With no lengthy temperature-critical fermentation and no sterile canning, these refrigerator pickles are almost foolproof
The best part of this home made pickle recipe is that you can use it on cucumber spears, cucumber slices for sandwiches, or, my fave, green tomatoes.
Pickled green tomatoes are my faves, and a great use for end of season tomatoes that never ripened. I like pickled green tomatoes even better than pickled cukes because they have such thick walls, they’re always crunchy and juicy. We usually pick them the day before the first hard freeze, because frost can make them mushy.
When you’ve finished the jar, don’t dump the juice. You can add more tomatoes or cukes. After the second use, the brine gets a bit thin, so don’t reuse it more than once for veggies, but it makes a fine brine for fried chicken.
Click here to learn more about the different types of pickles and pickle production methods.
- Clean 1 quart/.9 liter jar and lid
About the salt. If you use table salt you must to cut the quantity in half! Click here to learn more about salt for an explanation. About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works. About the chile peppers. The idea here is you want just a little heat in the background so 1/2 a serrano works perfectly. Then again, you might want some noticeable heat. That can be fun! I usually use 4 to 6 small hot chiles per quart, each no bigger than a marble, usually Black Pearls or Fiestas, which we grow outdoors in pots in the summer, and bring indoors over winter. But they are hard to find, so serranos or jalapeños will work fine, that's why they are in the recipe. If you can't find fresh peppers, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. If you want more heat, and if you like heat I recommend you try this, double or triple the number of chiles. About the vinegar. You must use distilled vinegar. Any other vinegar imparts too many odd flavors.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Prep the ingredients. Wash the jalapeno and tomatoes. Cut the stem end off the jalapeno and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut bad spots out of the tomatoes and cut the big ones into quarters, small ones in half. Peel the garlic cloves and slice them in half langthewise.
- Prep the bottle. Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lids must have good rubber seals. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids from Ball. They are in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submersing them in a boiling water bath.
- Load up. Put the garlic, dill seeds, chile, and peppercorns into the bottle first. Then cram the tomatoes in leaving about 1/2" - 3/4"(12.7 - 19.1 mm) of space at the top.
- Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and cukes to within 1/4" (6.4 mm) of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lids on and tighten.
- Age. Let the pickles sit for 2 to 3 days (1 week is optimum) in the refrigerator before serving. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
- Beware. The brine will taste very salty at first, but don't panic. The juices from the tomatoes or cucumbers will dilute the concentration of salt in a few days.