Sweet and Sour Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles

Pickled cauliflower to the left, my sweet and sour pickles to the right.

I love pickles. I probably love pickles more than any person should. I’ve pickled green beans using a proper shelf-stable canning method, and while I like the longevity that the process brings, it’s usually more work than I want to be bothered with on a weekend afternoon. I much prefer the refrigerator pickle idea, like the pickled cauliflower, which will last about a month in the fridge. It’s less hassle and lasts long enough for me.

I searched the Internet for a good recipe, and while I didn’t follow any single recipe, they all shared some common themes in terms of basic ingredients (turmeric? I wouldn’t have guessed) and quantities.

Here’s the recipe that I came up with.

I stored them in half-pint mason jars, which enables me to crack open a fresh jar every couple of days.


  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups basic white vinegar (no fancy vinegars here)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (most recipes call for more; I like to keep mine a little bit tangy)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp green peppercorns
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric


Using a medium sauce pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices to a near-boil. Turn the stove off and set the pan aside to cool for 15 minutes.

In the bottom of each jar, add a hearty sprig of dill and several slices of onion. Tightly pack the cucumber slices into the jars.

Using a wide-mouth funnel, carefully pour the pickling brine into the jar, leaving about 1/4″ (6 mm) of space at the top of the jar. Add the lids and allow the jars to cool completely before refrigerating. They’ll be ready to eat in a week, and good for about a month in the fridge.


“I don’t like pickles,” said the Tiny Kitchen Assistant. He was, however, bribed to try them. He munched. He made strange faces. When asked for a review he said, “Well… I still don’t like pickles, but these don’t taste as sour as most pickles do. They’re not too bad.” I’d actually consider that to be a big thumbs up.

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