Refrigerator Pickles

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These refrigerator pickles are easy to make at home (just 24 hours in the fridge, no canning required). They are crunchy, a bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit acidic and subtly flavored with cinnamon, clove, pepper, a bay leaf, mace and mustard seeds.

Several pickle jars on a wooden table.

This post was originally published on Nov. 04, 2013.

What are refrigerator pickles?

Refrigerator pickles (also called quick pickles) are pickles that are not canned. Instead, they are prepared simply by putting cucumbers and spices into a jar, then adding a hot brine made from water, white vinegar, salt and sugar. After 24 hours of chilling in the fridge the pickles are ready to eat.

Several pickle jars ready to be filled on a wooden table next to a window.

How to make refrigerator pickles step by step:

Step 1. Start by rinsing either one 4-cup jar or two 2-cup jars with boiling water. Next, slice or quarter 4 baby cucumbers, add them to the jar(s) and get your spices ready: 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon mace, 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, 1 bay leaf and 1 cinnamon stick.

RECIPE TIP: Cut a small slice off the blossom end of each cucumber because the flower contains an enzyme that will soften the pickle. (I learned this trick from Fine Cooking).

A pickle jar with cucumbers and spices.

Step 2. Add the spices to the jar(s). In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar1/2 cup sugar and 1.5 tablespoons salt. Boil the mix for 2 minutes, then fill it into the jar(s). Put on the lid (but not too tight) and refrigerate the pickles for 24 hours.

RECIPE TIP: Try to use a salt that doesn’t contain any anti-caking agents, otherwise your solution will turn cloudy.

A pickle jar with cucumbers, spices and brine.

When are these pickles ready to eat?

Refrigerator pickles are ready to eat after 24 hours in the fridge.

How long are refrigerator pickles good for?

Unlike canned pickles, refrigerator pickles don’t last for months in the fridge, they have to be eaten within about a week.

Why are my pickles cloudy?

Cloudiness can come from the minerals in the water you used or from anti-caking agents in the salt that you used. But even if your solution is cloudy, the pickles are still fine to eat!

How to use pickles:

These pickles are great for sandwiches, including this Spicy Pulled Chicken (Oven Baked):

A pulled chicken sandwich on a wooden table with a beer in the background.

More delicious condiment recipes:

Several pickle jars on a wooden table.
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Refrigerator Pickles

These refrigerator pickles are easy to make at home (just 24 hours in the fridge, no canning required). They are crunchy, a bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit acidic and subtly flavored with cinnamon, clove, pepper, a bay leaf, mace and mustard seeds.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chill Time1 d
Total Time1 d 15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade pickles, quick pickles, refrigerator pickles
Servings: 4
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients:

  • 1 four-cup jar with lid OR 2 two-cup jars with lids
  • 4 baby cucumbers
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt*

Instructions:

  • Cut a small slice off the blossom end of each cucumber because the flower contains an enzyme that will soften the pickle.
  • Rinse the inside of the jar(s) with boiling water.
  • Cut the cucumber(s) (quarter or slice them) and put them in the jar.
  • Add all spices to the jar.
  • In a saucepan combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Boil the solution for 2 minutes. 
  • Transfer the brine to a container with a spout or use a funnel to pour the hot brine into the jar(s).
  • Put the lid(s) on (not too tight).
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.
  • Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes:

*Try to use a salt that doesn’t contain any anti-caking agents, otherwise your solution will turn cloudy.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal

Made these pickles? It would be awesome if you could leave a rating. No need to type anything, just tap or click the stars in the recipe card and you’re done. Thanks!

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Several pickle jars on a wooden table.

5 comments

  1. Billy says:

    I haven’t tried making pickles with cinnamon before! It is one of my favorite spices of all time though, I think I would love them! Thank you for sharing!

    • Nicole Branan says:

      You are very welcome, Billy! These pickles are quite good, the cinnamon adds a subtle but interesting flavor. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I do love eating pickles and make only Japanese pickles so far. I’m definitely interested in trying other kinds. Cinnamon in pickles, now that intrigued me! Your photos are simply just gorgeous! Make me want to eat off from screen. Looks really delicious!

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