“It smells like dill pickles in here!” That from my husband, Frank, yesterday as he was coming into the kitchen from outside and the aroma of vinegar, pickling spices, garlic and dill wafted clear out the screen door. I was finishing up my latest clone of Claussen’s pickles.
If you love those refrigerated dill pickles from the grocery you’ll be thrilled to know you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost. Plus homemade is always better – fresh seasonal cucumbers and an easy brine.
This taste-a-like recipe for refrigerated dills like Claussen’s and other deli pickles turned out so good I could hardly wait to share it.
No worries about heating up the kitchen preserving pickles in a canner. After a couple or several days on the counter, the pickles get refrigerated to chill and crisp.
Dill pickles like Claussen’s
Recipe can be doubled.
Pickling spice usually has hot dried red pepper.
It does give the pickles a bit of a kick, but nowhere near a hot dill. If you want hot dills, slice open a jalapeno, Serrano or other hot pepper down the middle (allows flavor to come through faster and hotter) and add it to the brine.
Or add dry hot peppers or hot red pepper flakes.
Small to medium pickling cucumbers: 2# or so after trimming – 20 or so whole cucumbers
2 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dill seed or 2 large fresh heads of dill
2 quarts cool water
2/3 to 3/4 cup clear vinegar, 5% acid (taste as you go)
1 tablespoon mixed pickling spice
1/3 cup canning or Kosher salt
Trim 1/8” off blossom end (opposite where cucumber attaches to vine. This end has a rough dot instead of a smooth, indented dot on stem end). The blossom end has enzymes that may soften pickles. Don’t stress out about this though. Not sure? Trim both ends a bit.
Slice in half or quarters.
Put garlic, dill seeds and cucumbers in large container.
Stir together remaining ingredients until salt dissolves. No need to heat the brine. Just keep stirring until salt dissolves.
Pour brine over cucumbers.
Keep cucumbers under brine. A freezer baggie filled 3/4 way up with water works. Seal, lay on top of cucumbers to keep under brine.
Place cloth over jar to keep insects out.
Leave on counter 2-4 days or until cucumbers look and taste like pickles. Mine were ready after 2 days. After pickling, add more of any one ingredient if you like.
Store in refrigerator a couple days before eating to crisp up.
Keeps 6 months refrigerated.
Sub in English cucumbers if you don’t have picklers.
Grape leaves for crispness: optional but good
Like my mom, I add a wild grapevine leaf to my pickles.