Refrigerator pickles are pickles that are made by immersing them in seasoning and straightaway refrigerating them. Unlike sour pickles – which are fermented – they are relatively easy to make for do it yourselfers.
The first thing to consider if you are going to prepare a refrigerator pickle batch is the seasonings you will use. The flavor of your pickles will in large part depend on the seasoning, so it is an important factor in the recipe.
Fridge pickles do not have the properties of canned pickles that make them last forever. They must be kept in your refrigerator rather than sitting out at room temperature. While you lose the preservative effect with pickles prepared this way, you do gain an extra crispness to your pickles that many people favor.
While traditionally fridge pickles have been a great way to use leftover cucumbers, many modern chefs used them for all sort of vegetables. Carrot pickles, onion pickles, beet pickles – almost anything is possible!
You do not need to prepare refrigerator pickles in bulk. Even if you only have a couple of spare cucumbers, you can easily slice them up, place them in a jar with seasoning, and sit them in the fridge. If it helps think of yourself as brining or marinating the cucumber, rather than pickling; that sounds less intimidating and is probably a more accurate description of the process.