How to Make Quick and Easy Homemade Pickles

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We’ve made it into those long, hot, lazy days of late summer. One of the most refreshing (and electrolyte-boosting!) snacks you can reach for in this Texas heat is a fresh crisp pickle. Even better, you can make them all season long right at home, and now it can be so much easier than you remember watching your grandma do. The best thing about this pickle recipe is that it is quick and easy — no sterilizing jars or special canning equipment required. All you do is slice Kirby cucumbers into spears, cover them with brine, pop them into the fridge, and they’re ready to eat the next day.

The most important part of the recipe is to start with Kirby or pickling cucumbers. They’re short, squat and sometimes full of warts, but they make deliciously crisp pickles. Don’t be tempted to substitute another kind of cucumber or you’ll end up with soggy pickles.

Servings: About 24 spears, or two 1-quart jars


1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups cold water

1-3/4 to 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers (about 6), cut into halves or spears

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

16 dill sprigs


Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.

Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for about 24 hours, then serve. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.

To the best of our knowledge, all the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

These pickles will disappear quickly and you’ll likely get requests for more. You don’t have to start from scratch. You can use the pickle brine more than once — it should last for another batch or two of pickles!

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