Monday, August 13, 2018

Easy Dill Pickle Recipe from Fresh Cucumbers

How to make refrigerator dill pickles - no canning required!

This dill pickle recipe is so easy - I can't wait to teach you how to make it!

One of my favorite parts of tending a garden during the summer is a seemingly endless supply of fresh cucumbers! I grow regular salad cucumbers and a smaller, pickling variety because I love making fresh cucumber pickles for my family.

This pickled cucumber recipe is super easy. Because these are lacto-fermented dill pickles, you don't need any fancy canning equipment to make them.

Another positive of this cold brine method of making dill pickles with fresh cucumbers, is that your pickles stay nice and crisp. Nobody likes limp pickles!

Different ways to make dill pickles

There are three primary methods of making dill pickles with fresh cucumbers:
  • Heat canned pickles: This method of making pickles involves heating pickles in a canner to kill any microbes. This makes the pickles shelf stable for up to a year but often results in soft, limp pickles.
  • Quick refrigerator pickles: This method involves pouring a high acid brine that is approximately half vinegar over cucumbers and allowing them to marinate in the refrigerator. This method is easier than canning but doesn't have the health benefits of lacto-fermented pickles because any good bacteria is killed during the process of cooking the brine.
  • Lacto-fermented pickles: This is the method I'm going to show you. It uses the power of good bacteria to ferment the pickles in the same way that sourdough bread or kombucha does. This results in a delightfully sour, super-dill pickle that also imparts beneficial bacteria.

How long does it take to turn a cucumber into a pickle?

Using the lacto-fermentation process I show you in this dill pickle recipe, it takes 4-5 days at room temperature if your room is in the low to mid 70's. If it's warmer than that inside, your pickles will ferment faster and will be ready in 2-3 days.

Do you have to boil the jars for pickling?

For this dill pickle recipe, it isn't necessary to boil the jars, but they should be immaculately clean. Because we are not using a canning process to make these pickles, you can use any clean glass jar with a lid - they don't need to specifically be caning jars.

Can you can fermented pickles?

While the National Center for Home Food Preservation says that you can use a traditional canning process on pickles once they are fermented, I personally wouldn't do that. 

Part of the beauty of lacto-fermentation is the beneficial microorganisms they lend to your gut when you eat them. Heat canning kills these beneficial bacteria by design. 

How to Make Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
a lacto-fermented pickled cucumber recipe

Best easy dill pickle recipe


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Serving size for purpose of nutrition information is 2 small or one large pickle. Nutrition information is approximate and may vary based on the freshness and brand of your ingredients. Nutrition information calculated at: Calorie Count.

How to make dill pickles at home


Video: How to make easy dill pickles

On August 13, 2018 I had the chance to share my easy dill pickle recipe with Tra-Renee Chambers on KATU Afternoon Live. Watch Tra' and I make pickles together here:

Easy Dill Pickle Recipe:
How to make lacto-fermented pickles

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 1: 

Clean cucumbers well  but don't scrub so hard to damage their skin. Cut or slice cucumbers if desired. Set aside.

Lacto-fermented Pickled cucumber recipe

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 2: 

Clean jars in a dishwasher. These will not be heat processed so official "canning" jars are not needed but jars should be immaculately clean.

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 3: 

Mix together pickling spice and dill seed in a small bowl. Set aside.

How to make easy homemade dill pickles - no canning required!

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 4: 

Prepare brine by mixing together water, vinegar and salt in a large bowl.

Mix very well with a whisk until all traces of salt are completely dissolved. Set aside.

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 5: 

Fill clean jars with cucumbers.

You can use them whole, in half, spears or slices.

If using smaller pieces (like slices) that stack well, layer the cucumbers, 1.5 Tbsp mixed spices and 1 or 2 garlic cloves in the jar.

If doing whole pickles or spears, you can fill the jar with cucumbers first and then add the 1.5 Tbsp spices and garlic later, shaking to fill in gaps.

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 6: 

Once jars are filled, top cucumbers with brine. Tap on the counter or insert a clean butter knife and press against the cucumbers as needed to remove air bubbles.

Be sure to completely cover the cucumbers with brine.

Save any extra brine in clear jars for your next pickling session.

How to make lacto-fermented dill pickles step 7: 

Screw lids onto jars and then unscrew one half turn so that jars are only lightly covered. Leave the pickle jars on the counter at room temperature for 4-5 days.

Start tasting the pickles on day 4 and once they reach the desired level of pickly-ness, tighten the lids all the way and store in the refrigerator.

If you are having a hard time keeping cucumbers submerged under the brine, you can purchase fermenting weights to hold them down. Keeping the cucumbers comletely submerged is important for this process to work correctly without spoiling.

Pickles prepared this way can keep for 4-5 months. Be sure any pickles remaining in the jar as you eat through them are covered with brine solution.

IMPORTANT: If the pickles ever become soft, slimy, smell bad or taste bad, discard that jar of pickles.

Learn how to make easy homemade dill pickles - no canning required! This crunchy pickle recipe uses kosher ingredients to make simple dill pickles that keep in your refrigerator. The combination of garlic and a traditional lacto-fermentation method creates a delightfully sour pickle that stays crispy and is quick to make. #picklerecipe #dillpickle #fermenting #lactofermentation #traditonalfoods #fermentedfoods


If you love this dill pickle recipe, be sure to pin it to save it for later!

 Learn how to make easy homemade dill pickles - no canning required! This crunchy pickle recipe uses kosher ingredients to make simple dill pickles that keep in your refrigerator. The combination of garlic and a traditional lacto-fermentation method creates a delightfully sour pickle that stays crispy and is quick to make. #picklerecipe #dillpickle #fermenting #lactofermentation #traditonalfoods #fermentedfoods

About the Author:

Carissa Bonham is a cookbook author and busy mom of two creative boys. The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she won the Craftys Award for the "Best Craft Blogger" category in 2016 and the ShiftCon award for "Best DIY Blogger" in 2018.

She is the author of the hardcover cookbook, Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017) and several ebooks. Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living community group.
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  1. I had actually just shared on my FB recently, that I was looking for Pickle Recipes :) This looks yummy! PINNED! and I will Fb later today :)

  2. Did you mean 4 large garlic cloves or 8 small garlic cloves?

    1. Oh goodness, indeed I did! I just fixed it. Thank you!

  3. Will any garden cucumber work?? Or do you need a specific variety?

    1. You can use any kind of cucumber but they are best when the cucumbers are on the small side. If they get too big they start getting large seeds and just aren't as good.

  4. wanted to put them in a crock instead of jars. Will this be okay?

    1. I've not personally done it but I imagine as long as you keep the pickles submerged in the brine and lightly covered to keep out bugs, you will do all right

  5. We are also growing cucumbers in our home garden. By the way, thanks for the recipe!

  6. I'm not a fan of conventional pickles you buy at the grocery store, but homemade is always 1,000x better!

  7. I was literally just looking for how to DIY pickles, I can't wait to try this! Thank you!!

  8. Every since I started making pickles at home, I haven't bought any from the store. They're easy to make, and the taste and texture is so much better!

  9. This is really cool -- i love how they look in the jars with those red caps. Classic.

  10. I love making homemade pickles and this looks like a great recipe. I also appreciate that you give so much clear and helpful advice on the process.

  11. I love pickles but I haven't tried making them myself yet - only pickled onions. Thank you for all these great tips!

  12. My favorite addition to most sandwiches I make :) I'll definitely have to try and pickle them myself! I appreciate all of the tips!

  13. Hey there! Could you use fresh dill?

    1. I have never personally made it with fresh dill but I think it’s definitely worth experimenting with!

  14. Do you have to refrigerate these or will they keep for 4 to 5 months in pantry?

    1. I have not tried keeping them at room temperature for that long. While they are at room temperature they continue to ferment so I imagine the texture might change. Refrigerating them stops the fermenting process and keeps them ready for storage.


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