Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Three Jars of Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

This was a fun recipe to do. I actually started working on it last year when I got cucumbers and dill heads in my CSA share. I started out using this recipe, then I kept on playing with variations until I had it exactly the way I wanted it. The hard part was waiting a full month before first trying any of the pickles. Meanwhile I still had more fresh cucumbers coming in, and I wasn’t sure which version was the best one to pickle them with yet. I did seven variations in all, so I’m glad to finally be able to share the winner with you!

The first change I made was to the spices. When you buy “pickling spices” they contain things like cinnamon bark and cloves. To me they give the pickles a Christmasy taste that I don’t care for. So I played around with my own combination of spices. I exchanged the cider vinegar for white vinegar. I did this mostly for aesthetic reasons. The pickles taste fine either way.  I tried with and without the sugar, in case the sugar made the brine to sweet. Nope, it tastes just fine with the sugar in it.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s so easy, even if you’ve never done any canning before. This isn’t a true canning process, as it still requires refrigeration. The end result is a wonderfully crisp pickle, the kind I like to serve with a tuna sandwich on rye or chopped up with mustard and onions on a hot dog.

Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles


    For each quart of pickles:
  • About 1 quart pickling cucumbers, washed and blossom-end sliced off
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 large fresh dill head (see Notes)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Prepare number of quart jars equal to amount of pickles by running through the dishwasher or boiling for 10 minutes in a pot of water to sterilize.
  2. Place the garlic, dill head and red pepper flakes in the bottom of each jar. Pack with the cucumbers leaving 1/2-inch head space. You can leave the cucumbers whole, halve or quarter them, or use a combination. I do a little of everything to maximize the amount of cucumbers in the jar.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine water, vinegar, spices, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Ladle the brine into the jar leaving 1/4" head space. Attach lids.
  5. Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
  6. The pickles are ready to be eaten after about a month, and they continue to improve in flavor over the months of storage.
  7. They can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.


If you don't have an dill heads available, just add an extra pinch of dill seed per quart.

Dill Head


Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles — 7 Comments

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    • Don’t worry too much about exact amounts when you’re ladling it the brine. Most of the flavor has been steeped out of the spices into the liquid. I just give the brine a quick swish so everything is floating before I scoop it up with the ladle. At that point it’s more fore aesthetic purposes as I like to see the spices in the jar. Some recipes actually call for you to strain them out, but where’s the fun in that?

  2. Thank you!! My daughter is home this weekend so were going to give it a try, I’ll let you know how we did.

  3. There’s something about fresh pickles that store bought just can’t touch. I love to make my own, because I can control the flavor. I like to make them with more Sugar and hot pepper flakes for a sweet and spicy pickle
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