I have always been a Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle fan. Forever. I don’t like sweet pickles or bread and butter pickles, they just aren’t my thing. Claussen just tastes better, in my opinion, I don’t even like the shelf brand dill pickles. They are either too sweet or too tangy.
Refrigerator pickles are a lot easier to make because they don’t require using the traditional canning process. That also means they can’t be stored on a shelf in the basement or in the pantry, they must live in the refrigerator.
Last year I made some pickles with the canning method and the recipe that I used had a very high vinegar to water ratio. So they were far too vinegary for me to eat straight from the jar, which is one of my favorite things, though they were great on burgers and in potato salad!
So I started my search for a Claussen copycat. I found this one but it used apple cider vinegar. I as concerned that would create a sweet pickle, which I don’t like, even though the author of that recipe is just like me. Yuk to sweet pickles! So I looked at the actual Claussen ingredient label and it said they used distilled white vinegar. Some of the ingredients were different too, so I decided to use the recipe that I found as a jumping off point and created my own version.
The verdict? Everyone in this house loves them! They aren’t exactly like Claussen, but pretty dang close! Close enough that they get devoured by everyone in this house. They are actually fun for me to make. So while it would certainly be easier for me to grab a jar of Claussen from the grocery store, and I probably still will now and then, I love making my own.
My first batch was a bit cloudy, and they also had a distinctive mustard flavor. So I cut back the mustard seed in the second batch and I believe we now have a winner. :)
Full printable instructions are below. You’ll make the brine first, it’s easiest to do it in a 2 quart pitcher. You’ll see me mixing the brine in a bowl in the picture above. Don’t, it’s an extra step, just use a pitcher. Put the dill seed and dried garlic in the jars. Now, make sure you give your pickling cucumbers a good rinse, make sure there’s no dirt. Trim the blossom end, I trim both ends, then cut in half lengthwise and distribute in your jars.
Before adding your brine, strain out the solids. Distribute the solids evenly among the two jars, then add brine. You will have leftover brine that can be discarded when you are all done.
This is what they will look like after a day or so. They usually take 2-4 days. My first batch took the full four days while my second batch was ready in two and a half days. I think the difference was that I actually used three jars and they weren’t packed as tightly.
Enjoy – crunch!