When I met Robin 9 years ago, he could just barely manage to whip together a Kraft box of mac and cheese. Fast forward and now he’s such a talented home cook. It’s normal for him to make homemade tortillas each week for Taco Tuesday, unique craft cocktails, or freshly made bagels for breakfast.
His quarantine hobby has been cooking and his most recent favorite recipe is homemade pickles. And I’m not mad about it!! I don’t think we’ll ever be buying pickles again, they’re that good and that easy to make.
Robin likes to make a batch of homemade pickles every couple of weeks. They don’t last much longer, not because they go bad but because we snack on all of them too quickly! But hey, veggies, right?
But, it is good to note that this pickle recipe doesn’t use a canning machine, which means the pickles will need to stay refrigerated even before opening and should be opened & eaten within a few months. One day I’d love to live out my cottagecore fantasy of living in a farmhouse equipped with a canner so I can preserve all the things from my garden but we’re in the middle of San Francisco….without a garden, canner or space to keep a lot of jars. We had to find an urban-friendly pickle hack.
All we really had to buy is a pack of ball canning jars which we picked up at Target for about $10. You’ll also need peppercorn, apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic cloves, salt, red pepper flakes, dill and onions, which are things most people already have in their kitchen. And, of course: cucumbers!
You can use any type of cucumber. When we can, we like to use cucumbers from our local farmers market (I love the idea of using locally sourced veggies! I swear they taste better) but cucumbers from your regular grocery store will work just fine.
You can also experiment with different varietals of cucumbers as they all taste different and will produce slightly different tasting pickles. Some are sweeter, some are juicer, etc. You’ll need about one cucumber per jar of pickles (give or take.)
Other than that, just make sure you have a big pot to boil the brine and you’re ready to make your pickles!! Here’s Robin’s recipe:
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn (more for spicier pickles)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 6 fresh garlic gloves
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1/4 medium onion sliced up
- 4 sprigs fresh dill (can use more if you love the flavor!)
- A small bundle of chives
- 2 ball jars
Make Your Pickle Brine
Start by making your pickle brine
- Mix water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorn, salt, garlic and chili powder together in a large pot.
- Bring the brine to a boil and let boil until all the sugar and salt dissolve (usually a few minutes.)
- Let cool for 10-20 minutes before putting in your jar.
While your brine is boiling...
- Slice your cucumber in long thin "triangles" to make pickle shapes. Two pickles will yield about 2 jars of pickles.
- Slice your onion into long thin slices.
- Cut your bundle of chives in half .
- Place the cucumber triangles in a jar upright until it is full.
- Place the onions, dill and chives in the jar. Try to squeeze them between the triangles vs. placing on top.
- Then, when your brine is cool, simply fill each jar to the brim with your brine! You may need to shake your jar to help the brine settle evenly.
- Seal your jar and place in your fridge for at least 24 hours and wait for the brine to start pickling the cucumbers
- After 24 hours they are ready to eat!! Enjoy!
- The longer your pickles stay in a jar, the softer they get. So, if you don't like soft pickles make sure to eat the whole jar all within a week of making them.
- When we eat all the pickles, Robin likes to drink the brine (I don't lol) but that is an option! I feel like you could also use the brine in cocktails or other recipes.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.