Half Sour Pickles

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they’re so popular!

Half Sour Pickles Recipe

Half Sour Pickles

If  I could stand on top of a mountain I would yell “I love pickles!”.  I really do.   They’re pretty, they’re crunchy, they’re full of flavor, they hit the right spot in the afternoon when you need a snack, they’re great on a burger, they’re great at 4AM standing in front of the refrigerator.  

Pickles, they’re just really good.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

With the cucumber plants in full producing mode right now we have been picking  (and pickling!) quite a few kirby cucumbers.  Did you know cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow?  We currently have 6 mason jars full of pickles in the refrigerator!  

If you are in Brooklyn and are in need of a pickle, I’m your girl!  I have been trying to get the perfect half sour pickles after years  of swooning at all the NYC pickle places.  Finally, I got it just right!  

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

Half Sour Pickles Recipe

A few notes about these  half sour beauties:

-These don’t have vinegar in them.  You see I have a fear of the smell of vinegar, I just get freaked out.  So I have been desperately trying to figure out how to make delicious pickles with seasonings to make up for the lack of vinegar. THIS IS IT!  In this one instead  of using vinegar  we use sea salt water! 

-I would leave these  in your refrigerator  at least 4  days before you bite  into one.    After that, good luck not finishing  the jar in a day or 2.  If you have  control of your fingers going in the pickle jar though, these last for weeks.

-Kirby cucumbers are the best for pickles.
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

-If you don’t have Kirbies, that’s totally ok, but I recommend if you are using big cucumbers to  cut them up  into spears first (they will fit better into the jar most likely too).

-Please don’t skip on the seasonings.  These pickles soak alongside delicious garlic, fresh dill, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves.

-This recipe uses a half gallon mason jar.   The ingredients and amount of water to salt ratio in this recipe is for this sized jar.  

-If your pickles are soft and not crunchy when done, please check out Ball Pickle Crisp.  It works great to keep that fresh crunch!
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Fresh kirby cucumbers just picked from the garden!  

 The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
One of the yummy herbs in this recipe is coriander seeds.  If you have a cilantro plant and you neglect it, it will turn into coriander seeds. Awesome,  right?   I always  do this every year so I get fresh coriander to last until next harvest season. 

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

You can  use a mortar and pestle to crush your dry ingredients  or you can be like me and  just use a tool (I don’t know the name of this so let’s  just go with “tool”) to bash  it all together. A rolling pin works great too.  So does a hammer. 
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!Put your cucumbers in the jar, then add your garlic.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Then your crushed dry ingredients.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Pick a few  pieces of fresh dill. Doesn’t it smell great?

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!Then add your salt water  and fresh dill.
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!Keep filling your jar with water until your cucumbers are completely covered.  In  the  jar above, a little bit  of the salt water still needs to be added.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Now it’s  the hard  part.. waiting for a few days to eat them!

But when it’s time… it will be worth it!

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
If you are making batches as you harvest, and you use similar jars sometimes it gets confusing to keep track of the ones that have been sitting the longest.  To do this I use chalk or a Sharpie and write on the lid.  #1 = eat first, #2 = eat next, #3 = eat next next.. etc.

Half Sour Pickles Recipe

Enjoy! 🙂

Looking for more cucumber recipes? Try my Sugar Glazed Cucumber Bread (yes you can bake with cucumbers!), Frosted Cucumber Cookies and  Cucumber Tomato Salad!

Update:  I shared my favorite Pickled Okra recipe!

Pin for later:
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is! These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles. No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days! Make them to find out why they're so popular!

If you try this Half Sour Pickles recipe, please leave a comment or share it on Instagram with tag #brooklynfarmgirl – I’m always looking for photos to feature and share!

Half Sour Pickles

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword half sour pickles
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 33 kcal


  • 5 kirby cucumbers or however many you can fit into your jar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • few pieces of fresh dill
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • additional whole coriander seeds and peppercorns to add on top


  1. Wash your cucumbers.
  2. Dissolve your sea salt in the water.
  3. Grind up all the dry ingredients (coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns, 2 bay leaves). If you don’t have a mortar/pestle, throw it in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
  4. Put the cucumbers in your jar.
  5. Put the minced garlic in the jar, then ground up spices, then pour the salt water mixture on top. If you have any water left, disregard it.
  6. Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top.
  7. Add in your additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  8. Make sure your cucumbers are completely covered in water and close the jar.
  9. Put in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 4 days before eating.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for a half gallon jar. Please make sure you are using this size as it's important for the salt to water ratio.
For a crunchy pickle add 1/4 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp Granules at the end.


Leave a comment
  • Question about Dill? I had a ton of dill volunteer in the garden this year and because I think it’s pretty I just let it go to seed. For next year’s purposes and making these gorgeous pickles, if I just keep the dill plants shorter and cut off the top before it goes to seed will I get those wonderful dill fronds like you’re showing? Just wondering! Love your web site!

    • Hi Laurie, that should work. I would recommend you pinch off the buds so the plant continues to get bushy and doesn’t stop growing. Good luck!

    • I am going to try that. Sounds perfect. This pickle recipe is my go-to every time. I am just starting to get fruit on my cuke plant!

  • I love the sound of these fresh herb infused pickles. Hubby and I go through a lot of jars of pickles too and I have been meaning to try my hand at pickling so thanks so much for sharing this Pamela. Definitely pinning to try this 🙂

  • I LOVE pickles. My fave are garlicky, vinegary, sour dill pickes, but these half-sours look like a nice change of pace. I can eat like 2 or 3 pickles in one sitting. I don’t even want to think about how many I’ll eat when I’m pregnant. Anyway, these look excellent! I still haven’t tried my hand at canning. It really scares me.

  • I’ve never made pickles before. My mom is the pickle queen making no less than half a dozen gallons, a dozen or more of each quarts and pints. So many pickles! I am going to share this recipe with her since hers are all vinegar based (I believe).

  • I am SO excited to try this! I’ve tried to make half-sours, because a friend of mine just raves about them. The recipe I followed wasn’t this easy and they turned out…bad. Like, throw in the garbage bad and that is sacrilege, I know, as a fellow pickle FIEND. (I thought I was the only one who would raid the fridge of pickles at 4 am…)

    Nerdy note – real pickles don’t use vinegar. And vegetables that are soaked in salty brine and not vinegar are fermented, which makes a vinegar like liquid. So, when people use vinegar, they are really making quick pickles, and skipping the best part! So, not only are half-sours better, but they also have all kinds of good-for-you bacteria. Win-win!

    • Let me know if you try these Katie, I hope you enjoy them! They are my all day snack, I can’t get enough of them right now. I ate more than 2 today (number will stay a secret to hide the guilty). 🙂

      • They are in my fridge right now! I used a little of a pickling spice mixture I got at the coop and added in garlic (no fresh dill….sigh) and the water/salt ratio you wrote.

        Judging by how much salt is in these, I know why my last batch was so bad. Not nearly enough salt and the pickles went bad. Real bad.

  • This sounds delish! I love pickling at home. I’m not a fan of pickles. Actually, bad pickles but I do l0ve it when it’s done at home or served at restaurants. Love the combination of ingredients here Pamela. YUM!

      • Im coming late to your pickle making recipe — the photos are great, the instructions perfect — However, I cannot locate the recipe! Im ready, have your ingredients —
        Please send recipe again!

  • Yum, these look so good. I have never done coriander seeds in them before but I grew up with my mum making these delish pickles all summer long. I have had them on my mind for a few days – so your post with a new recipe to try is serendipitous!

    • I hope you give them a try Hannah. The coriander seeds really enhance the sea salt water, I love them (great for soup too!).

  • That tool is an adjustable wrench, often referred to as a “nut rounder” because it often slips on the nuts you’re trying to remove and rounding over the corners of the nut. 🙂

  • How long can these pickles sit once canned? After the four days do they have to be eaten immediately? Have you done a water bath for them to preserve them, if so has that changed the taste or texture? Thanks again for the recipe!!

    • Hey Jay, I have many batches in my fridge that have been in there for about 4 weeks, and if I add some Pickle Crisp granules before I close the jar it really does help keeping that crunch weeks on in.
      If you keep the cucumbers whole they stay fresh for many weeks. If you cut them into spears, I would give them less time before turning soft. After 4 days, no they don’t have to be eaten right away. You can leave them sit much longer if you’d like. Enjoy!

    • Those are some big cucumbers! You could always cut them up into bite size pieces if you’d like! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • I’ve been looking for a recipe close to the half sour pickles that they have at Ted’s Montana Grill and what Katie said, “The recipe(s) I followed weren’t this easy and they turned out…bad.” These turned out very close – just what I’d been looking for! Thanks for posting!

    LOL! Also, what Les said, the mystery tool is a “nut rounder.” 🙂

    • So glad you liked them Karl! They are one of my favorite afternoon snacks!

      Also thanks for letting me know the official term, haha. 😉

      • I used to help make pickles and also canned pears when I was a kid. I remember boiling the mason jars, and then adding some sugar water for pears, and a salty/vinegary/spiced mix for pickles (sometimes other things as well like pepeprs, tomatoes, etc). But I’ve long since forgotten the specific steps and ingredients. I’ve always grown up with a family mentality to just go to the store and buy a jar of pickles. I’ve never really liked those, they upset my stomach with all the chemicals, and also burn my throat. Nasty stuff. I do greatly prefer the half-sour pickles, though, and one of these days I’d like to make some. Your recipe ought to come in handy! I don’t have an aversion to vinegar, and may experiment with varying amounts and do my taste tests. That’s half the fun of preparing your own food! 😀

        Oh, and the tool’s “official” name is an Adjustable Wrench, or Adjustable Spanner or Adjustable Spanner Wrench or Crescent Wrench or Adjustable Crescent Wrench. “Nut Rounder”, haha, I have never heard of that term, but I understand exactly what it means. It’s a joke, because these wrenches, although very convenient in a pinch, need to be used with great care. Some (most) brands will loosen up as you use them, or you otherwise bump a finger over the adjuster and loosen it, which happens right when you go to pull it hard to loosen the nut. Similar applies in reverse when tightening, and you need to do the “final torque down” to get it tight. Anyways, if the adjuster is loose in either of these positions, it tends to just grind off the corners of a hex nut, a very unfortunate occurrence called “rounding”. Then you have to take more drastic measures to get the darn thing undone, pliers, specialized tools like, drills, and specialized bolt-out drill bits, blow torches, etc.

  • I have never made pickles before but have a ton of kirbys this year and want to try this recipe… do you need to buy mason jars and seal in boiling water? or do you just lid and put in the fridge? My mom made a batch of dill pickles from my kirbys but they are from the premade pickling spice and are super sour… im dying for a great half sour super cold cruncy pickle!!!

    • Hi Wendy, you can totally do this without canning. Just follow the steps and then put into your fridge directly. They will last a few weeks, if not slightly longer! Enjoy!

  • Oh my God!!! This recipe is absolutely amazing!! My daughter and I made a batch and they are fantastic!!! Thanks for the great recipe – we’ll be making lots more of these! And to return the favor, email me if you’d like a copy of my contest-winning chili; glad to share.

  • I became obsessed with pickles this year
    .. chow chow, Korean Radishes, sweet and Spicy, curried veg, Kimchi, sauerkraut. .. all came out amazing and the larder is stuffed with my obsession. But half sours? Let’s just say after 6 batches of varying degrees of salty and mushy I was ready to give up. Then I saw this recipe and thought if a New Yorker can’t make a good half sour then I really am going to quit. Wow! Amazing. Right crunchy snap. Perfect proportions of salt and tang. I did them in a big batch in a gallon food prep bin weighed down with plates and packed them pretty solidly. After a few days they were ready so I transferred them to big half gallon jars and put then in the fridge. Can’t Stop eating them!

    • Hey Debby, I’m so glad you stopped by to let me know! Nothing makes me more happy than knowing someone else is enjoying some half sour pickles! We are harvesting some more cucumbers today from the garden so I’m sure to be making a few more batches myself! I definitely snack away on them all day… and they are the absolute best on sandwiches! Have a great weekend!

  • Ohh boy…I’m a pickle lover but only want the snap fresh product…how long should/can these be kept in the fridge before bacteria or other problems may arise…thx…byeGeorge,,,(~.-)

    Thx for putting this together…

    • I’ve kept them for over a month and they’ve stayed crunchy and fresh. They don’t last that long in my house as I want to eat them all! 😉

  • I’m getting ready to try making a couple of batches including one batch using an alder smoked salt. One question in advance about the water: do you use filtered water to remove the chlorine, let it stand to dissipate, etc.

    I’m already looking forward to the end of next week so I can crack open a jar!

  • […] Because I always want to add vegetables to every meal, there’s a bunch of kale and carrots in this soup.  I always love the way kale looks and tastes in a brothy soup.    Along with the vegetables there’s garlic and the real star: ginger.  I always think using ginger in dishes really gives it that true Chinese taste.  If you cook a Chinese dish without ginger and with,  it’s always the ginger dish that wins – always!    But don’t worry if you don’t have fresh ginger or fresh garlic, because I have something that is going to help you in cooking year round.  Do you know about frozen herb cubes? They are the best.  I’ve bee using them for years and they have been saving me from the issue of making a dish and then realizing halfway I don’t have fresh cilantro, ginger, parsley etc on hand.  I just open up the freezer, pop out a few cubes and I have fresh herbs.   And don’t stop at soups, I love using the frozen cilantro for salsas in the winter time.  And frozen dill cubes are perfect for adding in Sour Pickles! […]

  • Hi Pamela! I’m a hot mess in the kitchen, and frequently botch things as simple as hard-boiled eggs… but your recipe is quick, easy, and phenomenally DELICIOUS. Really, really good. Just made my second batch! Can’t thank you enough.

  • Hi there,
    Have you ever tried adding a little celery or celery seed to this recipe?
    Do you think that would enhance it?
    Thank you!

  • Hello,

    I have tried two batches of pickles so far using your recipe.
    I have run into two issues and wanted your thoughts on them.

    After my first batch I found I had to half the amount of Sea Salt or the pickles came out so salty you can’t eat them.

    The second batch came out almost perfect except the seasonings did not penetrate the cucumbers very well and the batch ended up more Cuke than Pickle. I let this batch sit in the fridge for over two weeks. They were still crispy but the flavor just did not go all the way through.

    Any ideas?


    • Hi Marc,
      I would recommend lowering the amount of salt. I have found that with some people based on the amount of water they use, the size jar, etc, the salt can really vary in taste if the recipe isn’t followed exactly per water to salt. What size jar are you using and how much water?
      Per the seasoning, go a little stronger on them, especially the bay leaves. I would say these pickles are more about the half sour, tartness, than the seasonings though.
      Good luck.

  • Hi Pamela
    I saw your recipe and got excited. Today I made my first 1/2 gallon in 2 one quart canning jars. This is my first attempt at canning. Will let you know how my 1/2 sour pickles turn out.
    Thanx again

  • I have found that it’s impossible to be sad while eating a pickle. They’re the perfect snack when you’re down in the dumps. I eat one every day. They keep the black dog away.

  • Yummy! The pickles were a big hit on the 4th! I couldn’t find and fresh dill, so I substituted cilantro. I also added a couple of sliced serrano peppers and some bits of watermelon rind.

    Again, I say “Yummy!”

    • Happy to hear these were a success Michael! I just made the first batch of the year myself. Happy it’s pickle season again! 😉

  • When you say “seal up the jar” do you actually mean seal it via a canning method or just close the lid? I”m excited to try this.

  • I just made these this past week, and the taste came out wonderfully, except they were WAY too salty. I put the amount suggested!! Would reducing the amount of salt somehow alter the “pickling” process? I can’t even eat them as-is. The only other half sours I’ve had were at Ted’s Montana Grill, and they were not nearly this salty. I did slice the cucumbers before pickling because they were huge (got them from a friend). Could that have made the difference? Thanks!

    • Hi Mary. I would recommend lowering the amount of salt if these turned out too salty for you. I have found that with some people based on the amount of water they use, the size jar, etc, the salt can really vary in taste if the recipe isn’t followed exactly per water to salt. What size jar are you using and how much water? If you cut them up they will taste more salty due to them being touched directly to the salt water.

  • This is essentially the recipe for Kosher Dills. You can leave them longer to make them stronger. I recommend lots of Garlic, a hot pepper (Jalapeno or Serrano is good) and the tops (ssed pods) from the dill.

  • Most of the recipes I have seen for half sour or full sour pickles involve 4 days to 2 weeks of the pickles being kept in brine at room temperature before being refrigerated. I am wondering if you are getting much if any fermentation in 4 days at 38 degrees F? Do you see any bubbling or other evidence of the fermentation process? My understanding was that once you make a half sour after 4 days sitting at room temp, you can refrigerate them and stop them from becoming full sours. If you want full sours you just leave them out at room temp for 10 days to 2 weeks and then they can then keep at room temp even longer because of the acidification from the fermentation and the salt. Have you ever checked the pH after the 4 refrigerated days to see if any lactic acid has been created? I have not yet embarked on any pickle making adventures and am in the research process before my first attempt.

    • Hi Markas. I have not done any pH tests to the pickles so I can’t help you out there. After just a few days you can definitely see bubbling and fizz rise to the top with this recipe. Have fun!

  • Can I add pickle crisp a couple fo days after I have made the pickles?
    Thank you for the recipe. Just waiting to try them after sitting in the frig for a few days 🙂

    • If you don’t have the crisp the day you make them you can add a few days later. I’ve done that before if I run out of crisp. Enjoy!

  • As a misplaced born and raised New Yorker living in Colorado I have been seriously missing my half sours. So excited to try these! I’m planning on getting them going tonight, but am worried about the salt! I bought a canister of coarse sea salt, are your measurements based off of a fine or coarse ground? Thanks!

  • Let me apologize in advance for cheating (a little) and changing the recipe by adding 1 spice,THAT SAID …. Absolutely THE BEST recipe I have ever tried !! I used gray sea salt ( I got it as a gift) and I did cheat and just used pickling spice for a part of the recipe (but only 1 tsp, because I didn’t have any coriander seeds, and I knew they were in there, LOL I dumped some on a cutting board and separated them out, along with the bay leaves which I didn’t have either)I think a bit of maybe crushed red pepper might have slipped in there as well, but it didn’t hurt !! I added a couple whole allspice along with the extra peppercorns on the top of the jar as well. I’ll tell ya’ these rivaled may favorite Ba’ Tampte pickles !! But better by a long shot !! Thanks Pamela !!

    • Hi Linda, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these pickles! I love the idea of adding some crushed red pepper, I’m going to try that in the next batch! Thanks again for stopping by!

  • So excited to try this recipe tonight! Do I need to boil the jars first? I thought by sealing you meant to do a canning method but in the notes you say that’s not necessary. Any tips appreciated for my first time!! Thx!!

    • Hi Heather, there are 2 quarts in a half-gallon. So if you are only using 1 quart sized jar I would cut everything in half in the recipe.

  • Hi,

    Another Brooklyn Girl here but I live in VT. Just picked cukes form the garden and am psyched. One Q though: I’ve washed my jar but I don’t plan to sterilize it. That ok?

  • Hi,
    You are a genius. These were completely delicious! Thank you!
    One question though – if I want to “can” these rather than making only refrigerator pickles (I have a massive surplus of kirbys) – do I need to alter the recipe at all for purposes of preserving the pickles – or can I just follow the recipe and “can” as I would any other preserved vegetable?
    Thanks so much for any help!

    • Hey Nina, I never canned this recipe (eat them too quick!) so this is my guess. If you substitute the water so it’s one half vinegar, one half water I think you’ll be good to go for storing these in a cabinet once canned. You can also can these with the original recipe using only water but these will need to be canned and stored in the refrigerator (like some store bought pickles are kept in the refrigerated section). Hope this helps!

  • BFG, You are The Goddess! Day 4 and I just opened the pickles: YUM! Thoses puppies are going to be eaten in a wink. (I made 2, 1/2 gallon jars). Do I need to start fresh or can I use the brine more than once?


  • Oops, just figured out how to read all the other commetns so i’m going to amend my question: How many times can I use the brine, or, how long can the brine be kept?

    • Thanks Laurie, I’m so happy you liked them! There’s no concrete answer for this as this depends on how cloudy and also how much spice and taste is left in the brine. Personally I reuse once and find it perfect for another batch of pickles! After that it becomes more cloudy and the seasonings and taste begin to fall off. Hope this helps!

  • Great. Sounds like what I thought. I just made another batch using fresh jalopeno from the garden instead of dried crush red pepper. That was good, I’m hoping the fresh hot will be even better! don’t know if you grow garlic but if you do… I have all my garlic up drying in the barn. I took the last heads from last year, (about 70 heads) put them in a processor and tossed in olive oil and salt. The paste is amazing! I’ve eaten some off the spoon but it’s great to dilute and put in other things too.

  • I was so excited to try this recipe. I had all the fresh ingredients to make two jars full. I don’t know what I did wrong but what I got a week later was a super mushy, way too salty mess! My cucumbers were floppy they were so mushy and I love salty foods but this was way too much salt for anyone to enjoy. So disappointed. Your look delicious! I don’t think any amount of pickle crisp would have saved my sad little cukes.

    • Sorry they turned into mush, as you can see from the comments this is a favorite pickle recipe from many, so why not give it another shot with less salt?

  • These are the pickles of my Passover youth! Every year, the company Batampte would make these pickles. By the time you bought them in the store a month later, they were already too sour. They only tasted amazing during passover and a week or two after.

    Since moving to California, I have never found these pickles in the appropriate stage of pickling; always to over done in the brine. Or, $7.00 at a kosher market in LA.

    And then, this Passover on the east coast, I fell in love again.

    And when looking for the recipe, I found Brooklyn Girl!

    The pickles are already delicisious by the next day. they were gone after 2 days.

    • Hey Naomi, thanks for your comment! I’m so happy you enjoyed these half sours and now get to enjoy the East on the West coast! 😉 Keep on pickling!

  • I just spent a few weeks in Maine and ate a LOT of half sour pickles. The first thing I tried when I got back to Southern California was this recipe with a little half gallon crock that I have. These pickles are fantastic, even after 2.5 days! I love recipes that use up my spice cabinet supply.

  • Any idea how I can alter this recipe for my quart sized jars? Can’t seem to find the half gallon ones in the stores by me.

  • 1/2 gallon jar and only 5 cukes fit ???
    also you say to wait until end to add crisp. end meaning when you are about to let ferment.
    Cant wait to try .

    • Hey Tom, fit as many cukes as you can.. we tend to have giants, plus it’s always a puzzle to get them to fit! Add the crisp right before you close up the jar. Enjoy!

  • Just made my first 2 jars last night with you recipe, cant wait to try them. My question is do you have to store them in the refrigerator? I Want to can a lot of them for the winter and I can not fit them in the regrigerator, will basement work. And will it be ok to keep them for 5-6 months before eating?

    • Hi Rafael, I’ve only refrigerated for shorter amounts of time. I’m worried that keeping them that long will result in salty pickles and possibly mushy.

      • But my main concern is leaving them in the basement, I do not have the room in the refrigerator to store them all. Would that be ok or you have not tried?

          • So I pickled two jars and put in a fridge (came out way too salty I think I made a mistake somewhere :/) next 5 I pickled and boiled for 5 minutes (to keep up to a year in basement as I found online somewhere) Problem is I keep checking every few days and there is spilled broth everywhere… I use Fido jars. I think these continue to ferment and look way passed ur stage (The water is very murky compared to clear colored in ur pics), they make come out much more then half sour??? I hope they don’t go bad, im a bit confused by this outcome as boiling is supposed to stop fermentation.

          • Hey Rafael, my recipe doesn’t calling for boiling at all. I use regular tap water and then throw them in the fridge, no boiling needed.

          • I just read those instructions again and I messed up 🙂 it states to boil the broth before pouring over cucumbers, then boil for 5 minutes in pot after sealing them….. well I skipped the boiling of broth part :/ not sure if just wasted 5 jars of pickles 🙁

  • […] 1. I love real kosher deli pickles, but I’m very picky about them When I found kirby cucumbers in a recent CSA share, I went on the hunt for the perfect pickle recipe—and I think I found it! If you like the pickles at Rein’s Deli or Ted’s Montana Grill, you’re going to LOVE these. […]

  • It is the 6th day and I just tasted my pickles. They are not as strong as I am used to. Your recipe did not allow for fermentation outside the refrigerator…could this be the reason or should I just wait longer for the flavors to become stronger?
    Thank you.

    • Hey Michele, did you follow the instructions exactly? They usually are pretty strong after a few days but feel free to kep in the fridge for a few days more. Good luck and enjoy!

  • I notice you don’t mention boiling these at any time, but you also recommend the pickling crisp, and I see that directions on the package for pickle crisp specially mention boiling. Will it be a problem to make them with the crisp without boiling?

    • Hi Bill, I don’t boil and specifically use the pickle crisps. There’s no problem in using the crisp without boiling, it will still do a great job at keeping the crunch.

  • Two more questions and I should be done.

    My first question relates to my earlier one. I see several accounts on making these pickles which suggests you cut the ends off to keep an enzyme out that will soften the pickles, or that you use Bay leaf for that purpose. You don’t mention this, I assume because you use the pickle crisp, correct?

    Also, some accounts on making these say they should be kept at room temperature at the beginning and only refrigerated when they reach the level of souring that you want, as they will not get any more sour once they are refrigerated. But you refrigerate right away, correct?

    I tried making these already and left them at room temperature (I also live in Brooklyn, and even with A/C, my apartment is pretty hot this time of year). They were pretty much full on sour after 2 or 3 days, and some of them were pretty soft, so I am thinking of doing this totally refrigerated this time.

    • Hey Jennifer, I don’t can mine, so I’d recommend reading the comments above as a few people have and their feedback might be helpful. You can also check out the Ball website for canning pickles help. Have fun!

  • Raised in Providence area worked in several Delis, what more can I say. Thirty years in Phoenix with only one authentic deli that is now a 150 miles away and I stumble onto a Half-Sour pickle recipe on line that has me smiling again. If I were only 40 years younger, keep bringing sunshine into other people’s lives.

  • Greetings Pam, like you, I love my half sour pickles but felt the need to make my own after seeing the supermarket prices…lol. I have to tell you that I made 4 gallon jars of them and my friends are raving over them. I am happy that I found your recipe and I will continue to make more. I have one question, I grow various vegetables in my backyard in bklyn (crown heights) but last year wasn’t great for cukes. Did you have any problems growing them last year and if not, did you allow your kirbys to grow on a trellis or on the ground? I seem to have better crops of cukes when they are on the ground compared to being grown on netting. Maybe I might swap you some hot peppers I grow, the “ghost pepper” and the Moruga Scorpion, 2 of the hottest peppers in the world.

    • Hey Jacob. First, I’m glad to see someone else from Brooklyn here – welcome! We grew less cucumber plants last year compared to previous years, but we still got a pretty good yield from each plant. We grow them in containers and then we let them grow on the containers and on the ground (we like to let them roam). It sounds like you have quite a collection of veggies you’re growing in Crown Heights!

      • You know Pam, being retired, I have a peach and pear tree in my backyard that I make wine with as well as strawberries. The soil here in Bklyn is quite good. I am getting ready for this years production, waiting for the nighttime temp to get over 40 degrees before I turn my soil over. I don’t seem to have much luck growing in containers and I have been growing many things for over 25 years. You have to let me know the secret to container growing, I am looking to use every bit of space in my backyard….lol. Thanks for your time and dialog.

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! I first tried half sour pickles in Napa, instant love affair. Decided to finally make. I teach preschoolers a seed to plate program, and since we grew cucumbers, I decided we needed to make these. They loved assisting in the process, and can’t wait to taste them next week in class. Wish we could post photos here. Will report back with the tasting results. Thanks again.

    • Thanks for stopping by Christopher! I love the seed to plate program that you’re teaching, I bet the students are having a blast! Feel free to email me photos if you’d like to share, I’d love to see them!

  • Pam, I love half-sour pickles. The prices are very high in the supermarket and most are in a cloudy liquid which are a little bitter. Every blue-moon you might be able to find a jar with bright crisp looking pickles, but I can’t be playing around. So when I came upon this recipe, I said I have to at least give it a shot. And I did. I am having my first pickle right now while I type. I am very glad I tried this recipe. I followed it exactly and it yielded the best bunch of half-sours I have ever had. I used the pickle crisp. It makes the pickles have a nice fresh “snap”. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will make more to give to my 86 year old Dad. He’s a charter member of Pickleholics Unanimous.

  • If you want some sour/tart, but you don’t want vinegar or things that have that sort of smell, use some citric acid. It’s odorless and it will give your pickles a slight citric flavor–and be tart. And it’s cheap! Get it from amazon in huge quantities for a few bucks.

    Good for colds, too!

  • I made 3 batches of these pickles last week. The first batch I made just as prescribed and set the 1/2 gallon jar in the fridge for 4 days. It turned out pretty well. The cucumbers were still white and fleshy on the inside and very salty, but tasty. The second and third batch I combined in a gallon jar covered in wax paper that was secured with a rubber band. Instead of placing directly in the fridge, I set the jar out on the countertop in a warm kitchen (82 degrees during the day) for seven days. After the week of fermentation the cucumbers had a nice yellow/green hue and a satisfying sour bite to balance the saltiness! My husband has eaten nearly the whole jar. Thank you for the great recipe. The spices were just right. I will be making these every year, but definitely fermenting mine.

    • I usually don’t for full effectiveness of the recipe, but you can reuse it if you want. Don’t reuse if the brine is cloudy though! I would also only reuse if you are making refrigerator pickles (like this recipe), I wouldn’t reuse for canning.

  • Hi, I love your recipe. I have a question, instead of putting the jar right away in the refrigerator, can I leave it on kitchen counter so cucumbers can ferment for few days and then put it in refrigerator? Do u think it will make it soggy if I add the picking granules to keep it crunchy?

    • Hi Deepika, the recipe is based on putting the pickles in the refrigerator immediately so I’m not sure if it will make them soggy or not. If you do try, I’d love to know! Good luck!

    • Hey Calvin, to dissolve the salt simply stir the water. Dill helps give them that authentic half sour flavor, but if you aren’t a dill fan you don’t have to add it. Enjoy!

  • Hi, We are very excited to try this! We just finished making the pickles and put them in the fridge. I realized though that we used coarse sea salt instead of fine. Do you think that will affect the pickles? Should I add some salt? Thanks!

  • Have you ever tried leaving them out t o ferment rather than putting them in the refrigerator right away? Also, do you recommend cutting off a small end part first? Thanks! I have such fond memories of the Rascal House in Miami. I want to be able to replicate their pickles.

    • Hey Heather, the recipe is based on putting the pickles in the refrigerator so I’ve never left them out. If you do try, I’d love to hear how it goes! I just throw the cucumbers in whole, no cutting off a end. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Pamela,
    I have made these pickles and they are amazing. I tried halving the recipes and it did not turn out well. So I tried again following your recipe exactly and they were great, and when we tasted them I realized you have to make the whole recipe because you want to eat all of those wonderful pickles. Thanks for that great recipe

    • Hey Rose, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the pickles! And I agree about the whole batch because they don’t last very long! 😉

    • Hey Ronoc, sorry to hear they were too salty for your tastes. Since they’re a fan favorite here I hope you give them a another shot and try a little less salt for your liking. Thanks for stopping by.

  • I was in NY ~ 25 years ago, & had the best lunch in a deli near the launch for the “Statue of Liberty”. They had the greatest pickles – they said they were “half sour”. I’m Living in Minneapolis, and have never found any as good – until your recipe! Thanks! Denn Russell

  • I’ve been looking for this pickle recipe for years. These are amazing.
    I even went out and bought a mortar and pestle to speed things up.
    Now all I have to do is remember to make another batch more often. I always seem to wait until they run out. Thanks for this!

  • I grew up on Long Island and loved the half sour pickles you could find in almost any deli. These remind me of home. So good! Thank you 🙂

  • I just mixed up 2 batches of the brine/spice mix and I am pickling red peppers, green tomatoes and cucumber spears. I will let you know how they come out.

  • I love pickles !!!!! I’m going to Rein’s deli in Connecticut and buy a 5 gallon bucket of half sour pickles cause I love half sour pickles but in California and there is no such thing as a real half sour pickle. Once I eat all the pickles can I just add kerby cucumbers to the bucket to make more using the old brine. If I can how long will it take. Also doi have to skim them? Or just let them sit then eat?

    • Hi Larry, you can reuse the brine (I wouldn’t use it more than twice) if you are going to keep them in the refrigerator. Also if the brine is cloudy at all – I wouldn’t use it as it’s probably not good anymore. I would let them sit in the brine for 5 days (in the fridge) before you eat them. Obviously the brine is going to be a bit weaker than fresh pickles. Once you’re done with those pickles – I recommend that you make this recipe – I think you’d enjoy it!

  • My daughter and I truly love Half Sour Pickles! Going to try your recipe, it sounds great and easy to do. By the way, your “tool” is called an adjusting wrench. 😉 But, I think I’ll try a heavy weight Wine Bottle? 😀

  • My one-year-old LOVES pickles, so I think that we’re definitely going to have to give this recipe a try when cucumbers come in around here. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  • HI!
    In your description/instructions you say:
    Put the minced garlic in the jar, then ground up spices, then pour the salt water mixture on top. If you have any water left, disregard it.
    Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top.
    Add in your additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.

    So, when we put in our spices with the minced garlic, do we only use half of them? You mention additional….

    If you could further explain, that would be great.
    Oh, do you think you could ferment these with this recipe?
    Thanks so much!
    My hubby hates Vinegar….we call it the “V” word! haha!

  • Oh I love pickles too! Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe with us at The Hearth and Soul Link Party. I love how you crush your spices – great idea! Scheduled this post to pin. Hope to ‘see’ you at the party again this week.

  • We teen loves pickles, we need to try this after the farmers market. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party @DearCreatives Pinned & shared.

  • I love these pickles but I want to make them in quart and pint sizes. How much spices would you use for each jar?

    • Hi Patty, there are 2 quarts in a half-gallon and there are 4 pints in a half-gallon so you will have to do the math accordingly. For example if you want to do 1 quart, half the recipe. Enjoy this recipe!

  • these are delicious! just maybe if you pre-cut larger cucumbers into spears (before brining) then i would use half the amount of salt, as the brine soaks in further than with whole cukes and they can get pretty salty.

  • How long will these last in the refrigerator? The reason I ask is that I just made some pickled veggies (a gallon) and need to eat those first.

    • I prefer to eat them within a few weeks but I’ve kept them for over a month and they’ve stayed crunchy and fresh. Enjoy!

  • How long will these keep in the refrigerator? I’d like to try these, but need to know how long they’ll keep if I make more than one batch.

  • So I’ve tried about 6 different fermented pickle recipes this summer and they all tasted-MEH. I don’t know if I didn’t wait long enough, too long or what but they don’t taste like the traditional 1/2 sours you get in a kosher deli. I’m interested in yours because you put them right in the fridge, which should technically slow fermentation down, instead of leaving them out to ferment on the counter in warm temps. Do you know if your method actually ferments the cukes or if the cukes just absorb the salted water? Thanks!

  • I made this recipe, screwed it up a bit, left them in way too long in the fridge, and seriously, these are the best pickles I’ve ever had. I have a huge glut of huge cucumbers in my garden and I’m just going to pickle away. Thanks for this recipe!

  • So, I discovered this half sour pickle recipe last week, and I can’t stop making them They taste exactly line the ones we used to get in NYC when I was a little girl growing up in Connecticut. My dad worked in the city and he would bring them home on the train a couple of times a week!

    First I made two quarts. There turned out so well, I ate a who quart in one day. In fact, I added more pickles to the brine and stuck them back in the refrigerator. Two days later, when a friend stopped by, I offered her a bite. She took home the second jar. I brought home another 10 lbs of pickles from another friend’s garden yesterday. I made four more quarts last night.

    These are some of the very best pickles I’ve ever eaten, even in the Jewish delis! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Barbara, your comment made my night! I’m so happy you enjoyed these pickles and they reminded you of your childhood – thanks for the smile! Keep enjoying!

  • Wow, I sound illiterate. They turned out, not there. And I ate a whole quart, not a who quart. I will blame my index finger for the typos, as I sliced it on a mandoline slicer last night. 🙂

  • Pamela, you have given us THE BEST recipe! Your recipe is pretty forgiving as long as your water-to-salt ratio is strictly followed, and also paying attention to your great easy to follow advice. I also found that if the cukes are quartered or sliced they can be ready in just a few days. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!

  • Old Latvian know-how is that blackcurrant leaves keep the pickles crunchy. Not sure how easy these are to source but maybe will come handy for someone. Also was told that keeping them in cold water for 2-3 hours before pickling helps and pouring over boiling water soften them. 🙂

  • Hi there! Used to live in Fl and could get Ba-Tampte at Publix, and also Schorr’s half sours made in Ft Lauderdale, I think. We live in Ohio now, and miss the heck out of good half sours.
    I am going to try your wonderful recipe, I am sure you have perfected it! Was able to purchase a jar this past weekend of the Schorr pickles from a shop in Frankenmuth, Mi. So, now I am all excited to try yours! Thank you, Pamela!!

  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have made it several times and the results are delicious. We occasionally have ‘family reuben night’ with our neighbors and these were a big hit. I make one large jar at a time and so we finish them quickly BUT can you tell me how you store them for a week or so. They get a little too salty when stored in the sea salt water.


    • Hey Elena, I find they only get too salty if they’re cut up so their flesh touches the water. If left whole, I never have a issue of becoming too salty. I don’t do anything special for storage, I just keep in the jar in the refrigerator. Thanks for commenting to let me know you enjoy these pickles for family reuben night – sounds like a fun (delicious!) time!

  • I tried these and think they were great. and my kids loved them. We haven’t have enough room in the frige to store a whole lot. Can you can them so as to store them long term. I am sure they wont be as crunchy but better than none at all. Have you ever canned any.

    • Hey Steve, I haven’t canned these so can’t help you there. A few people have commented that they’ve had success canning these pickles though! If you give it a shot, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  • Am I correct in understanding that you do not let these pickles ferment on the counter for a few days before refrigerating them?

  • OMG I have been longing for these since leaving NYC 16 years ago, and this recipe is sheer perfection! Our cucumber plant can’t pop out cukes fast enough! I may need to plant 2 of them next year to keep up with us!

  • I have made these and they are fantastic! Im trying something new boiling the pickling spice before jaring to get a little more flavor from the spices.

  • I stopped looking for the best recipe after I tried this one! Fabulous! Thank you!!

    When pickles are done, what kind of solution do you put them in to stop the pickling process?
    Thank you!!

    • Hey Ken, happy to hear you like these pickles! I keep the pickles in the jar as recipe calls for, I don’t switch them or do anything differently. Enjoy!

    • Hey James, do you mean it turned brown immediately when adding the spices? If so, it’s because of the spices. My brine never really turns brown (check out the photos) but it could just be a spice that’s doing it for you.

  • hi, just bought all the ingredients ..this recipe looks delicious..just realized i have quart mason jars..can i just divide everything in half

    • Hey Judy, absolutely, many people have done this above in the comments. Just split everything between the 2 jars. Enjoy the pickles!

  • Hi there! these look yummy! I was wondering if you can add other veggies to the mix to pickle? Im looking for guidance on green beans in particular. would you have to cook them at all first? Thanks!

    • Brie, you can pickle any vegetable you want. Right now, I have carrots and cabbage stewing together on the counter for sauerkraut. Don’t cook anything, just rinse them with spring water or filtered tap water. The chlorine in most tap water will kill off too many of the beneficial bacteria you want, so avoid straight-up tap.

      Taste your veggies throughout the process so you can keep an eye out for the flavor you’re going for. I’ve never pickled a green bean so I don’t know how long it’ll take, but it shouldn’t be more than a week I guess.

  • So if you were aiming for a store bought pickle which do you think this best imitates: Klaussen, Bataumpte, Aldi’s or my favorite Nathan’s ? Don’t really like those barrel pickles too soft.


    • Hey Dave, some readers above have said they rival their favorite Ba-Tampte Pickles! These are SO MUCH BETTER than a Claussen! Hope you give them a shot!

  • Am an East Coast guy who was introduced to Ba-Tampte half-sour pickles in Bradenton Florida a few years ago. What a great, fresh cucumber/pickle taste! Moved to Oregon and can’t find half-sours, csn’t find Muffalata, can’t find Yuengling beer, etc!! So, today, April 7th 2018, I Googled half-sour and found you. I am going to go out this week and buy everything I need to try your recipe! Thanks!

  • It was like the four days before Christmas, waiting to taste these pickles, but it ended up being like Santa brought just what I asked for!!! So good, re-created that authentic taste that I was looking for but could not find in any commercial product, even the Kosher brands in the refrigerated section of the deli.

    Thanks, will be making these from now on. Better star the next batch right now.

  • Many trips to NYC since I was 5 years old. Always eating HALF SOURS. The addiction continues! If all of y’all think you are out of Half Sour range try living in SE Alabama. I recently got so desperate I call Zabars in The City and ordered 4 jars of Half Sours. They were to de delivered overnight. Finally showed up 5 days later. Still delicious. Consumed in no time, but, they charged me $72 to ship. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon. I am soooo excited to try this recipe. Will follow to the letter. Thanks so much!!!

  • This may have already been mentioned in comments, but what you’ve done here is basically made pickles the good old fashioned way, which is by fermenting them in a salt brine solution. I always wondered why the refrigerator pickles my grandfather made, tasty tho they were, never had ‘that’ flavor or crunch. It was because he was pickling them in hot vinegar, essentially cooking the cukes & removing any real crispness. Then I remembered the jar pickles we’d get on Lawn Guyland from places like Schorr’s in Farmingdale, or any deli, with that salty kerrunch and fizzy soda-like interior…these were fermented (or barrel) pickles. Now that I’m all growed up & have a kimchi fermenter from the Asian market, I also use this for the newly -growing Kirbys taking over my garden like Triffids. Your recipe for half-sours looks great, I plan to try it soon as a few more cukes mature, tho I will make up the salt brine & spices & keep em submerged in it in the plastic tub fermenter on the counter at room temp, along with a grape leaf for tannin crispness…will see how it goes…thanks for the recipe!

  • Is it necessary to use a glass bell jar or I can I use the plastic container that you get from takeout delis?

      • Pamela, Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m from NYC but have not been home since 9/11. I just can’t bring myself to do it. My favorite restaurant was always Carnegie Deli and they would always place a bowl of pickles on the table. The bright green half sours were the best and these transport me back in time and taste and now that Carnegie Deli is gone I very saddened but happy to find your recipe. So thanks again for sharing and making this NYC native happy!!! Take care and good cooking.

  • I’ve been searching for a recipe like this :). You prefer the sea salt over pickling salt? Any specific brand? When dissolving, I’m assuming you boil the water and wait for it to totally cool before you add? Can’t wait to make these babies!!! THANK YOU!

    • Hey Mark, no I don’t boil the water. The salt will dissolve in the water with a little stirring. I prefer regular sea salt, whatever brand I have on hand! Enjoy the pickles!

  • Can these be kept longer to become full sour pickles or is that a different recipe? Is it necessary to use a glass bell jar or I can I use the plastic container that you get from takeout delis?

    • Hey Joel, you can use a different container if you’d like. Some readers in above comments have said if they keep them in the refrigerator longer they will turn into full sours. I hope you give this recipe a shot!

  • OMG! Made these on a Sunday night & brought to a girls’ weekend at the beach the following Friday – they were such a HIT! The easiest and tastiest half sour pickles since the barrel pickle days! I highly recommend this recipe! You will NEVER go back to store bought pickles again!

    • Hey Laura, thank you so much for commenting! I’m so happy all the girls liked them! Hope you keep on enjoying these pickles!

  • Pamela,

    I have been making my own Half Sours for years, always checking recipes before I start. This looks like it will be the best. growing my own cakes and will have enough in a day or two. How do you keep them, should you wish to make an extra batch or two? Always have to be refrigerated?



    • Hey Chuck, definitely keep them in the refrigerator. My bottom shelf is usually filled with jars of these pickles! Hah. Enjoy!

  • Do you use coarse sea salt or fine sea salt? What would the equivalent measure be for fine kosher salt?
    How long can a sealed jar stay fresh in the fridge before getting too strong a flavor or even spoil?

    • I use fine sea salt. I prefer to eat them within a few weeks but I’ve kept them for over a month and they’ve stayed crunchy and fresh. Enjoy the pickles!

  • Hi Pam, This year we invested in patio planters instead of the garden patch on the side of our garage. I can’t believe the yield. We’re over run with cucumbers and tomatoes.
    I read and reread your recipe and can’t believe it doesn’t require scalding the cucumbers and spices with boiled water and salt. Literally every recipe I have tried requires boiling the water which eventually results in a mushy pickle; the kind you can find in the mustard and ketchup isle of your grocery store.
    Thank You Pam. I can hardly wait to try your recipe.

  • Half-sour pickles are traditionally made without vinegar and are fermented at room temperature for a few days and then refrigerated. The absence of vinegar is no surprise. But how are these “half-sour” if they are not fermented?

    • Hey Keri, I would keep the pickles whole for this recipe as it will prevent them from becoming mushy quicker. Hope this helps!

  • Throughout your comments you are referring to the recipe as it is for 1/2 gallon of water, however, the list of ingredients is calling for 6 cups of water. (8cups = 1/2gal=2quarts) So, that’s May be why some people are getting salty picks than they would like! Just making my first batch per your recipe!

  • I’ve been making these half sour pickles for several weeks so far and they have been amazing, everyone who tastes them loves them.

    I tried leaving one batch in the refrigerator for 6 weeks to see if they would turn into fully sour pickles, but instead they tasted like half sour pickles that spoiled. For now I’m sticking with making half sour, but if anyone has a good recipe for full sour pickles, I’m open to suggestions.

    • Hey Brian, it’s hard for me to say if they’re good or not. 3 months should be fine if they were kept sealed and covered. If the brine is not cloudy, and there’s no weird smell, I’d say try crunching into one.

  • I have been infatuated with these pickles since I was a child.
    I just made a ton of them and they taste exactly how I was hoping they would. Thanks so much!

  • arggghhhh…my pickles looked good, but they tasted awful. Bitter. I used Kirby’s from the local farm stand and used a crock I was given for Christmas. What went wrong??

    • Hey Lenny, sometimes the pickles can taste bitter if you’re using old spices and seasonings. I hope you give them another shot!

  • OMG this recipe is great just as-is. Add the salt to the water, not to the pickles. I’ve experimented a bit and found that the flavor is amped if you pass a skewer through the cuke, end to end, add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper to your mix and leave them in the fridge for about 4 weeks….give the jar a shake very other day. They emerge crunchy/spicy/amazing!

    • Hey Jose, thanks for the comment – I’m so happy to hear you love these half sour pickles! I love the addition of the crushed red pepper to the mix!

  • Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve been wanting to make my own pickles at home for ages. Definitely trying this one at home.

  • Hi Pamela, you said to add additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf at the end. Can you please give amounts? Also, how many dill sprigs? Thanks

  • I just tried your half sour pickle recipe after 5 days. They are absolutely great! Do you have homemade pancake recipe?


  • These were SO easy and delicious too!
    I sliced mine and they worked just fine, they were salty but that’s to be expected. I might try the next batch with less salt, or maybe whole is the way to go. I flipped my jar over in the fridge every 12 hours because the little suckers kept trying to float to the top.
    If you’re looking for “east coast” fresh pickles these are the way to go!

  • Hi Pamela,
    OMG! Your half-sour pickles are awesome! I spend the summers in a small town in Mississippi and love to purchase the fresh produce from the neighboring farms. Actually, there is an Amish community nearby that I frequently visit. To try your recipe, I purchased 3 lbs of pickles that were just picked off the vine that morning! Talk about fresh! I was munching on them on my way home! I also bought fresh garlic and dill weed as well. When I’m back in Florida, I love going to the Kosher delis which was where I was first introduced to half-sour pickles! I tried your e-z recipe and couldn’t wait the 4-days…I started knoshing on them the next day! The crunch and salty/garlicky/dill flavor brought me back to years gone by at Wolfie’s on South Beach! I’ll also look to see if you have a recipe on half-sour green tomatoes and okra! Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • Hey Dr. Tom – thanks so much for the comment, it made my day reading about your pickling adventure! I love a good fresh cucumber that you can snack on! Stay tuned for my green tomatoes recipe – that’s coming soon!

      • Hi Pamela,
        I wanted to let you know that I tried the same half-sour pickle recipe with fresh okra and green tomatoes. OMG! They were excellent! Several of the family members don’t like okra and complain they’re turned off by the “slimy” texture. With your half-sour recipe, the okra came out crispy and crunchy. No slime whatsoever! Everyone loves okra now! I need to hide a jar in the fridge for myself because they disappear quickly! The green tomatoes weren’t as popular, but I still enjoy them myself! Today, we’re going back to the Amish farms to buy some fresh picked tomatoes. I’m going to try your salsa recipe. Thanks Pamela! Hope you’re enjoying your summer!
        Dr. Tom

        • Thank you so much for this comment Tom! Looks like I’ll need to get that okra recipe up on the blog before Summer’s end! I hope you like the salsa – it’s our absolute favorite! I take it to every friends gathering during the Summer and the bowl is always licked clean! 😛

  • I grew up in NYC in a Jewish family, so to me “half sour” is the only real pickle. My father would send me to the store for them.

    I live in New England now and I am definitely going to try to make these, but I have one question: When you say “For a crunchy pickle add 1/4 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp Granules at the end” … at the end of which step? I am assuming around step six when you’re adding the dill. Thanks!

    • Hey Barbara, that’s right! Add them when you add the dill and additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf. Hope you like them, they’re my family’s favorite! Even my 2 year old daughter can’t get enough! 🙂

  • Do you have you to use the ball park pickles for this recipe to ensure a crunchy pickle? I have been searching recipes for the best half sour pickle. also do you know what’s the difference between curing it on the counter lightly covered versus in the fridge covered?

    • Hey Jacqueline, I’ve made the pickles with and without Ball Pickle Crisp. Both of them came out great, but I recommend the Ball Pickle Crisp for keeping the pickles crunchy. For this specific recipe, please follow the directions for keeping them in the fridge. Enjoy the pickles, I think you’ll like them!

  • Hi, made a similar recipe but directions said to put them directly in refrigerator to ferment for 10 days. It’s been 12 days & they haven’t fermented, nor are they salty as we’d like them to be (we like a 3/4 sour ☺). Crunch is great because of pickle crisp I used. Would you suggest adding a little more salt & just let them continue to sit in refrigerator? Made 1 1/2 gallons (3 2-at jars).


  • They taste exactly like Rhein’s Deli half-sour pickles. Rhein’s is just outside of Hartford, CT. My wife used to demand that I stop at Rhein’s and pick up a bucket of their half-sours when I traveled to New England from PA. Until now, they were the best pickles I ever had. No more. We will never buy store bought again. What a surprise! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • Just made a jar from farm stand picklers. Trying grape leaves on bottom of jar; theory says “holds the crunch!”
    Best recipe ever…

  • Hi Pamala, Excellent recipe! I have made about 10 batches so far. Hardest part is finding good pickling pickles in the winter. Summer game on. Bought 64 oz canning jars. they hold 2 lbs of pickles from Amazon. Makes it easy to judge how many you need if you are buying pickles.
    Ball 64 ounce Jar, Wide Mouth, Set of 2
    Sold by: Court House Supplies

  • Hallelujah! My childhood pickle flavor of Ba-Tampte can be made at home! Thank you! This recipe is the ticket. I tried the crunch additive in one batch and no one in my family liked the flavor result. It was different.

    Think this recipe would be good for garlic scapes?

    • Hey Joan, you can def add some garlic scapes to a jar. For a more rich flavor, try roasting the scapes prior. Enjoy!

      • Interesting! Thanks, Pamela. I meant pickling scapes themselves vs adding to the pickle jar, although that’s an idea. I’ll just do it and see what happens. I want to avoid vinegar this time around.

  • Had half sours at a steak house when out of town… and fell in love. Knew there was an easier way than traveling 700 miles. Found your recipe and it is easy and delicious! Even my 16 yo loves them. We have a bottle in the fridge all the time now.

    • Personally I reuse once and find it perfect for another batch of pickles! After that it becomes more cloudy and the seasonings and taste begin to fall off. Hope this helps!

  • Found this recipe too late last year, but just made a batch last Tuesday. The biggest obstacle was finding the 2qt jars–nothing local (not even when promised…) so got them on Amazon. Tried one yesterday–not quite ready. But TODAY! Boy was it good! Just like I remember getting in Back Bay Boston over 40 years ago! These are marvelous. Looking forward to making another batch in a week or so.

    • Hey Roger, I’m so happy to hear these taste just like the ones you had over 40 years ago! Keep on enjoying! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • Have not seen any recent posts on here but this half sour pickle recipe is spot on. Only thing i did different is used ground coriander, mustard, and black pepper. Added some whole at the end. These are awesome!!! Thanks…

    • You can reuse once for another batch of pickles! After that it becomes more cloudy and the seasonings and taste begin to fall off. Hope this helps!

  • I love these pickles! Second summer making them. Question: how many times can you reuse the salt water and spices for a new batch of pickles? Thanks! Karen

  • Was poking around looking for a half-sour recipe, since I haven’t made them in a long time, found this delightful recipe and blog. As a former NYorker myself, when I think about what I miss my mind immediately goes to Katz’s and the big pickle barrels you used to find outside the little groceries in the neighboring streets, especially around Roosevelt Park (wonder if they are still there?) Appreciate it!

  • First had these at a restaurant in Aurora Colorado. Almost ate the entire bowl. Am planning to make for home but have a question. Is the water/salt liquid cold or hot? Can not wait for these to be done so I can share with friends, family, etc. Thanks so much for your research that created this recipe!!

  • Hi Pamela…these are amazing. Tastes delicious and nice and crunchy.
    Only one problem. The brine is so cloudy. Doesn’t look like the fermented pickles I see in pictures. Followed your recipe. Help.

    • Hey Susan, glad to hear you like the pickle recipe! You can slice the pickles, but they do taste saltier since the flesh sits in the brine. If you’re only going to keep them in the fridge for a few days or a week, they’ll be fine. Hope this helps!

  • This is exactly how my grandmother made her pickles in the 50’s, only she sat hers on the concrete ledge around their cistern where they remained for 6 weeks, getting rotated a quarter turn every other day. She made mostly quarts (but also a few pints), and I could easily polish off a full quart of these unbelievably good pickles in one sitting. YUM!!

  • This is the BEST basic half sour pickle recipe ever!! Thank you! I have played around with the spices a bit, but this guide and recipe is definitely the way to go. <3

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