The fermented whole cucumber pickles we make in our crocks are hands down our favorites, but we also love to keep a jar slightly-sweet, vinegar-brined refrigerator pickles on hand for sandwiches and burgers. The mandoline whips out thin even slices that can be stacked high, while salting and pressing the slices in the salad spinner makes it easy to draw out their moisture and keep the pickles crunchy.
Refrigerator pickles, 3/3/2015
- Crock weight
- Salad spinner
- 1L Swing top jar
- 2.5 lb cucumbers
- ⅓ cup kosher salt (didn’t use it all)
- 2 tbs Pickling Spice
- 1 tbs Dill seeds
- 250 mL Cider vinegar
- 250 mL Water
- 100 mL Sugar
Sliced the cucumbers on the mandoline as thick as it would allow. Tossed and layered the sliced cumbers with the kosher salt in the salad spinner, weighed them down with two crock weights, and it left to drain inside the fridge for two hours. Loosely bundled the spices into cheesecloth and placed this at the bottom of the 1L jar, then carefully layered in the sliced cucumbers. Mixed the vinegar, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heated the brine to a bare simmer (185 F) before pouring over the cucumbers. Tapped the jar on the counter to dislodge the excess air and then added just a bit more brine. Let the jar cool on the counter and then it was into the fridge for two weeks (though we never wait that long before trying them out).
For tall thin shapes like cucumbers, I prefer a glove over the plastic safety guard that came with the slicer.
The excess bits were chopped up into a salad for lunch.
A third of a cup is a lot of salt and I ended up not using all of it. I’m always amazed at how much of the salt ends up in the extracted water and since no salt is added to the vinegar brine, the pickles don’t come out overly salty.
They fit in a crock, and they fit in a salad spinner – our crock weights work everywhere!
We got over ½ cup of water out of the cucumbers. That’s about 10% their weight. Some of the slices are still salty, but the flavor should even out once they’re in the brine.
I don’t like fishing out the spices, and wiping them off the slices, so I always bundle the spices up in the bottom of the jar. We have lots of extra dill seed from last year’s garden, so I added some to the pickling spice blend.
No need to tie it, I just fold the cheesecloth into a little bundle and place it seam side down into the jar.
Then in with the cuke slices.
I find for a tightly packed jar, I can mix up half the jar’s volume in brine to fill it to the top with minimal waste. This is a 1 liter jar, so 250 mL of each vinegar and water. The sugar (100 mL) also adds some volume to the brine.
I slopped. But it still looks delicious!