Refrigerator pickling (also known as quick pickling) is fast and easy and you can use it to treat any vegetable or fruit that you like to pickle. It won’t preserve your food nearly as long as other processes, but it’s tasty and time effective.
The following directions explain how to pickle cucumbers, which are among the most popular vegetables for refrigerator pickling because they take exceedingly well to the process. Other good options include cauliflower, baby onions, and sliced carrots.
1. Find the freshest, crispest produce that has no signs of being past its prime. You’ll need about 6 cucumbers approximately 4" long for a quart jar. Carefully wash the cucumbers and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
2. Sterilize your jars. If you have a sterilizing cycle on your dishwasher, you can prepare the jars while you’re cutting! Otherwise, fill a large stockpot with water, add your jars and lids, and bring them to a full boil.
3. Mix together and heat 6 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar, ½ cup sugar (if you want sweet pickles), ½ cup canning salt, and 1 teaspoon of each of your desired spices. Dill and garlic are both great flavors, as are sliced onion, mustard seed, and celery seed. You may also want to add ½ teaspoon of alum for crispness.
4. While the brine heats, pack the cucumbers into the jars, leaving about ¼inch at the top.
5. Pour the hot mixture over the cucumbers; cover. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Chill and enjoy.
How long will refrigerator pickles keep?
Let your refrigerator pickles age for about 7–10 weeks to let the flavors soak in before consuming them. These last for about 2 months in the refrigerator (if you can keep people from eating them). If the solution ever starts looking cloudy, that’s a good signal to toss them.