Introduction: Refrigerator Pickles - Quick N' Easy

Picture of Refrigerator Pickles - Quick N' Easy

Lightly pickled cucumbers. A great snack that involves no cooking and only 2 days in the fridge to season. The flavor variations are endless. I like them because they're quick, taste good, and my daughter taught me how to make them :)
All you need is:

Cucumber spears, I use either 1 English cucumber or about 6 pickling cucs.

2 cups cold water.

1/3 cup white wine vinegar - you can change this to suit your taste, but I wouldn't use balsamic. believe it or not, the cheaper vinegars give me the best pickling flavor.

1 tablespoon salt. Table salt or sea salt. I've never tried pickling salt.

2 teaspoons sugar.

5 whole peppercorns - fresh.

fresh ground pepper (from a grinder is best).

1-2 cloves garlic.

optional flavor additions: fresh dill, jalapeno pepper, onion, habanero pepper, etc.

and a container to put them in. A mason type jar works best, but I usually take the easy route and use a ziplock freezer bag. Don't use a metal container.

Step 1: Sizing the Cucumbers

Picture of Sizing the Cucumbers

If you use pickling cucumbers, which are the best, you'll want to slice them into quarters lengthwise.
For this batch I'm using an English cucumber. That's what they're called here, anyway. I prefer these over regular garden variety cucumbers because they're longer, and they're generally a bit more crisp.
I usually cut the cucumber into thirds.
First, though, cut off the ends. These are typically bitter. You might want to slice a bit off the end you plan to use and taste to make sure you've removed all of the bitterness.

Step 2: Slicing the Cucumbers

Picture of Slicing the Cucumbers

And then cut each third into 8 spears.
Half the round, then half that, then half once again

Step 3: The Garlic..

Picture of The Garlic..

You want to peel your garlic clove before you cut it up.
The easiest way to do this is to cut off the ends and then smack the clove with the flat of your knife blade. A french chef knife works best because there's so much flat area.
The peel will usually fall right off just like in the picture.
Then you want to cut the clove up into about 8 pieces. Personally i use 2 cloves

Step 4: The Liquid..

Picture of The Liquid..

In a bowl put the water, salt, vinegar, the ground pepper (I use about 10 grinds of the grinder), and the whole peppercorns. The water is cold, but you want to try to dissolve as much of the salt and sugar as you can.

Step 5: Bag It (the Flavor Step)

Picture of Bag It (the Flavor Step)

Put the cucumbers in the bag, or jar, and dump the liquid in.
All that garlic you cut up? Put it in now.
Got some dill? Go ahead and put a sprig in there.
Jalapenos or habaneros? Throw them in. Be careful here, you only want maybe 2 slices. Trust me on this, at least the first time you try it.
More garlic? Green onions? sure.. the choice in this step is all yours.

Step 6: Stick It in the Fridge

Picture of Stick It in the Fridge

This part, for me, is the hardest. Put the whole thing in the fridge for 2 days. If you're using a bag like I do, you want to turn it over every couple hours or so. My biggest problem is that I taste test every time I flip, ha!
2 days is when the flavors have really worked their way into the cucumbers, but they start to taste pickly after leaving them overnight

Okay, this is my first time trying an instructables thing, so I really hope it all makes sense :)


tinabgibby (author)2010-05-09

These pickles are DELICIOUS! Light and incredibly flavorful. We bought an assortment of cukes at one of the huge Korean grocery stores and my teenage daughter made delicious pickles out of all of them.

They are good for eating after just two days in the fridge. Thanks for this great recipe. We just made our second batch.

onebadpenny (author)tinabgibby2010-10-10
Great! Thanks for reminding me how much I love these. Been awhile since I've made any. Think it's on tommorow's agenda :)

yeah, I missed your comment until today :P

Ibrahimomarkhan (author)2015-10-24


overflow (author)2015-09-04

I grew white cukes this year and I am about to use your recipe. It appears to be simple and precise. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Pieter.

HelenE2 (author)2015-06-21

arejaye (author)2012-09-13

I'm up to speed so far, but the liquid sounds a little less than would be needed. How many jars or yields will you get out of that? 2 cups of water and 1/3 cup vinegar sounds like enough for about a jar and a half....MAYBE 2 jars, but I dunno. I'm tryin' to do 3 jars, but if the recipe isn't enough, tryin' to go back and remeasure and calculate for just one jar is gonna be a royal pain. PLEASE indicate approx how many jars this liquid will fill with the cukes already in 'em. Thanks!, and can't wait to try 'em!

arejaye (author)arejaye2012-09-17

Odd that I'm replyin' to my own question, but I just tinkered a bit after the liquid wasn't quite enough for 2 28oz jars, and problem solved. With the dill, I couldn't find any fresh sprigs, so had to settle for dried and chopped up lil tiny pieces about 1/8 long, so when it was all done, and shaken well, all the dill, which I wasn't stingy with lol, settled to the top and it kinda looked like a green swamp lol After I grabbed a pickle most, but not all, of the dill naturally drained off, but the jar still looked sad until I looked up the health benefits of dill, so from now on, the lil tiny pieces will go in my jars. In store bought dills, I don't think I've ever even SEEN actually dill, so they must use dill oil and seed. Anyway, thanks for such a simple and great recipe that anybody could make! Oh, also, I had to settle for white vinegar, but they still turned out great. Thanks again!! I'm a guy out in the country, so I have to know how to make my own food from scratch as much as I can, or starve lol

Debinev (author)2012-05-07

Make a mistake and planted cucumbers for pickling. YIKES! Found your recipe and I just made 2 jars of these wonderfully sounding pickles. Used fresh dill from the garden and red wine vinegar. Made spears and slices. Can't wait to eat these

So impressed, I joined the site.

onebadpenny (author)Debinev2012-05-07

ha! nice! hope they turn out good.

mmm.. pickles sound yummy right about now

jeffrey68 (author)2011-08-08

Made 2 quarts of these pickles after slicing more than I needed for canning a different variety. I broke them open 5 days later and I love them! I will make them again!

Whales (author)2010-10-10

I want to do this now. Hungry, which might be the motivation.. Although it takes 2 days.

onebadpenny (author)Whales2010-10-10

But the ones you eat during those 2 days are good, too! And increasingly better each time you eat them :D

schlimmerkerl (author)2010-10-10

Could everyone please learn the difference between "their", "there", and "they're"? Just because they sound alike, they are not interchangeable, and THEIR misuse can, as it does here, obscure your meaning.

Unlike the rules for 'who' and 'whom' which I can never get straight, I am fully aware of the fact that THERE are differences, that THEY'RE important differences, and even what THEIR differences are .* * 'Gibbs's smack' to me for possible perpetration of a personal pet peeve**

But, wait.... Really?

Is it possible that the target of your complaint is not even my original post, as you imply, but is instead a short comment made 3 years ago? A comment read by a handful of people? A comment, I might add, RELEVANT to the subject matter (which, in case you missed it, is PICKLES, not GRAMMATICAL ERRORS)...? And, finally, a comment whose unintentional misuse of the word 'there' might possibly have obscured the intended meaning for a fraction of a nanosecond from all but the most severely afflicted anal retentive readers...?

I'm just saying....

ecjones (author)2009-08-01

These were great THANKS!

number302079 (author)2007-08-29

Sounds quite tasty. "Pickled" to me means they have been in the brine for a long time, so I'd think of these more as marinated. But regardless, they sound really tasty. I'll try it next time I get some cucumbers.

taraist (author)number3020792008-10-10
Not like Webster's is god, but I always thought pickled didn't have to mean for a long time, so I looked it up. I think the refrigerator designation works fine. I've also heard "young pickle", which is an amusing phrase. Main Entry: 1pick·le Pronunciation: \ˈpi-kəl\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English pykyl, pekill sauce, gravy, from or akin to Middle Dutch peeckel brine Date: 15th century 1: a solution or bath for preserving or cleaning: as a: a brine or vinegar solution in which foods are preserved b: any of various baths used in industrial cleaning or processing 2: a difficult situation : plight 3: an article of food that has been preserved in brine or in vinegar ; specifically : a cucumber that has been so preserved
onebadpenny (author)number3020792007-08-29

you're right.. I guess it should be mock pickles..? they taste like pickles without being actually pickled. Marinated is absolutely correct.

Phoghat (author)onebadpenny2007-10-29

Don't put yourself down OBP. My grandma and mom used to make these in the summer all the time. Here in NYC you can buy them and their known as fresh dills.

Nesagwa (author)number3020792007-08-29

Well most pickles outside of Dills are refrigerator or cold pickles. Dill pickles that you buy in the store are fermented for a while and are more difficult to make at home. This kind of pickling is what you see in Bread & Butter pickles and pickled fruits (and things like beats and carrots and the mixes of summer veggies like carrots and cauliflower and peppers). Theyre very good though, my grandma makes these every summer in very large batches and they always come out very tasty. The beauty of these kinds of pickles is they taste better the longer they sit in the fridge (which can last for months and months because of the amount of vinegar and salt in the brine keep out nasty bacteria.)

onebadpenny (author)Nesagwa2007-08-29

really? pickled fruits are done like this? I had no idea, I'll have to look further into that. I don't really know how well they store. Roughly 13% vinegar, and 1 TBS salt, it that enough to keep the bacteria out? They've always been eaten too quickly for me to find out.. course, I'd probably find out by getting sick :P

Nesagwa (author)onebadpenny2007-08-30

Yeah, thats a pretty inhospitable environment for critters so they keep for a pretty good long time. Fruits pretty much the same process but the amount of salt and sugar and other spices would obviously need to be adjusted (nobody likes a salty cherry :p) But dont worry, these are in fact pickles, theyre just not fermented pickles.

Nesagwa (author)Nesagwa2007-08-30

I forgot to add, if you actually can these types of pickles in mason jars instead of plastic bags they can last for a year at least. Always an option if you want to make larger batches with fresh cucumbers when theyre in season and enjoy them all year round.

gomerbarkley (author)2008-10-03

Thank you! I just put it into the fridge. Looking forward to tasting. . .

Braeburn (author)2008-08-06

will minced garlic work

GorillazMiko (author)2008-07-20

Yay pickles! Looks really good, I'm going to have to try this.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-08-29

well, im a bit devius because pickling takes MONTHS to do, :-\ but on the other hand, if the flavor soaks ALL the way in this will be a good pickle, because of the spears will be hard (love that crunch :D) not like valassic pickles that are like squishy watterbaloons :-\

Phoghat (author)!Andrew_Modder!2007-10-29

Most pickles that you buy unrefrigerated in market have been heat treated to prevent spoilage (like canned veggies) they sort of taste cooked.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)Phoghat2007-10-29

...true :-) thats why i buy Clawsons brand pickle spears (there refridgerated ...mmm) one of the best pickles iv ever had :-)

capricorn (author)2007-09-01

And off to the grocery shop we gooooo :)

lemonie (author)2007-08-29

This is a light pickle (?) which will give a well-balanced delicate flavour? I should think that this doesn't do much for preservation (outside of a fridge), but hating the blandness of cucumbers, I am tempted to try it . I'm fridge-less at the moment... L

onebadpenny (author)lemonie2007-08-29

you're right, preservation is nil, that's why the small batches. But I never have any problem getting them all eaten within a couple days :)

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