I love from scratch foods. There truly is nothing like that kind of cooking. Homemade Crock Pot Cinnamon Applesauce on a cool autumn day will fill anyone with joy. Lathering early morning biscuits with a Homemade Butter. The smell and flavor of a Honey-Sweetened Monster Cookie in the afternoon. I’m telling ya…you just can’t find those same things at the grocery store!
We are quickly closing out summer and the gardening season, but my kitchen still overflows with this year’s crop. Tomatoes are lining literally every windowsill in the room, pumpkins resting here, there, and everywhere, and cucumbers desperately needing a home.
Pickles are another example of how good homemade, from-scratch foods can be. And so easy too! I’ve done a pretty good job of harvesting the cucumbers while they are small enough to make wonderful pickles.
Fermented foods are filled with so many probiotics that are extremely beneficial to your body, so I encourage you to find as many ways as you can to make ferments at home! Pickles are a super simple ferment to take on. All you need is salt, a few seasonings, a jar, and a handful of small cucumbers!
Fermented pickles are full of so many probiotic benefits! And the great thing is how simple they are to make from scratch! No pressure canning required. Down below you’ll find info about making a 2% brine (just water and salt!), prepping the pickles, and what to expect from the fermentation process. I promise this is way more simple that you realize, so I’m sure you’ll want to do this again. Now let’s start making homemade pickles!
What You’ll Need
- Small pickling cucumbers
- 1-2 heads of fresh dill
- 2% brine solution (see instructions below)
- Quart or pint size Mason jar (depending on how many pickles you want to make)
- Canning weight
Keep in Mind
- Large cucumbers are not good candidates for pickles. They will not retain any crisp texture and end up being soft, mushy, and limp. I don’t know about you…but that is not the texture I want in a pickle. Give me that crisp crunch!
- Fine salt is important in this recipe! Otherwise you’ll end up with large pieces of undissolved salt at the bottom of the jar.
- You’ll need a canning weight for this recipe. They make glass ones specifically for this purpose or you can utilize other things you may have around the house (I’ve even used rocks inside two sandwich bags as my weights! Simply find something that will fit in your jar and keep the pickles under the brine.
- The pickles will begin to slowly degrade after 6 months of storage, but they’ll still be edible! Just keep in mind that the texture may not be quite as crips after 6 months.
- Feel free to experiment with more seasonings in this recipe! I like to keep it very basic and just make dill pickles. Here are some other herbs you can add: 1 bay leaf, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 TBS mustard seed, or 10 peppercorns).
How to Make a 2% Brine
Percentages make things sound complicated, but I assure you this is not!
- Pour 1 TBS of fine sea salt into 4 cups of non-chlorinated water.
- Stir until all of the salt is dissolved (fine salt will dissolve faster!)
How to Make Fermented Pickles
- Wash the cucumbers and remove the blossom end off of each one.
- Place the cucumbers in your jar (you can leave them whole, cut them long-ways, or slice them)
- Pour the 2% brine over the cucumbers until they are completely covered.
- Add a weight to the jar in oder to keep all of the cucumbers under the brine.
- Set the jar aside and allow to ferment for 5-7 days. The warmer your kitchen is, the quicker fermentation will happen!
- After fermentation, store at 32-50 degrees for up to 6 months (I put mine in the fridge.)
What to Expect with Fermented Pickles
- Liquid leaking out of the jar. This is a normal part of fermentation. I suggest placing your jars on a platter or baking dish in order to catch the excess liquid that will leak out.
- Cloudy brine. The liquid in the jar will become cloudy over time.
- Bubbles. This is actually a great sign! The brine will bubble as the pickles ferment, so this tells you that you did it right.
- Sour Flavor. Fermented pickles don’t taste exactly like a vinegar pickle since the brine is made of different components. They are still delicious!
More From Scratch Recipes
- Homemade Butter
- Crock Pot Applesauce
- Sourdough Tortillas
- Honey-Sweetened Mug Brownie
- Naturally Sweetened Monster Cookies