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Jarred pickles - what's best?

I sampled some jarred pickles while traveling I Europe, and they were delicious. Haven't found anything close here. I like whole medium sized pickles which are very crisp and crunchy, and somewhat garlicky. If they are available in a spicy variety, that would be a plus. I'd prefer buying locally...at a major chain, but am such a pickle fan, I wouldn't mind ordering online.

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  1. I use Nathan's kosher dills as a commercial brand, but the best ever pickle in a jar was a batch I made and canned myself.

    1. Ba-tampte are pretty good for jar pickles. And there are a number of newish picklers that have become available in my area (NYC) like Rick's Picks, Brooklyn Brine and McClure's - my favorite of the three, and they have spicy pickles. If there's a Whole Foods (or similar) near you, you may be able to find your region's version of same.

      http://www.batampte.com/
      http://www.mcclurespickles.com/buy/
      http://brooklynbrine.blogspot.com/p/p...
      http://rickspicksnyc.com/pickles

      11 Replies
      1. re: small h

        Have seen McClure's and Ba-tampte, but have never tried. Will do!

        1. re: josephnl

          And I would be remiss not to mention my homeboys, the Pickle Guys. I've only had them from the barrel (they are awesome), so I don't know how they are jarred & shipped. Can you tell I think about pickles a lot? I think about pickles a lot. And the ones I make myself are damn fine as well.

          http://www.pickleguys.com/

          1. re: small h

            Interesting! A $21.00 gallon of sour pickles will cost $44.62 to ship to CA... total $65.62. :o[[[[

            1. re: Midlife

              Sure, but per pickle, that's only like...yeah, it's ridiculous. Maybe someday there will be planes that run on solar energy, and then the shipping costs will drop.

        2. re: small h

          +1 Ba-tempte makes a garlic dill, but they are hard to find.
          Go to almost any farmers market and you will most likely find a pickle stand.

          I find myself ordering the honey mustard, horseradish and red flannels from here:
          http://hormansbestpickles.com/

          they aint cheap, but wow are they yummy!

          1. re: AdamD

            +1 Ba-Tempte Garlic Dill pickles. Equivalent to Full Sour in some places. The Garlic Dills are harder to find.

            I do not recommend half-sour pickles of any brand.

            1. re: Steve

              Ba-Tampte half-sours can be good, if they're really fresh. Check the color - they should look like fresh cucumbers, if they're at all pickled-looking they've been on the shelf too long. But even at their best they don't compare to the ones I get from the open vat at the local Russian store.

          2. re: small h

            +1 for Ba-tampte. I buy the half-sours, then let it sit in the fridge for a few months and they get nice and sour.

            1. re: small h

              NYC is pickle heaven -- I'm sooooo jealous. Do they still sell pickles out of the barrels on the street in the LES?

              1. re: CindyJ

                You may be thinking of Guss' on Orchard, which did have barrels out on the street. They decamped to Brooklyn a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure what the setup is out there. The Pickle Guys have lots of barrels (check their website for photos) inside the shop. Even the Whole Foods on 2nd Ave. got in on the act last September:

                 
                1. re: small h

                  Right! It IS Guss' I was thinking of. In fact, a few years back we spent a morning on a walking tour in the LES, then, in the afternoon, saw a play called "A Stoop on Orchard Street." During the play's intermission, they were passing out Guss' pickles in the lobby.

            2. Give Mrs. Wages pickling mix. They make a kosher dill pickle mix.you can add garlic and hot peppers to your liking. It's super easy to make and tasty. And as much as good brands of jarred pickles can cost, this is an economical a alternative. You just need a glass gallon jug, some free time and to resist the urge to plunge your hand into the jar and always use a fork.

              1. Costco has carried Carnegie Deli dills in some stores here in SoCal. My standard is New York deli older dills, so they are really the best we've found at retail.

                1. Discovered "Wickles" at, believe it or not, Cracker Barrel's store--spicy good pickles. Later also saw them at World Market. I'm a convert.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pine time

                    I didn't think about Wickles. Soooo good.

                    1. re: suzigirl

                      I can get WIckles at my Walmart - they are very good.

                    2. re: pine time

                      Wickles also makes some kick-ass relish.

                      I love the Chow Chow from Cracker Barrel.

                      1. re: pine time

                        You can pick up wickles here in 'Bama about anywhere but they were first made here. I like the sweet/spicy crunch of them sometimes but they're chips and no substitute for a good half sour.

                        I think the Bubbies are kinda lame.

                      2. This company's products are very good, they're kosher dill relish is phenominal! You can find them in most "health food" and organic/natural markets and some supermarkets.

                        http://bubbies.com/

                        I'd also like to add that TJ's carried some of the best half sours I'd ever ate, they discontinued them about 4 years ago. I was pissed about that for a long time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                          Thanks for that - will pick them up at Whole Foods!

                        2. I have always preferred Claussen pickles which I think you can find in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets. They were the only jarred brand I would buy until I discovered Ba Temp Te and now I will take either of the two.

                          Claussen make Hearty Garlic Deli-Style among several other varieties, but I am a plain old Kosher Dill sort of gal.

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: Justpaula

                            +1. My husband will only eat Claussen pickles.

                            1. re: UTgal

                              Same here...Claussen are probably the best of the brands found in the supermarket. In NY/NJ, the ShopRite stores have their own store brand of kosher dills and half sours that are pretty much on par with Claussen's and/or BaTampte.
                              BaTampte are good, but I've gotten enough jars where the pickles were on the mushy side that I stick with Claussen's or ShopRite brand these days. They're a staple in my house.

                              1. re: UTgal

                                Another vote for Claussen here. I like both the Kosher Dill and the Garlic (which I bought by mistake a few years ago!).

                                1. re: kcshigekawa

                                  I like Vlasic, the kosher dills found in the refrigerator section. Claussen is my second choice.

                              2. re: Justpaula

                                If Claussen is the best you can get that is more a reflection on the lack of good pickles than the quality of Claussen.

                                1. re: Steve

                                  Or the best that some people can afford for regular use from the grocery store. Claussen and esp BaTampte aren't cheap.

                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                    Agreed. Claussen are a splurge for us. I've never heard of BaTampte pickles. I did a Google image search and am sure I've never seen them before, either. Are they specific to a region? I live in Utah.

                                    1. re: UTgal

                                      If you go to their web site, it seems they are available at most major groceries. Here at my market in CA, they are around $6 a jar.

                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                        Thanks!

                                        I checked it out. We don't have any of those stores where I live. We used to have an Albertsons in town, so maybe there are others in Utah. Regardless, I will definitely try these pickles! I have Chowhound to thank for bringing them to my attention. :-)

                                        1. re: BubblyOne

                                          When I buy jarred pickles Ba-Tampte is the brand I look for. They're cheaper here in NYC - not surprising since they're a Brooklyn based company. The jar of Kosher-for-Passover half-sours in our fridge cost $3.29 at Trade Fair in Astoria. I have never had a problem with them being mushy - but I suspect they move off the shelves pretty fast around here. On the other hand I don't usually buy jarred pickles unless, like this time, I don't feel like going out of the neighborhood to get the deli ones.

                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                            That's about what I pay for Ba-Tampte pickles at Shop-Rite or Wegmans in the Philly area.

                                            1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                              Wow. I guess I am going to have to start shopping in Astoria. I just paid $4.19 for a jar here in Woodside! ;)

                                              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                Wow, just checked prices on Sunday and they were $5.99 at one store and $6.49 at another. I never see them on sale either.

                                        2. re: Steve

                                          As mentioned, I prefer Claussen but enjoy Ba Tamp Te too. Right now I have the latter in my fridge because the crappy C-Town type grocery store a few blocks from my house started carrying them and had them at eye-level of my trike riding, pickle loving, two year old. I honestly don't see much of a difference between the two - except the OP mentioned "crisp and crunchy" and Claussen gives the best crunch. Unfortunately, I have had more than one jar of a-little-too-mushy Ba Tamp Tes. I feel so blehhhh when that happens.

                                          1. re: Justpaula

                                            Did you try the Ba Tempte Garlic Dills? The difference should be obvious. The Ba Tempte Half Sours are nice n' crunchy but with little flavor, so I don't bother with them. In my experience, very few stores carry the Garlic Dills even though they have the Half Sours.

                                            Ba Tempte used to have a big problem with sealing their jars, and it was common enough to buy a disappointing jar. But in the past two years I have not had this problem.

                                            1. re: Steve

                                              I have tried the Garlic one once. But, that is probably the problem. I don't care for garlic dills of any brand - just the plain kosher dills. I can see that there can be a bigger difference between the two in the garlic variety. They kosher dills, though, not so much.

                                              And between you and I...the Ba Tampte Kosher Dill for which I actually got out of bed to eat at 11:30 last night after reading this thread was deeeelicious. :)

                                              1. re: Justpaula

                                                LOL, and I find the Ba Tampte half-sours the closest I can get to my Jewish deli fix!

                                                1. re: BubblyOne

                                                  That's MY reason for choosing Ba-Tampte, too. I prefer sour to half-sour, and I generally find the Ba-Tampte Garlic Dills a tad less sour than NYC sour pickles -- NOT a bad thing.

                                        3. re: Justpaula

                                          Claussens for sure, but given that I have never seen or heard of most of the brands mentioned on this thread (e.g. Ba-tampte, Ricks Picks, Wickles), many of them are regional.

                                        4. Another vote for Ba-Tampte -- more specifically, for their Garlic Dill Pickles.

                                          1. And............. pickles take their rightful place in the very specific worlds of bagels, pastrami, corned beef, pizza, and a whole list of things people like only the way they like them..

                                            ;o]]]]]]]

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Midlife

                                              Not Exactly. Many people have no access to pickles other than the major grocery store brands. They must make a Hobson's Choice.

                                              1. re: Steve

                                                The way I see it this phenomenon requires at least two different experiences. It is a product of having been exposed to a specific and forever searching to match it. If Claussen is the only pickle you've ever experienced in your life you are not comparing it to anything else, so you can never experience this frustration.............. and I DO mean frustration.

                                            2. My favorite pickle is the Milwaukee brand kosher midget dills. I like them by themselves, or chopped in a tuna salad in lieu of pickle relish.

                                              1. Strubb's Barrel Cured.

                                                DT

                                                1. I guess the best are the Ba-Tampte, but I've recently tried a jar of Dietz & Watson half sours, and they are pretty good. I really do crave however, a crunchy, half-sour pickle, that has some heat...perhaps from peppers in the brine. Any ideas?

                                                  17 Replies
                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                    Sure! Drop a few dried Arbol chiles into the jar.

                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                      I'd probably do that if I knew what Arbol chiles are, where to get them, and how long to leave them in the Ba-Tampte jar before the pickles are ~5-6/10 spicy...a few days...a few weeks...?

                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                        You can get arbol at any tienda or even most regular grocery stores here in Alabama. It should be easier in CA.

                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                          You can get them at any Mexican grocery or supermarket that has a Latin foods section.

                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                            +1 CindyJ, in the Mexican food section of the store. Where you can get great spices like cumin seeds whole or ground. Arbol Chilies and Red Pepper (often crushed to put on pizza) are similar while like the flavor of Arbol better. Break the stem off. Put peppers broken up, ground, or whole in a bottle of your favorite pickles will make hotter in about a week maybe more. Faster if you crush or grind same, at least break up, pickles hot then in about three days best in a week or more.

                                                        2. re: CindyJ

                                                          I put 2 arbol chiles into a jar of Ba-Tampte half sours 2 days ago. So far nothing! How long will it take before I can expect noticeable heat?

                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                            I'd put a couple more in, and even split them open first so the heat of the seeds can help, too. It's hard to say how long it'll take before you feel the heat, but I'd certainly give it more than a couple of days. Maybe more like a week. I've used arbol chiles when I've made my own pickles from scratch, and there's no denying the heat they impart.

                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                              Found the secret to getting some heat into Ba-Tampte half sours without waiting forever. I quartered the pickles and put them back into the brine with 3 arbols which I split in half. In 2 days, voila, the pickles had a nice amount of heat.

                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                Nice to know, will have to try that for my Memorial BBQ. I'm on my way to Gelson's to get some of the Dietz & Watson horseradish pickles. Never had those.

                                                                1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                  Depending on how much heat you want the half sours to have, you might want to give them 3 or 4 days.

                                                                2. re: josephnl

                                                                  Even faster is to put the pepers in split and remove the brine and bring it to a boil and put it back on the pickles still hot. Leave overnight. Ready the next day.

                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                    Two questions....do you put the split peppers into the brine before boiling the brine, and will pouring the hot brine onto the pickles make them less crispy?

                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                      I don't have a definitive answer to the crispiness question, but possibly throwing a bay leaf in with the pickles (after pouring the brine over them) will help prevent sogginess.

                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                        Yes, split the peppers. And in my experience it does not make them mushy. You can do the same thing with a brine that you like on fresh cukes but you need to reduce the brine a bit because the cukes are going to water down the brine. And I think the bay leaf might be a bit overwhelming as it is a strong flavor. But that is up to you.

                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                          Do you put the split peppers into the brine before boiling it?

                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                            If you like it extra spicy. Otherwise just put it in the jar with the pickles.

                                                                3. re: josephnl

                                                                  Whole give it a week or more. Next time crush, grind, or chop into as fine a dust as you can and will happen faster.

                                                            2. The best pickles in a jar to me were made myself. Home made from garden pickles harvested every three days for small seeds pickled within the hour to maximize freshness and crunch with minimal mushy insides. Slightly hot pickles taste better - too much heat is painful so avoid. Finding high-end pickles above $6 per quart to buy can be a difficult search then when splurge often discover not as good as if make myself. For less effort and expense like these: http://www.designavs.com/pics/smaking...

                                                              Hot pickles are hard to buy and easy to make from store-bought pickles. Start by adding one teaspoon of dry red chili flakes, crushed, or ground to a new 46oz jar of your favorite brand when you first open it. Take out of fridge and shake a couple times a day for at least three days. Is hottest after about a week. If too hot use less next time. If not hot enough try to add a bit more. Careful as about two heaping teaspoons depending on the chili pepper heat is usually a maximum for anyone. Experiment to find what is best depending on how much red chili pepper you like added.

                                                              Better is my custom grind made from over ten kinds of hot chili peppers effecting different parts of the tongue some smoked dry. I add it to almost everything and especially pickles. Unlike fresh ground black pepper, chili pepper grinds do not cause pain in moderation instead are a flavor enhancer that opens taste buds. Making a perfect custom chili grind has been a hobby for decades. Is great sprinkled on food everywhere would use salt. Enhances pickles, olives, and capers.

                                                              Out of store jars in Oregon I grew up eating Steinfeld’s and Mrs. Neusihin’s - both long sold to the huge Wisconsin pickle company with apparent lower quality. Since then, find toss numerous bad brand-name jars of pickles too often when buy any off local shelves. Sometimes get lucky. Decided to make my own as search for new favorites. Still buy Steinfeld Kosher Garlic Dills when on sale under $2.50 a 46 oz jar - like made hot, but find are only good some of the time these days. Mushy and air inside middles at other times so those jars get trashed here. Like Steinfeld Kosher Baby Dills smaller whole often more crunchy more expensive (great made hot) - are my favorite common pickle out of a jar in the stores when lucky to get a good jar (do not know if all mushy until open). Claussen and Vlasic are decent and the best could find when lived in Florida, while sometimes have too thick of skin on the cucumbers compared to what am used to - so to me seem hard on the outside and softer than like in the center more often than not. Ever have a deli pickle that was mushy inside with big watery seeds and thick almost tough skin? Do find sometimes like their texture better than others when do like the taste so find it is the inconsistent texture that keeps me from eating Claussen and Vlasic here much on the West coast with other choices. After decades of trying find all pickles in jars from the market sometimes get soft cucumbers with air in all of them. Apparently because the cucumbers are over-done so end up mushy not crispy. Feel it comes down to how they harvest and how short the time is from harvest to pickle.

                                                              In attempt to find more crunch no mush ate more store-bought pickled gherkins (similar but not really a cucumber). Smaller can be very crispy and usually made into sweet pickles. There are a few rare companies who make gherkins dill. My recent favorite is Nalley Elites: Garlic, Dill, and Onion Pickles in a 46 oz jar buy get on sale for under $3 each jar (my second favorite store bought kind to make hot when can not eat my own home made pickles, behind Steinfeld Kosher Garlic Baby Dills). Unfortunately with these and other various brands also just as cucumbers find mushy with air in them gherkins often so throw away. Can not tell until open and slice open a few to inspect and sample. Here again I question Nalley Elites quality control as sometimes end up with mushy airy center crap that gets trashed.

                                                              Often my pickles are done in under an hour of when picked. My pickles eat crisp not soft two years later. I pick the cucumbers small and bottle immediately (use hot sterilized jar) with a few cut up cloves of fresh garlic, pickling spice, chili pepper grind, some fresh dill. Then poor over a boiling low-salt proven brine to 3/4" from the top. I then put lids on loose and in well covered in boiling water about 10 minutes. A few minutes after coming out when cool you will hear a pop and that is when the lid seals. Store pickles in a dark, dry, cool place. Good to eat after 30 days.

                                                              Also can use the same brine and similar process to pickle fresh: beets, green beans, carrots, asparagus, various peppers, cauliflower, gherkins, mushrooms, and more. Some things need a pressure cooker while not usually if a high acid. Read up and learn from others where able. Botulism is bad. Is best to start out with well proven recipes as takes years to test. Some things can be refrigerator pickled in about a week using a brine for example is how I make my own pickled ginger (one part sugar to three parts rice vinegar with a 1.5 tsp salt per pound fresh small ginger peal with a spoon slice into very thin bite size pieces with a sharp knife).

                                                              Pickles are just better when make your own. You can tune all the factors to eventually make perfect pickles. Minimizing pick to pickle time is a key. Ask big pickle companies, "How can freshness be preserved when start with old cucumbers?" They harvest then store in barrels of water until pickles where the ones stored longer produce softer pickles when cooked the same. Find a proven tasty low salt brine. Old school brine is way too salty for me. Then I experimented adding dry peppers, growing peppers, and smoking some chili peppers dry then grinding. Ultimately adding to my pickles. You will never look back when make your own pickles or spice up the pickles you like. It is a great hobby fun to share with others. Can make pickles for way less than it costs to buy pickles in a store and home made taste way better. The jar is the biggest expense but can be re-used, top rings can be re-used, it is only the jar lid tops one needs to buy year-to-year once going.

                                                              Quality fresh cucumbers are key to the best pickles. When have a garden your cucumbers are better, cost less, and you can pick when pickle without delay. My brine and water is boiling with jars sanitized before go out and pick the cucumbers wash and filling then sealing into immediate pickles. I harvest and pickle the small cucumbers about twice a week to keep small, crisp, with small seeds in non-mushy less-watery no-air insides. Big cucumbers picked later have thicker harder skin, air inside, and softer meat with more water around bigger seeds. Good pickles are a labor of love you can eat for 24 months and longer. Is important to write on the jar lids with a marker to know what you have later. In a small space find cucumbers grow well when trained up on something off the ground - got 70 quarts one year off of nine cucumber plants three circles three plants each about 4' diameter of fence hooked back to itself made to stand with about 5" holes so hands fit through to harvest and train vines around 5' tall.

                                                              Home made pickles are the best. Worth the effort. Hand picking is not as common as once was. Commercial growers using machines harvest once at the end of the year - sort off the smaller ones for pickles then store in barrels of water often shipped then stored until able to make into pickles. The longer pickles set after harvest before pickling the more mushy the whole jar ( and over heating will also make a jar mushy). I hand pick at least every three days when in season so harvest all babies to avoid air inside with big seeds. I usually put away ten or more batches of cucumber pickles a year, and would be able to extend the season further in a green house. The difference is store bought pickles are not hand harvested then pickled as soon as picked.

                                                              Usually have many kinds of pickles around to share and devour. Best if eat within a few weeks of opening. Find visitors love pickles when share. Slightly hot pickles make normal things like potato salad and tuna fish spread special. Good pickles are unique, desired, and often not available at any price. Quality ingredients give the best tasting end results.

                                                              Top quality cucumber pickles are those grown then canned yourself. Otherwise spend the time with money to find a rare brand of good ones often expensive by the quart. Or buy regular ones on sale in the store to try for a jackpot then toss bad ones as discovered. Slightly hot pickles taste better and bring another dimension. It is simple to spice up any store-bought pickles. Even sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles are better a little hot. Bad pickles wreck food so trash. Toss pickles after a few weeks if get mushy from too long open unused.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: smaki

                                                                Unable to delete my comments yesterday after gaining more information from research this morning. NOTE: I will not be buying and do not recommend Steinfeld, Nalley or any pickles from India. Just pulled a jar from my fridge of Nalley Elites: Garlic, Dill, & Onion "Hand Picked" pickled gherkins and upon reading carefully slanted on the extreme right side in fine print it says distributed from Westchester, IL and then clearly "PRODUCT OF INDIA".

                                                                I will not be buying Nalley or Steinfeld pickles made in India anymore. Check pickle labels carefully before you buy for where they are made. The big company in control of most of the US pickles has decided to make them now instead in India thinking consumers don't care or will not notice.

                                                                We vote with dollars at store cash registers to save energy and keep jobs local. Personally choose to not eat food from another country with different health standards, water, etc.

                                                                Steinfeld family sold the company in 1999 confirmed by a grandson at:
                                                                http://bojack.org/2009/07/followup_on...

                                                                Doing research online confirmed Steinfeld has changed. Will check pickle labels carefully before buy next time. Many pickles are made in India now:
                                                                http://bojack.org/2009/04/its_not_jus...

                                                                The link above suggests trying a local place:
                                                                http://www.picklopolis.com/land.html
                                                                http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.s...

                                                                Another replied and suggested trying:
                                                                http://www.tonypacko.com/index.php

                                                                Have not tried either. Will enjoy seeing how they compare. Still find always trying new gourmet pickles awesome. Sometimes expand horizons. Searching for quality pickles is like searching for good wine or any other specialty ingredient with limited supply. Sometimes new pickle finds suck, more often they are alright, every once uncover supreme quality. When do hope you can remember where you bought them and check the receipt to consider if worth buying again.

                                                                Glad got the news I've been eating pickles from India while not knowing it this morning with time to still plant more cucumbers to harvest for pickles in Fall 2012. My own home made are the best pickles I've ever had anywhere. Confirmed by others through the years. Takes time to make not everyone has, while for me is worth the superior results unavailable elsewhere.

                                                                Miss what used to be Steinfelds now know the big change went down in 1999 even more. Steinfelds were quality, easy, cheap, and good. Liked making store-bought zippy for variety and in a pinch. Will not eat Steinfelds, Nalley, or any pickle from India as my money supports local workers and do not like the energy effectively burned to get such a product half way around the world to my table. Have not found a replacement for what used to be Steinfelds consistent great pickles. Thought Steinfeld moved back east, I will not eat India pickles. And do not recommend you or anyone consume pickles produced in India. Wonder if Vlasic and Claussen are made in India? Do not like them that much.

                                                                Will be eating up my own home made pickles on hand until able to make more & ramp up my production to stockpile. Would only change away if someday find something affordable made locally better, or if unable to make my own for some reason. Always seeking out good pickles as hate it without them around. So much so about 10 years ago began to make my own pickles every year again as used to with grandparents as a kid. I started making my own pickles when and because Steinfeld changed. Steinfeld was a local company and is not anymore. Even though the jars look the same on the outside what is on the inside of Steinfeld, Nalley, and other brand-name pickle jars is different. After tossing way too many store-bought brand-name pickle jars found hot to make better pickles. Got lucky a few times so now the ones canned myself are the best pickles I have ever tasted.

                                                                1. re: smaki

                                                                  Home made canned pickles are phenomenal, but I also crave small batches of refrigerator pickles made of fresh vegetables of all kinds. Not really pickles by the canning process, but puts pickled tasting preserved food in a jar with the magic of refrigeration. Most decent in a few days, usually good to go after a week, and some even take a couple weeks to get good. Many surprisingly fine for weeks or even months kept cold. Some foods are better pickled than fresh slightly cooked in a brine like: ginger, beets, herring, ... Salt alone can 'cook' fresh fish or cabbage to preserve - likewise will vinegar. Before refrigeration salt, acid like vinegar, and spice were some of the ways to help preserve fresh food to eat it later. When pickles are kept cold the combination can focus on flavor as increase freshness longer extending bounty of harvests.

                                                                  It is fun to experiment with small batches of refrigerator pickles. Fresh on sale non-waxed clean cucumbers, green beans, and other vegetables work great. Plan a garden surplus. Even a mix. Creative cooks can pickle experiment based on mood. Refrigerator pickles can give fast tasty results. Often I make small batches and plan to eat in the first couple weeks so like to start eating in a few days. Cut up before may give better results sooner. The link below explains three chef stories. Includes why quick refrigerator pickles are legal to be sold in Oregon restaurants, bars, delis, and stores when canned pickles are not. There is a recipe toward the bottom of the link below in this paragraph explaining a refrigerator cured quick pickle process. Also with pickle information like: pickle supplies, crocks, books, followed by a short Oregon pickle history including how Steinfeld's Pickles bought with Mrs. Neusihin’s who's founder came from Russia in 1920 then used her no vinegar salt with water garlic brine when awesome, and more at: http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.s...

                                                                  Oregon has gone from a cheap quality pickle mecca to a pickle desert. With good local pickles over $6 a quart as fuel prices rise, knowing how to make pickles in a few days is a useful skill. Unlike in the link above, usually I make refrigerator quick-brine pickle recipes without cinnamon-n-clove. I try all kinds online usually from reliable government sources and in books. There are many ways to make a good brine and depends on the vegetable. I like dill pickle brine made with extra garlic a bit hot. I often add smoky chili pepper grind with pickling spice to a varied water / vinegar / salt ratio but make something like a combination of those who post the comments below here: http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals...

                                                                  Find then remember the kind of salt with how much in each recipe you like when pickle. Different salts give different pickle results so it matters. Do not use iodized table salt with anti-caking agents because turns cucumber pickles black in a cloudy mixture. Kosher salt is not as dense as pickling salt (both make good pickles). Compare salt by weight on a scale because various salts will measure different by the cup depending on their grain. Bigger kosher salt flakes I usually use on top of food at the table while find makes good pickles in a pinch. Pickling salt can make nice pickles. A personal favorite is a small-grain kosher salt.

                                                              2. My absolute favorite Pickles are Senfgurken. I pick up a jar every so often at my German butcher, but a quick google shows Amazon selling some too.
                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Kruegermann-Sen...
                                                                or here
                                                                http://www.germandeli.com/kuse33.html
                                                                The brand I usually pick up is "Landsberg, Mustard Pickles"
                                                                There is a thread floating about right now on how to eat Braunschweiger ( Liverwurst), I would think these Senfgurken are a most delicious topping for any kind of really good Liverwurst. ( and other German cold cuts)

                                                                1. If i remember right cooks illustrated recently proclaimed Boars Head the best mass marketed jarred pickles, claussen was ok, and they panned vlassic. Boars Head aren't readily available where i shop, claussen usually is, vlassic always is - its what i usually buy. mt. olio were pretty bad, and store brands were equally disappointing.

                                                                  1. I love pickles, but I'm a true "Bread & Butter" pickle, lover.......Due to dietary restrictions, I've had to eliminate sugar from my diet......
                                                                    Alas, Cains has come up with a sugar free B&B pickle and if you're like me and need a fix. try them.

                                                                    1. I agree with a bunch of other folks that if you want reliably good pickles that are crisp, get Claussen's. I've had lots of gourmet brands that are good, but not so widely available, and more expensive. If you like them spicier, add a hot pepper after you open the jar. Also, I get more mileage out of each jar: once I eat all the pickles, I don't throw out the brine, I slice up an English or Persian (thin-skinned) cucumber into coins and dump them into the leftover brine. After they sit in the fridge all night, I have some slightly milder, less salty-tasting pickles extra to eat, and they're nice and crisp. Sometimes I doctor that brine a bit, adding a couple of smashed garlic cloves or a pepperoncini from another jar, a little extra vinegar, etc. I'm sure that other veggies could be used, too, like thin sliced cauliflower or the baby bell peppers. The brine is still basically good, why waste it? I would not, however, keep these for long term storage; vinegar is a natural preservative, but I'm not sure about bacterial growth since they're not heated for canning. But I think they're safe to use for at least a week.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: lireland

                                                                        If you boil the brine before you put the cukes in the jar they get a stronger flavor. And if you always use a fork and no fingers in the jar they have a longer shelf life.