Pickled gherkins

Pickled gherkins
Preparing your own gherkins in vinegar is quite straightforward, if you know how to avoid a few pitfalls. Here's a recipe which works every time.
737K 7 245 3.5
Grade this recipe:

Last modified on: August 21th 2013

Keywords for this recipe:
For 500 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 250 g 500 g 1 kg 1 kg 500 g
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingStart to finish
36 min.4 hours4 hours 36 min.
At what time:
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at ... ?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at ... ?
  • Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #1
Wash the 500 g fresh gherkins thoroughly.

Stage 2 - 10 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #2
Brush each gherkin under running water to remove all the little "bristles" and give it a smooth surface.

Stage 3
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #3
If you don't have a suitable brush, or if you prefer, you can use my grandmother Jeanne's method: rub them with the corner of a tea-towel.

Stage 4 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #4
Cut off any remaining stalks from the gherkins.

Stage 5 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #5
Rinse again, then dry with a tea-towel.

Stage 6 - 3 hours
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #6
Put the gherkins in a bowl with 300 g coarse salt for 3 hours to draw off some of the juice.

Note: contarary to popular belief, there is no need to soak them any longer than this, as they will start to dry out.

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #7
After this time, discard the salty water and rinse the gherkins...

Stage 8 - 1 hour
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #8
...and soak them for 1 hour in a bowl of cold water. We do this so that the gherkins will not be too salty.

After one hour, drain the gherkins and dry them on a tea-towel.

Stage 9 - 1 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #9
Pour 1 sprig tarragon and a few peppercorns into the bottom of the jar you are going to use.

Stage 10 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins : Photo of step #10
Fill the jar with gherkins and cover with cold white vinegar (there's no need to boil or even heat it).

Seal the lid and leave to mature for a month before eating.
You can use a different vinegar if you prefer, but if you do not use white vinegar, your gherkins may take on an unusual colour.
Several months.
According to the lady on the market who sold me gherkins.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
69 Kcal or 289 Kj6 gr12 gr0 gr
3 %2 %1 %0 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
6 Kcal or 25 Kj1 gr1 gr0 gr
0 %<1 %<1 %0 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Sulfites
How much will it cost?
  • For 500 g : 3.36 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
White (spirit) vinegarWhite (spirit) vinegar: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Provençal remoulade sauce, How to prepare cabbage, How to prepare corn salad, Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée), How to prepare a lettuce, ... All
Coarse saltCoarse salt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Mackerel rillettes, Preserved lemons, Stock-pot fish , Salmon marinated like herring, Foie gras cured in salt, ... All
TarragonTarragon: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Béarnaise sauce, Pork roast with herbs, Broad bean salad with Parmesan, Hot sesame-cream chicken tartines, Chicken breasts with tarragon, ... All
Other recipes you may also like
Natural leaven
Natural leaven
Leaven is a natural raising agent, a fermented mixture of water, flour and the microscopic yeasts which are present in the air. It's a delicate living substance, sensitive to the external environment. The recipe is around 4000 years old and dates back to the Egypt of the Pharaohs, via a beautiful...
1.7M 284.0 7 days 15 min. April 3rd 2020
Pâté de campagne
Pâté de campagne
Here is a personal version of the famous country pâté. It's an interesting recipe to prepare in large quantities because it keeps well and freezes easily. The secret of a good pâté is of course the ingredients, but also how it is cooked.
2.0M 23.7 7 hours 54 min. October 3rd 2019
Classic italian recipe (the name means "pull me up" or more poetically, "take me up to the sky"). It's similar to a charlotte in its structure: layers of flavoured biscuits between layers of smooth cream.
471K5 49 min. July 27th 2013
Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream)
Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream)
Quite similar to crème anglaise but much thicker. It is used in many pastries like choux pastry (pâte à choux) or millefeuille.
707K 313.9 36 min. January 27th 2017
Blackcurrant coulis
Blackcurrant coulis
Blackcurrants make a very good coulis, but it's a bit more difficult than with other fruits. Here is a simple method to help you succeed.
424K 23.5 25 min. February 21th 2011
News list of cooking-ez.com

Sign up to receive the latest recipes (next batch due to be sent on 2023-06-04)

Your first name or nickname
Your e-mail
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Your 7 comments or questions on this recipe
  • As you read it in the recipe: At your choice, white vinegar => classical gherkins, other vinegars (red wine vinegar for example) gherkins with unusual colour, but still goods.
    Posted by jh august 4th 2017 at 18:28 (n° 7)
  • Your instructions specifically say to use white vinegar, but then right below it u say you can use a different vinegar if we'd like, but don't use white vinegar because it leaves and unusual color....? Which one is it?? White or not white?
    Posted by Julie august 4th 2017 at 16:50 (n° 6)
  • I had been looking for an uncomplicated recipe for pickled gherkins. Great thing here is that it seems the most sensible and gets straight to the point without having to read lots of twaddle!
    Posted by Frederick july 3rd 2015 at 18:48 (n° 5)
  • Sorry, I don't know how to.
    My skill in garden work is close to zero :-(
    Posted by jh january 14th 2015 at 09:19 (n° 4)
  • Thank you for the instructions. I have just bought gherkin seeds for this year's summer, but did not know how to pickle them.
    I am looking forward to harvesting and pickling my own gherkins!
    Posted by Fumiko from Japan january 14th 2015 at 08:37 (n° 3)
  • I always leave them whole, because they are small and don't need to be cut.
    But if you use big one, I think (but not totally sure) that you can cut them in pieces.
    Posted by jh october 20th 2014 at 10:25 (n° 2)
  • Can the gherkins be sliced before putting them into the jar or would you recommend leaving them whole?
    Posted by Kirstie-G october 19th 2014 at 12:48 (n° 1)
Follow this recipe (as 40 people already do)
If you are interested in this recipe, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the recipe is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page