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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.


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