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Claussen-like Deli Pickles

I love pickles. Sweet, spicy, salty, or sour, I'm a fan of them all. My daughters and wife — not so much. But I have found that my daughters will eat Claussen refrigerated pickles: the brine is more salty and sour, and the flavor is a rounded mélange containing garlic and onion over the usual dill. What follows is my own pickling brine recipe that mimics the Claussen flavor pretty closely.


  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 50 g fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp dried chopped onion
  • ½ tsp whole mustard seed
  • ½ tsp whole peppercorns
  • ½ tsp whole allspice berries
  • ¼ tsp whole celery seed
  • ½ tsp whole dill seed
  • 2 small cloves garlic, chopped

Bread-and-butter variant:

  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 60 g granulated white sugar

Stir together the water, vinegar, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to simmer until reduced by about half.

Add enough cold water to dillute to 3 cups of brine. Please note: the brine at this stage (around 4% concentration) may taste a bit too salty to you. This is appropriate, since the pickling process in this case involves bringing a bunch of water-logged cucumbers to equilibrium with the brine. So while the brine may start out salty, it won't stay that way.

Pack prepared (scrubbed, trimmed) pickling cucumbers in a canning jar and pour the brine over them. Add some of the solids from the brine, enough to cover the bottom of the jar. Lid and refrigerate, inverting the jar a few times every few days. Pickles should be ready after about 1 month.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday July 24, 2017
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