Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Homemade dill pickles in jars


Jamie Grill/Getty Images 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Optional Refrigeration: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
44 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2387mg 104%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 111mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's nothing more traditional than a juicy dill pickle to accompany a deli sandwich or a charcuterie spread. Traditional pickling methods might take a long time, but our easy recipe will put these delicious pickles on your table in a matter of days. Naturally, the longer the time you give the pickles in the fridge, the more flavor they will absorb. After a couple of weeks, these pickles are just fantastic and have nothing to envy in store-bought pickles. Besides, by making your own you can control the ingredients, like the amount of sodium, and can make sure there are no preservatives, additives, or food coloring in the brine.

The relatively low ratio of vinegar to water in this recipe is part of what gives these pickles their bright, not overly pungent taste. Flavored with garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and aromatic dill, these pickles are an excellent condiment to have at hand, as you can eat them on their own or make them part of another recipe like a salad or a dip.

Before you start, identify in your cucumber the end that had the flower, which is opposite the stem end. The reason for this is that the blossom end of the cucumber contains enzymes that can result in a mushy pickle—in the recipe, there are instructions on how to prevent this. Also, because these are refrigerator pickles that will not be canned, you do not need to use special canning jars or lids. You also do not need to sterilize the jars. They will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months but will start to lose their crunch after that.


  • 2 pounds pickling cucumbers

  • 1 pint water

  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (or any non-iodized salt)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or 2 tablespoons honey)

  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)

  • 2 flower heads dill (or 2 sprigs fresh dill leaves or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)

  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 to 4 grape leaves, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut a thin sliver off of the end of the cucumber that had the flower.

  3. Leave the cucumbers whole if they are small, or cut lengthwise into spears if too big.

  4. Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, or honey, to a boil. Stir once or twice to dissolve the salt and sugar. Let cool to room temperature or place the brine into the refrigerator to speed up the process.

  5. Place the garlic cloves and one of the grape leaves, if using, into the bottom of a clean glass quart jar (or split the garlic and leaves into two pint-sized jars).

  6. Pack the whole cucumbers or spears vertically into the jar, or jars, adding the remaining spices and herbs as you do so. Be sure to pack the cucumbers in tightly so that they will not float up out of the brine.

  7. Pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers, being sure to completely cover them with the liquid.

  8. Secure the lid and place the jar, or jars, in the refrigerator. The pickles will be ready to eat in 4 days.

Why Do You Use Non-Iodine Salt for Pickling?

You've seen this before in all the pickling recipes, but what is the real reason for not using table salt for pickling? Table salt has anti-caking agents to prevent the salt from clumping together. Such agents will make the brine cloudy and muddy. The iodine, on the other hand, while important for human nutrition, changes the flavor of the foods you're pickling, and also their color.

Using Kosher salt is the safest bet, but you could also use pickling salt, which is 100 percent sodium chloride, without additives, and has a grain that's super fine and dissolves quickly in the brine.

Choose Your Pickling Cucumbers

The key to success with this simple recipe is to choose small, firm cucumbers with hardly any seeds. Here are the best pickling cucumbers you can choose:

  • Kirby cucumbers are a traditional pickling cuke, but even with them, be careful to choose solid-feeling cucumbers; you need a firm flesh to resist the acidity of the brine.
  • Boston pickling cucumbers have great texture and flavor, bright green skin, and no seeds. Ideal for a crunchy and smooth pickle.
  • The national pickling cucumber variety is an outstanding cucumber as it can be used when very small to make gherkins, be picked later on to make pickles or even be used as a salad cucumber when bigger.
  • Bush pickles are smaller and firm, with a sweet, fresh, and bright taste. Their skin is very thin so they easily take on the flavors of the brine—ideal cukes for sweet, savory, or spicy pickles.