Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles

Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles

Pickle: (1) a solution or bath for preserving or cleaning, a brine or vinegar solution in which foods are preserved; (2) any food item preserved via definition 1; (3) a nasty bit of luck, a bad situation, as in “in a pickle.”

The goal of pickling is to stop the march of time by shutting down enzymatic action in the target food and by rendering it either inhospitable to or unavailable to microbes, germs, little meanies and so on.

If sour pickles aren’t your thing:

Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles

  • 1/2 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium cucumbers (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 4 whole garlic cloves (smashed)
  1. Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top jar.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the garlic, in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the spice flavors.
  3. Add the garlic cloves to the jar. Slowly and gently pour the pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, filling to the top of the jar.
  4. Cool to room temperature. Top off the pickles with any remaining pickling liquid and refrigerate.

Leftover pickle brine can be added to marinades, salad dressings or mayonnaise. Oh, and pickle juice in beer really is quite refreshing.


Add yours
  1. 1

    I can never find champagne vinegar, so I just use white wine vinegar, which does seem to be easier to find (I can always get it at Trader Joe’s). That said, I wish I could get in this brine like it was a hot tub. Have had this recipe for ages and always look forward to making a few batches every summer. I cut the cukes in thick slices crosswise, not long-wise as pictured. They are refrigerator pickles, so they’ll last a few weeks, but I’m guessing, because I always finish mine way sooner.

  2. 2

    My grandfather used to make his own pickles, and they were my favorite. After he passed, I thought I’d never have them again… but then found that the “half-sour” ones in the store were pretty darn close to what my Dzia-Dzia made. So, are these more like those half-sour pickles?

  3. 5

    i have made these pickles a bunch of time and as long as you get the vinegar, water, salt and sugar right the spice options are limitless. I love these so much I am making this as a Christmas gift to my co workers.

  4. 6
    Matt Wernecke

    I made fridge pickles last summer using apple cider vinegar, but I really did not like them. I followed the proper ratio of vinegar to salt, but I was not satisfied; too much vinegar.

    I also, added Fruit-Fresh, and Pickle Crisp granules.

    What other vinegar would you recommend?

    Also, what is the best vinegar to salt ratio do you recommend for fridge pickles?

    Do you have a preferred salt?

    At this point in my life I really prefer fridge pickles.


  5. 7

    My 16 year old son has been a fan of Alton Brown since he was 3 years old. He loves to cook, and is always making pickles with whatever veggies we have around the house. He’ll whip up a batch of brine and put in cucumbers, onions, sliced carrots or parsnips, radishes, turnips, or whatever he has handy. If the brine is especially tasty he just keeps adding veggies (cauliflower, celery, chayote, etc.) to the jar in the fridge. Right now he has a batch that includes methi and coriander seeds (and who knows what other spices!). All I can say is yum!

  6. 9

    Do you put the pickle juice IN the beer? Or do you make the beer using pickle juice. As a Dalek would say, “Elaborate! Elaborate! Elaborate!”

  7. 11

    Yum! The only changes I made were using quartered pickling cukes instead of regular ones, and subbing white wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar because that’s what I had. I tasted them after one day in the fridge and they are already starting to taste good. I’m not sure what the ideal time frame is before they’re ‘perfect’.

  8. 14

    I would really love ideas on how to can pickles for pantry storage where they won’t get soft. The last time I did pickles I made about a dozen quart jars, so the fridge is not a long term option! Thanks!

  9. 16
    Marty D.

    I tried this recipe earlier this summer. I must have messed something up badly, because they came out…well, horrible. Very bitter, and very salty. But I’m willing to try again!

  10. 17

    I would love to hear the conversion to really can these properly. All these refrigerator pickles… we have more room in the pantry than in the fridge, generally. Thanks!

  11. 20

    kinda sorta? in a Lithuanian half-sour sort of way? polish refrigerator pickle kinda way? there is nothing better than a nice sour pickle on a hot day tho…

  12. 21
    Jeri Lessley

    My Mom made a sandwich spread using ‘sour’ pickles. It’s been a long time since I saw any.mthanks. I’ll try to make some..

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