Why It Works
- A balanced mix of vinegar and water gives you pickles that are sharp and fresh, but not overwhelmingly tart.
- Heating the brine before pouring it over the cucumbers speeds up the flavoring process.
- Covering the cucumbers with a paper towel ensures that they stay submerged.
These quick and easy pickles are a snap to make and will have better crunch and brighter flavor than any store-bought pickle you'll find. They're perfect for burgers and sandwiches.
- 2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 8 ounces; 225g total)
- 1 cup (240ml) water
- 1 cup (240ml) distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (about 15g) kosher salt (see note)
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, roughly sliced
- 2 teaspoons (6g) black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons (6g) whole yellow mustard seed
- 2 sprigs fresh dill
Place cucumber slices in a bowl that just fits them. Heat water, vinegar, salt, pepper flakes, garlic, black peppercorns, mustard seed, and dill in a skillet over high heat until salt has dissolved and mixture is simmering. Immediately pour brine over cucumbers. Cover bowl with a paper towel pressed directly against the surface of the liquid to keep cucumbers submerged. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving (do not drain brine). Pickles can be stored in their brine in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
This recipe can easily be scaled up; just make enough brine to fully submerge the cucumbers you're pickling. It will also work with other vegetables, like green beans, snap peas, and carrots. The salt-to-liquid ratio called for here will produce a salty pickle that's a great foil for meaty burgers. For milder pickles, reduce the salt by half.