Half-Sour Pickles


I love pickles. Primarily full sour, half sour and kosher dill pickles. I can make bread-and-butter pickles, which taste a little like pickled relish and are so much better than any Vlasic or supermarket version. Those aren’t fermented, they are pickled with vinegar.

I’ve tried making fermented pickles in the past, but only got them to come out properly once.

Recently I saw a funny, easy to follow Bon Apetit video where they made fermented half sour pickles in the fridge so I gave it a try.

Absolutely perfect. Really crunchy and tasted delicious. Super easy too. I didn’t have too many ingredients on hand but this is what I did, and it worked!

  1. Start with a large bunch of kirby pickles, washed off, with the tips cut off and sliced into quarter spears.
  2. Put 33 grams of pickling salt in a 64 oz wide-mouth mason jar with 1 gallon of non-chlorinated water (I used Poland Spring). Put a cover on the jar and shake to dissolve the salt.
  3. Add a little of the following. You don’t need much. I don’t have specific measurements, but somewhere between a pinch and a 1/4 teaspoon: black pepper corns and dill seed. I didn’t have it on hand but next time I will use some mustard seed and fresh dill fronds. Maybe a few chili flakes too.
  4. Dice up a garlic clove and add it to the jar as well.
  5. Add the cucumber spears lengthwise until you can’t fit any more. The spears should all be below the water level, and below the shoulder of the jar. Add a little more water if needed. If you have to add a lot more water for some reason mix up some water in the same ratio (33gms salt/1gallon water)
  6. Cover the jar and put in the fridge. Every day open the lid to release any gas that might create pressure, and give the jar a shake.
  7. You can try tasting them after 3 days in the fridge. They will be fantastic by 5 days.

In the video they used whole kirbys and waited 10 days, but who wants to wait that long? Cut the kirbys and you’ll only have to wait 5 days. You’ll know they are pickled when the water gets cloudy, the kirbys change color and become translucent.

But they’ll retain their snap, and be crunchy and delicious. Gourmet pickles in your own fridge!

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