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Homemade Wickles (Like) Pickles - Copycat Recipe on How to Make a Seriously Hot, Deliciously Sweet, Garlic Butter Pickle

Updated on March 30, 2013
Homemade Hot, Garlic, Butter Pickles!
Homemade Hot, Garlic, Butter Pickles!

A seriously hot, deliciously sweet, garlic butter pickle!

Anyone who lives in the South can tell you - there's a seriously "wickedly delicious pickle" sold in our stores that is made using a "secret family recipe." While I didn't steal the recipe, I did manage to simulate it at home.

Due to the expense of making the brine (the secret), I have published this recipe to make pickles in bulk (makes a great gift - pickle lovers will beg for more)! This recipe will yield approximately 2 dozen pint sized jars - but buy 3 dozen so as to use any extra brine to pickle some okra!


5 Gallons cleaned, sliced cucumbers (small, prickly w/o wax – homegrown or farmer’s market)
2 cups pickling salt (kosher and ionized salts will cloud brine)

Fill 5 gallon bucket with sliced cumbers (a mandoline is a must!), salt and water and let sit 3 hours

Drain in “batches” (one pot at a time) - do not remove/rinse until ready to pickle/jar.

Prepare Picking Spices

2 Tbl dried, minced onion
2 Tbl whole mustard seed
2 Tbl whole black peppercorn
1 Tbl celery seed
1 Tbl turmeric (ground)

2 tsp. whole clove
2 tsp. whole allspice
2 tsp. whole juniper berries
2 tsp. whole dill seed
2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1 tsp. ground mace
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 dried, crumbled bay leaves
4 small, dried hot red peppers – crumbled – seeds and all

4 sticks cinnamon
2 inches fresh ginger root

Put cinnamon and ginger root in Ziploc and pound until broken medium fine

Vinegar Infusion

9 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
Prepared pickling spices from above

Put all ingredients in stock pot and bring to a boil.

Turn off heat and let infuse for 2 hours.

Strain spices from vinegar (run through colendar over stock pot then strain again through mesh filter or cheesecloth).

Return to stock pot.

Add 7 cups granulated sugar to infused vinegar.

Dissolve completely in vinegar infusion (no additional heat needed).

** FIRST TIME PICKLERS - Divide the brine into 4 equal batches. Section off a small amount to taste once cooled (a little will do - you're only using it as a comparison taste sample). Add hot chili peppers to the 1st pot and bring back to a simmer. Turn the heat off and let it steep for 2 hours (at which point it should be cool enough to taste. If it does not have the "heat" you are looking for, add another pepper and repeat until the brine is just less of what you want (peppers are added to the jars prior to canning - so don't go overboard with hot peppering the brine or the pickles will be too hot to eat). At which point, continue as you would below. **

** ALSO NOTE: the brine will keep if you prefer to attempt smaller batches to sample the "heat" factor before making pickles with the remaining 3 sections of brine from above. It's a great way to add a little, subtract a little, perfect the pickles to your tastes/preferences. **

Prepare jars for canning

Boil jars and lids in water for 15 minutes, remove from heat with tongs and let cool on cooling rack.

½ t. minced garlic (produce section, jarred)
2 small fresh, red hot chili peppers (slit both sides) per jar

Place in bottom of cooled jars

Ready for pickling

Rinsed cucumbers
Prepared vinegar

Place one 1/2 pot of cumbers completely submerged in brine at a time over medium heat and bring to a simmer only (do NOT boil) – remove from heat.

Fill prepared jars with cucumbers using a jarring funnel and divide liquids evenly in jars to within ¼ inch of top

Place lid on jars with rings and process (place in pot of simmering hot water completely submerged) for 15 minutes.

Lids will “pop” seal when completely cooled.

Store for 2 weeks – then test before giving as gifts.

Yield: 24 Pint Sized Jars (Hint: Keep spares handy)

*** If you like this recipe, please bookmark the page to share the LINK with friends and other recipe sites - but please do not copy/paste the recipe itself elsewhere. I claim copyright as an original recipe. I also would appreciate your clicking on advertiser links since that is how this site pays for original work and this recipe took trial and error to perfect (some reimbursement for that would be highly appreciated and clicking links will cost you nothing [unless you like the advertiser and choose to buy some product - bonus for the advertiser!]). Also leave a comment to let me know you were here - I'd love to hear from you! Thank you!! ***


The HOTTER the PEPPER the bigger the bite of the pickle. Experiment with different peppers to find your favorite.


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    • profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago

      5 gallons of cucumbers already sliced as shown in the picture? That seems like it would take hundreds of cucumbers for such few spices... Approx how many cucumbers is that? Thank you

    • Perry Fender profile image

      Perry Fender 4 years ago from

      The bucket is 5 gallons, the cucumbers take up about 3.5 with the water/salt taking up the other 1.5. I should have made that more clear. And depending on the size of the cucumbers, it's about 40-50 (I planted 8 plants last year - I had cucumbers coming out the ying-yang). And if you use the freshest spices, the flavors are more potent. And since there's more cucumbers than brine in a jar of pickles - you'd be amazed at how far a little spice will go. You'll just have to try the recipe and adapt it to your flavor. Shoot me a line when you've made the recipe your own - I'd love to know what tweaks you've made to improve it.

    • profile image

      Pjbrodie 4 years ago

      Ok, so when you put on heat, and cukes in brine, do you mean vinegar based infusion mix.

    • Perry Fender profile image

      Perry Fender 4 years ago from

      Once the vinegar has been infused with spice, the spices strained off, and sugar has been added - that final product is the brine. When you add the cucumbers, do NOT let the brine return to a boil (otherwise you'll get a soggy pickle as a result - the shorter the amount of time the cucumbers spend in heat, the crispier the resulting pickle).

      On a side note - it has come to my attention that "red hot chili pepper" means something different to different people. The hot chili I use is a Ghost Pepper (the seeds can be found at to grow them in your own garden - otherwise, the pickles will lack "heat" when using less hot peppers).

    • profile image

      Saint 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for this, I've been looking for a Wickles recipe for ages and have never found anything that came close. LOL I was about to start knocking on doors in Dadeville, AL until I found someone who had the secret! I'll try these as soon as my fall pickles produce.

    • profile image

      Anne Marie 4 years ago

      I made the recipe tonight. I had too many cukes for the vinegar infusion. Like previous poster I was confused by reference to brine, as brine to me is the salt water mixture. I'll post when I have had a chance to taste. (PS...I could not get juniper berry, but hopefully it won't be missed too much...PSS...I also noted that the Wickles pickles seem to have dill also infused with the vinegar...) I can't wait!

    • Perry Fender profile image

      Perry Fender 4 years ago from

      Anne Marie - you might be able to find the Juniper Berry at World Market or some other gormet shops. It's not something you'll find at your "neighborhood grocery store" since it's not a high demand spice. I skipped the dill as a personal preference - check around for other "butter pickle" recipes to find the proper amount of dill to add to your "personalized" Wickles recipe - post your modifications for others who may enjoy your tweak! Thanks so much ~

    • Chris N Amanda profile image

      Chris N Amanda 3 years ago

      I made these last night, and after a quick taste test they were great! Can't wait to taste them after the two weeks!

    • profile image

      sylvia 2 years ago

      I have been making pickles for years but have never been successful in getting a crunchy pickle unless i use lime.....are these crunchy?

    • Enid Dunn profile image

      Enid Dunn 22 months ago

      Ball has a wonderful product called Pickle Crisp which is calcium chloride granules which is available on Amazon or at farm stores in the canning section.. Works like a pickle seeder!

      My products turn out standing at attention!

    • profile image

      meloni 10 months ago

      Can i make pickled okra with this reciepe??

    • Perry Fender profile image

      Perry Fender 7 months ago from

      I have - I think I made 1/2 okra and 1/2 pickles one summer. The Okra needs an even hotter pepper (with the 4 slits). After coming out of the jar, they're great - but put in a pot of beef soup... they're the bomb!

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