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Have you ever made pickles and just didn’t like the way they turned out? I have and boy it’s disappointing. I hate a soggy pickle that doesn’t have a yummy flavor. We have tons of excess cucumbers in the garden, so we’ve been making refrigerator dill pickles and they are awesome.
I love them and the kids love them. Even my picky husband loves them. Making refrigerator dill pickles is a super fun, simple activity any age child can help with.
In daycare, we are not allowed to serve home-canned foods, so that limits us on how we can preserve the extra food from our garden. These refrigerator dill pickles are super easy. They are tasty, crunchy, and a crowd-pleaser.
We have tried several recipes and this one is our favorite. My kids LOVE preparing their own food. We were cucumber cutting fools when making these. We have already made two batches this year.
Just look at that determination. It’s not hard to throw them together and it doesn’t take long. Plus you won’t get a soggy, tasteless pickle like some homemade pickles can be.
If my picky husband loves these refrigerator dill pickles (he’s pickier than the kids), anyone that likes pickles will give these the thumbs up. We use carrots, onions, and hot peppers in the same recipe for him to have some spicy veggies and he is all about them. They last for several months in the fridge as well. This helps us stretch our cucumber season a lot longer than we would be able to with fresh cucumbers.
If you grow a garden with kids, cucumbers, garlic, dill, and hot peppers can be grown at home and used for the pickles for very little money. For us, we had most of what we needed to make these refrigerator pickles right here in the garden. We had to use store-bought vinegar, salt and pepper and that was it. Everything else we collected outside!
Traditional pickling methods can take a long time, but this easy recipe will have these delicious pickles on your table in a matter of days, although the longer the time you give the pickles in the fridge, the more flavor they will absorb.
Making refrigerator pickles is nice because you do not need to use special canning jars or lids, nor sterilized jars.
How to make pickles
- We started out with this recipe for dill pickles from Andrew Zimmern
- But we liked the spice combination from this dill pickle recipe from Alton Brown
We tweaked them both and came up with our own recipe for refrigerator dill pickles that we all love and man howdy are they good. We love making recipes our own that WE love the flavors of. This one is perfect for us!
Dill pickle recipe
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- 3 c white vinegar
- 1 c sea salt
- 4 qt. water
- 3 pounds cucumbers
- 6 tsp peppercorns
- 6 hot pepper fresh or dried (whole)
- 6 clove garlic
- 6 bunches fresh dill
- Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add vinegar and salt. Stir to dissolve and cool.
- Wash cucumbers and cut up. The kids love cutting the cucumbers. They don’t have to be perfect, any shape tastes great. Even if they are misshapen, the kids are still super proud to eat something they remember making. It’s a great learning activity for them and a wonderful opportunity for them to develop some motor skills and cooking skills.
- Wash 6 quart sized canning jars.
- Let the kids add to each jar, (this is a great opportunity for kids to take turns adding items to the jar.) 1/2 tsp peppercorns, one hot pepper, one clove garlic, and 1 bunch of dill.
- Pack cucumbers into jars tightly (fit as many in a jar as you can, the kids love helping with this part too)
- Pour brine over cucumbers.
- Place lid on refrigerator dill pickles and set in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
Refrigerator dill pickles will last for several months if kept refrigerated. We love eating them way into the fall and even wintertime. It’s a great way to save produce from our garden to last throughout more of the year.
Before you start, identify which end of the cucumber had the flower, opposite the stem end. The blossom end of the cucumber contains enzymes that can result in a mushy pickle and needs to be removed.
Refrigerator dill pickles are fresh, tangy, garlicky, and crunchy. They are so easy to make, just throw a few ingredients into a pot and pour it over your cucumbers in a jar.
You can make a ton of these pickles in barely more time than it takes to make one, so you can double and triple the batch without a ton of extra effort. Peeling garlic is the hardest part of this process.
They are far less expensive than storebought pickles, and if you grew your own cucumbers, garlic, and dill, they are nearly free to make. If you didn’t, you can get cucumbers in season at the farmer’s market and still save a ton!
If you are looking for more ways to get kids involved in healthy eating click here.
My kids tear these pickles up and they are good for them, so I’m happy about it. Even the pickiest eaters usually like pickles. Not everyone, but most. So that’s a win win for a recipe like this. Happy pickling!
Refrigerator pickled vegetables
Are you interested in pickling more vegetables? Check out these pickled vegetable ideas you can make in the refrigerator: