My favourite recipe for storing fermented pickles comes from a hand-me-down canning cookbook from the 1950s. It is well used and tape now holds most of the pages together, but it still has some inspiring recipes!
I call this recipe Grandma’s pickles and all you have to do is pack the cucumbers into a canning jar with the brine. Then you screw on the lid and then leave them to sit on a shelf for up to six months. It is the perfect recipe for storing fermenting pickles.
An offbeat fermented pickle recipe
This recipe is very different from the usual fermented pickles recipes. There’s no canning, preserving, or scum removal. And it makes the most delicious traditional flavoured pickle. It really is an amazing recipe. Perfect for storing fermented pickles!
Options for storage
There are a number of different jars that can be used for storing fermented pickles.
- The traditional recipe calls for a standard mason jar with a metal lid and jar ring. With the lid screwed on finger-tight (not sealed), the gasses will still be able to escape. I usually do a few jars this way for eating within the first 2 months.
- I use 2-quart fido jars for pickles that are going to ferment for longer than a month. They are great for preventing contamination.
- You could also use a mason jar with an airlock or a pickle-pipe.
I usually turn about 10 lbs of cucumbers into pickles. They get packed into jars in early September and we usually finish eating them by May. I’ve never had a fermentation failure with this recipe. However, I always sanitize my jars and use organic cucumbers which will naturally have a good culture.
If you’re concerned, just make a small batch and eat them after one month of fermenting.Print
Grandma’s Fermented Pickles
This is a traditional recipe that makes storing fermented pickles really easy. Just pack them in a jar and leave them to ferment in a dark, cool location for up to 6 months! Skip the work of canning and enjoy probiotic pickles all winter long.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2–3 quart jars 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Polish
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 lbs pickling cucumbers
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 4 cups water (chlorine-free)
- 2 cups of chlorine-free water
- 1/4 cup vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 tbsp pickling salt
Packing in each quart jar
- 1 tsp grated horseradish (see notes for alternatives)
- 1 sprig of dill
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- Trim the blossom ends off the cucumbers.
- Mix the icing solution using cold water, and let the cucumbers soak in the icing solution overnight. Keep the cucumbers submerged in the icing solution by weighing them down with bags of ice. This also helps to keep the cucumbers cold.
- Once you’ve set up the cucumbers for icing, mix the pickling brine ingredients (vinegar, salt and water), bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Divide the hot brine between two sterilized 1-quart mason jars and allow to cool overnight.
- The next morning drain the cucumbers and pack them into the brine filled mason jar, along with the dill, horseradish and mustard. Use a weight to keep the pickles below the brine and leave at least 1 inch of headroom.
- Put a lid on the jar that will allow gas to escape while keeping out mold and other contaminates. (See the section above for different options).
- Store the jar in a cool dark location.
- The pickles will bubble and ferment for 4-5 days, but leave them undisturbed until you are ready to eat them.
- I recommend leaving the pickles for at least a month to develop their flavour. I usually make about 5 quarts of these pickles. Enough to last us through the winter.
- Always be extra cautious with any long term ferment. Sanitize your jar. Don’t eat anything that looks or smells bad. And don’t add garlic because it increases the risk of botulism.
- If you don’t have horseradish you could use a pinch of black tea. It helps prevent the pickles from getting too soft.
Keywords: vintage, traditional, 1950’s, preservation, summer, fall, winter, probiotic, healthy, storage, vegan, keto, vegetarian, zero-waste, cook-free