Chip, chip hooray! Here are the homemade pickles that put all others to shame.
- 18 x 18 inch (457.2 x 457.2 mm) cheesecloth
- 6 inches (152.4 mm) kitchen or clean kite string
About the vinegar. Use only distilled white vinegar, not cider vinegar. Cider vinegar has too strong a flavor for this recipe.
About the salt. The amount of salt and vinegar are crucial in making pickles so if you must substitute another salt, use my conversion table.
About the pickling spices. Pickling spices are a blend of spices and the blend can vary from packer to packer. Click here for my recipe for pickling spices.
Options. You can add other flavors if you wish. I recommend you start with this recipe. Then, if you like, make another batch and add a small sliced onion, or 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes. I added one tiny bird pepper to the filled jar and when I tasted the pickles an hour later they were already 2-alarm. Vinegar is a powerful solvent.
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. Slice the cukes into ⅛ inch (3.2 mm) disks. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, and mix it all together. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 3 hours.
- Option 1. Take an 18 x 18 inch (457.2 x 457.2 mm) square of cheesecloth. Fold in half and again to make a smaller square 4 layers thick. Place the pickling spices in the center of the square. Bring up all the edges and tie it together with some kitchen string to make a pouch.
- Option 2. Skip the cheese cloth and just add the pickling spices to the sugar and vinegar mix in step 3.
- Cook. Put the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, and add the pickling spices. Turn the exhaust fan on high or take this outdoors to the side burner on your grill because the vinegar smell will be strong. Bring to a boil and back it down to a simmer and let the spices steep for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse. The salt will pull water from the cucumbers, so drain them in a colander, rinse off excess salt, shake off excess water, from the rinse and add to a very very clean quart jar.
- Pour the spiced vinegar syrup in while it is still hot. If you did not use the cheesecloth, pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer. Fill the jar until the pickles are submerged or within ¼ inch (6.4 mm) of the rim. If there is extra syrup, you can throw it out. A few slices may float. That's OK. With a spoon knock out any big bubbles under the pickles. Seal tight, and let them cool on the counter for about an hour and then chill. You don't want to put a jar of boiling hot liquid in the fridge—it will screw up the temp in there.
- Serve. Within an hour they are ready to go, but a day or two is best. Keep in refrigerator. They usually don't last long in my house, but I've kept a small jar for as long as a year in the fridge.