Homemade Refrigerator Pickles: How-to & Recipes

October 10, 2022

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Making your own homemade pickles from cucumbers can be quite simple. There are a few different methods to getting it done. The two main techniques are by canning or the refrigerator. If you are making small batches for your own short term use or a huge batch to give out to friends; you should use the refrigerator method that I will teach you here. If you want to make huge amounts to have a stockpile for yourself all year long; you will want to use the canning method. The canning route requires more equipment and takes a bit longer. The refrigerator method of making homemade pickles is quick, simple and requires only your ingredients and jars.

The recipes in this article include bread & butter refrigerator pickles and dill refrigerator pickles.

homemade refrigerator pickles

Ingredients Needed

Dill Pickle Ingredients

  • Pint Mason Jars
  • Cucumbers
  • Pickling Salt
  • Dill Weed
  • Onion
  • Celery Seed
  • White Vinegar
  • Garlic Cloves or Minced Garlic

pickle ingredients

Bread & Butter Pickle Ingredients

  • Pint Mason Jars
  • Cucumbers
  • White Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Pickling Salt
  • Mustard Seed
  • Celery Seed
  • Onion

 Pick Your Cucumbers

Whether you use store bought cucumbers or you own garden vegetables, you will want to pick the right size for the best pickles. Typically, you will want small to medium sized cucumbers. Look for ones that are about an inch to an inch and a half thick and about 4 to 5 inches long. For every 6 pint jars, you will need about 2.5 lbs or about 15 small cucumbers.

Wash & Cut Cucumbers

First, make sure your hands are clean. Then, wash the cucumbers and make sure to get any dirt off of them. Make sure you also wash your mason jars with soap and water before you begin using them.

Decide what kind of pickles you want to make or if you want a combination of them. The two that I stick to are sandwich chips and spears. For both types, you will want to cut off the very end off of both sides. For sandwich chips, simply cut the entire cucumber into even little slices. You can cut them as thin or as thick as you prefer. For the pickle spears, just cut the cucumber in half longways and then cut each of those halves in half longways. This will create 4 spears per cucumber.

Prepare Mason Jars

For Homemade Dill Pickles:

The first thing you want to put in each of your mason jars, is a pinch of dill weed and a pinch of celery seed. If you are going to use minced garlic, you will add a pinch of it as well. If you are going to use garlic cloves, add about one third of a clove cut into smaller pieces. Last, cut up about 3 or 4 larger rings of onion and add to your jar.

pickle recipe & instructions

For Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles:

The first thing you will add to your bread and butter pickle jars is a pinch of mustard seed and a pinch of celery seed. Also, you will need to chop up 2 or 3 large rings of onion and add those as well.

Note: these amounts are starting points. As you become more comfortable making your own pickles, you can add more or less of the different spices and flavorings to suit your preferences.

Once you have prepared your jars with all of your spices and seasonings, go ahead and fill with your cucumber slices or spears. The best way to pack spears into the jars is longways. For the pickle chips, just start piling them in and jiggle the jar as you go to fill up all the holes. Set them to the side.

If you prefer a more store bought taste for your picky kids, Ball makes a product to make bread and butter pickles from home that taste EXACTLY like the ones you buy from the store. It mostly replaces the pickling salt and spices/seasonings in my recipe and has its own directions on the container. I have used it and highly recommend it. Amazon has the best deal I have ever seen on it.

Ball® Bread & Butter Pickle Mix – Flex Batch – New! (12.0oz) (by Jarden Home Brands)

Prepare Pickling Liquid

For Dill Pickling Liquid, Combine:

  • 4 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Pickling Salt

For Bread and Butter Pickling Liquid, Combine:

  • 3 Cups White Vinegar
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Pickling Salt

Note: These amounts are for a 6 pint mason jar recipe. Adjust amounts according to desired amount of pickle jars.

Finish and Wait

finished refrigerator pickles

Pour the pickling liquid you made over the corresponding pickles. Dill liquid goes in the jars you prepared for dill pickles. Bread and butter liquid goes in the jars you prepared for bread and butter pickles. You will want the liquid to completely fill the jar up to the lip. After they are full, screw the lid on tight. Leave your pickles out on the counter for 24 hours and then move to the refrigerator. For best taste, wait until the pickles have been in the fridge for a week and no less than a day. Also, be sure to use within 3 months and keep in the refrigerator. This method of homemade pickles does not allow you to store pickles at room temperature.

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