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How Do I Make Refrigerator Pickles?

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

One in six people in Hamilton County, Ohio struggle with food insecurity. Leaders like Jenan Rabi are working to solve this problem while also reducing food waste through the nutrition and culinary education programs of SNAP-Ed. Jenan is the Program Coordinator for SNAP-Ed with OSU Extension in Hamilton County. She has her BS in Nutrition Science and her MS in Clinical Research. She is an expert who speaks to the experience of being a parent, an English language learner, and a cross-cultural collaborator.

What is SNAP-Ed?

SNAP-Ed is an evidence-based program from the USDA that helps people lead healthy, active lives. SNAP-Ed teaches people how to stretch their SNAP dollars, how to shop smart, cook healthy meals, reduce food waste, and stay physically active.

Why is food preservation important to you?

For many, food is attached to cultural experiences. At my uncle’s wedding, my grandmother used all the leftover food to make dishes for the next several days. I carry that lesson with me everywhere I go.

At a partner food pantry, we once received an overabundance of cucumbers. The clientele struggled with how to use the cucumbers before they spoiled. I set up a pickling class and after 2 weeks the participants started sharing their own pickling stories!

How do you make pickles?

It’s easy to make refrigerator pickles with any veggie, not just cucumbers.


  • A stock pot for boiling.

  • A heat safe glass container or jar (*SUSTINABILTY TIP- you can reuse old pickle or salsa jars!)

  • Spoon


  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar)

  • 3 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional, if you want a sweeter taste)


  • Wash and cut the vegetables into the shape and size you want.

  • Most, if not all, vegetables can be picked. (Onion, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc.)

  • Add ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

  • Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

  • Let boil for 2 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat.

  • Fill your containers with vegetables and the brine. (You can add your own herbs and spices, too!).

  • Refrigerate overnight.

  • Keep refrigerated and eat for up to 3 weeks. (*Refrigerator Pickles must stay refrigerated, they are not processed for long term storage, this process extends the life of your vegetables by about 3 weeks.)

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