Icebox Dill Pickles

I love pickles. Like LOVE love. When we were little, both Grandma and Nana would hand my brothers and me a “pickle for the road” when we left their houses after a visit. This was after we had each probably had 3 during the visit! I was picky, I only liked dill pickles. Bread & butter and sweet pickles had no place in my world. I’ve since developed a taste for them but, deep down, I’m a dill pickle girl. Nothing compares to fresh, homemade or house-made (restaurant) pickles. I’ve tried a few recipes over the years but never really loved anything I made. Usually there was just too much going on, too much sugar, too many spices. I wanted a good old simple dill pickle. Well, I finally found it! The recipe below is so simple and, honestly, there are no bells and whistles. Most people are pretty picky about their pickles (say that three times fast!) and these may not be to your taste. For this dill pickle girl, they come pretty darn close to perfect.

A little pickle making music…

Smile and Nod from The Lowest Pair

Icebox Dill Pickles adapted from Pick a Pickle by Hugh Acheson (this is a fabulous little book!). Makes 2 quarts or 4 pints (I usually triple the recipe).

You’ll need: 

  • 8 cups small Kirby pickling cucumbers (I buy mine at Sprouts), 4-5 in. long / 1.5 in. dia.
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons pickling salt (I use Diamond Crystal Kosher bc it DOES NOT contain anti-caking agents)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water


Pack the cucumbers, dill and garlic into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. *Quick aside here on the jars: I use plastic deli containers, not mason jars. The pickles don’t last long enough in our house to warrant processing the jars. As long as you eat them within a month, they will be fine kept refrigerated. If you want them to keep longer, you’ll need to use mason jars and process them.



Combine the salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill seeds, vinegar, and water in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.


Ladle to hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.



Cap with lids, cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.



Let them soak for a week before devouring them. They will keep for a month in the fridge (if you do choose to process them, they will keep up to 10 months).


Pour yourself a craft beer and enjoy! IF you decide to share these with your friends, they will love you, but I don’t blame you if you want to keep them all for yourself!

Notes & Tips:

  • Sprouts has great pickling cucumbers!
  • Smart & Final carries the deli containers I use.
  • Don’t you love that beer glass? I know, right?! You can get one, too, from my awesome friend, Craft Beerd! Just click right here to check out his website.
  • For one of my favorite pickles ever, head over to O’Brien’s Pub or to Nickel Beer Company and, hopefully, you’ll be able to try one of Tom and Lindsey Nickel’s amazing spicy pickles.
  • And finally, Sierra Nevada.


Let me know if you make the pickles! Follow The Incidental Spoon on Facebook, @IncidentalSpoon on Twitter and @TheIncidentalSpoon on Instagram!