We love pickles! This recipe for Garlic Pickles is a ‘refrigerator’ pickle recipe, meaning no special equipment is required. Boil some brine, add some flavoring ingredients along with chopped cucumbers, and you have some delicious, fresh homemade Garlic Refrigerator Pickles.
What Are Refrigerator Pickles?
Refrigerator pickles are pickles made in a brine that do not require a special canning process. Refrigerator pickles are stored in the refrigerator in a vinegar brine and must remain refrigerated at all times to avoid spoiling (vs. canned pickles which can he stored in the pantry before opening).
Recipe for Garlic Pickles
The first step, is to gather your ingredients. On the stove, start to boil vinegar, water, sugar and salt. While that is warming up, prepare the following.
- I use snacking cucumbers because I like the slices small. I use a mandolin to get them all of the same size and thickness. You can really cut them into whatever shape or size you like, though. Keep in mind the thicker, the crispier.
- Fresh Dill
- On the sprig is best.
- Mustard Seeds
- You can skip them if you prefer, but they add a nice zing.
- Whole Peeled & Smashed Garlic Cloves
- You can either buy pre peeled garlic, or a whole bulb and peel them yourself. The best way to smash them is to use a small kitchen dish. Simply press down to smush. We do this so the cloves of garlic release all of their flavor!
- Fresh or freeze dried will work.
- Other ideas:
- Make them spicy, add dried red pepper flakes.
- Add more herbs- rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Add black peppercorns for a zesty but not overpowering level of spice.
Tip: Place the flavoring options in the jars themselves, versus in the pot. We really recommend this as it helps preserve the freshness of the ingredients. If you boil them, they become flat and lose flavor.
Add the flavoring ingredients (dill, garlic, ,mustard seeds, and chives) to the bottom of each glass, followed by the cucumber slices. Set the jars aside, and the next step is to take the brine to a boil (should only take about 5-7 minutes).
Once the brine is boiling, give it a stir and allow for it to simmer for about 3 minutes, then remove it from the stove. The brine is hot, so be very cautious in pouring it over the cucumbers. For this reason, I like to pour the brine into a glass measuring cup with a spout to make it easier.
Best Garlic Pickles
One of the tricks, besides smashing the garlic that I find very useful is to turn the jar upside down and give it a good, light shake before placing it in the refrigerator! It helps to disperse the flavor evenly amongst the jar and really helps infuse the brine with the most flavor. Allow to cool in the refrigerator before enjoying (unless you like warm pickles, then go right ahead).
If you love all things pickles, here’s a few more recipes we think you’ll like!
- Fast Pickled Carrots
- Easy Refrigerator Pickled Cucumbers
- Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Deep Fried Pickles
Cheers to all things pickled! – Kathi and Rachel
Garlic Refrigerator Pickles
- 4 cups cucumber slices (I used Persian Cucumbers but chef's choice)
- 8 sprigs dill
- 4 tsp mustard seeds
- 16 garlic cloves, smashed (add more garlic if desired)
- 4 tsp chives (fresh or freeze dried)
- 2.75 cups water
- 1.25 cups white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Set 4 cleaned 8 oz mason jars on counter. Divide dill, mustard seeds, garlic, and chives amongst the 4 mason jars.
- Add 1 cup cucumber slices to each jar. Set aside.
- Combine brine ingredients in medium sized pot on stove. Heat until boiling, and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.Add brine to a large pour spout measuring cup to avoid spillage. Be cautious throughout this process, the bring is hot!
- Pour brine on top of cucumbers in jars, pouring until covered. Allow to sit on counter for about 1 hour to cool down before moving to refrigerator. Place lids on jars tightly, and transfer jars to refrigerator.
- Pickles can be enjoyed as soon as they are cooled, but are best after 24 hours. These garlic pickles have a refrigerator life of about 2 weeks and must be kept in refrigerator.
I made the pickles. Followed the recipe exactly but I doubled it to make 8 jars as I had a lot of pickling cucumbers from my garden. I made 4 jars with sliced cucumbers and 4 with spears. I did some with mustard seed and some without. Decided not to use the chives, but I did use fresh dill as it is far better than the dried. They tasted good immediately, but want to leave them in refrigerator for about 48 hrs to develop even stronger flavor. I would also like to try a recipe for sweet refrigerator bread and butter pickles if you have something like this.
Kathi & Rachel says
Hi Susan! We are so glad you loved them! Still have a jar in my fridge and I am thinking I need another batch! Thank you for the nice comment, truly appreciate it! I’ll see what we can dig up for those bread and butter pickles :).
Basic recipe that has enhanced flavors. We all do pickles, and have for centuries, but ingredients, quantities, herbs have just elevated this pickle to an exceptional pickle. I pickle all my snacks, and this will push it to the next level.