Today we’re making homemade fried pickles! These are crisp breaded dill pickle slices made with no deep fryer required. I’ve also included a simple zesty dipping sauce in the recipe!
Today’s recipe is made with simple ingredients and includes a how-to video at the bottom of the post!
Fried Pickles are our first savory recipe of 2019! And our first fried recipe, at that.
I’ve started to get a bit more comfortable frying things. First I shared my fried donut holes, and last year we did apple fritters and sour cream donuts. These fried pickles are done much the same way with no deep fryer required. All you need is a heavy-bottomed pot (I like using my medium-sized cast iron saucepan), some vegetable oil, and a thermometer.
I started out this recipe trying to mimic fried pickles from one of my favorite restaurants. They have thinly sliced pickles with a very light and thin coating. I tried a few variations and was moving along happily towards thin, barely breaded, fried pickles, when disaster struck.
I found a variation I liked even better. Zach and I both agreed that this thicker, crispier, more prominent batter (paired with a more thickly sliced dill pickle, so as not to overwhelm the taste) was actually even better and more addictive than the fried pickles I’d set out to copy. Here’s hoping you enjoy them just as much!
How to Make Fried Pickles
- Slice your dill pickles. You can start with pre-sliced pickle chips, but I prefer to cut my own from whole kosher dill pickles.
- Heat your oil to 375F (this can take 10 minutes or longer) and make your breading (a simple mix of flour, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and other spices) and dipping mixture
- Toss 3-4 pickle slices in your flour-based breading mixture, shake off the excess, dip in a buttermilk/egg mixture, dip in flour mixture again.
- (Carefully!) transfer to oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil using a strainer or slotted spoon.
- Enjoy warm!
Tips for Making Fried Pickles
The thickness of your pickle slices matters!
I found that the thin pickle slices I originally was going for became overwhelmed by this batter. When I tried them this way, it was kind of just like eating deep fried batter (tasty, but not what we want here!). Slices that were just shy of ¼″ thick provided the perfect amount of pickle. This way you can actually taste the pickle and experience that satisfying pickle crunch in every bite. Any thicker and they became awkward, two-bite snacks.
Use Buttermilk (or my substitute!)
The tangy flavor of the buttermilk is the perfect complement to dill pickles, and I don’t recommend using regular milk if you can avoid it. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use my easy buttermilk substitute, which just requires milk and either a splash of lemon juice or vinegar.
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Dipping Sauce (optional, plain old Ranch dressing also works great for dipping!)
- 2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing
- 1 Tablespoon BBQ sauce
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- Dash tabasco sauce
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Fill a Dutch oven or large saucepan 2-3" deep with oil for frying. Fix a candy thermometer to the edge (make sure it is in the oil but not touching the bottom of the pan) and set your heat to medium. Oil will need to reach 375F (190C) before you can begin frying, but this will take 10 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, prepare your breading mixture by whisking together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg.
- Once oil has reached 375F (190C), prepare pickles for frying in batches of 3-4 slices
- Coat slices in flour mixture, gengly shake off excess, dredge in buttermilk/egg mixture, then coat with flour mixture again.
- Transfer (carefully!) to oil and fry 3-4 pickle slices at a time for 90 seconds on each side or until golden brown.
- Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Make sure oil returns to 375F (190C) before frying your next batch of pickles.
- Fried pickles are best enjoyed warm. If desired, serve with dipping sauce, which can be made by stirring together dipping sauce ingredients until combined.