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Pickled cucumbers are a delightful addition to any meal, whether it’s a perfectly grilled steak, a hearty stew, or a juicy burger. With this incredibly simple and family-friendly recipe, you can learn how to pickle cucumbers with vinegar right in the comfort of your own home. The tangy and crunchy cucumbers, infused with delicious pickling spices, will elevate your dishes to a whole new level of flavor and satisfaction. Give it a try and enjoy the homemade goodness!

How To Pickle Cucumbers With Vinegar

how to pickle cucumbers

From a young age, my mother taught me how to make pickled cucumbers with vinegar, and throughout the years, I have faithfully followed her cherished recipe, resulting in great success. Homemade pickles have become a delightful addition to our meals and even find their way into our vibrant salads. When the craving for something tangy strikes, I indulge in a slice or two of these delightful pickles.

Not only are pickled cucumbers low in calories, but they also offer a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. With just about 10 calories per medium-sized cucumber, these pickles make for a guilt-free and satisfying snack!

Pickling cucumbers provides a convenient way to preserve cucumbers for several months. I absolutely love pickling cucumbers as well as other vegetables like Pickled Green Tomatoes or red bell peppers. I like canning my own stuff as I know all ingredients I use are healthy and good for my family, no preservatives or other chemicals involved.

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How long does a cucumber take to be a pickle?

The length of time it takes for a cucumber to turn into a pickle depends on the pickling method used. Refrigerator pickles can be enjoyed within a few days, while traditional pickles may take several weeks to fully develop their flavor.

The important thing is to follow the recipe and instructions carefully to ensure the best results. The longer they ferment, the more flavorful and tangy they will become.

How do you know when pickles are ready?

You can tell if your pickles are ready by their color, texture and taste. Generally, pickles are ready to eat after 24 hours of being canned or fermented. However, for a stronger flavor, you may want to wait a few days or even weeks before enjoying them. To test the pickles, give them a quick taste or check their texture. If they are tangy and crispy, they are most likely ready to be enjoyed!

Tips for Making Delicious Pickled Cucumbers

  • Use fresh, firm cucumbers for best results. Soft or bruised cucumbers may not hold up well during pickling.
  • Soak the cucumbers in ice water for 2 hours before pickling to help them stay crisp.
  • Experiment with different types of vinegar, such as apple cider or rice vinegar, for unique flavors.
  • Add spices or herbs like dill, garlic, or red pepper flakes to the pickling liquid for added flavor.
  • Make sure your jars and lids are sterilized before canning to prevent bacterial growth.

How do you prepare cucumbers for pickling?

To prepare cucumbers for pickling, start by washing them thoroughly and trimming off the blossom end. Then, slice or cut the cucumbers into your desired shape and size. You can leave them whole, slice them into coins or spears, or even spiralize them for a fun twist on traditional pickles. I prefer them as wholes as they stay crisp longer.

Next, soak the sliced cucumbers in ice water for 2 hours to help them stay crisp. Drain and pack the cucumbers into sterilized jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.

Can I pickle regular cucumbers?

Yes, you can pickle regular cucumbers just like you would pickling cucumbers. However, keep in mind that regular cucumbers tend to have more seeds and thinner skin, which may affect the texture of your pickles. If using regular cucumbers for pickling, make sure they are fresh and firm to ensure a crispier final product.

How to pickle cucumbers with vinegar

Can you pickle with just vinegar?

Yes, you can pickle with just vinegar. White vinegar is the main ingredient in quick pickling methods and acts as a natural preservative. However, for traditional fermentation methods, additional ingredients such as salt and sugar are needed to create the right environment for beneficial bacteria to grow and ferment the cucumbers. So while you can technically pickle with just vinegar, it may not result in the same flavor and texture as traditional pickling.

How does vinegar turn cucumbers into pickles?

Vinegar turns cucumbers into pickles through a process called acidification. The high levels of acetic acid in vinegar lower the pH of the pickling solution, creating an acidic environment that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria while allowing beneficial bacteria to thrive and ferment the cucumbers. This fermentation process breaks down sugars and other compounds in the cucumbers, resulting in a tangy and flavorful pickle.

Pickled cucumbers make the perfect side

Pickled cucumbers make for the perfect companion to a variety of dishes. Their tangy and crunchy flavors pair well with rich meats like steak or hearty stews. They also add a pop of flavor to burgers and sandwiches, making them a great condiment. And of course, they are a classic side dish for BBQs and picnics.

How long can homemade pickled cucumbers last?

Homemade pickled cucumbers can last for several months when stored properly. Canning methods, such as water bath canning or pressure canning, can prolong the shelf life of pickles even longer. It’s important to store pickles in a cool, dry place and use proper hygiene practices when handling them to prevent spoilage.

Once opened, homemade pickles should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a couple of weeks.

Are pickled cucumbers healthy?

Pickled cucumbers can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. They are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and vitamin K. However, the pickling process may reduce some of their nutritional value, so it’s important to balance pickled cucumbers with other fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Also, be mindful of the sodium content in pickles, as they can be high in salt. Consider making your own pickles at home with reduced or no added salt for a healthier option.

Can pickling cucumbers be eaten raw?

Yes, pickling cucumbers can be eaten raw. However, they may have a different texture and flavor compared to other fresh cucumbers such as English or Persian cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are specifically bred for pickling, so they tend to have thicker skins and less seeds.

Can you pickle cucumbers that are yellow?

Yes, you can pickle cucumbers that are yellow. While green cucumbers are the most commonly used for pickling, yellow cucumbers can also be pickled. These are green cucumbers that have parts growing in the shade which will turn yellow. Just make sure the cucumbers are firm and fresh for optimal pickling results.

If you love pickles I’ll show you how to pickle cucumbers in just a minute; you can easily make your own pickles with this easy and quick pickled cucumbers recipe! You will totally enjoy canning cucumbers, your pickles will taste amazing and the recipe only takes a few simple ingredients. It’s not time consuming either! And if you have friends that like homemade stuff, you could use a pretty jar when making the pickles and offer it as a gift.

There are probably many recipes out there teaching how to pickle cucumbers but I swear by my mom’s pickled cucumber recipe! It gives such tasty, crisp pickles that are not too spicy or salty. This recipe pickles the cucumbers in vinegar rather than brine (which is also a tasty alternative but too heavy on sodium). Pickling in vinegar is a less aggressive process.

Ready to learn how to make pickled cucumbers? Check out these super easy steps!

How to pickle cucumbers

how to make pickled cucumbers

For 3 jars you’ll need:

  • Fresh pickling cucumbers (dill cucumbers, Kirby cucumbers or Gherkin are all great choices)
  • Sugar
  • Table salt
  • Black peppercorn
  • Mustard seeds
  • Vinegar (white wine vinegar; do not replace with apple cider vinegar as it will taste completely different – not bad but different)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dry bay leaves
  • And of course water to fill the jars (pint jars or mason jars)

Note: Sometimes we like adding some fresh dill too. If you don’t have fresh dill, use 1/4 teaspoon dill seed per jar. If you like to make this recipe spicy, add some red pepper flakes. And sometimes we love adding a bit of cauliflower and carrots to the jars when making these dill pickles.

How do you pickle cucumbers?

1. Wash the cucumbers very well and keep only the healthy ones.

2. Sterilize jars well (here’s an article on the topic)

3. Place cucumbers in jars (don’t overcrowd them).

4. Pour vinegar to the bottom of the jar (about 2 fingers).

5. Put one teaspoon of sugar and one of salt in each jar. If you want to make sweet pickles (or sweeter), add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.

6. Add spices: 2 large bay leaves (or 3 small), about 30 peppercorns and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, per jar (if you chose to use garlic, put 2-3 cloves per jar at this stage).

7. Fill with water almost up to the rim.

8. Tightly screw the lid on.

9. Place jars in a large pot and cover with water up to the lid.

10. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes.

11. Leave to cool for 1 hour, without removing from the pot.

12. Transfer to a baking sheet, bottoms up, and place in a pre heated oven on low, for 15 minutes. They’ll change color which is exactly what you want.


While waiting for the pickles to ferment properly, store the jars upright in a cool, dark place for about a month or so.  I found that these pickles are best to serve after about 1 month. I like to allow them more time in the jar for the best flavor and we usually end up serving all jars within 2-3 months. But if you’re really in a hurry, you can serve them after 3 weeks. Open a jar and test a pickle for texture and taste. If they’re good, put the pickle jar in the fridge. Once opened, jars should be stored in the fridge.

And there you have it, a simple and delicious recipe for homemade pickled cucumbers that will add a burst of flavor to any meal. Get creative with different spices and vegetables to create your own unique pickles. Not only is the process fun and easy, but it’s also a great way to preserve fresh produce and enjoy it throughout the year. Happy pickling!

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Pickled cucumbers in a jar made with a homemade family recipe

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How to make pickled cucumbers
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Homemade pickled cucumbers recipe

Pickled cucumbers are great to serve next to a steak, a stew or in burgers. Learn how to pickle cucumbers at home with this very easy, family recipe.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Cooling time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: International
Keyword: dill pickle recipe, how to pickle cucumbers, pickled cucumber recipe, pickled cucumbers, pickled dills
Servings: 4 jars
Author: Petro


  • 4 lbs fresh pickling cucumbers
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • peppercorns
  • yellow mustard seeds
  • white vinegar
  • garlic optional to taste; I didn't use as my daughter doesn't like it
  • 6 dry bay leaves large or 9 small
  • water


  • 3-4 pickling jars
  • spoon
  • large soup pot
  • oven


  • Wash the cucumbers very well and keep only the healthy ones. Sterilize jars well
  • Place cucumbers into jars (don't overcrowd them).
  • Add vinegar to the bottom of the jar (about 2 fingers).
  • Add one teaspoon of sugar and one of salt in each jar. Add 2 large bay leaves (or 3 small), about 30 peppercorns and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, per jar (if you chose to use garlic, use 2-3 cloves per jar at this stage).
  • Fill with water almost up to the rim. The cucumbers should be covered in water completely.
  • Tightly screw the lid on. Place jars in a large pot and cover with water up to the lids. To prevent the jars from cracking while boiling, add some napkins between the jars or wraps each jar in a napkin.
  • Bring to a rolling boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. They'll start changing color.
    How to make pickled cucumbers
  • Leave to cool for 1 hour, without removing from the pot. Transfer the jars to a baking sheet, bottoms up, and place in a pre heated oven on low, for 15 minutes. Make sure the lids are tightly sealed and there's no leaking.
  • Leave to cool completely in the oven then store the jars upright in a cool, dry place. They'll be good to serve after about 1 month.


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about petro


Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have just made your recipe for the pickled cucumbers but when I put the jars in the oven upside down most of the liquid leaked out leaving just a small quantity in the bottom. Could I put more liquid in to fill them back up? I made these last year and they worked out very nice.

  2. What do you consider a “low” temperature for the oven part? Once removed from the oven, should they stay upside down until cooled? I did this recipe last night and it’s a shame that I have to wait a month to see how they turned out but we’ll see. I have so many cucumbers that I would like to do more because it’s so easy but without a taste test, I’m leary about doing more. I would like to do more but make them sweeter and maybe make a dill batch. Anyway, it’s not much labor involved but the cost of mustard seed, wow!! Also, how do you think this would work for sweet peppers. I was given three huge boxes of plabano peppers. I already dehydrated one box but wanted to try pickling some.

    1. 170 is the lowest my gas oven goes, that’s what I use. I leave the jars in the oven to cool.
      I haven’t made pickled sweet peppers myself but mom used to and the recipe is wuite similar. But she used to roast the peppers first and skipped the mustard.

  3. I have reviewed this recipe several times and cannot locate the specific temperature for the oven. You state ‘low’ but what temperature is ‘low’? Would using more vinegar prevent pickle spears from getting too soft?

    1. Rae, it depends on the type of oven you have. It’s usually around 275F or 135C. Adding more vinegar won’t make the pickles crispier, in my experience. This is the best ratio I found success with every time.

    1. That’s very strange, Jade! Never heard of this issue. I would check the source of the garlic (and the rest of the ingredients), it definitely should not change color!