combo (I grew up on) was a duo of these with a killer grilled cheese sandwich.
Can you use regular cucumbers for pickles?
You can. Obviously you’d need to slice them quite a bit smaller to fit into your jars. The other difference between large vs. a smaller size is the skin is quite a bit thicker (not as pleasant), there are a lot more seeds too.
Homemade Pickling Spice
Now you can actually buy all of the seasonings you will need ready made in a bag. If you don’t have most of the ingredients necessary I would just buy this instead. It will be cheaper than purchasing every single one individually.
How do you make spicy pickles from scratch?
You can use a few drops (or more) of your favorite hot sauce like Tobasco. Alternatively or in addition to, red pepper flakes will add quite a bit of heat depending on how much you add. The thinner your pieces are sliced too, the hotter they will taste.
Some swear by adding some dry mustard seeds into the mix too. I mean you can tweak it to fit your taste buds for sure but the primary base is listed below. You can take it from there. 😉
What is pickling spice made of?
There are slight variations depending on what recipe you use but the core ingredients are:
- Sprigs of dill
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic or minced garlic for a bolder flavor
- Or you can just buy this already made instead
White vinegar and water are the liquids you’ll add to your spice mix and pour into your mason jars. Make sure yours seal well. I like the ones with a bit of a rubber seal (photo at the top). Use these directions if you are canning pickles.
Can I put a cucumber in pickle juice?
Meaning, can you buy a few small cucumbers, slice them, and put them into a jar with leftover brine. For sure. If you have finished all of your store bought jarred pickles, save the liquid and you can certainly use that if you’d like.
What kind of cucumbers are used for pickles?
The style is called Kirby. They are small and usually sold in bunches. In our store you can buy a clear bag full with about 12 in each one. Some people also use the Persian variety but those have thinner skins.
Homemade Pickles Cucumber
Now there are 2 ways to pickle things. The question is to boil or not?? You can do either but here is the difference.
Can you pickle without heat?
Some people like to boil the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Once it reaches a rolling boil they pour this into the jar as you see above (ours wasn’t heated). This will break down the sugar and salt BUT will make your slices a bit less crunchy.
I would describe it as the difference between Vlasic and Claussen. You probably noticed one is refrigerated (the latter) and the other is not when sold. If you’ve tasted them both there is an obvious difference (to me).
Claussen are a lot crunchier for sure and that is my preference. Therefore I do not boil the liquid in this pickle brine. You can choose to do so and see which you prefer.
How long should pickles sit?
When you use a marinade for meat you’ve probably noticed that the flavors get more intense the longer they sit. Pickles are no different. Grocery store bought pickles usually have been in a jar for a good month before you buy pickles and eat them.
I know you’ll be ready to eat these right when you’re done but for BEST results you should let them sit for 5 days shaking the jar each day. I mean you can have a tester at 24 hours but believe me, refrigerator pickles get better as they sit.
Homemade Dill Pickles
When you’re making these there are several variations. Making them spicy is easy with hot sauce, garlic dills just need whole and minced garlic added until it is enough for your taste buds. Fresh dill is always best, dill seed is an option.
Printable recipe is available below, here is a quick step by step. Let use know if you love this recipe as much as we have!
Time needed: 20 minutes.
How to Make Pickles at Home
Slice your cucumbers in the shapes you want, either spears or slices. Fill a bowl with ice water and submerge them for a few hours ideally. This will make them as crunchy as possible.
In the bottom of your jar add garlic cloves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and 3 dill weeds / sprigs.
Add sliced veggies on top of this. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, water, salt, and sugar together. If you want to make them spicy add a few drops of Tobasco or your favorite hot sauce.
Pour this into your jar to surround your cucumber slices. Put rest of 3 dill on top of that.
Seal your jar(s) tightly and place into the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before enjoying.
For BEST results shake the jar every day for 5 days. Then enjoy them thereafter but when done seal the jar back up and always keep refrigerated. The longer they sit the stronger the flavor.
OH MY how you are going to love these y’all!! Make a few jars and add different flavors to each one. Then you can see which one you love best for your next round of batch cooking.
Can I use apple cider vinegar for pickling?
That is an alternative if that is what you have, or it is your preferred taste. You should realize that this will discolor your food a bit browner than you’d like or expect. Sometimes we eat with our eyes and that is a no no for me.
How long do homemade pickles last?
Great you asked. As long as you keep these well sealed and in the fridge they will last for two months easily. Best idea is to use the labels with jars that come together. Write the date made and they’re reusable.
Next go around just wipe off that date and add the new one so they can used over and over again.
What can I do with pickles?
We have lots of ideas but we will start with how to make air fryer fried pickles.
But I wouldn’t stop there. Like I said, these are great low calorie snacks and a great way to get your kids to love vegetables really. But using them up is not an issue with us! There are so many delicious uses like:
- I add a bunch of them diced into our chicken salad sandwich mix.
- Our dill pickle pasta salad is filled with these babies!
- If you want a bold flavor when making homemade popcorn shrimp you can use some brine to marinate chicken before battering.
Speaking of brine, you can add just about anything to this. Love hard boiled eggs that are pickled? Submerge them in an ice bath when done. Take the shells off and pop them into your jars using this same recipe to soak them in. The possibilities of things you can pickle are endless.
How long does it take to turn a cucumber into a pickle?
I hope we have answered this question for you here. There is a minimum of 48 hours especially if you haven’t boiled the brine like we did. The heat will allow it to be ready a bit sooner but patience is a virtue when it comes to this.
Give it a whirl yourself and taste after a few hours. Then let them sit in the fridge for a whole day, then 2, and finally test after 5 as I’ve suggested. If it doesn’t make a huge difference for you then enjoy sooner by all means.
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How to Make Pickles at Home
- Slice your cucumbers in the shapes you want, either spears or slices. Fill a bowl with ice water and submerge them for a few hours ideally. This will make them as crunchy as possible.
- In the bottom of your jar add garlic cloves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and 3 dill sprigs.
- Add sliced cucumbers on top of this.
- In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. (if you want to make them spicy add a few drops of Tobasco sauce) Pour this into your jar to surround your cucumber slices.
- Put rest of 3 dill sprigs on top.
- Seal jar(s) and place into the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before enjoying. For BEST results shake the jar every day for 5 days and then enjoy thereafter. The longer they sit the stronger the flavor.