Say hello to delicious small-batch pickles that take just minutes to make. Quick pickles differ from prepared pickles in the way they’re prepared. Prepared pickles (like jarred dill pickles, sauerkraut or kimchi) are brined in a salt solution until they go through a fermentation process, which can take weeks or months, depending on the product. During the fermentation phase, the natural bacteria eats the natural sugars (in the foods) to produce acid, which gives the finished pickles their sour taste.
Quick pickles, on the other hand, are brined in a vinegar and salt mixture, and the thinner you slice the vegetables, the faster they’ll pickle. Depending on the recipe, you may be able to eat them right away, or allow the flavours to deepen in the refrigerator overnight. This method is great for home cooks because it allows you to pickle almost any fresh vegetable (or even fruit). Quick pickles have a shorter shelf life than fermented pickles, so check your specific recipe for storage instructions. Tip: Never use aluminum bowls or utensils when pickling as the acid could react to the metal, and leave the pickles with a metallic taste. It is best to use glass, ceramic or stainless steel equipment. Scroll through the gallery below for some of our favourite quick pickle recipes.