February 1, 2020

Dehydrated Refrigerator Pickles

I never like opening the last jar of anything. My goal is to keep my pantry stocked sufficiently enough, so that I start each preservation season with at least a small surplus from a previous year. It doesn't always work out that way, however, and recently I ran out of pickles. That meant it was time to try a recipe from a book I reviewed a while back, Prepper's Dyhydrator Handbook.

Dehydrated Refrigerator Pickles

  • 1 cup vinegar (I used distilled white)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ tbsp pickling or canning salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp dill seed
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups dried cucumber slices

To Make
  • In a saucepan mix water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • In a pint canning jar put the remaining ingredients.

Dry ingredients in the jar (I used fresh garlic).

  • Cover with boiled brine, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Covered with brine. Ingredients are floating.

  • Refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

24 hours later.

Ready to eat. How'd they turn out?

Well, they didn't look like "real" pickle slices. The recipe seemed to indicate that they'd plump up nicely overnight, but I didn't find that to be the case. They pretty much still had the appearance and texture of dehydrated cucumbers. I also thought it curious that my clear brine of white vinegar and water turned brownish, as though I'd used apple cider vinegar.

A possible reason for these things (the only one I can think of, anyway) is that my cucumber slices were dried harder than the recipe's author's. My climate is humid enough that I must dehydrate everything rock hard to prevent molding later on. Not that it stays that hard. Those clever DIY veggie snack chip recipes don't turn out with my humidity. My dried fruits and veggies become soft and limp as soon as they cool off from being taken out of the dehydrator.

Then the taste test. They tasted like . . . . . .  pickles! Chewy pickles. Dan would have preferred a little more dill which is easily remedied. If I try them again, maybe I should try leaving them in simmering brine for awhile.

My conclusion? I'm definitely glad I tried the recipe, and I would make them again in a pinch, but I won't give up making fresh pickles.


Boud said...

I like having pickles around, particularly when there's cheese and homebaked bread in the picture. Do you ever make piccalilli? With your vegetable output, it would be great.

Sam I Am...... said...

I would have the same problem here with the high humidity. I have never even heard of dehydrated pickles used in a pickle recipe but why not?

Mama Pea said...

Re-hydrating dehydrated cucumber slices for pickles is a new one on me, too. To keep from running out of pickles (both dill and sweet) I always error on the too many side. My canned pickles (made with fresh out of the garden pickling cukes) have held their great texture and flavor for up to three years. Matter of fact, I usually only grow my pickling cukes and make pickles every other year. Is it possible for you to do that?

wyomingheart said...

Those look good enough to try, but in this household, I am required to make freezer pickles, which are sweet and crispy when you defrost them. I always make enough for my brothers, sisters and Mom, because they are addicted to them. Lol! The things we do for love!

Leigh said...

Boud, I have my great-grandmother's piccalilli recipe, but I've never tried it. Dan's pretty particular about pickles, so mostly I just make that. ;) Still, he might like it!

Sam, why not, indeed!

Mama Pea, I usually alternate making pickles on year and relish the next. Dan has just been on a pickle kick for awhile, so I reckon I need to up my quotas!

Wyomingheart, freezer pickles is a new one on me! You need a blog so you can share the recipe!

Quinn said...

I've never heard of de(or re)hydrated pickles OR freezer pickles! Would love to hear more details about the freezer pickles. I grow cucumbers each year and either have barely enough cucumbers for salads or else I have so many I try to persuade the goats that yes they do too like them.

Cockeyed Jo said...

I've never tried dehydrating cucumbers before. I may try it this year. I make two cases of each dill, and bread n butter spears, & relishes each year. If there are any leftover at the end of the year it rolls over just in case we use more. I rarely keep pickles over two years because the texture changes.

If you simmer the cukes longer, it may solve your problem. Just be cautious about the texture of your cukes. They may just disintegrate when pickled.

Kris said...

Well now, finally a post about those dehydrated cucumbers! LOL They sound tasty, but chewy. How about trying grinding them up and use as relish? Looking forward to more chewy news. Kris

Leigh said...

Quinn, I hadn't either until I reviewed that book. I had to give it a try. I agree about hearing more about the freezer pickles. Intriguing that they stay crisp!

Jo, the only simmering was the brine before it was poured over the dried ingredients in the jar. That's why I wondered if I did try a bit of simmering if it wouldn't help. I have more of the cukes so I may try it again! They're pretty chew as is. :o

Kris, it certainly took me long enough! lol. I don't know if they'd grind or not because they aren't crispy any more. They're okay on sandwiches though. My dried cucumber flakes were demolished by pantry moths, which was disappointing. I'll try those again next year because I'd like to try thenm in salad dressing. :)

Rain said...

I'm glad you tried them too! I saw a recipe for dehydrated pickles the other day and contemplated them, but I am not a fan of chewy pickles lol...so I'll think twice about it! I like making my own pickles too, but we run out of them way too quickly!

Chris said...

I'm back from my little break - longer than I planned though! Great to see you in the kitchen again, experimenting with how to eat preserved foods. My favourite dehydrated foods, similar to this recipe, are dehydrated tomatoes in olive oil! Yum.

Leigh said...

Rain, somehow, "chewy" doesn't seem like it belongs in the same sentence as "pickles" LOL. Hopefully, the cucumbers will cooperate next summer so I can make lots of pickles! I thought I had enough, but then Dan got on a pickle kick and we went through them faster than I'd planned. :)

Chris, so good to find comments from you this morning! I'm interested in your dried tomatoes in olive oil. Do you rehydrate them first? It's been a few years since I dehydrated tomatoes, and then I mostly used them on pizza.

Ed said...

I've eaten a lot of re-hydrated foods over the years and I can't think of a single instance where it could have passed as never being dehydrated to start with.

Cucumbers are a very hit or miss crop for us depending on weather and pest conditions. Over the years, I have compensated by pickling other vegetables instead to meet my pickle needs. Asparagus is one of my favorites since we have such an abundance of it. But in a pinch, we do have a bulk food store in a nearby town to the farm where we stop occasionally and they have some really good pickles of various types and I can always pick up a jar. Much better than anything in the local grocery stores.

You probably do this anyway, but if I want to make a meager pickle crop last longer, I add more heat to the brine so people are more measured in their consumption.

Susan said...

Who would have thought?! I think I might dehydrate some cucumbers this year, just so I can make these. I haven't found dehydrated food to taste like fresh or even reach the consistency of fresh in all the years I've been doing it. But it is a great way to preserve and not use freezer space.

Leigh said...

Ed, I have to say that my experience with dehydrated foods is pretty much the same. Dried veggies seem to work best in soups. I've heard a lot about dried apple pie and plan to try that. Thanks for the idea about pickling asparagus! Sounds good.

Susan, I agree about rehydrated foods. Never like fresh but great on storage space. Flaking them seems to be a good way to go. In addition to the dried cuke slices, I flaked some of them and planned to try those in salad dressing. But the pantry moths destroyed most of those.

R's Rue said...


Leigh said...

R's Rue, actually they are pretty good! But the texture still surprises me when I get a bite on a sandwich. :)

Cathy Kennedy said...


What's the purpose of using dehydrated cucumbers? Why not use fresh sliced cucumbers? I know nothing about canning. :)

Leigh said...

Cathy, I dehydrated them because I had so many cucumbers and thought I had enough pickles! So it was just an experiment I found in that book. One thing about dehydrating, is that I can put small amounts in my dehydrator, as opposed to canning, where I need enough for a canner load (because canning is more energy intensive). I can freeze small amounts too, but I don't think cucumbers freeze well!

Chris said...

Thanks Leigh, for the warm welcome back. I have no experience with making the dehydrated tomatoes, stored in olive oil. But I eat them regularly, purchased from the store. I would have no qualms making the recipe at home, if I ever had a glut of tomatoes to store though. I love their flavour so much, I would do it in a heartbeat!

To answer your question, the tomatoes don't need to be re-hydrated. It's about storing dehydrated tomatoes in oil, and having them ready at hand for recipes. Or to eat straight from the jar, which I'm well known for, lol.

I have a link that discusses the recipe and food safety issues, here, for your further research. Hope that helps. :)