HALF-SOUR Hot Refrigerator Dills

jar of pickles
These half-sour refrigerator dills solved all my problems.

I came up with these HALF-SOUR Hot Refrigerator Dills because I could not find a natural, full-sour fermented pickle recipe that didn’t continue to increase in sourness even after refrigeration. This adaptation helped me make natural dill pickles and then arrest the flavor at my personal peak preference. You can do the same thing using this recipe (see step # 10).

5-15 Kirby cucumbers (or however many you can fit into a 2-qt jar)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
few pieces of fresh dill
3 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup sea salt
2 T sugar
6 cups water
I/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar (add after ferment, see #10 final instruction).

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Wash cucumbers and trim off blossom ends and stem ends. (Stem ends can be bitter, blossom ends contain enzymes that make pickles soft.)

2. Dissolve sea salt and sugar in the water to make a brine.

3. Mix together all the dry ingredients (coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns, pepper flakes, 2 bay leaves).

4. Put the cucumbers in a 2-quart jar, then minced garlic, then spices.

5. Pour the brine into the jar. If you have any brine left, disregard it.

6. Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top.

7. Make sure your cucumbers are completely covered in brine and weight them down if necessary and close the jar.

8. Put in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least a week before testing and eating. They are done when they taste the way you like them. There is no right answer.

9. Best when made in a half-gallon jar.

10. Option: After 1 week to 10 days in fridge, add ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar and let sit for a few days. After that, these pickles will disappear fast.

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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Kirby cucumbers
Kirby cucumbers are best for making pickles.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles
I love this recipe from Bobby Flay‘s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes so much, I don’t mess with it.

Ingredients:
1 c. water
3/4 c. plus 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar
1/4 c. packed coarsely chopped fresh dill (up to 3/4 c. if you love dill)
2 TBSP sugar
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 TBSP kosher salt
3/4 tsp dill seeds

1 tsp. whole mustard seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
4 Kirby cucumbers (about 2 lbs.)

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients (including red pepper flakes, if using) except cucumbers in a small non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until sugar and salt dissolve fully, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. While pickling liquid cools, slice cucumbers into spears or 1/4-in. rounds. Put into mason jars, a large bowl with a fitted lid, or other lidded container of suitable size.

3. Once liquid is cooled, pour over cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate at least 24 hours for rounds or 48 hours for spears, stirring or shaking mixture at least once. Pickles keep, refrigerated, 7-10 days and longer.