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How To Pickle Cucumbers

How To Pickle Cucumbers

Craving pickles? Start making this quick pickled cucumbers recipe now and you’ll have crunchy pickles to nosh on in just one hour! Only 10 minutes of prep time required to learn how to pickle cucumbers. This really is the best pickling cucumber recipe. It’s flavorful, quick and easy to make.

You’ll always find jars of these quick pickled cucumbers, along with pickled onions, pickled peaches, pickled banana peppers and pickled peppers recipe, in my refrigerator. Pickled vegetables add so much depth and flavor to our favorite recipes. I love serving these as a side dish to our Korean Beef Bulgogi in addition to our Spicy Cucumber Salad. You can also add them to your favorite sandwiches or salads. 

Ingredients to make pickled cucumbers including a large cucumber, salt, sugar, vinegar and water.

How To Make Pickled Cucumbers

If you’ve been wondering how to pickle cucumbers, you’ve come to the right place. Making them is a breeze. All you need is a few ingredients and 10 minutes.  This doesn’t include the hour of marinating time, however. Here’s the easy steps:

Step 1. Slice the cucumbers as thin and evenly as possible. I recommend using a Mandoline for best results. 

Step 2. Stuff as many sliced cucumbers as possible into a large jar, such as these glass mason jars (16 oz).  Top with the crushed garlic.

Step 3. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, water and red pepper flakes (if using) to a bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Step 4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and marinate for at least an hour to develop the best flavor.

Top down view of a glass mason jar full of sliced cucumbers and smashed garlic cloves to make picked cucumbers.

Recipe Variations


Like sweet pickles? Increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon to add extra sweetness. We do recommend you taste the initial vinegar brine first to get a baseline flavor. 


If you prefer spicy pickles, add extra red pepper flakes, to taste. I’ve been known to add a full tablespoon of red pepper flakes. 


To make Korean Pickled Cucumbers, add in 1/2 Tablespoon of coarse ground gochugaru, 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil and a 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds to the vinegar brine. 

What Are the Best Cucumbers For Pickling?

Kirby, Persian and green cucumbers tend to be best for pickling due to the thicker skin. The thicker skin allows the pickled cucumber to stay crunchy longer after it’s preserved. Try and snag fresh and firm cucumbers, no matter the variety you select. 

These are the same varietals used in Korean Cucumber Salad.

How Long Do Pickled Cucumbers Last?

When property stored, in an airtight container, these cucumbers last up to two months in the refrigerator. Mine never make it past a week. 

What Do You Do With Them Once Done? 

In addition to snacking on them we add them as a side dish to most Asian Recipes. You can also add them to hamburgers, sandwiches or even salads. They’d even make a great garnish on our Mango Michelada or Classic Michelada.

A glass mason jar full of sliced cucumbers and smashed garlic cloves to make picked cucumbers. Wooden cutting board with sliced cucumbers and bowl of sugar and salt in the background.

How to Pickle Cucumbers

You'll be obsessed with these quick pickled cucumbers. They're tangy, sweet and addictive. This is the best recipe to learn how to pickle cucumbers. Other pickled vegetables: Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Daikon and Pickled Peaches.
5 from 60 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cucumber, Pickled Vegetable
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 28kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $2


  • 1 Large Cucumber (*Note 1 & 2)
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar (*Note 3)
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar (*Note 4)
  • 1.5 tsp Sea Salt


  • ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Smashed


  • Slice the cucumber as thin and evenly as possible. I recommend a mandoline to ensure consistency.
  • Stuff as many cucumber slices into a jar as possible. I recommend a sealable glass mason jar (12 oz). Top with the garlic cloves.
  • Add the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes (If using) to a medium size bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Taste and adjust the salt and sugar to your liking.
  • Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers. They should all be covered by the liquid.
  • Marinate for at least an hour before enjoying to maximize flavor.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to two months. (*Note 5)


Note 1: Kirby cucumbers, Persian cucumbers or green cucumbers work best for pickling.
Note 2: If you own a mandoline, now is the time to break it out. You want the slices thin and as even as possible.
Note 3: You could also use distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar in place of the rice wine vinegar. 
Note 4: You can omit the sugar, if you prefer. They final product will just be less "sweet." 
Note 5: The longer the cucumbers stay in the brine, the softer they become. So you'll find they're less crunch on day 7 than day 1 or 2.
Note 6: This recipe has NOT been testing for canning. 


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



Recipe Rating


Saturday 19th of August 2023


I have mini cucumbers rather thinly sliced, will wedges work?

Darcey Olson

Sunday 20th of August 2023



Friday 4th of August 2023

Do you put them in the fridge? I read it a million times but didn't see that?

Darcey Olson

Friday 4th of August 2023

Yes! Stick those bad boys in the refrigerator.


Saturday 22nd of July 2023

Does this recipe work for pickling everything like beans , tomatoes ?

Darcey Olson

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

It does! We usually make a few different things at once using one big batch of brine!


Monday 10th of July 2023

We love your pickles!! Make them once a week

How To Preserve Cucumbers – Power Up Cook

Thursday 5th of May 2022

[…] the pickling process, the salt draws some of the water out of the cucumbers, and the concentrated sugar syrup […]