Quick and Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Quick and Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Photo Credit
Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
7 to 9 pints
Special Considerations
Preparation Method
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Looking for a quick pickle recipe? Refrigerator Dill Pickles are crisp and so delicious. All you need are cucumbers and basic ingredients. Serve sliced on sandwiches and burgers, or enjoy straight from the jar. 

To get crisper pickles, we recommend brining the cucumbers in salt water. This step (#2 below) is optional, but we think it keeps pickles nice and crunchy, not mushy. The quality and freshness of your pickles at the start of the process can also impact crunch.  Also, a little sugar is added to recipes to cut the acidity; if you don’t add sugar, the taste may turn out “vinegary.”

These Refrigerator Pickles will last one month in the fridge. Quick pickles (refrigerator pickles) are meant to be prepared quickly and consumed quickly! However, if you wish to process the pickles (boiling water bath), the pickles will be stored for one year on the shelf and, after opening, up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

See the full Guide on How to Pickle and Guide to Water-Bath Canning to learn how to can HIGH acid foods such as pickled cucumbers.

Note: This recipe was updated in 2020 to comply with the latest safety measures. It’s been adapted from the “Complete Guide to Home Canning,” Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. We no longer have a copy of the old recipe.

8 lbs of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
2 gallons of water
1¼ cups canning or pickling salt
1½ quarts vinegar (5 percent or high)
¼ cup sugar
2 quarts water
2 tbsp whole mixed pickling spice (such as Pickling Crisp™ or Mrs Wages)
3 tbsp whole mustard seed (about 1 tsp to 2 tsp per pint jar)
14 heads of fresh dill (about 1½ heads per pint jar
) OR 
4½ tbsp dill seed (about 1½ tsp per pint jar)
Garlic clove, peeled – one per jar
  1. Wash cucumbers and cut a 1/16-inch slice off the blossom end and discard, but leave ¼-inch of stem attached.  
  2. Dissolve ¾ cup salt into 2 gallons of water. Pour over the cucumbers and let stand for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Drain and cut into halves or quarters.
  3. Combine 1 ½ qt vinegar, ½ cup salt, ¼ cup sugar and 2 quarts water into a stainless-steel pot. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cheesecloth bag. Heat to boiling. 
  4. Fill pint jars with the cucumbers. Add 1 tsp mustard seed, 1½ heads fresh dill and garlic clove per pint.
  5. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½-inch headspace. If you run out of vinegar solution to fill up to headspace, make a ½ vinegar:½water solution and using a microwave oven, microwave to boiling before using.
  6. Top each pint with a lid and screw bands to finger tight only leaving ½ inch headspace.
  7. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks allowing flavor to develop to taste. Enjoy!

For storing pickles at room temperature process the pints in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Learn More
Are you a pickle enthusiast? See our How to Pickle Guide with more recipes!

About The Author

Sarah Perreault

Senior editor, Sarah Perreault, works on all things Almanac, but is especially proud to be the editor of our Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids series. Read More from Sarah Perreault