How to Make Half Sour Pickles

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 quart jar or bowl

  • 1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt

  • 1 tbsp. pickling spices

  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • Pickling cucumbers

  • 3 cups water

Half-sour pickles are deli staples.

If you've ever craved one of those super-crisp N.Y. deli half-sour pickles but couldn't get to the deli, don't worry. You can get your pickle fix by making your own half-sour pickles at home. If you are unfamiliar with half-sour pickles, these are cucumbers that stay in the brine for a shorter period of time than full-sour pickles, allowing them to them retain their bright green color and their crisp texture.


Step 1

Put the salt into a bowl. Add 3 cups of water and mix until the salt is dissolved.

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Step 2

Place washed cucumbers into the jar. Add the garlic and spices.

Step 3

Pour the salt-water mixture into the jar to a level that covers the cucumbers. Add more water if needed. If the cucumbers float to the top of the jar, weigh them down with a clean glass or bowl. They must be covered by the water because any that are exposed will rot.

Step 4

Cover the jar loosely with a paper towel. Do not seal the jar. Let the jar sit out on the counter for three to four days. Look for little bubbles forming, as this means your half-sour pickles are fermenting and the recipe is going well.

Step 5

Move the pickles to the refrigerator and chill. Consume your half-sour pickles within two or three weeks.


Pickling cucumbers are different than salad cucumbers. Most supermarkets carry them in the summer. Use pickling salt or kosher salt rather than table salt because table salt has additives that are not desirable in the pickling process.


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