Learn how to make fabulous quick dill pickles by the quart or pint when you just have a few pickling cucumbers from the garden. These easy, step-by-step instructions will help you stock up on crunchy quick dill pickles in the refrigerator or your pantry in no time. How do you make quick process pickles? Whether you want to make refrigerator dill pickles or prefer to process pickles in a boiling water canner, this simple recipe will do either. When you are making a pickle gift basket, including pickles that have been processed in a canner is best. If you are just going to enjoy the pickles yourself and you have room in the refrigerator, the refrigerator pickles definitely have more crunch. Want to make some pickle gifts or stock up on these crispy, delicious gems? I have the best dill pickle recipe to share with you. It has served me well for decades. Bonus: These pickles are gluten free. Get the simple steps for how to make these quick, cute pickles from scratch and produce some pickles with a purpose today!
Table of Contents
Benefits of Dill Pickles
Oh, dill pickles, how I adore them! I just can’t get enough of their delicious crunchiness. Although I haven’t located a scientific study to prove it, I’m sure there must be some health benefits to eating them. Low-calorie and low-carb, gluten-free homemade dill pickles can add pizzazz to many meals or snacks. These super easy, quick dill pickles are a snap to make and a pleasure to eat.
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to a set of essential canning tools. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.***
My Quick Dill Pickle Backstory
Not everyone in my family shares my passion for homemade quick dill pickles. One exception is my dad. I always know what to give him for his birthday, Father’s Day, and other holidays. He is almost as big of a die-hard fan as I am. Sadly, that is not the case with my other close relatives. The rule around our house is, I have to hold off making more dill pickles until the supply in the pantry or refrigerator is nearly depleted. So, I only plant a few plants when I need to restock. For that reason, this delightfully simple recipe is ideal. Even though the title of the post includes the word “quart”, sometimes I only have enough ripe pickling cucumbers to make a pint. That’s okay! I just halve the quantity of garlic, dill, and mustard seeds listed in the recipe for each quart. Fellow fans of dill pickles, this recipe is for you!
Supplies for Quick Dill Pickles Refrigerator Version
This quick dill pickle recipe is ideal for canning or for making easy refrigerator pickles. This quick canned pickle recipe makes about 6 quarts if you use all of the brine. Here are the supplies you will need if you are making the refrigerator version of quick dill pickles:
6 quart-sized canning jars, lids, and bands (If you are only making one quart of refrigerator dill pickles, you can save the extra brine in canning jars in the refrigerator to use later.)
A small metal saucepan with lid (for heating the jar lids, and if you are only making one quart of pickles, you can warm the single jar in the saucepan as well)
A large stockpot for the brine
A large ladle like this one (for putting the brine into jars)
Even if you are making refrigerator dill pickles and not canned dill pickles, a set of canning tools is nice to have, especially the funnel for adding the brine to the jar (or jars, if you are canning more than one quart).
Supplies for Canning Quick Dill Pickles
If you are short on refrigerator space, you might choose to use this easy canning method to make your quick dill pickles. Here is the equipment you need to assemble beforehand if you are choosing to go with the canning method. You will need:
6 quart-sized canning jars, lids, and bands (sometimes the wide-mouthed jars are easier to fill)
A small metal saucepan with lid (for heating the jar lids)
A large stockpot
A large ladle like this one (for putting the brine into jars)
1 set of canning tools (optional, but these sure have made canning easier)
Preparation for Canning Quick Dill Pickles
Set six canning bands (some call them rings) aside, near where you will be filling the jars.
Place the six glass jars in the water bath canner. The water should cover the jars by at least an inch. Turn the heat to medium-high.
Place six jar lids in the small saucepan with enough water to cover the lids. Cover the pan and heat the water on low. I’ve always been told not to let the water come to a boil. Now it’s time to make the
Ingredients (Makes Enough for Six Quarts of Pickles, if Needed)
6 cups cider vinegar
6 cups water
1/2 cup canning salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For each quart:
2 garlic cloves, cut in half (1 clove cut in half if you are just making a pint)
2 pieces of dill (1 piece if you are just making a pint)
1 teaspoon mustard seed (1/2 teaspoon if you are just making a pint)
Directions for Super Easy, Quick Dill Pickles
Rinse the pickles and rub off the prickly spines. Also rub off the blossom end of the pickle to help ensure a crispy pickle product.
Optional: For extra crispy pickles, soak cucumbers in ice water for a few hours or overnight. This helps to hydrate the cucumbers and maintain their crispness during the canning process. I have made pickles both ways, without soaking and with soaking. The soaking does add to the crispiness, but you will still get crispy pickles if you do not have the time to soak them.
To make no cook refrigerator pickles, if you are only making one quart or two pints of pickles, you can gently heat a glass quart-sized canning jar or two glass pint-sized canning jars and lids in a pan of water. If you are using the boiling water canning method to store the pickles on a pantry shelf, heat the jars in a boiling water canner.
While the jar or jars and lids are heating, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large non-aluminum stockpot to make the pickling brine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Place the garlic, dill, mustard seed and pickling cucumbers in each jar.
I like to lay the jars on their side when I am placing the first cucumbers inside, so they will stand up straight.
Fill each jar with the pickling brine, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Using a funnel from a canning kit makes the job a lot less messy.
If you would like to store your pickles on a shelf, process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. For the best ever refrigerator dill pickles, let the jars stand at room temperature for 12-14 hours, then refrigerate. This method produces a pickle of unsurpassed crunchiness.
Common Dill Pickle Questions
Can I can pickles without a canner?
Usually, since I only fill one or two jars at a time, I don’t bother using the boiling water canner. I simple follow the refrigerator dill pickle process above and store the jars in the refrigerator after they have cooled.
How long before you can eat refrigerator dill pickles?
Refrigerator dill pickles typically need to sit for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before they are ready to be eaten. However, the longer they sit, the better the flavors will develop. Most people prefer to wait 1 to 2 weeks for the best taste. Enjoy!
How long do homemade refrigerator dill pickles last?
How long do refrigerator dills last? Homemade refrigerator dill pickles can last for several weeks to a couple of months when stored properly in the refrigerator. The exact shelf life can vary depending on the ingredients used and the level of acidity in the brine. Generally, they should remain safe to eat for at least 1 to 3 months if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, for the best quality and taste, it’s recommended to consume them within the first few weeks. Always inspect the pickles for any signs of spoilage before consuming.
How do you make dill pickles crisp when canning?
This is how to make dill pickles crisp when canning. Just follow these easy steps:
Choose fresh, firm cucumbers: Start with fresh, pickling cucumbers that are firm and not overly ripe. Avoid cucumbers that are soft or have started to turn yellow.
As listed above as an optional step, you can soak cucumbers in ice water if you have the time: Soaking the cucumbers in ice water for a few hours or overnight helps to hydrate the cucumbers and maintain their crispness during the canning process. If you are making refrigerator dill pickles, the soaking is not as important.
Maintain proper vinegar-to-water ratio: Ensure you use the correct vinegar-to-water ratio in your pickling brine. Too much water can lead to softer pickles. Follow a trusted recipe to get the right balance.
Process at the correct temperature and time: When canning, be sure to process the pickles at the recommended temperature and time according to your recipe. Overprocessing can result in softer pickles.
Cool jars gradually: After processing, allow the jars to cool gradually at room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator. This gradual cooling helps to maintain the crispness of the pickles.
Remember that some cucumber varieties are naturally crisper than others, so choosing the right type of cucumber is also essential.
Can You Pickle Any Size Cucumber?
I often have just enough little pickling cucumbers to make a pint because I like to pick the cucumbers when they are quite small. Two inches long is about the ideal size for my cute pickles. To achieve the optimum level of crunchiness, small cucumbers have worked well for me. You may like yours to be larger. If you are not interested in making small, cute pickles, or you have pickles that have grown too large, you could cut them into spears or slices. No matter what the size, be sure to rub off the blossom end completely to ensure better long-term storage.
You can pickle cucumbers of various sizes, but the best cucumbers for pickling are the smaller ones. Pickling cucumbers, also known as Kirby cucumbers, are the ideal choice due to their firm texture, smaller size, and thinner skin. Their size makes them easier to handle and allows them to fit better in canning jars.
Larger cucumbers can also be pickled, but I have found they may not retain the same level of crispness as smaller ones. If you choose to pickle larger cucumbers, consider slicing or quartering them to enhance the pickling process and to help them fit better in the jars. My recommendation for the crispiest pickles, is to use cucumbers 2-4 inches long and keep them whole.
Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles Video
Here is a video I posted in Pinterest that shows the refrigerator dill pickle process using small (2-4 inches in size) pickling cucumbers. Just click on the image to watch the short linked video. If you are a visual learner, this video should help to make the easy pickling process more clear.
Super Easy Quick Dill Pickles
- 6 cups cider vinegar
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup canning salt (regular salt may be used if canning salt is unavailable)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
For each quart you will need:
- 2 cloves garlic (cut in half)
- 2 pieces (flowerets) dill
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 6-12 whole pickling cucumbers (quantity will vary according to size)
- Rinse the pickles and rub off the prickly spines. Also rub off the blossom end of the pickle to help ensure a crispy pickle product.
- Optional: For extra crispy pickles, soak cucumbers in ice water for a few hours or overnight. This helps to hydrate the cucumbers and maintain their crispness during the canning process. I have made pickles both ways, without soaking and with soaking. The soaking does add to the crispiness, but you will still get crispy pickles if you do not have the time to soak them.
- For refrigerator pickles, if you are only making one quart or two pints of pickles, you can gently heat a glass quart-sized canning jar or two glass pint-sized canning jars and lids in a pan of water. If you are using the boiling water canning method to store the pickles on a pantry shelf, heat the jars in a boiling water canner.
- While the jar or jars and lids are heating, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large non-aluminum stockpot to make the pickling brine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Place the garlic, dill, mustard seed, and pickling cucumbers in each jar.
- Lay the jars on their side when placing the first cucumbers inside, so they will stand up straight.
- If you would like to store your pickles on a shelf, process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
- If you are not canning the pickles, let the jars stand at room temperature for 12-14 hours, then refrigerate. This method produces a pickle of unsurpassed crunchiness.
- Store unused brine in the refrigerator for the next time you need it.
Leftover Brine May be Stored for Next Time
Store unused brine in the refrigerator for the next time you need it. When you need to make more pickles, it’s ready to be reheated. I usually pour the leftover brine into quart canning jars. It looks like apple juice, so be sure to tell everyone else in your household to avoid drinking the contents. What a shock that would be!
What Goes Well with Quick Dill Pickles?
If you like crunchy dill pickles, I hope you have the chance to give this recipe a try. These quick dill pickles may be used as a condiment for hamburgers and sandwiches. Dill pickles may also be used as part of a relish tray or charcuterie board. They can also add a tangy zip of flavor to potato salad and dip. Of course, dill pickles are fabulous when eaten on their own.
Do you have any favorite pickle recipes? Although quick dill pickles are my favorite, I’m a big fan of other kinds of pickles as well. There are so many different types of pickles. I’d love to know about any delicious pickle recipes you like to use.
Other Canning Ideas
Love to have a pantry well-stocked with home-grown goodness? Try making rhubarb orange jam, rhubarb pineapple jam, or blueberry raspberry jam. Make and store easy blueberry, raspberry, or blackberry syrup. Have an abundance of apples? Easy homemade applesauce is a great way to use a bountiful harvest. Are you blessed with a fabulous tomato crop? Create some homemade marinara sauce or salsa for delicious garden taste all year long.
Need More Easy Recipe Inspiration?
Get a free cookbook filled with the best easy recipes from the Fluxing Well website. It’s printable, and you may make as many copies as you like. If you are putting together a pickle gift basket, consider including a copy of this to give to the foodies in your life.
May all of your pickling endeavors meet with great success!
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create and share recipes, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To get more easy recipes, click on over to the Food page.