Deep-fried dill pickles

  • makes 4 x 500ml jars
  • A little effort

Deep-fried dill pickles are the perfect snack to serve alongside a beer with a ranch dip, or a burger. They're a little effort but so worth it


*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards



  • firm ridged cucumbers 6-8 or baby cucumbers 12-16
  • spirit or distilled malt vinegar 500ml
  • sea salt flakes 3 tbsp
  • golden caster sugar 1 tbsp
  • bay leaves 4
  • chilli flakes 2 tsp
  • dill seeds or yellow mustard seeds 2 tbsp
  • dill a bunch, large stalks removed
  • garlic 4 cloves, peeled
  • ranch dip (optional, to serve)
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • cayenne pepper a pinch
  • fine cornmeal 100g
  • buttermilk 100ml


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Wash and dry the cucumbers. Trim the ends, and cut into wedges or coins depending on how big the cucumbers and jars are.

  • Step 2

    Wash Kilner or jam jars in hot soapy water, rinse, then sterilise in the oven for 10 minutes until dry. Soak the lids and seals in boiling water to sterilise.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile heat the vinegar, 500ml water, sea salt flakes, sugar, bay leaves, chilli and seeds. Bring to a boil. Put a few sprigs of dill and a garlic clove into each hot jar. Pack in the cucumber pieces. Pour over the pickling liquid, dividing the spices between each jar. Make sure that the jars and the pickling liquid are hot to prevent the glass cracking, and fill each jar to the top, leaving only a 1cm gap before screwing on the lid.

  • Step 4

    Leave the pickles for at least 1 week before opening. Once open, they should be kept in the fridge and used within 2 weeks.

  • Step 5

    To deep fry, heat a pan of oil no more than 1/3 full to 180C or until a cube of bread turns brown in 30 seconds. Drain the pickles and pat with kitchen paper. Mix the cayenne with the cornmeal. Dip the pickles into the buttermilk, then drench in the cornmeal. Deep-fry, in batches, for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, and serve alongside ranch dip and a burger (not if you’re gluten-free).

    Cook’s notes

    Ridged or Lebanese cucumbers work best for pickling as they are firmer, but regular ones work fine, just use very firm cucumbers otherwise the pickles will be soft after preserving. You can also use baby cucumbers for this recipe, just trim both ends and halve them before adding to the jars.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 81
  • Saturates 0.4g
  • Carbs 6.6g
  • Sugars 1.7g
  • Fibre 1g
  • Protein 1.3g
  • Salt 0.2g