The best way to make sure your abundant cucumber bounty doesn’t go bad is to make them into refrigerator pickles! They last for months and get better as they hang out in your fridge. In my mind pickles go with everything: on burgers, in sandwiches, on an appetizer platter and my favorite: straight from the jar.
True story: Our wedding was at my grandparents’ house and we bought all our cocktail hour snacks from Costco and stashed them in my grandma’s fridges: one upstairs and one in the basement. Somehow in the shuffle, one of the catering staff thought my grandma’s huge jar of homemade refrigerator pickles were supposed to be set out with the cocktail hour snacks even though they weren’t meant to. After the wedding, people kept telling us that the pickles we had at our cocktail hour were just the absolute best but we had no idea what they were talking about! Finally we realized what had happened! It’s such a funny story, and a fabulous compliment to my grandma’s recipe.
Homemade refrigerator pickles are such a fast and easy way to preserve some of that summer goodness a little longer, so you don’t end up throwing away produce that you can’t eat quickly enough. Although this is not an official canned pickles recipe, this is something I do every year with great success!
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
- Cucumbers, cut or sliced however you like your pickles
- Equal parts water and white vinegar*
- Kosher Salt (as a rule of thumb, use 1 tablespoon for 2 pint-sized jars)
- Sugar, optional (as a rule of thumb, use 1 tablespoon for 2 pint-sized jars)
- Aromatics like garlic, dill, peppercorns, etc.
- Wash and dry your pickle jars.
- Divide your aromatics into each jar. I love a combination of smashed, peeled garlic cloves, fresh dill and whole peppercorns. Add the sliced cucumbers to the jar next.
- Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar (optional) in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and whisk until salt and sugar (if using) are dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Pour the pickling liquid up to about a ½ inch below the top of the jars.
- Refrigerate at least 2 days before eating (they will have the best flavor this way!). They will get even better as they age. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.