Refrigerator pickles are quite possibly the easiest pickle to make.They are, as the name suggests, pickles you keep in the refrigerator. I received the recipe from a family friend a few years ago and we have been making them each year since. Our children love them!
Very few ingredients are needed to produce a batch of refrigerator pickles. You will need dill weed (fresh or dry), garlic, onions, non-iodized salt, white vinegar, grape leaves (if you have them), and cucumbers. And here’s the best part…if you only have a few cucumbers, you need only make a small jar of pickles. Generally, when I’m planning on doing some canning I try to have enough produce to make a large batch of whatever it is I’m making. Unfortunately, the garden, especially a small garden, doesn’t always yield large quantities at one time. This recipe is perfect for that situation.
The first step is to clean and slice your cucumbers, garlic, and onions. The amount of garlic and onions you use is really a matter of preference. The more you use, the stronger the flavor and vise versa.
Put the brine ingredients into a large pot and bring it to a boil.
While you’re waiting for the brine to boil, layer your vegetables in a clean jar(s). The size and number of jars you need will be determined by the amount of cucumbers you have on hand. Between the layers of vegetables shake and/or place the dill weed. I usually just give a few shakes each time I place a new layer of cucumbers in the jar.
This is also when you’ll decide if you are going to use the grape leaves or not. We chose to place a grape leaf on the bottom of the jar before layering the other veggies. We have not used grape leaves in the past and have had good results. We have been reading lately though that using the grape leaves will help to yield an even crunchier pickle. If you don’t have grape leaves, just disregard this step. We have made many, many batches without them and have had great success.
This recipe yields quite a large amount of brine. If you are only doing a small jar of pickles, like the two-quart I did this day, you will have brine left over. I have not personally tried saving the extra, but I have talked with a close friend and avid canner who has. She has had success cooling, refrigerating, and then reheating the extra brine.
After you have poured your brine, simply cover the top of the jar with a grape leaf, or a piece of wax paper. Let the jar sit for 24 hours on the counter. After that, simply place a lid on the jar and stick it into the refrigerator. We have had success keeping these pickles in the refrigerator for up to a year.