Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles are easy to make at home, with no canning equipment required. Thin sliced cucumbers are pickled in a spicy dill brine in the refrigerator.
If you're hesitant to can your own pickles at home because it is time consuming and heats up the kitchen, you'll love this recipe for refrigerator pickles. There is no canning or cooking involved in making these refrigerator pickles - just 5 minutes of prep and you're done!
These spicy dill pickles are made in your refrigerator with just a handful of simple ingredients. Since they're not canned, they need to be refrigerated, but will last up to two months when tightly sealed.
Red pepper flakes add flavor and heat to these thin sliced dill pickles, making them an ideal topping for hamburgers and fried-chicken sandwiches.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, you'll need sliced cucumbers, fresh dill, water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.
White vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used in this recipe.
The red pepper flakes give your pickles their spicy flavor, so I don't recommend substituting or omitting them.
What type of cucumbers can I pickle?
Any cucumbers you have on hand can be pickled. Of course pickling cucumbers are an ideal choice, but English cucumbers or slicing cucumbers will also work.
Pickling cucumbers will produce a firmer, crunchier pickle, whereas English or slicing cucumbers will make a slightly softer pickle.
Do I need to sterilize my jars?
The need to sterilize jars in canning is to ensure that your jars are free of bacteria and fungi. When canning, the food is prepared so that it can sit in a sealed jar at room temperature for long periods of time without spoiling. Thus the need to ensure your cans are totally free from bacteria that will spoil your food.
Refrigerator pickles are not shelf stable, and will only keep for 1-2 months in the refrigerator. So, no, you do not have to sterilize your jars before making refrigerator pickles or freezer jams. They will only be stored in the refrigerator for a short time.
However, you are absolutely welcome to sterilize your jars if you want to, as an extra precaution.
Do I need to cook my brine?
For this recipe, there is no need to heat or cook your brine before adding it to your jars.
In my Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles recipe, there is a step to heat the brine on the stove top. This is because sugar is included in the brine, and heat is needed to dissolve the sugar.
What size jars do I need?
This recipe will make one quart size jar, or two pint size (16 ounce) jars of pickles. Or, you can also make four 8 ounce jars of pickles.
Any jars you have on hand, as long as they seal tightly with a lid, will work. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your recipe if you want to fill randomly sized jars.
Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles
- 1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, *
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar, apple cider or white
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- In two pint size jars, add fresh dill, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Then, pack jars tightly with sliced cucumbers and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix water, vinegar, and salt, until salt is dissolved. Pour into jars over cucumbers until filled. Any remaining brine can be discarded.
- Tightly seal, gently shake to disperse ingredients, and refrigerate for 2 days to allow cucumbers to pickle. Store pickles in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Any cucumbers can be pickled. Pickling cucumbers will produce a firmer pickle, and slicing/English cucumbers will produce a softer pickle.
- Your refrigerator pickles need to be stored in the refrigerator. Since they are not canned, they are not shelf-stable and need to be refrigerated.
- The cucumbers need 2 days to pickle in the brine before enjoying. They are edible immediately, but need at least 2 days of rest for best results.
- *As written, this will produce a medium heat pickle. For spicier pickles, double the amount of red pepper flakes, and for a mild dill pickle, use half as much.