If you’re scared of canning but want to learn the art of preserving, making a refrigerator pickle is the way to go! This easy-to-make recipe is terrific if you want some quick pickles with a classic flavor profile!
Remove ⅛-inch from both ends of the cucumbers and slice into ¼-inch slices or spears. Pack the prepared cucumbers into two clean pint jars, leaving ½ inch of head space at the top. Set the filled jars aside while preparing the brine.
2 lb cucumbers
In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, turmeric, red pepper flakes, cloves, mustard seed, and celery seed. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.
1 cup water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, ¾ tsp whole cloves (about 5 cloves), 1 tsp mustard seed, ¼ tsp celery seed
Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, remove the brine from the heat. Immediately pour the hot brine over the prepared cucumbers in the jars. Fill the jars so that the brine covers the cucumbers fully. Place lids on the jars and allow the brine to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place the jars in the refrigerator for 48 hours before consuming. The pickles will last at least two months in the refrigerator.
A high ratio of vinegar to water is necessary for quick pickles. Since these bread and butter pickles are not going through the canning process, the ratio is very important to ensure the acidity gets into the cucumber and pickles them.
Canning salt is very important when fermenting or canning a produce item. But when it comes to a quick pickle, kosher salt works very well. Any salt can be used, but each one measures differently. If using canning salt, use only half of the amount.
If slicing the cucumbers into spears, make sure to remove both ends of the cucumber. The ends can sometimes be bitter, so I find it best just to remove approximately 1/8-inch on each end of the cucumber.
Before ladling the brine into the jars, place the jars on a baking sheet fitted with a cooling rack. This ensures that if any brine drips, it will not stain the countertop and will make for a clean jar that can easily be wiped off.