Can we talk for a moment about the greatness of pickles?  Specifically dill pickles.  I know there are people who love almost anything pickled but for me, only dill pickles will do.  Years ago when we lived in our first house, we planted our first vegetable garden.  At the time I wasn’t particularly fond of cucumbers but we had planted them anyway and suddenly I found myself wondering what to do with them.  Thankfully I discovered this ridiculously simple method for making refrigerator dill pickles and I have loved them forever since.  I had no idea that fantastically crisp and fresh pickles would be so easy and quick to make with only a few ingredients.

This recipe is one that has been largely forgotten deep in the archives of the blog but deserves to be remembered.  Last summer the insane heat/drought burned my cuke plants to a crisp, and they shriveled into nothingness.  This year, I planted extra to make up for that disappointment and these days, I’m pulling two or three good size cucumbers off the plants every few days.  You can use traditional or pickling cucumbers for this – whatever you like.  My pickling cucumbers always end up looking like little globes or something so I tend to prefer the traditional type.  If you have about 10 minutes, you have time to make these pickles.  Just watch!


  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 medium-large cucumbers
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt


  • 01

    Add 1 minced or pressed clove of garlic and a few springs of dill to the bottom of each jar.  (Don’t stress over exact amounts.  I’ve made these countless times, undoubtedly different each time, and they have always been great.)

  • 02

    Cut the cucumbers into spears or whatever shape you like.  Add the spears to the jars, packing in as many as you can without having to force them in.

  • 03

    In a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher, combine the water, vinegar, and salt.  Stir well until the salt is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into each jar over the cucumber spears so they are completely covered.  Top with an additional few sprigs of dill, if desired.  Screw on the lids of the jars.  Repeat with remaining cucumbers, making additional brine as needed (only takes a few seconds!)  Refrigerate for two (agonizing) days.  Enjoy!  Continue to store in the refrigerator…presuming there are leftovers, of course.

  • 04

    *The dill pictured here is pickling dill.  I bought it because it was the only dill available at my store this week.  I have used traditional dill many times in the past and the results have been basically the same.

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I’ve always wanted to make pickles at home! LOVE this Annie!

  • My boyfriend’s mom sent some cukes home with him the other day and I really dont’ like them as is…but I adore pickles! Definitely getting a jar or two of these into my fridge!

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    Oh I LOVE dill pickles and cannot wait to make my own. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Meghan K.

    I made these pickles a few summers ago after finding them in the archives of your blog and they were absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe I haven’t done so since! Thanks for bringing these to the forefront – I’ll be whipping up a batch this week. :-)

  • Jackie

    You don’t even have to boil the brine? SO EASY!!!! Can’t wait to make them :)

  • Sara Kilpatrick

    About how long do you think these will last in the fridge? My daughter LOVES pickles but I do not so they won’t be eaten but so fast :)

  • I absolutely love this idea. I’ve never made my own pickles for some reason but I’m inspired. Lovely post :)

  • annieseats

    They last quite a while. I have eaten them months later and still love them.

  • Caroline L.

    Can you believe I hated pickles until just a couple of months ago? Except one time in grade school, we went on a field trip to a farm and had a sample of a dill pickle and it was ridiculously good… but no pickle I ever had after that lived up to its memory!

  • Julie @ Table for Two

    i’m OBSESSED with dill pickles…can’t imagine what it’ll be like
    when i’m pregnant ;) haha! i’m making these tonight! i have a fresh
    cucumber from the market just waiting to be used!! thanks Annie!

  • Karen H.

    We planted some pickling cucumbers this year and I was hoping to make some refrigerator pickles with them. I’ve never done it before but this recipe looks so easy I’m definitely going to use it! Fingers crossed!

  • Liane

    Perfect timing. My mother-in-law has a ton of cukes and I have a bunch of dill growing. Can’t wait to make this!

  • Julie

    Oh Annie. Bless you. Having moved from Canada after 20yrs, back to native NZ, my Canuck kids pine for dill pickles. Unable to find anything remotely resembling them here, I can now attempt these…..wacky Xmas presents sorted. ;-)

  • My grandmother made seem to always have these in her fridge!

  • How ironic, my roommate and I just went to one of our favorite restaurants for their amazing pickled vegetables, and then we got to thinking…why just make our own! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Leila Green

    omg I’m so excited to try this!! I’ve been wanting to “pickle” something for awhile now and this looks totally do-able. Can’t wait!! Thanks for the inspiration/motivation! :)

  • I just made pickled jalapenos last week, and now I’m a little obsessed with the idea of pickling things! Bookmarking this! :)

  • Suze

    OMG – I must try this!!! :-D My hubby and I love dill pickle spears. You make it seem so easy!

  • Abbie E

    This is so cool! I absolutely LOVE dill. <3 It's one of the best flavors on this earth. :)

  • Love this! I’ve always wanted to “pickle” too!

  • Joanne

    Just ate the ones I made 2 days ago with all the cucumbers, garlic and dill coming from my garden. My brother in law said they were the best pickle he has ever tasted!
    Everything I have made from your blog has been awesome!

  • atlanta01

    I have never canned anything but I saw this recipe and it solved the problem with what to do with all the dill we grew this year! My neighbour brought us some cukes so this was the perfect opportunity to try something new. Just finished and can’t wait to taste them! Thanks again for another great recipe!

  • Joanne

    So the all pickles are gone in less than 12 hours! I am wondering if you have ever reused the brine. I made mine all in one bowl and I am tempted to just add more cucumbers

  • Courtney –

    I just stumbled upon your blog looking for a simple pickle recipe. You made them sound so easy and delicious I just had to make these! I can’t wait to try them. I am obsessed with dill pickles. You have a new fan

  • Jen

    I know you said you only like cucumber pickes, but I have a Sheila Lutkins recipe for dilly green beans that is amazing…it’s really similar to this except you cook the beans in the brine. I’m going to try to get the nerve up to actually process them this year…

  • annieseats

    I have not tried reusing it. I think the osmotic balance would be thrown off after making them once but I could be wrong. The brine is so easy and cheap to make, I don’t mind just making more.

  • annieseats

    Oh, I like other pickled things, I just love dill cucumber pickles best of all. (And don’t come near me with a sweet pickle or bread and butter – ick.) But those sound good! I’ll have to try them :)

  • Tammy Ross

    how long can you keep these in the fridge, assuming they wont get eaten in a few days.

  • annieseats

    I’ve kept them for a couple of months and they are still good. But, I recently found a jar that had been lost in the depths of the fridge from last summer and they were all mushy.

  • Suzanne R

    I cannot get fresh dill, Are dill seeds ok to use instead?

  • annieseats

    You should really use fresh dill for best results. Most grocery stores carry it. I cannot recommend dill seeds since I have not tried them.

  • Dolly

    Can you make these in tupperware containers or does it have to be jars?

  • annieseats

    I think jars would be best. I haven’t tried anything else, so I can’t advise on that.

  • PJ

    I don’t recommend using anything but glass either. Acids will leach toxins from plastic. If you are not concerned from that point, the vinegar and dill will likely infuse into the plastic altering its smell and spoiling other foods you later try to save in it.

  • annieseats

    That was my thought as well.

  • Patrick

    Made these two days ago with the kids opened them today and they ate a whole jar. Love not have to boil or pressure cook them they seem to self seal while in the fridge. Great Recipe.

  • Brandy L

    So, would it be fine to re-use previously used canning lids since we’re not needing to create a seal with these jars?

  • annieseats


  • Angela Stewart

    When I made them they came out SUPER salty. Not very dill pickle like since the salt was so prominent. Any thoughts?

  • annieseats

    Most pickles are very salty, at least in my experience. Everyone’s taste buds are different so maybe you are extra sensitive to salt. Just reduce it next time.

  • Dawn

    Definitely the easiest recipe I’ve seen! Planning on making these someday, just need the fresh dill!

  • Lena

    I had the same experience. For me, they were way saltier than normal. I did use regular salt. But I don’t know if that would have made a difference. However, I discovered two things. 1. Just drain some or all of the brine and add water. Next day they will be good. The other thing I noticed was they were perfect 24 hours later ( I had to try them).

    I just made another batch and decided to try apple cider vinegar and half the salt. I also grated in some fresh nutmeg. Sounded kinda fun. We will see how they turn out!

    Love this recipe!

  • Michael Bukay

    You have to use pickling or kosher salt

  • joy vickers

    I made these, along with my 13 year old grandson. He did all the measurements and when he measured the vinegar he got probably 1/3 more than the recipe called for. We also used sea salt instead. I added a hot pepper to one of the jars. They were awesome!!!!

  • Kim

    Thank you for this recipe! My 6 year old daughter and I really enjoyed making these, and the whole family loves the results! They’re so fresh and tasty! I’ve been turned off by store bought dill pickles as an adult because they’re just too sour. But these, they’re perfect – love them as a snack! We did slices and spears, and both are fantastic. We used exact recipe, including coarse KOSHER salt (my favorite kind of cooking salt) and FRESH dill. These remind me of barrel pickles my dad and I used to enjoy when I was a kid. We will make these every summer from now on!

  • Angela

    I made these, adding the Thai chili peppers I had. The two days of waiting are finally over and I dove into. They are excellent. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ll be making this time and again.

  • Rebecca

    Iodized table salt is much more potent than kosher salt. It would make sense to use half if you don’t have kosher salt.

  • Michele

    I made these 3 days ago and used dill seed (all I had) instead of fresh dill. We just ate half the container…they were so crisp and flavorful! I used extra garlic, so they were especially tasty! Thanks for this great refrigerator DILL recipe!!

  • Emily

    I tried re-using the brine, just to find out if it would work, and it definitely does not. There is not enough salt/vinegar left in it to properly “pickle” the pickles. And like you said, it’s super easy to make more!

  • annieseats

    Well, too bad it doesn’t work, but at least now we know for sure. Thanks for letting me know so others will also know in the future!

  • Melissa

    I made three big mason jars of these a month ago (threw in some bell pepper and zucchini too! Highly recommended!) and I’m almost done with the last jar! They’re still just as delicious as they were that first day!

  • Shelli Williamson DeMarkles

    I made these yesterday using my own cucs and dill…awesome! So easy and so good! Thank you for the great recipe!

  • Debra Vaughn

    Made these with cucumbers from my garden. They are the best pickles I have ever had! These are so crunchy and fresh! I didn’t think they were too salty, but I used coarse kosher salt. Trying a batch now with cider vinegar and some spices. I can’t wait to try them!

  • crystal

    i also has the same experience, I used canning/pickling salt. I will wait a few days to see if this gets better as they absorb more flavors. If it’s not better, I will add some water and wait another few days.

    also I had to make more to fill one jar.

  • Kerri Yudkovitch

    I made these pickles and we love them!!! We have picked about 30 cucumbers from our garden and ready to start over. My question, I left some of the pickles in the glass containers for 2 weeks and some of my family members thought it was to much for them. After a few days, this time can I dump out the brine and leave the pickles in the jar by themselves?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that so you would have to experiment. I don’t think they really get stronger after a few days because I think the osmotic pressures between the brine and the pickle have probably reached a balanced state at that point. So, that may have been just an issue of personal preference. My concern is that if you transfer them to just water after they are brined, some of the salt/flavoring will actually leave the pickle and diffuse into the water, making the pickle lose its flavor. Does that make sense? In any case, the only way to know for sure is to try and see what happens! Good luck :)

  • Melissa Brooker

    Mmmmmm I just tasted the pickles I made on Thursday, they are delicious!

  • Kay Bolig

    Can you put 1 teaspoon of Alum in the bottom of the jar to make the pickles crunchy?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know what that is and I’m not familiar with it. The pickles are crunchy on their own so I don’t think you need it.

  • Amanda Brewer

    Another winner Annie! The baby is enjoying them as well. I made a jar just for him with the skin peeled since he only has 8 teeth.

    Also for the readers that are wondering, I used dried dill weed and it tastes wonderful…BUT I am certain that they would taste even better with fresh dill.

  • I’m not a pickle fan, but I mostly enjoyed these. Only say mostly because they were a bit too salty for my taste. I will definitely make them again using less salt. So easy!

  • Ivy

    Do you have to boil the brine or is this done cold?

  • annieseats

    No, just cold as described in the instructions.

  • These were great, thanks! I searched high and low for the easiest sugar-free refrigerator pickle recipe and this one sounded too good to be true, but they turned out great. The only catch – I really only liked them after they were in the fridge for about two weeks, but this could be because my cukes were slicers, not pickling cukes. I’m also not a huge pickle fan; I’m fussy about them, so I can see why most folks would enjoy them within a few days.

  • Amanda Brewer

    UPDATE: much, much better with fresh dill

  • Emily Huval

    One of the problems I have with pickles (whether they’re canned or refrigerator pickles) is that so many recipes call for too much vinegar. This recipe has the perfect amount of vinegar! My pickles tasted great after less than one day. Thank you!

  • Ivetta Borja

    First off, bloody awesome recipe. By far my favorite. Everyone who has tried it is asking for the recipe. Second, how long will they keep in the fridge? I have an abundance of cucs and will be making a ton of pickles.

  • annieseats

    In my experience they are good for at least a few weeks but they don’t last forever. Eventually the pickles start to become mushy. However, we usually eat them fast enough that we don’t notice any deterioration in the quality. So glad you enjoy them!

  • Zepposode

    Annie, I am an educator at a science discovery center and for this week’s summer camp, we’ve been exploring the science of cooking. The campers prepared these pickles in the beginning of the week and just taste tested them this afternoon. They were a hit! A very fun activity to do with kids (the recipe easily converts to single-jar instructions) and absolutely delicious. We did a mix of pickling cucumbers and large cucumbers and both were successful. Thanks for the great activity!

  • annieseats

    That is wonderful! I am so happy to hear it!

  • Cheryl DeWitt Sexton

    Annie, Is it necessary to sterilize all the canning jars and lids ? And How long do you think these would last unopened in the Refrigerator? I made these and they reminded me of the Best Kosher Pickles by Claussen in the refrigerated section of the stores but even better :-) I can’t wait to make them again!!

  • annieseats

    Hi Cheryl,
    No, not necessary to sterilize for this recipe since it is just refrigerator canning. Sterilization is only required for true canning, when the foods will be stored at room temperature for long periods of time. I don’t know exactly how long these last..maybe a month or two. Eventually they become less crisp over time, but ours never last long enough for us to find out :)

  • Danielle Copeland Bethke

    So I started making these last year with the bumper crop of cukes I planted. And then giving them away to people. I just wanted to tell you that everyone is CLAMORING for pickles right now, wondering if my cukes are ripe yet. They all LOVE this recipe.
    Sometimes I add red pepper flakes and hot peppers as well, and make spicy pickles.
    Can’t go wrong. Great recipe!
    Thanks for making me the most popular woman around!

  • Annie

    Yay! So happy to hear it!