Making Pickles – The Best Idea I’ve Ever Had

I love pickles. Apparently a lot of people love pickles too. I asked on Twitter if today’s post should be about pickles of trail mix and was bombarded with requests for pickles. Fear not, trail mixers, your post will be up tomorrow. There is just something about pickles, you either really love them or you can’t even look at them. I’m the guy that gets all the orphaned pickles when we go out for burgers with friends. Think of me as a pickle orphanage, except they don’t eat the kids at orphanages…. ehh this is going somewhere dark. PICKLES! YUM YUM!

My pickle preference leans towards Kosher Dills, nothing beats a super crisp cold dill pickle on a burger or alongside some good barbecue.  In the lands of dill pickles you can most often get them as either spears, halves, or wholes. Finding a good dill pickle in the chip form is tough, which baffles me, I want dill pickle chips please. Pickle chips are great when they’re nice and thing for sandwiches, but for snacking purposes I want something a bit more substantial. Which leads us to the reason I’m writing today’s post, I decided to make dill pickle chips at home the other day, but not some wimpy flimsy chips, these things are mega chips more like stumps! Pickle stumps… I guess that works? Sounds kind of weird, like an amputee pickle… whoops there we go to that dark place again!

Lets get to it! Pickle making is easy and takes about a half hour of your time and 24 hours of sitting in the fridge time. This recipe is for pickles that have a little heat to them, don’t like heat? Swap the pepper flakes for a TBSP of some honey for a kinder gentler dill pickle.

  • 2 Cups Distilled White Vinegar
  • 3 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 6-7 Kirby Cucumbers
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic Smashed (use the side of your knife)
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 10 Sprigs of Fresh Dill (this was all of one of those packs of fresh herbs you can buy)

Behold your cucumbers! You’ve got a big decision to make from the start. How are you going to cut them up? I went for big chips, but you could also do spears or halves. I wouldn’t suggest doing whole pickles with this recipe as we’re only brining them for a short amount of time.

Once you’ve committed to your cutting style toss all the cucumbers into a colander and give them a bunch of good shakes of salt. We want to pre salt the cucumbers so they’ll give off a bit of their moisture and will be ready to absorb the tasty brine we’re about to prepare.

Here are your two major ingredients, garlic and dill. These are really going to be a big part of your pickle flavor profile so don’t be shy with them. Split the dill sprigs up so that you’ll have enough pieces to toss in each jar/container you’ll be storing the pickles in. Make sure to give the garlic a nice whack so it smashes a bit and will more readily share it’s garlicky flavor into your brine.

Now put all your ingredients except for the cucumbers into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling reduce the heat a bit and let it simmer so all the flavors have ample time to mingle.

While you let the brine simmer go ahead and stuff the pickles into jars. I used mason jars cause I had some laying around but really you could use any heat resistance container with a lid. Seven cucumbers fit perfectly into two jars with plenty of room for brine.

Carefully pour the hot brine over the cucumbers. Make sure to scoop out and evenly split all the dill, garlic, pepper flakes, and mustard seeds floating around the bottom of the pan as these will continue to bless the cucumbers with awesome flavors.

After sitting in the fridge for a minimum for 24 hours your pickles are good to go. Scoop some out and give them a try. The longer they sit in the brine the better. These pickles will stay fresh for a few weeks, I ate nearly an entire jar in one day. So I wouldn’t worry too much about their shelf life, their deliciousness will assure they are gone quickly.

This was one of those recipes where I actually surprised myself with just how awesome it turned out. I’m so happy I tried this out, these are probably some of the best dill pickles I’ve ever had and I’ve even bought some of the fancy $12 jars of them before. So not only am I getting significantly more delicious and fresh pickles but I’m saving some loot along the way! I’ll be making these again for certain! If you’re feeling adventurous you can even try pickling other things like tomatoes, grapes, peppers, or any other number of things with this recipe. So get pickling, it is sooo worth it.

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  • http://twitter.com/shickastickat @shickastickat

    I don't know if you've ever had pickled garlic, but it's amazing. You just pop it in your mouth and eat it instead of cooking with it. Pretty much the same process to make it, but it has to sit for 20 days. Amazing once it's done though.

    • http://www.battlemouth.com Mike

      Yeah I love pickled garlic. Like you said this recipe would work really well for garlic. Now I'm craving some, guess it's time to whip up a batch.