Recipe: Easy Kosher Pickles

Fully ripened garlic pickle

This pickle is fully developed and needs to be eaten right now.

These are darn close to Guss’s Kosher pickles in my opinion. All you need is cucumbers, water, salt, garlic and patience.

A pound or more of nice pickling cucumbers
Kosher salt or another non-iodized salt
A handful of garlic cloves, peeled
Jar or jars with tight fitting lids (recycled spaghetti sauce jars are good for this)

Method: Wash the cucumbers and jars very thoroughly, including the lids, to keep unwanted beasties from growing. Squeeze the cucumbers tightly into the jars, adding 1-2 garlic cloves per cuke. Make a brine consisting of 1 part salt to 20 parts water (a teaspoon of Kosher salt weight about 8 grams, so you’ll need about 3 tsp for a pint or half-liter of water). Pour the water over the cucumbers, filling all the way to the top, and LOOSELY replace the lids. Place in a cool dark place for a few days.

Pickles in Brine

Beast of the Deep: Kosher pickles in their brine

In 3-7 days, the water will become cloudy and bubbles will appear on the surface, indicating the pickling process has begun. Move the pickles around in the jars to be sure all surfaces have equal exposure to the brine. Replace lids loosely and continue to ferment 3-4 more days till they look like pickles, not cucumbers any longer. Taste one. If it’s still crisp at the center you’ve got a perfect half sour. Tighten the lids and refrigerate. They will continue to slowly ferment for another week or so at which point they’ll start to get too sour to be eaten any longer, but hopefully your batch is depleted by then.

Comments: This is a lower salt ratio than most recipes, allowing for a more leisurely and controllable fermentation process. If you have pickling spices or some dill twigs by all means toss them in at the beginning. Some people like to add a celery stick or two or a grape leaf, which supposedly keeps the pickles crisp.

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