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How to Make Naturally Fermented Pickles. Pro Biotic Lactic Acid Pickle Recipe – Tastes Great!

Updated on July 12, 2009

Got an abundance of pickling cucumbers? Why not try something a little different from those same-old vinegar pickled dills, and go pro-biotic; make a naturally fermented lactic acid soured pickle - they taste fantastic!

If you ever tried naturally fermented pickles before… you know what I'm talking about when I say they're fantastic, but to those of you that have yet to salt pickle some cucumbers – you've very probably had at least some tasting experience with a probiotic soured vegetable, if you've ever laced a hot dog with sauerkraut that is!

Anyway, these naturally fermented pickles taste great, they are very easy to make and you don't even have to worry about all the boiling and sterilizing of mason jars – so why not already…make yourself up a batch of pickles!

Naturally Fermented Pickles

The recipe I use is a recipe only slightly modified from Brian Polcyn's and Michael Ruhlman's in their book "Charcuterie" which is a must have and must read, in my opinion…

  • Pickling cucumbers – any amount, washed
  • Water and salt mixed together to make a 5% salt solution. If you use 2 liters, you will use 100 grams of salt, for example. You need enough water to completely cover all the vegetables – so how much water you need depends on how many cucumbers you have
  • Aromatics – a handful of garlic cloves and a Tbls or 2 of whole black peppercorns (or use any pickling spice mixture you prefer)
  1. Add the aromatics, the salt and the water in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt (remember, you need a 5% by weight salt solution, which is 50 grams of salt per liter of water).
  2. Turn off the heat and let the brine cool completely
  3. Take all the cucumbers and place in a container that will fit in your fridge.
  4. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and then put a plate on top of the vegetables, with something heavy on the plate to weigh it down. Make sure that you have an inch or more of brine on the top of all cucumbers (this is the only important thing to remember. This recipe is pretty foolproof, as long as all the cucumbers stay submerged in the brine.)
  5. Put this in the fridge and taste in 2 to 3 weeks. The cucumbers should now be salty, sour, crunchy and tasty – full of pickley goodness. You can accelerate the process by keeping this on the counter and make pickles at room temperature in about 5 days, but only if your room temperature doesn't exceed 70 degrees or so (otherwise nasty bacteria start to grow…and smell bad…).
  6. Once the pickles are ready, strain off the brine and bring it to a quick boil, turn it off and allow it to cool off. Transfer the pickles to a clean container and pour the cooled brine back over top.

These will keep forever covered and refrigerated – but you'll eat them all up well before that.

A fun, easy and very tasty way to get some very good for you probiotic food into your diet – have fun pickling!


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    • profile image

      Richard 5 years ago

      Can these go in canning jars with lids? Or will the fermentation process potentially break the jar/seal?

    • profile image

      texican 5 years ago

      cauliflower,carrots,and any sweet pepper works well.

    • profile image

      Brad 6 years ago

      @John D Lee: Alan was referring to the "Stem 6". He is right.

    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 7 years ago

      Hi Alan, the pickles are not boiled, the aromatics and salt are simply boiled to infuse the liquid and to dissolve the salt, and then the brine is cooled before being poured over the pickles. Bacteria should remain happy and active!

    • profile image

      Alan 7 years ago

      The probiotic aspect would be lost as soon as the pickles and brine are boiled (killing off all the bacteria)

    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 8 years ago

      Hi Jai,

      Any vegetable should work, although the ratio to salt and water is pretty important, and you'd be better off measuring for this one!

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 8 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas


      Can you use this method with any vegetable? Bell peppers or

      onions for instance. Sounds pretty easy. Instead of specific

      quantities,salt to water, can you just taste the brine?

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Great recipe - and I do so love pickles - thank you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Sounds good. I'll have to look up metric conversion tables because I don't know how 2 liters of water relate to 100 grams of salt. I'll figure it out.

      Can you use larger pickles sliced instead of the smaller pickling kind?

    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 8 years ago

      Hi Gypsy Willow,

      probiotic refers to foods that contain beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, such as live culture yogurts, for example.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Nice easy recipe. Why and what is probiotic though?