Perfect Dill Pickles

Our homemade dill pickles are super simple to make and have a classic flavor that beats anything you can find at the grocery store. Plus, you can enjoy them within a day of making them. I absolutely love this dill pickle recipe!

Best Homemade Dill Pickles

Like all of the other pickles recipes on Inspired Taste, these are refrigerator pickles, meaning you can enjoy them in as little as a day. I love the simple dill pickle brine in this recipe. It’s super simple to make and gives the cucumbers a classic flavor.

For more easy pickles, try our sweeter bread and butter pickles, these incredible pickled beets, or our easy pickled onions.

Key Ingredients

  • Cucumbers: For the best pickles, choose Kirby cucumbers. They’re short, fat, and have bumpy skin, making them ideal for pickling because they hold up well in the brine and stay crisp. If you don’t have access to a garden, farmer’s market, or farm, use smaller Persian cucumbers as a substitute.
  • Fresh Dill: I use a generous amount since we’re making dill pickles. I chop half of it to float in the brine and leave the rest as whole sprigs, which I push into the jar for a pretty look.
  • Garlic: I add whole cloves of fresh garlic to my pickle brine because I love the flavor. If you’re sensitive to garlic, use a little less, and if you love it, mince it or add a few more cloves.
  • Vinegar: Use distilled white vinegar with 5% acidity (most are, but double-check the label).
  • Pickle Spices: For classic pickles, I combine peppercorns, pickling or sea salt, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and dill seeds. I also add a teaspoon of sugar to enhance the flavor without making the brine sweet. I also love adding a dried arbol chili pepper, but this is optional.

How to Make Pickles

Our homemade refrigerator dill pickles are so easy to make. With two easy steps, you’ll enjoy your homemade pickles in no time!

First, you’ll slice the cucumbers into spears and place them in a bowl with salt, whole black peppercorns, chopped fresh dill, garlic cloves, and an optional arbol chili pepper. Allow them to sit with the salt for 30 minutes, then pack the mixture into a jar.

How to Make Pickles: Cucumbers with salt, peppercorns, and dill ready for pickling

While the cucumbers sit, you can make our simple dill pickle brine. I combine distilled white vinegar with water, salt, a little sugar (1 teaspoon), and our classic pickle spices in a small saucepan and heat the mixture until the salt and sugar fully dissolve.

Making Homemade Pickles -- Adding brine to the jar of cucumbers

Depending on the type of cucumber pickles you love, you have two options:

  • Hot Brine Pickles: Hot brining is your answer for pickles with a slightly softer crunch similar to store-bought pickles. Pour the hot brine directly over your cucumbers. Hot brining softens the cucumbers slightly, resulting in a slightly duller green color, but many people love the texture! Another advantage is that you can start snacking on these pickles the next day!
  • Cold Brine Pickles: Cold brining is the way to go if you prefer pickles with a snappy crunch and a vibrant, fresh green color. Allow the brine to cool completely before pouring it over the cucumbers. Be patient, as the pickling process takes a bit longer (3 to 5 days). But trust us, the wait is worth it for that satisfying crunch and bright color, reminiscent of your favorite deli-style pickles!

We created this recipe for dill pickles with our friend and chef, Richard Hattaway. He helped us dial in the recipe and has truly made our family’s go-to pickles! I use them to make homemade tartar sauce, creamy pasta salad, and this creamy potato salad! We hope that you try them soon.

Cucumbers pickling in a brine of vinegar, spices, dill, garlic, and salt.

Perfect Dill Pickles

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This homemade dill pickle recipe is easy and results in crispy, flavorful pickles far surpassing store-bought pickles. You have two options based on your preference: hot-brined or cold-brined pickles. Hot-brined pickles are ready in a day, offering a quicker option, while cold-brined pickles take 3 to 5 days before they are ready. Cold-brined pickles are more crisp and retain a vibrant green color. For a more detailed comparison, please refer to the article above.

1-quart jar

You Will Need

6 pickling cucumbers, like Kirby (21oz or 600g)

5 cloves garlic

4 sprigs fresh dill

1 dried arbol chili pepper, optional

4 whole peppercorns

1 cup (236ml) white vinegar, 5% acidity

1/2 cup (118ml) water

2 teaspoons (12g) pickling salt or sea salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon (2g) for brine, recommend using weight, see notes

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon dill seeds, optional

Directions

    1Prepare the cucumbers, garlic, and dill. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and cut them into spears lengthwise (I typically get 6 spears per cucumber). For garlicky pickles, mince the garlic. For a milder garlic flavor, leave the garlic cloves peeled and whole. Chop half of the dill and keep the rest as whole sprigs.

    2In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with 2 teaspoons (12g) of salt, peppercorns, garlic, chopped dill, and optional arbol chili pepper. Let them sit for 30 minutes.

    3Pack the cucumbers tightly into a 1-quart jar (1 liter). If some cucumbers don’t fit, cut them in half and place them on top of the packed spears.

    4Scrape all the dill, garlic, and salt from the bowl into the jar. Slide the chili and whole dill sprigs down the side of the jar.

    5In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, water, 1/4 teaspoon (2g) salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and dill seeds to a boil.

    6If you’re making hot-brined pickles, immediately pour the hot brine over the cucumbers to fully submerge them. Leave about 1/8-inch of space between the top of the brine and the jar lid. Let the jar cool to room temperature, then tighten the lid finger tight and refrigerate.

    7If you prefer cold-brined pickles, allow the brine to cool to room temperature before pouring it over the cucumbers to fully submerge them. Leave about 1/8-inch of space between the top of the brine and the jar lid. Tighten the lid finger tight and refrigerate.

    8Place the jar upside down in a bowl for the first night, then turn it right-side-up the next day.

    9Hot-brined pickles will be ready the next day, while cold-brined pickles need 3 to 5 days before they’re ready to enjoy. The pickles will last in the fridge for up to one month.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Cucumbers: The best cucumbers for pickling are Kirby, Boston pickling, and other pickling-specific varieties. They are short, fat, and have bumpy skin, making them perfect for brining while retaining their crispness. Smaller Persian cucumbers are a good alternative.
  • Dill seeds: These are classic in pickling recipes. They are not the same as dried dill weed. I find them online or in natural/organic food stores.
  • Canning: These pickles have been specifically designed for the refrigerator and are meant to be kept in the fridge at all times. However, if you’re experienced in canning, you could adapt them for long-term shelf stability. This would involve using sanitized jars, new lids, and a pressure canner.
  • Salt: Pickling salt is best, but you can also use Morton’s kosher salt or sea salt. Avoid table salt due to additives. If using Diamond Crystal salt, you may need to adjust the quantity as it’s larger than pickling salt. We recommend measuring by weight for pickles. If you measure by volume (like tablespoons), you will need about 50% more Diamond Crystal salt.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. Calculating how much salt is in the pickle spears is difficult, so we have included all of the brine in the calculations.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 2 spears (assuming 36 total) / Calories 12 / Total Fat 0.1g / Saturated Fat 0g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 292.7mg / Carbohydrate 2.2g / Dietary Fiber 0.3g / Total Sugars 0.9g / Protein 0.4g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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14 comments… Leave a Review
  • Carolyn Higdon November 29, 2023, 12:32 pm

    So happy I came across your recipe! I have tried so many dill pickle recipes over many years trying to find one where the cucumbers were crisp and tasted great, this is it!! Made these this Summer, did the refrigerator kind and they are delicious crunchy everything a dill pickle should be! Can’t thank you enough! Love them!

    Reply
    • Adam November 29, 2023, 1:21 pm

      Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. We are thrilled that you loved your pickles 🙂

      Reply
  • Miike McElroy August 15, 2023, 12:51 pm

    This was a very easy recipe to make, my only problem was finding Dill seeds, I used Dried Dill weed instead and the pickles came out great! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Adam August 15, 2023, 4:25 pm

      Hi Mike, so glad you enjoyed them. We have also had some trouble finding dill seeds. We just leave it out when we can’t find it.

      Reply
  • Barbara August 5, 2023, 8:08 pm

    Is there a way t make these Dill pickles shelf stable. I’m up in age and try to store foods as I don’t have away to the store very often.

    Reply
    • Joanne August 7, 2023, 3:54 pm

      Hello Barbara, These pickles have been specifically designed for refrigeration storage. They are meant to be kept in the fridge at all times. However, if you’re experienced in canning, you could potentially adapt them for long-term shelf stability. This would involve using sanitized jars, new lids, and a pressure canner.

      Reply
  • Chuck August 4, 2023, 9:01 pm

    Can you use Dill weed instead of fresh dill?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 7, 2023, 3:55 pm

      Hi Chuck, I am assuming that you mean dried dill weed. Yes, you should be able to.

      Reply
  • Denise August 4, 2023, 9:20 am

    If I use the hot brine, will the jars seal and be shelf stable?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 7, 2023, 3:55 pm

      Hi Denise, These pickles have been specifically designed for refrigeration storage. They are meant to be kept in the fridge at all times. However, if you’re experienced in canning, you could potentially adapt them for long-term shelf stability. This would involve using sanitized jars, new lids, and a pressure canner.

      Reply
  • Connie Hurst August 3, 2023, 2:19 pm

    Could you tell me how long the dills will keep in the fridge. I enjoy your site and like how you make things that are easy and not to expensive. Thank you both so much.

    Reply
    • Joanne August 3, 2023, 4:06 pm

      Hi Connie, The pickles will last at least a month, possibly and week or two longer. Just make sure that they stay covered in the brine.

      Reply
  • Barry Meikle August 2, 2023, 6:36 pm

    an exciting new site to add to my list – great video for baked cabbage Thank you

    Reply
    • Adam August 3, 2023, 4:06 pm

      So happy that you found us! You are going to love the baked cabbage 🙂

      Reply

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