“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.
10 thoughts on “Clone of Claussen Pickles”
First time making dill pickles. Do you heat the brine to dissolve the salt. Is sea salt ok to use.
Good morning Danita,
No need to heat the brine. I clarified the recipe. Just keep stirring in the water until salt dissolves.
Let me know how they turn out and good luck!
Thank you for the quick reply. I will let you know how they turn out.
I used to listen to you on the Sonrise Morning show with Matt Swaim while driving to work in the morning. Since I’ve retired, I don’t listen to the radio in the mornings anymore. I’m glad I get your e-mails. I love your stories about the biblical ties to food. Keep the stories coming.
Thank you again.
Don’t forget to let me know, Danita!
I had some for lunch today. They were very good. Thank you for the recipe.
I’m really anxious to try these! Refrigerator pickles are usually more like 1:1 water/vinegar. So when you have them on the counter a few days, is the lid off? With a baggie of water and towel on top? Thank you so much!
Sorry for the late reply – for some reason I thought I had already addressed this. When they are brining on the counter, keep them under the brine with a baggie of water and towel on top, just like you said. Let me know how they turn out.
These recipes sound great, thanks. But a very beginner’s question: Once the brining is done, do I store them (in the refrigerator) in the brine? In a fresh or different solution? With no liquid?
Good morning, Tom,
Yes the pickles get stored in the same brine in the refrigerator. Thanks for bringing up this question – I had several others ask it too. Do let me know how they turn out.
That seemed right to me, but as a noobie I wanted to check. Thanks for the confirmation.