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How to Pickle Pickles (Refrigerator Pickles that is)

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Peter picked a peck of pickled pickles. I had to get that out. We refer to these as Mалосольные Oгурцы (Low Sodium Dill Pickles). This is a recipe for quick dill pickles. It’s ready after sitting overnight (unlike most recipes that take 6 or 7 days!).

The pickles marinate in the “brine” which is less salty and acidic than most pickling brines. The resulting cucumber is lower sodium and retains it’s crispness; leaving you with a much fresher tasting peck of pickles (couldn’t help myself).

It’s kind of like the kosher-style dill pickles you’d buy in the refrigerator section. When properly refrigerated, the pickles can last 1-2 weeks (maybe longer, but we’ve always eaten them before that).

Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles:

3 liters or 3 quarts jar
3 lb of small-medium cucumbers
7 cloves of garlic
4 stems of dill
2 small roots of horseradish, optional
10-15 whole black peppers
3 Tbsp of table salt
Filtered cold water

How to Make Kosher-Style Dill Pickles:

1. Wash and cut off both ends of the cucumbers. Pack them into a jar with some room left at the top.

2. Cut garlic cloves into 2-3 pieces, roughly cut up dill, slice up your horseradish root* and add everything in the jar, including black pepper. *Mom happens to have horseradish root growing in her yard. It grows back on it’s own every year. It is optional in this recipe but supposedly helps the pickles stay fresh longer.

3. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of salt in 6 cups(1.5 quarts) of filtered water and fill the jar. Make sure that cucumbers are covered completely in water.

4. Let the jar sit at room temperature, covered loosely with a cheesecloth or lid for 24 hours (cucumbers should be fully submerged. If they are not, weight them down with something). Refrigerate pickles afterwards. They are best served cold. It will keep at least 1 week in the fridge.

How to Pickle Pickles (Refrigerator Pickles that is)

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $4-$6 (nearly free if you grow your own cucumbers)
Servings: 8 -10

Ingredients

  • 3 liters or 3 quarts jar
  • 3 lb of small-medium cucumbers
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 4 stems of dill
  • 2 small roots of horseradish optional
  • 10-15 whole black peppers
  • 3 tbsp of table salt
  • Filtered cold water

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut off both ends of the cucumbers. Pack them into a jar with some room left at the top.
  2. Cut garlic cloves into 2-3 pieces, roughly cut up dill, slice up your horseradish root and add everything in the jar, including black pepper.
  3. Dissolve 3 tbsp of salt in 6 cups(1.5 quarts) of filtered water and fill the jar. Make sure that cucumbers are covered completely in water.
  4. Let the jar sit at room temperature, covered loosely with a cheesecloth or lid for 24 hours (cucumbers should be fully submerged. Refrigerate pickles afterwards. They are best served cold.

 

Note: Some varieties of homegrown cucumber can taste a little bitter. If cucumbers are bitter, cut off the ends and let them soak for 2 hours in water to get rid of bitterness.

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • Alexandra
    December 17, 2018

    Hi Natasha,
    Is it ok to use a plastic jar? Thanks in advance! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 17, 2018

      Hi Alexandra, yes, my Mom makes them in a large plastic jar frequently 🙂 Reply

  • terri
    January 6, 2017

    I love these pickles but had a quick question – what do you use as a substitute for dill stems when not in season? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 6, 2017

      Hi Terri, you could just use sprigs of dill sold in the supermarket. It really should be dill or the flavor and aroma wouldn’t be quite right. Reply

  • sharon
    May 16, 2015

    could you tell me how much sodium is in these pickles i am a heart and diabetes patient Thank you very much Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 17, 2015

      Hi Sharon. Thank you for writing in. That is a very good question and I understand where you’re coming from since I am a nurse and worked with patients with those same dietary concerns. However, I don’t think there’s anyway to really measure how much sodium is in these pickles because I don’t know how much of the sodium they absorbed from the brine. I wish I could be more helpful. Reply

  • azhar mahmood
    October 2, 2014

    privet Natasha

    thanks for ur lovely and informative blogs..i need to know that is it possible to add some other vegetables with the cucumbers..thanks once again ..Azar libya, benghazi Reply

  • Luba
    August 5, 2014

    Hi! Where did you get your jar from?? Was it from amazon? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 5, 2014

      I actually found it at TJ Max Reply

    • terri
      January 6, 2017

      The container store now carries a wide assortment of sizes of the Kilner brand. Reply

  • Yuliya
    June 28, 2014

    Natasha, I made these a couple times last year and absolutely loved them. But I am not sure why they are not turning out this year, I made it twice and they tasted like fresh even after a few days in the fridge. Would using sea salt make such a difference? Thank you Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 28, 2014

      Is that the only thing you’ve done differently? We don’t have cucumbers yet this year, but when I made them last year, I used Morton Iodized Salt. It might be the iodine? Although I’m not exactly sure how it affects things chemically. More likely, sea salt isn’t quite as strong as table salt (the crystals are a little larger and they don’t always equate to the same amount as table salt depending on how much you are using. Here’s a handy conversion table: http://www.mortonsalt.com/for-your-home/culinary-salts/salt-conversion-chart. You might just need a little more of the sea salt. Reply

  • natasha
    September 30, 2013

    Can i cut them up instead of whole? I got really long cucumbers growing in my garden, i wont be able to fit them in a jar whole, they would need to be cut up. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 30, 2013

      Hmmm it depends on the type of cucumber. Some long cucumbers aren’t good for canning because they just get soft. I think it’s best to use a whole cucumber, but if you have alot it’s worth a shot. I’m sure it would still taste great! Reply

  • Tanis
    August 27, 2013

    Hello Natasha,
    Just wondering…I have noticed that your canning is not done with boiling your fill jars in water (water bath) yet you are able to use your food for up to a year. I love the way you do this and am just today enjoying plum jam (thank you) but have had a few people question the safety of my jam because the fill jars were not submerged in water for a set amount of time (all the jars sealed and are beautiful…so excited). Your canning is much easier then the way i was taught and I look forward to using more of your recipes but am curious as to this method of canning and would like to answer peoples questions about the safety of my beautiful jars of jam. Or maybe I just cannot share with them…so sad for them. Thank you for your thoughts.
    Tanis Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 27, 2013

      My parents and all of my relatives for generations have always done it by steam sterilization and haven’t had any issues. If you are concerned, you can boil the cans and lids (it couldn’t hurt! ;)) These refrigerator pickles are perishable however and only stay good if refrigerated. Reply

      • Tanis
        August 28, 2013

        Yes i had noticed that the pickles are refrigerated sorry i have been reading many of your recipes and just happened to be on the pickles when i decided to finally write something. I was taught to sterilize the same way but once the jars are filled and lids on we were told to immerse (aka water bath)the full jar in boiling water for a specific amount of time. I have since had a moment to do a bit more research and found information on both processes. I am enjoying your site and thank you for the time you take to share…i never liked canning (eating was great…actually doing was not) until i found you and i just had to run out and find more peaches and jars as my daughter has decided she would like to try! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 28, 2013

          Its definitely nice to have the canned stuff in winter when it’s just not very good fresh since it’s not in season. The work always pays off 🙂 Reply

  • Lena
    August 23, 2013

    Thank you Natasha for this wonderful recipe. I have been looking for this recipe for over a year. Thank you so much! i love what you do for us ladies! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 24, 2013

      Awesome!! I’m happy to help 🙂 Reply

  • Olya
    August 11, 2013

    Hi Natasha,
    Just discovered your website while looking for kvass recipes. Very helpful and informative! I have been making kvasheni ohirky for many years, very similar to your recipe, and I add a slice of rye bread to the top of the jar. (I think it helps with the fermentation). I love to drink the juice from the pickles and from sauerkraut, don’t know how good it is for you, but, I enjoy it. Keep up the great work! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 11, 2013

      I’ve never tried the slice of rye over the top. Sounds interesting. We will have to experiment with that! Thank you Olya 🙂 Reply

  • Irene
    August 9, 2013

    I would love to make those,and pickled watermelon,but I can’t find dill stems ANYWHERE!!! 🙁 Tried Publix and Winn Dixie here,and nothing… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 9, 2013

      Where are you from? I’m not familiar with those stores? Have you tried FredMeyer or Winco? Reply

      • Irene
        August 10, 2013

        Jacksonville,FL. Reply

  • Dimitri
    August 7, 2013

    I’m not a big fan of Mалосольные Oгурцы, do you have a recipe fro regular Russian dill pickles Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2013

      I don’t and I’m not sure if my Mom is pickling pickles this year since our cucumbers aren’t as plentiful. I’ll check with her and will post the tutorial if she is going to be pickling. Reply

  • Steph
    August 3, 2013

    Natasha, I just want to say I am so thankful for your blog! My husband is Ukrainian and he loves it when I cook ‘Russian’ food, but he wants me to cook the way/stuff his mom cooks, so it’s been a struggle finding recipes that are like his Mom’s. Then I came across your blog and its been SUCH a blessing!! My sisters-in-law have also been here and they’re like ‘she cooks our kind of food!’ 🙂 Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you! I’m very excited to make these cucumbers!! These are one of the recipes I’ve been dying to learn! Someone had mentioned using an oak leaf to make the pickles crunchy, and I just wanted to say too that grape leaves can be used instead as a ‘crisping agent’. They work very well and might be a little more easier to obtain. Thank you again! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 3, 2013

      That’s great to know! I wish we had more cucumbers this year though. My mom’s cucumbers are few and far between this year. I’m so glad you find the site too. Welcome and I hope you find some new favorite recipes! 😉 Reply

  • Olena
    May 10, 2013

    Natasha, I ve just found your site and its amazing! I miss ukranian-russian cooking and you give me a lot of ideas. It would be great if you can post homemade kvashenaya kapusta recipie. I know its simple, but I tried to cook it two times and missed something: it turned not crisp and taste was not so good as it suppose to be. Thanks a lot in advance! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 10, 2013

      My mom usually makes this an entire bucket-full at a time! I’ll ask her to let me know when she makes it again. Reply

  • January 22, 2013

    Hi Natasha,

    Just found your fabulous blog. So many great recipes! What kind of salt do you use for pickles?

    Thanks 🙂
    -Helen (Lena) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 22, 2013

      I just used Morton Iodized Salt. I just learned about pickling salt which I would use next year. Pickling salt makes canned vegetables more appetizing. Reply

  • December 30, 2012

    We too call these pickles “half sour”. Though, if they sand long enough, they’re no longer “half”. 🙂 Another commenter asked if it would work with tomatoes, and the answer is Yes. I have the same recipe for my pickles and my pickled tomatoes (http://annasrecipebox.com/2011/09/08/tomatoes-pickled/) I use more salt though. Technically, once these pickles stand long enough, they’re called “lacto-fermented” and are supposed to be good for you, like sauerkraut.
    They pickles can last a long time in a dry, cool place (like a dark corner in a basement), mine have lasted at least 6 months, and pickled tomatoes have lasted a couple years (but I water-processed them for canning). No need to do that if they’ll be eaten within a month. 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 30, 2012

      Thanks for the tip! What do you mean by “water-processed”? Reply

      • December 31, 2012

        By “water-processed”, I mean that after I filled the jars and closed them tightly, I boiled the jars for a few minutes (like for jam). This was the first time I was doing this and I didn’t want anyone to get sick, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything. It’s the last step (step 4a) in that linked recipe. I did the same thing to the pickles, but they turned out to be completely mushy, like mashed potatoes. The flavor was right, but not the consistency. The jars that were too big for the water bath canning method were perfect though. So no need to boil the pickles, they last pretty long as it is. But the boiling didn’t affect the taste or texture of the tomatoes. Not sure if it’s needed, but it didn’t hurt anything. 🙂 Reply

  • Tonya
    August 15, 2012

    Wow amazing. I am so proud of myself lol. Very delicious. Thank u Natasha 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 15, 2012

      You are very welcome Tonya 🙂 Reply

  • Tonya
    August 11, 2012

    Just made the pickles, but I poured in the water without dissolving the salt all the way. Hope that’s ok.. didn’t have the patience. Lol thank u for posting this receipe , my first time trying this. We had too many pickles from our garden… Didnt know what to do with them, felt bad throwing them away Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 11, 2012

      That should still be ok. Let me know how you love them 🙂 Reply

  • anna
    August 9, 2012

    Okay Ill let you know, it just went in the fridge, i didnt make any wholes in the tomatoes so ill wait a bit longer to try- will sample on day 3. Reply

  • anna
    August 9, 2012

    Can you do this with red tomatoes? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 9, 2012

      Hmm I don’t think it would work but I haven’t tried it. Reply

  • anna
    August 3, 2012

    Why filtered water? Can i do this with english cucumbers? (the big long ones sold in plastic wrap- i just happen to have alot of them) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 3, 2012

      Either filtered water or boiled and cooled water. There’s less chance of it spoiling since you pour in cold water. I haven’t tried with the small English cucumbers but I think it would work as long as they haven’t been coated with any wax. Reply

  • Anna
    July 30, 2012

    These look tasty! We call them half-sour pickles. Can I add some advise to improve the recipe a bit? I use kosher salt and add an oak leaf (rinsed first). Oak leaf will make pickles real crispy and crunchy. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 30, 2012

      Thanks for the tips! I wonder if oak leaf works the same way as horseradish. Reply

      • Anna
        August 1, 2012

        Not quite! With an oak leaf they turn out just like in a Vlasic pickles commercial – you can break one in half and hear the crunch. 😉 Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 1, 2012

          Hmmm that sounds great! So I guess I need to find an oak tree! 🙂 Reply

  • Hi Nastasha,
    I just discovered your blog. It is very pretty and informative. I think it is so fascinating to learn about dishes in other cultures!

    – Annika Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 30, 2012

      Welcome to the site 🙂 Reply

  • July 29, 2012

    I never done this by myself, its always mom makes it and gives it to me. 😉 Yeah.. Yeah… spoiled… haha
    I will defiantly try your recipe; and maybe I’ll surprise mom??? !!!!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 29, 2012

      Same story here, but I decided to do them once my self… With her supervision :), and they are very simple to make. Reply

  • Gemma
    July 29, 2012

    Hi Natasha! My in-laws served similar pickles for dinner this evening. As a bonus I was given cucumbers to take home. I just finished making the pickles according to your recipe and cannot wait to eat it soon. Thank you for sharing your recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 29, 2012

      You’re welcome and I hope you love them 🙂 Reply

  • Lidia
    July 28, 2012

    Thank you. Thank you. Just what I have been looking for. What type of salt do you use? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 28, 2012

      You’re so welcome 🙂 we used just regular table salt Reply

  • July 28, 2012

    OMG!!!! These look so good. ………..виглядають дуже смачний. I can’t keep these in the fridge, they go like hotcakes. Soon as I make some they are gone.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 28, 2012

      Same thing at our house! 🙂 Reply

  • Marina
    July 27, 2012

    YUM! We had a guest over at our house for lunch yesterday and he brought some of these pickles for us to try. They were so delish! I instantly wanted to make some for myself but I didn’t know him well enough to ask for a recipe. Oh Natasha, you are a wonderful mind-reader! How do you do it? If you ask me, you went into the wrong field of work. Thank you once again, you’re great! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 27, 2012

      You are very welcome Marina. It’s funny someone else asked me for this recipe just last night. I guess it was very good timing! 😀 Reply

  • Sveta
    July 27, 2012

    I am making mine exactly the same way only I put a little more salt in and into hot boiled water. I had no idea regular cold water can be used! That makes my life a little easier! 🙂 Thank You, Natasha!!! Do you have the recipe for making pickled green tomatoes? That’s something I would love to learn to make! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 27, 2012

      You are welcome Sveta. I will ask my mom if she has a recipe for pickled green tomatoes. Reply

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