ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dill Pickles for Two

Updated on August 3, 2016
The Dirt Farmer profile image

Jill is an avid reader and writer who recently celebrated seven years on HubPages.


Refrigerator Pickles in Four Quick Steps

Making your own pickles is surprisingly easy.

  1. Clean 2 lbs. of young, small cucumbers.
  2. Slice them & place them in clean canning jars.
  3. Pour a boiling mixture of vinegar, water and spices over them.
  4. Seal the jars with rings and lids.

When they're cool, place the jars in the fridge, and enjoy homemade pickles (without artificial additives and preservatives) for up to two months or more.

Rate it!

5 stars from 3 ratings of Small Batch Dill Pickles

Prep time will vary depending upon cleaning method

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 2 quarts

What you'll need

  • 2 lbs. small, young cucumbers, sliced or quartered
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 5% solution
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. spices of choice, (See suggestions below.)
  • 1 head garlic (optional), peeled whole
  • 2 quart canning jars
  • funnel
  • 2 each lids and rings


  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it comes to a boil, place the jars, rings and lids in the water and boil for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, clean the cucumbers using one of the methods described above and slice them.
  3. Remove the jars, lids and rings from the water and place on a clean cloth to cool.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices of your choice, and bring to a boil. If using apple cider vinegar, be aware that it will darken the pickles.
  5. Meanwhile, pack the jars with sliced cucumbers and, if using, garlic cloves.
  6. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture into the packed jars to cover the cucumbers.
  7. Top each jar with a lid and screw a ring onto each.
  8. Once cool, write the date on the lids, and place jars in refrigerator.
  9. Enjoy homemade pickles for up to two months or more.

Step 1: Clean


Wash the Cucumbers

Cleaning the cucumbers well is extremely important. Cucumbers, as well as other fruits and vegetables, are likely to be covered in pesticides and other chemicals no one should eat. (See the Environmental Working Groups "Dirty Dozen.")

Even if your cucumbers are organic, they are likely to have bacteria, parasites, insect eggs and droppings, and other contaminants on them.

Store-bought Wash

If you use a store-bought vegetable wash, such as Veggie Wash or Rebel Green's Fruit & Veggie clean, follow the directions on the label.

Homemade Clorox Bath

You can also detoxify the cucumbers with Clorox (sodium hypochlorite) using a method created by Dr. Hazel Parcells.

Fill your sink with a gallon of water, add one teaspoon of Clorox, and then soak the cucumbers in the mixture for 30 minutes. This will effectively remove parasites, bacteria, pesticides, etc. from the cucumbers.

A 30-minute Clorox bath also works well for other thick-skinned vegetables and fruits, like potatoes and apples. For thin-skinned produce, reduce the soaking time to 15 minutes.

Clean Jars, Lids and Rings


While the cucumbers are soaking, clean the canning jars and lids as well as the funnel you'll use when pouring the pickling solution into the jars.

Run the lot through the dishwasher or boil them in water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. The latter is per the recommendation of the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Although sterilizing is not strictly necessary as the pickles will be refrigerated rather than preserved, I do it anyway, and it seems to extend the refrigerator life of our pickles.

Step 2: Slice


If the cucumbers are very small, you may leave them whole, merely trimming the ends.

However, for a more intense dill flavor, slice or quarter the cucumbers.

Cutting the cucumbers into smaller pieces allows them to soak up more of the pickling solution for a stronger "pickle" taste.

Step 3: Make the Pickling Solution


At its most basic, the pickling solution consists of four ingredients:

  • water
  • 5% solution vinegar
  • white granulated sugar
  • kosher salt.

You can experiment with this, adjusting the vinegar to water ratio if you like. In general, the more vinegar, the crisper and more tangy the pickle.

You may also try apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar. Be warned, however, that apple cider vinegar will darken the color of the cucumber, giving it an amber color.

To the vinegar solution, add your favorite spices and bring the mixture to a boil before pouring over the sliced cucumbers.


A Few Spice Mixtures to Try

It's fun to experiment with different spice mixtures. Here are a few of my favorites.

Five-Alarm Dills

For spicy pickles, try 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns, 2 tsp. dill seed, 3/4 tsp. mustard seed and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. (For even more of a kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of turmeric— but not too much! Turmeric can be bitter.)

Add whole cloves of garlic to the sliced cucumbers before pouring the spicy pickling solution into the jars. If the garlic cloves are young, they may turn green or blue. This does not make them inedible; it's just a chemical reaction due to the high level of alliinase in them.

Spicy Dills

Add 1 Tbsp. peppercorns and 1 Tbsp. dill seed to the pickling solution as well as stalks of fresh dill. Pour over sliced cucumbers with whole garlic cloves added.

Licorice Dills

Add 1 Tbsp. peppercorns and 2 tsp. fennel seeds and 1 tsp. whole cloves to the pickling solution. If that too licorice-y for you, reduce the amount of fennel to 1 tsp. and add 1 tsp. of dill seed.

There are three teaspoons in a tablespoon.

Spices for Dill Pickles

hot and spicy
Dill Seed
Fennel Seed
pungent, sometimes bitter
Mustard Seed
Red Pepper Flakes
hot, pungent

© 2016 Jill Spencer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)