Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fire 'n Ice Pickles

Not a pickling recipe, but a fun way to dress up some plain dill pickles with some sweet and spicy flavor. Super easy and if you prefer them on the milder side simply eliminate the jalapeno and red pepper flakes.

Fire 'n Ice Pickles

Fire and Ice Pickles are not a true pickling recipe, so no scoffing at me okay y'all? It's just a yummy way to dress up a jar of plain ole, cheapo, boring sour dills into a pickle that has fire and ice flavor, with a combination we southerners seem to be endeared to - sweet and spicy. We have a tendency to turn a sour thing into somethin' sweet down here, don't y'all know? Yes, that can also mean personalities. It's kinda hard to frown when you get around these thick accents we have.

Seriously, Fire 'n Ice pickles kinda sorta remind me of those Alabama Wickles pickles that I have gotten addicted fallen in love with here lately, only much more accessible if you don't happen to live in the state of Alabama, and certainly much cheaper less expensive. And, get this ... the Fire 'n Ice Pickles aren't difficult at all to do - it just takes a couple of days to transform them from sour to sassy. These are perfect for simple snackin' or to put on your favorite burger, sandwich or in salads.  At least now I have something to fill in with in between my Wickles Pickles fixes.

Start off with a large jar of plain, whole dill pickles, the big one that is around 46 ounces, and then slice the pickles about 1/4 to 1/2 inch or so, depending on how you like them.  You can use the pre-sliced pickles too of course, but go for the thicker sliced ones instead of the thin chips. Do not, however, get the kosher dills. While some brands may work, generally speaking kosher dills don't react well to this process and will often turn into a shriveled mess. I once tried the large jar of Great Value dill pickles and they reacted the same way even though they were not marked kosher, so just a caution there. I actually like to do two large jars when I do these. I used Vlasic brand here.

You can mix everything together right away, but I prefer to layer all of the ingredients for the first soak. That way, as the sugar begins to draw out the juices from the pickles, all of the seasonings slowly infuse into the pickles, instead of everything sinking to the bottom.  Use a large glass bowl, container or jar - I use an old sun tea gallon jar for mine. Divide the sliced pickles into 4 equal parts.  The first layer will be 1/4 of the sliced pickles (not 1/4 cup, 1/4 of the total pickles you have). Top that with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 garlic clove that is either chopped or very thinly sliced, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped pickled jalapeno and, if you like, add 1/2 teaspoon of a pickling spice blend.

Repeat all of the layers, top off with the remaining sugar, then seal the jar and leave it on the counter for an hour or until the sugars have broken down and liquified.  Stir well, cover and leave out several hours or overnight. Give the pickles another good stir, stick them in the refrigerator, and except for a stir every once in awhile, ignore them for a couple of days.

After that you'll have a super delicious, crunchy, spicy, garlicky, sweet dill pickle. Crazy huh?

You can of course use more or less garlic, jalapenos, and red pepper flakes, according to your own taste.

Recipe: Fire 'n Ice Pickles

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Inactive time: 3 hours to overnight

  • 1 large (46 ounce) jar whole sour dill pickles, about 6 cups sliced (not kosher dill)
  • 2-1/2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or thinly sliced and divided
  • 2 teaspoons of pickled jalapeno, chopped, or to taste, can also substitute fresh jalapeno peppers if desired
  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of pickling spice, divided, optional (recipe below)

Drain the pickles and discard juice but reserve the jar. Slice the pickles into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and divide into four equal parts. 

Begin layering into a larger jar, bowl or container, starting with one-fourth of the pickles - in my case it was roughly a 1-1/2 cup measure of pickles per layer. Top the pickles with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 clove of garlic sliced or chopped, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped jalapeno, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pickling spice, if using, dropping a clove in between the layers. Continue repeating the layers, pouring all of the remaining sugar on top.

Cover jar and store on the counter for about an hour, or until the sugar begins to liquify.  Stir or simply shake to mix the pickles well, and pull any undissolved sugar up from the bottom.  Cover and leave on the counter for several more hours, or overnight. Stir and refrigerate 1 to 2 additional days. If desired, transfer the pickles with their juices back into the original or other smaller jars and store in the refrigerator. Avoid consuming the whole pickling spices.

Use for snacking, in sandwiches and burgers, in potato and pasta salads, or wherever you would usually eat pickles!

Cook's Note: To keep these on the mild site, simply eliminate the jalapeno and red pepper flakes. Use a large jar (around 46 ounces) of plain, whole, sour dill pickles and slice them 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick for best results. Don't use kosher dills. They don't react well to this process and just turn into a shriveled mess. Be cautious about generics. I used the large jar of Great Value dill pickles and they shriveled on me even though they were not marked kosher. Okay to substitute Splenda for the sugar.

Homemade Pickling Spice
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
  • 1 tablespoon of whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves, optional
  • 1 small bay leaf, crushed
Combine ingredients. Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mixture per layer.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on June 10, 2010
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  1. I've never had these! They sound wonderful though. I love all things pickled.

  2. Oh my god....I must make these!!! I must make these today!!!! I'm so excited!!!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?

  3. I love pickles, any which way you slice, dice or pickle them!! THis is on the agenda now for the weekend!

    1. I add a couple of onions sliced to mine. So yummy.

  4. I'll have to try this soon! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post with us!

  5. No kitchen, especially a southern kitchen, should be without these pickles. They go with everything--even Devil's Food cake (yes, they do!). I think these pickles will also make a nice little gift for friends with good taste. Thanks!


  6. As a southern boy from Alabama... I must say the Wickles are hands down my favorite pickles. So a more cost effective solution, is so very nice to have, to feed ADDICTION is very much appreciated.


  7. I know this is a really dumb question but.... will Splenda substitute for the sugar???? I LOVE pickles & really want to try this recipe but am on restricted carb diet. Any suggestions??

  8. Pam they're great!
    Alex, let me know what you think of them.
    I'm with ya Annie!
    You're welcome Catherine - enjoy!
    Bev, they really are!!
    Bonnie, they are definitely a southern thang aren't they?
    Michael, welcome! Those Wickles are awesome.
    Fishnet, well, I have to confess I don't have a clue how Splenda would react. You could take a couple of pickles and try it on a small scale to see I guess before investing that much Splenda into them. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

  9. This is a technique that I think is wonderful to have at hand. Is refrigeration required? Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Okay, I seriously need a pickle now!

  11. Thanks for letting me know about refrigeration. Mary

  12. Yep, I'm going to have to make these little devils. They would be great on a burger.

  13. These sound great, I may have to give them a try for a BBQ this summer!
    Happy SITS Saturday :)

  14. Ohhh these sound so good!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Oh these look fantastic and would be amazing on a burger or a grilled chicken sandwich! MMM!

  16. i tried them with splenda & they tasted good. i didn't use as much peppers in mine:)i used a little less splenda than recipe called for the also on a low carb diet and wanted to try it and my friends a diabetic and loved them:)good luck! monica

  17. Can't wait to make these! A few questions though: fresh or pickled jalapenos...where's the extra 1/2C sugar go if it's 1/2C per layer...and I didn't see anything in the pickling spice recipe about a cinnamon stick?

  18. Oldnavycook - sorry I'll go back and clarify the recipe a bit better. Nothing is written in stone here so make adjustments as you like. I like it much better with pickled jalapenos but have used both. On the sugar, it's 1/2 cup in the layering and all the remaining sugar at the end on the top. I ended up taking out the cinnamon stick because it was awkward using it with the layers and didn't seem to add much anyway. Originally I used to break it up into pieces and put a piece in each layer. Just leave it out.

  19. These are great! Thank you for such an amazing and easy recipe. I am the only one in my house who likes pickles so I might need to find a friend to help me eat them, lol!
    Your site is so amazing! I pretty much have every recipe bookmarked. ;)

  20. Hi Rachel and welcome!! I'm the only pickle eater in my house too, but besides adding them to salads & sandwiches, I like to snack on them too, so even still I can go through these pretty quick, especially in the summer. Thanks so much for your sweet comment & for taking the time to write - I appreciate that & hope that you continue to enjoy the site!

  21. I started these pickles on Saturday afternoon. Couldn't wait any longer so I had some with my sandwich this evening. They are soooooooooo good. I'll be making them again and again. BTW I made them with Splenda and it worked just well.

  22. Oh thanks so much! I'm happy to hear that the Splenda worked well - I'll add that to the recipe. Thanks again!!

  23. We love Wickles so I can't wait to try these! Also love your Fire & Ice Coleslaw!

  24. Well, nothing can compare to Wickles but these can act as a fill in.

  25. these are so awesome, I love to use them in potato salad!

  26. I make these too, but ironically, I DO use the Kosher dills! Vlasic is the only brand I've had luck with. Friends and family always look to me for pickles! I try to keep at least 1 or 2 jars in the fridge, just in case we have an impromptu gathering! Try them in tuna salad and deviled eggs....yum! Thanks for your blog....I love it and have it bookmarked on my home page!

  27. Oh, that's good to know Diane because I've only ever done these with the cheapo pickles & most of those just will not work. Thanks! And thanks for being a reader too!

  28. Love me some Wickles so I can't wait to try these!

  29. Mary, I make a recipe that actually calls for Kosher Dills, but only Vlasic! I tried Great Value once and what a flop, so now I only use Vlasic Kosher. I drain off half the juice, slice them as you do, add 3 cups of sugar, red pepper, and garlic. You are supposed to turn them over every 24 hours for 5 days, but we can never wait that long! Very crisp pickles, they are!! I have seen a recipe somewhere that calls for a gallon jar of sliced dills, but I've never been brave enough to try it! I have never tried Wickles, but I did see that Publix, in Nashville carries them. Thank you again for an awesome site with wonderful recipes. I still try your recipes almost daily and have NEVER been disappointed.

    1. Thank you Diane! I don't know what it is about the other brands of kosher but they sure don't work. Odd huh?

  30. May be a silly question, but why can't you use the original jar the pickles come in? I'm assuming it's too much liquid but don't really have a larger jar to use and wondering if I can just use the pickle jar to mix everything in.

    1. Not silly at all! You can, but you'll likely need another jar. They pack those whole pickles in pretty tight and once you cut them up and layer them they take up more room, plus you also want a little room for stirring or turning and shaking them around! Hope that you enjoy them!

  31. omitting the sugar and the pickling spice, I think I am going to try this with a bottle of green olives. With out the sugar to liquify, I will add back in the olive juice. :)

  32. I LOVE Wickles but can't find them in the Philly area... I was so happy to see this recipe. Mine turned out great! I only used the pepper flakes - didn't add the jalapeno but it worked out because they aren't too spicy for my kids to eat! Thanks for the chance to get my Wickles fix between my trips to Alabama when I can stock up on the real thing!

  33. So funny, I made mine two days ago and they are so good! But am now reading here not to use Great Value pickles. That's what I used and I didn't have any issues with them. They did shrink a bit but I figured that is normal because the pickling solution draws some of the liquid out of them. But now, I can't wait to make them using other brands because maybe they will be even better - even though I thought mine were yummy already and it's hard to imagine them being better! LOL!

    1. When I used the Great Value regular dills (they weren't marked kosher just dills) they wrinkled up excessively bad. They still tasted good so I got over it :) but I also think the problem with GV pickles is that they are just not consistent with quality is all, so I rather use a name brand I know will be the same every time!

  34. Oooh, this sounds really good! I love Bubbies dill pickles all by themselves, but I really may need to try this sometime!


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