Slideshow: How to Quick Pickle

Chopping
Chopping
Start by slicing your cucumbers any way you like them. A lot of pickle recipes will tell you to slice the rounds as thin as possible using a mandoline, but I find they fall apart if they're any thinner than 1/4 of an inch. Any sharp knife will do the trick. For bigger pickles, cut on a bias.
Washing
Washing
Next, toss the cukes in a colander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Let sit for 15 to 30. Cucumbers will absorb the salt and break down a bit after releasing a little excess moisture.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine equal parts vinegar and water (err heavy on the vinegar side; I used about 2 cups water and 2 1/2 cups vinegar for 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers), desired spices and seasonings, and sugar (again, 1/4 cup should do for a saltier brine; 1/3 cup for a sweeter one). Bring to a boil.

Brining
Brining
Pour the brine over the cucumbers into a heatproof container. (You can pack the pickles in jars and pour the liquid right into the jars at this point. I was short on jar space.)

Let sit uncovered until cool; place pickles in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Pickles!
Pickles!
Pour in enough of the pickling liquid to cover the vegetables. Store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.