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How to Make Pickles at Home

How to Make Pickles at Home


The History of Pickles

The history of pickles is very interesting. Pickles have been around for thousands of years and many nations have their best pickle recipe. They knew for sure how to make pickles.

This story appears as far back as 2030 BC where cucumbers were picked in a place called Tigris Valley in India. Pickling has been seen as a necessity throughout history, as they were easy to transport food that could be stored for long periods of time.

The word pickle comes from the Dutch word ‘pekel’, meaning salt. Today, you can find commercially produced pickles as well as create homemade pickles right in your own kitchen. The recipe hasn’t changed for thousands of years because of how easy it is! It’s as easy as slicing cucumbers and storing them in water and cider. Of course, there’s much more to it than just that which we will explore.

Have you ever wondered how pickles are made, where do pickles come from, or what is the best pickle recipe? There’s Kosher dill pickles, Polish, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Korean, etc. The point being everyone does their pickles differently! All these cultures put their own twist and add different seasonings and techniques when creating them. A pickle is made by storing cucumber in a brine or vinegar solution and for a natural fermentation process to occur. The most popular style of pickle in the western world is the US Kosher Dill by far, but that’s not to say it’s the best pickle recipe.

US homemade pickles

The history of pickles in the USA is a US kosher dill pickle - classic homemade dill pickles with simple ingredients. They are not necessarily “kosher” in the sense that it's been prepared in regard to Jewish law. But this recipe is the traditional way in how Jewish New York City pickle makers made their pickles. For this recipe, you need to add a large amount of garlic and dill to natural salt brine.

A fully fermented dill pickle is referred to as a “full-sour” while pickles that have stayed in the brine a lot less long are referred to as “half-sours”. Dill pickles good known in New York City since 1899.

How to make dill pickles at home - traditional dill pickle recipe

These dill pickles are ready after one hour in the refrigerator, and you can keep them for several weeks. Perfect for burgers, snacking, and more.

traditional dill pickle recipe

For traditional dill pickle recipe you need 2-3 cucumbers, 2 dill flowers (or 5 sprigs of fresh dill, or 1 tbsp dry dill seeds), 2-4 cloves garlic (minced), 3 tbsp apple vinegar, ¾ tbsp kosher salt, filtered water, optional black peppercorns and red pepper flakes.

These pickles are made with room-temperature brine. Whisk together a brine made of water, vinegar, and seasonings.

Slice your cucumbers in 4 or 8 parts or into thin slices (around 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Add dill and garlic.

Pack the cucumbers into a jar, and pour the brine over it all. Refrigerate 24 hours until the pickles taste sufficiently “pickled!”

Pickling in different cultures

Different cultures that have put their own spin on the pickle recipe all share similar characteristics. The main difference is in how you seasoned them. The Polish and German styled pickles are very similar. Usually, pickles they made in oak barrels.

Pickles in in oak barrel

This style of pickle is another famous in the world. People like it for taste. It is similar in sourness to that of the Kosher Dill pickle, but the difference is in seasoning the pickles.
Then there are Hungarian pickles, where they add to bread to the recipe. The idea is that adding pieces of bread to the solution will help the fermentation process while the cucumbers turn into pickles.

Best pickle recipes

Pickles are easy to make and can be made at home using homemade pickle recipes easily. The first thing you need is to slice some cucumbers. To season them, use Dill Seed, cloves of garlic, and some red pepper flakes. In saying that, you can always add more seasoning and put your own spin on the recipe!

To make the brine for the pickles, you are going to want to fill a jar with an equal amount of cider vinegar and water, along with salt. The longer the pickles sit in the jar, the tastier they will become!

How to make pickles in a barrel

How to make barrel pickles? It is easy! You will need a barrel for pickles, cucumbers, salt and spices to your taste.

How to make pickles in a barrel

We recommend using oak barrels for pickling cucumbers. Cucumbers will turn out crispy and very fragrant.

For best barrel pickles, you need locally grown organic cucumbers. The best will be from a local farmer. You can use cucumbers from the grocery store, but if you do that, they come with a coating of wax. To get that wax coating off you have to soak them in half vinegar half water for a couple of minutes and then wash it off. Use a like a little scrub brush to get the wax coating off.

Pack cucumbers into the barrel with some dill and garlic. You can add some chili, coriander seed, black peppercorns, horseradish, and more. Then add salt and water. You can cook 5% salt brine or simple add salt and then water. For a liter of water, you need to add 50 grams of salt.

There is an easy way how to make barrel pickles. These pickles ferment with Lacto bacterias and that’s what produces the sour flavor with no vinegar.

Those bacteria start growing and they produce CO2. These are cured in salt water, so that will take care of most of the bad bacteria you’re going to find, and the Lactobacillus takes care of the rest.

You have to be very careful when you’re making pickles or any kind of preserved food.

Fermentation features

It’ll take about three days or more to make barrel pickles. Probably by tomorrow morning, this will be bubbling. If you check them they should still be kind of crisp but also a little bit sour. Put them in the fridge after three days. They are super tasty and super great.

One more thing you’re going to notice is that the water in these will turn cloudy over the course of time, and that’s normal.

Read one of the recipes on how to make barrel pickles here: