This One Surprising Burger Topping Is Way Better Homemade

Homemade Pickles

Happy Independence Day to all my U.S.-based readers! :-) I’m sure that many of you will be filling up on grilled burgers and hot dogs at some point today. So I thought it would be fitting for today’s post to focus on one of the mainstays of the traditional backyard barbecue spread: pickles!

Related: 13 Gadgets Under $25 That Will Make Summer Grilling So Easy

Personally, pickles have always had a special place in my heart. I tend to have trouble controlling myself around snacks that are both crunchy and salty, and eating a few pickles is usually enough to scratch that itch and prevent me from inhaling half a bag of potato chips. ;-)

Homemade Pickles

But I had never really considered trying to make my own pickles at home until quite recently! I was happy to discover that it’s actually quite easy to make homemade pickles, and they’re really delicious too! They have a fresher flavor than their store-bought counterparts, and they’re delightfully crunchy too. Give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think!

How To Make Homemade Pickles

Homemade Pickles


1 cucumber, cut in half then sliced into spears
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp pickling spices*
2 cups water

*Note: You can buy pre-mixed pickling spices or mix up your own if you prefer! See the recipe for pickling spices near the bottom of this post.

Homemade Pickles


Add the cucumber spears and minced garlic to a wide-mouth mason jar.

Homemade Pickles

In a mixing bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, pickling spices, and water.

Homemade Pickles

Stir until the salt dissolves, then pour the finished brine into the jar.

Homemade Pickles

If necessary, place a glass weight on top of the cucumbers spears to keep them submerged in the brine. Then cover the jar lightly by perching the lid on top, or else use a rubber band to secure a piece of cheesecloth over the opening.

Homemade Pickles

Place the jar somewhere out of direct sunlight and let it sit for two to four days (or until the cucumbers taste like pickles!) :-) Then secure the lid on the jar and store them in your fridge.

Homemade Pickles

As long as the pickles stay submerged in the brine, they’ll keep in your fridge for up to six months!

Homemade Pickles

Pickling Spice Blend


2 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp allspice
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
2 whole cloves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf, crumbled
4 Tbsp dried dill seed


Add everything to a bowl and then stir to mix. Store the finished spice mix in an airtight container.

Homemade Pickles

What foods do you like to put pickles on or in?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • I like chopped pickles (or onions) chopped up in shredded sharp cheese with mayonnaise to make a spread for toast, sandwiches or crackers.

  • Brings back lots of memories.My mom has made pickles a few times.I don’t think we’ve made any since we’ve been in the Midwest. Our garden does produce some huge cucumbers , and they sometimes don’t taste as good when they get big. The main reason we haven’t is we have hot and humid summers and it make the kitchen very muggy.

  • I’ve made pickles for years and my recipe is very similar to yours only mine calls for adding a tablespoon of white sugar to each quart jar of pickles. I find it tames the tartness of the vinegar in my pickles without sweetening them (which I like). And talk about pickle addictions … I also have a recipe for pickling jalapeño peppers. On occassion, I have taken my pickles and quartered them lengthwise and started dunking them in the hot jalapeño vinegar (leftover after my jalapeños were gone) before eating them and could hardly stop, they were so good.

  • After about two days on the counter (out of the sun), mine turned cloudy so I put them in the fridge. I followed your recipe exactly so what went wrong? Should I drain the liquid, mix up some new and pour it over the pickles?

  • Can’t wait to try these. My friend makes pickles and he said you have to use distilled water. The minerals and in tap water can result in a mushy pickle. Makes sense.

  • Can you tell me what is included in “2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices”?? We are planning on doing a lot of canning/ pickling this year and I want CRUNCHY too! :)

  • I love pickles, they always remind me of Christmas. When I was little we would only ever have pickles on Boxing Day (is that a US holiday as well as in the UK?). We’d have them with cold cuts, pickled red cabbage, crust bread etc. Good memories.

    • I’m pretty sure you could you other veggies. I’ve heard of people pickling lots of things like carrots, peppers, beets, etc. The dill is just used to make dill pickles. If you don’t want that flavor, feel free not to use i :)

  • Oh, Jillee! I’m so glad you like them. I’m also a pickle-a-holic… I probably shouldn’t even admit how many of these we make and eat during the summer. It’s indecent really. Thank you!

  • I love refrigerator pickles, just a few tips though. Those 1/2 gallon jars that you use for your foot soak are the perfect size for pickles. If you can’t find them in stock anywhere try asking your Ace or local grocery if they will special order for you. Also a friend of mine said that a grape leaf that is cleaned off will help keep them crispy. Pickling cucumbers really are better especially if they had water on them all night and where picked that morning. This recipe is a little different than what I have used in the past I will have to give it a try.

  • Help! I hate to be the skunk at the picnic, but I must be missing something here. If I mix up a brine consisting of 1-gallon of water plus 1-cup of vinegar plus 2/3 cup of salt plus various spices, how am I going to make it fit into a 1-gallon jar full of cucumbers?

    • Tom, you will have extra brine left over, but that is okay just save it on your counter or in your refrigerator and make more later. When I grow pickles I am only able to make them as they ripen, the brine won’t spoil so just save it for later.

    • I’m not sure, Nancy, never tried it. I learned from a neighbor who has done them for years. They will get a little bit of white mold (which is the good mold!) that will be at the top and I spoon out about every 3 days. It does not hurt anything at all, but is supposed to help in the process.

  • We call these fermented pickles, old-fashioned way. Make the brine with 1:20 water/kosher salt ratio, cucumbers, fresh dill, fresh grape leaves, fresh horseradish leaves, and garlic. Put garlic at bottom of 10 or 20 gallon glass jar, rotate dill, grape and horseradish leaves with the cucumbers, pour brine in until cukes are submerged. I then place a small glass that fits through the rim of the jar filled with water so that nothing goes above the brine level and then place a plastic gallon bag over the top of the jar and then let sit for at least 4 days, have gone as long as 8 days. You can then slice into smaller bits if you’d like and place in regular canning jars and put in the fridge! These are the tastiest pickles I have ever done.

      • Oh yeah! My mom’s been making these forever; the same recipe her mom and aunts used when she was growing up (from a mennonite cookbook).

      • I wouldn’t mind knowing that recipe also, I have tried to can mine before but they never turn out crispy even using alum. Do you use grape leaves?

      • Amy, do you cut about 1/8″ of the blossom end off before canning? Pickle crisp is good, too!

  • These look good. My daughter is a pickle-addict. We go through tons of them! I must admit I’m bit on the lazy side. I don’t mind making things but locating all of the ingredients is the real work. Just want to ask you what the cost-per-batch turns out to be (ball-park). Is it worth the extra time? BTW… I LOVE this blog!

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