It’s easy to make refrigerator dill pickles at home. No fancy equipment or special skills required! (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free)
I come from a long line of great gardeners–ripe juicy berries, fresh sweet corn, giant pumpkins & squash, tomatoes-so-heavy-they-make-the-plants-sag kind of gardeners.
I am *not* a great gardener.
I’m a girl with a green heart and a black thumb. Despite my best attempts, I haven’t yet been successful in growing fruits or veggies here in the desert (other than one basil plant I’ve managed to keep alive…).
So my specialty is choosing produce at the farmers market or grocery store and eating, preserving, and using what other people have grown without any of the fussiness of actual canning (I’m just not ready!). We tackled freezer jam for the first time this spring (it’s SO MUCH easier than I thought it would be), and my favorite summer project is refrigerator pickles. Specifically, refrigerator DILL pickles.
Refrigerator dill pickles don’t require any fancy canning equipment, special skills, or a lot of time. If you can slice + whisk, you can make dill refrigerator pickles! They taste amazing on burgers and sandwiches, in burger bowls, or for a simple snack.
Here’s all you need to get started on the EASIEST homemade pickles recipe ever…
Here’s What You Need To Make Our Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe:
- MASON JARS OR CONTAINERS. Strictly speaking, refrigerator pickles can be stored in any kind of container with a lid–pint-size jars, glass food storage containers, and working glasses with lids are my favorites. Additionally, you can use any size jars/containers you want for refrigerator dill pickles. I’ve used 32oz jars, 16oz jars, and 8oz jars. I’ll give instructions based on 16oz (pint) jars since that seems to be the most common size, but know that you can divide this among any size jars you have!
- CUCUMBERS. I recommend thin-skinned cucumbers for refrigerator dill pickles. English cucumbers (sometimes labeled Hot House cucumbers) or small cucumbers (like Kirby cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or pickling cucumbers) are my three favorites. Use what you can find!
- CRUSHED GARLIC. I like a little crushed garlic in my dill pickles. I recommend 1 small or 1/2 a large clove crushed (not minced or sliced) per pint of pickles. To crush garlic, just use the flat side of a large knife to press down on the clove until it splits. (You can also do this with the bottom of a glass.)
- FRESH DILL. The big dill flavor in my refrigerator dill pickles comes from using fresh dill sprigs. I get it with other fresh herbs in the produce department of my grocery stores (even Target & Walmart have it!).
- PEPPERCORNS + RED PEPPER FLAKES. For more flavor, I like using a mix of whole black peppercorns (plenty of flavor without any of the grit!) and red pepper flakes. These won’t be spicy, but the pepper will round out the flavor.
- VINEGAR + WATER + SALT. Lastly, the brine! The brine for my refrigerator pickles uses white vinegar, water, and kosher salt. That’s it! But after a day or two of sitting in the fridge, that brine will absorb all the other flavors from the garlic + dill + pepper. It’s delicious + easy!
4 SHAPES OF REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES
You can cut your cucumbers into different shapes, depending on your preference.
- WHOLE PICKLES. This works with small cucumbers, like Kirby or Persian. Pickles should easily fit in your jar and shouldn’t poke up above the surface of the brine.
- PICKLE SPEARS OR WEDGES. Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise. For larger cucumbers (like English cucumbers), you’ll also need to cut the spears in half or thirds so they’re short enough to fit into your jars.
- PICKLE CHIPS. My go-to shape for refrigerator dill pickles is pickle chips. You can slice them into coins with a sharp knife. I recommend no thinner than 1/4″ thick!
- CRINKLE CUT PICKLE CHIPS (MY FAVORITE!). Or, for a fun effect, you can cut the cucumbers into coins using a crinkle cutter to get a fun wavy shape. I own this crinkle cutter, but this style and this crinkle cutting knife are also great options with high reviews.
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES.
OUR FAVORITE JARS + LIDS FOR REFRIGERATOR PICKLES. We’ve had great luck with wide-mouth jars, which are easier to get food in and out of. Also, we like these reusable lids, which are washable and perfect for day-to-day use and won’t rust.
DON’T SLICE THE CUCUMBERS TOO THIN! For the best texture, try not to slice or cut your cucumbers much thinner than 1/4 inch for refrigerator pickles. This way, they’ll absorb the brine and stay crisp. Thinner sliced cucumbers can go limp more quickly.
WHAT SIZE JARS DO YOU USE FOR REFRIGERATOR PICKLES? Any size or shape of jar will work, though I’ll be giving amounts per pint (2-cups/16oz) of pickles. If you’re using a larger or smaller jar, you’ll just need to divide the mixture accordingly.
CAN I USE DRIED DILL INSTEAD? I love dried dill in things like my homemade ranch dressing, but I don’t recommend dried dill for refrigerator dill pickles. The flavor won’t be as fresh or potent, and the finely cut dried dill will coat the surface of the pickles instead of just flavoring the brine.
ARE THESE PICKLES SPICY? No. They’re flavorful, but not hot. If you’re nervous, I recommend omitting the red pepper flakes. If you like spicy pickles, I recommend more red pepper flakes for some spice.
WHAT ARE THE BEST CUCUMBERS FOR REFRIGERATOR PICKLES? My 3 favorites are English cucumbers (sometimes sold as Hot House cucumbers), Kirby cucumbers, and Persian cucumbers. I don’t prefer traditional (thicker-skinned) cucumbers for refrigerator pickles.
HOW LONG WILL REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES KEEP IN THE FRIDGE? Refrigerator pickles are not shelf stable at room temperature but will stay fresh about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. They will soften slightly as time goes on, but won’t spoil before 3 weeks, thanks to the vinegar and salt in the brine.
MORE SUMMER RECIPES TO LOVE:
- Lemon Dill Shrimp & Orzo Salad
- The Best Homemade Popsicles
- Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Settler’s Beans (BEST Baked Beans Ever!)
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
HELPFUL FOR MAKING REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES: