Homemade Refrigerator Pickles & Ideas for Used Pickle Juice

I’m excited to have a bounty of pickling cucumbers in my garden this season. I had such a huge batch the other day, that I decided to make homemade refrigerator pickles.

homemade fridge pickles

After googling a few recipes, I found some basic instructions over at http://hipgirlshome.com/.

Notes: Originally I used the quantities from the original recipe: 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, & 1 Tbsp salt, but when I poured into my larger jar, it wasn’t enough to fill, so I quickly made a second batch using half the ingredients, then poured into the jar separately. It seemed to work fine, but next time, I’ll use larger quantities right away.

Keep in mind, if you are using a smaller jar, you might start off with the lower quantities.

PS I am not a pickling or canning expert. I’m still learning, so follow at your own risk! :)

My Recipe for Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

  • Lots and lots of fresh pickling cucumbers
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • heaping 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • heaping 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp dried dill (I didn’t have fresh)
  • 1.5 cups mix of apple cider & white vinegar or mix of any tasty vinegar you’d like
  • 1.5 cups filtered water
  • 1.5 Tbsp kosher salt
  1. Slice the pickling cucumbers – I cut both ends off, but it’s very important to cut off the “blossom” end, because there is an enzyme that might cause your pickles to become extra-soft. The blossom-end is the opposite of the little stem-end.
  2. Fill a large glass jar with the sliced cukes, leaving a little head room.
  3. Using a mortar & pestle, crush the seeds with the dried dill, then sprinkle on top of the cucumbers in the jar.
  4. Add the sugar, salt, water and vinegars to a saucepan and bring just to a boil – the dill aroma took me back to my grandmother’s house, where she used to make homemade pickles too.
  5. Pour hot brine over the cukes and spices in the jar.
  6. Allow to cool, then cover & refrigerate. I didn’t tighten the jar lid completely, I read that there are gases that build up, and so it’s good to leave a little escape room for air.

I did not have to wait a week like the original recipe suggested; my pickles were scrumptious after just a few hours: crunchy and spicy.

In fact, they were gone within a week’s time! A really great bold flavor. I loved the kick from the mustard seeds! I was snacking on small cupfuls!

homemade fridge pickles
homemade fridge pickles

Re-using Pickle Juice

Now, I’m pondering what to do with the leftover “used” pickle juice.

I have a couple of ideas myself like finishing a recipe with a few splashes (I finish most of my soups & sauces with balsamic, so the pickle juice might also work well) or roasting with potatoes, onions, squash, etc.

I also found some great ideas online

  • Make more pickles, although they won’t be as bold and crunchy
  • Add to fresh baked/cooked beans recipe
  • Because the used pickle juice is diluted, it’s been suggested to add rounded tsp salt w/ Tbps or two of white vinegar & then reuse for new pickles
  • Steam your vegetables with it
  • Make pickled hard boiled eggs (never had them, interesting?)
  • Add to homemade salad dressing
  • Add to tuna, potato, egg salad recipes
  • Add to cole slaw
  • Add to mashed potatoes
  • Use as a brine/marinade for meat
  • Make pickled beets or green beans or other vegetables.
  • Make pickled onions (yum)
  • Use to clean your dirty BBQ grill
  • Drink it (hmm, not sure I like that idea!)
  • Freeze in cubes to suck on in hot weather (replenishing electrolytes)
  • Mix 3 oz with 1 chopped pickle spear & 1 pkg of cream cheese for cracker topping/dip
  • Mix butter and pickle juice for bread spread (that sounds strangely delish)
  • Make Pickle Rye Bread, this sounds yummy too!