Instant Picklefication


Post by community member:

I LOVE pickles! I love pickles so much that I have been working on pickling recipes for years in pursuit of the best homemade pickles I can make myself. If you aren’t a canner but still lust after great pickles you can make yourself–here is one pickle with two versions that’s the pickle for you!

First, get yourself some nice cucumbers–small is good but these beauties were great and were 8+” long or so. I bought them at a farmer’s market.

Scrub the cukes well and slice. I like spears for this recipe.

Pack the spears into a jar. I use ½ gallon pickle jars or canning jars.

Add spices to the jar and the Pickle Crisp (optional but soooo worth using) then pour in the cooled prepared brine. Refrigerate as long as you can stand it–a week is about perfect. Give the jar a shake now and then. And next thing you know ………

Crunch, crunch, crunch! Betcha can’t eat just one!

These will keep in the refrigerator for several months. They lose a bit of crunch after that but are still delicious.

My personal obsession–uh, I mean favorite–is the ‘Hickory House’ version that is sweet and spicy. I came up with those after tasting ‘secret recipe’ pickles at a local restaurant. I had to have more so I figured out how to make my own.

How to make Claussen Style Refrigerator Dill Pickles:

pickling cucumbers or small slicing cucumbers
fresh dill OR dried dill seed and dill weed
kosher salt
fresh garlic
mustard seed
powdered allspice

hot pepper flakes

carrots OR sugar (Splenda works too!)

Pickle Crisp

Select fresh, evenly colored cucumbers. Slice if desired. Wash and pack in sterilized quart jars. Place several sprays of dill on top of cucumbers (I used 1 Tbsp each dill weed and dill seed per 1/2 gallon jar).

To each quart, add 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp mustard seed, 6 whole peppercorns, 1/8 tsp powdered allspice, 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes and either one whole sliced carrot or 1/4 tsp sugar and Pickle Crisp as per the package instructions (I doubled all of these since I used 1/2 gallon jars).

Heat 1 quart distilled water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 Tbsp fine kosher or canning salt to boiling – (this made plenty of brine for a 1/2 gallon jar).

Cool brine, pour over cucumbers to within 1/4 inch of top. Seal. Refrigerate. This liquid may become cloudy in a few days but will soon clear. The pickles will be firm, crisp and evenly colored.

Now, for the ‘Hickory House’ version (sweet and spicy!):

Use the above recipe, but:

Increase sugar to 1 cup and add to the brine.
Increase garlic in each quart to 2 large cloves each, chopped.
Increase pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon per quart.

ALSO, try the Refrigerator Pickle recipe posted here in Farm Bell for really quick sweet refrigerator pickles with that Bread and Butter pickle taste!

Get a printable version of these recipes and save them to your recipe box:

Refrigerator Pickles
Claussen-Style Refrigerator Pickles

You can also find Dede at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. princessvanessa says:

    I go on pickle eating binges and then leave them alone for awhile. I have dropped weight by eating pickles when I feel hungry. They fill me up and stop my sugar craving (unbelievable, I know).
    Thank you for your diligence at finding just the right recipe(s). And a homemade Clausen-style! Woo hoo.

  2. glenda says:

    I am saving this one. If I do pickles this year, I will have to buy the cucumbers… vines died a week ago.

  3. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    I am planning on making sliced sandwich pickes this year. This is a good recipe. Thanks!

  4. kellyb says:

    Wonderful Pickle Queen, thank you for sharing this recipe, it is amazing. I made 4 gallons of these last summer. My nephew would just take a fork and bowl and fill it up with these pickles and just eat and eat. He requested these for Christmas. DS asked when I was making them this summer. I make both versions, both are excellent.

  5. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    The ‘Claussen’ recipe, BTW, is one that bounced around on Canning2 for a long time and was honed to near perfection by Joey, a long time member, if I recall correctly. I added the Pickle Crisp and then went on to figure out the ‘Hickory House’ version. Just wanted to clarify 🙂 If you are already a fan of the Claussen pickles, as soon as the brine hits the spices in the jar – you’ll know that this recipe hits the mark….
    I DID can these last year using the 180 degree low temp pasteurization bath. They aren’t as good as the frig-only method, but they sure are better/crisper than any dill I have canned so far in three decades LOL!

  6. Pete says:

    Thanks! I may actually try doing some pickles this year, since we have a bunch of cukes. Never made pickles before…

  7. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    These look so good! I’m a pickle lover too! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  8. Laura says:

    Now I am really sad that our plants didn’t come up this year. I would love to try your Hickory house pickles. Menards carries some sweet/spicey pickles from a national BBQ chain and I have become obsessed with them and hoped to someday figure them out to make myself.

  9. Ruthmarie says:

    Oh! I’ve never tried making pickles since, sigh, I’m the only one who eats them … wait, what am I saying as the whole jar would be MINE! The lemon cucumber is suddenly flushing with baby cukes and I now wonder how those pretty pudgies might pickle. Soooo crunchy! A thank you to the Pickle Queen!

  10. DebShoe says:

    new to the blog, what is Pickle crisp and where do you buy/make it?

  11. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Pickle Crisp is packaged and sold by Ball/Jardin as a sort of lime substitute for crisping pickles. It’s just food grade calcium chloride. If you check pickled and canned commercial product labels, calcium chloride is the firming agent. Ball quit marketing it for a year or so, but it’s back on the shelves again – many folks on the Canning2 group have seen it as I have I here in WV. Grocery stores, Walmart, etc. wherever there is a small canning section often will have it. You can also order bulk food grade calcium chloride online, which is on my to-do list. Ball recommends it for pickling, but I have also been experimenting with it in other canning. It really works great to firm up tomatoes in things like home canned Rotel.

  12. DonnaTN says:

    This recipes sounds easy enough for a novice pickle maker like me. I checked out your other pickle recipe too. Could I use splenda in that one instead of sugar? I would love to make some for my diabetic BIL for his birthday.

  13. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Donna, yes I have used Splenda in the other recipe and it works great! What a thoughtful SIL you are 🙂

  14. Connie says:

    I have made this recipe twice and it is so good. I didn’t have Pickle Crisp but they are still nice and crsip. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. YvonneM says:

    AWESOME! I love Claussen pickle spears, and now I can make them myself. I’ve never made pickles – gonna have to purchase a big ol’ pickle jar. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  16. CindyP says:

    Mmmmmm, these sound wonderful and wonderfully easy! My BIL is supposed to bring me a bucket of cukes tomorrow…will fill a gallon jar on Sunday! Thank you, Dede!

    P.S. For those with a Meijer’s around you, I did find pickle crisp there.

  17. Pete says:

    Since I forgot to pick up the pickle crisp I may need to try them without it. The cukes are ready even if I’m not! But there are plenty more on the vines, so we should be able to do a compare and contrast thing.

    Am guessing that the pickle crisp would make a big dif if actually canning them? We may end up with enough cukes to consider running some through a water bath.

  18. Pam G. says:

    Dede, could this process be used for pickled asparagus also? If so, I’d love to try it!

    The other question I have is: Does it make
    a difference what type of vinegar is used? I’m not a big fan of white distilled vinegar. But I love white balsamic vinegar and rice wine vinegar. Would it be okay to use either of those for these pickles?

    You can probably tell that I’ve never made pickles before but I do want to try making these. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  19. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Pete, based on my experience Pickle Crisp makes a huge difference in canning pickles – it’s like the missing link lol. I never cared for the texture of limed pickles and PC does the job without the odd texture.
    Pam, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for asparagus! If they weren’t real slim and tender I think I would blanch them first briefly, cool, and then proceed.
    Any vinegar will work as long as it’s 5% acidity (50 grain). You have to check ‘specialty’ vinegars closely because many are not acidic enough for pickling. White vinegar is often used for pickling because of the ‘clean’ taste and the clarity. I prefer cider for flavor depth in other things for sure and there’s a white balsamic that I love but not for pickling (too pricey, not acidic enough).
    Let us know how the asparagus turns out!

  20. Pam G. says:

    Thanks Dede! My local Sam’s Club has pencil-thin asparagus, but I think I will still blanch it just to be safe. Since I’ve never canned anything though I’m going to have to find the jars and Pickle Crisp before I can try this. I definitely will let you know how it turns out once it’s done.

  21. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Pam, only blanch VERY briefly so you don’t lose the ‘snap’. And you only need a glass jar that the asparagus will fit in – any glass jar with a lid will work. Don’t invest in canning jars unless you just plain want some 🙂

  22. Pete says:

    Two quarts are in the refrigerator! May get some PC later today, if I get to the store, so these are without it. They look terrific!

    Instead of using pepper flakes, I added a hunk of dried cayenne from last year’s garden. It looks very pretty in there! And did some garlic slices (fresh from the garden) instead of mincing them. This is some SERIOUS garlic, so it should be obvious that it’s in there!

    How many hours must we wait to try them???? Teehee.

  23. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Pete, since you are shaking and fondling them often you can try one whenever you want – but the longer they sit, the better. And that garlic will make them wonderful!

  24. Pete says:

    OOOOOOOOO!!!! Guess I will forever more be known as the pickle jar fondler? Just because they look so purdy, and keep calling me back to the refrigerator for a bit of twisty turny action…

    Is it normal for the pickles to shrink?

  25. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    LOL! Have you tasted one yet??? Yep, sometimes there is some shrinkage and then they plump back up. I know I know an explanation for that but I have CRS at this point of the night…..

  26. David says:

    On a totally different note I can Bread and Butter onions (sliced onions only, no cukes) using the USBA Bread and Butter pickle brine with the addition of Pickle Crisp. In fact I’m planning a batch for this afternoon.

    I use the regular BWB processing, the onions retain good texture and after a couple weeks the taste is wonderful.

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