Homemade Wickles: How to Make Hot, Sweet, Garlic-Butter Pickles - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Homemade Wickles: How to Make Hot, Sweet, Garlic-Butter Pickles

I love sharing unique recipes. Here in the South, we enjoy "wickles."

How to Make Wickles

How to Make Wickles

Anyone who lives in the South can tell you that there's a "wickedly delicious pickle" sold in our stores that is made using a "secret family recipe." While I didn't steal the recipe, I did manage to simulate it at home.

Due to the expense of making the brine (the secret), I have published this recipe to make pickles in bulk (makes a great gift; pickle-lovers will beg for more)! This recipe will yield approximately 24 pint-sized jars, but buy 36 so you can use any extra brine to pickle some okra!

Storing and Serving

  • Store for two weeks, and then test before giving as gifts.
  • Yield: 24 pint-sized jars (Hint: Keep spares handy)

Ingredients

  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • About 5 pounds of cleaned, sliced cucumbers (Look for small, prickly ones without wax. Homegrown or farmer’s market cucs are best. It's easiest to slice these using a mandoline. The cucumber should fill up the 5-gallon bucket about 70% of the way. For me, this was about 40 to 50 cucumbers.)
  • 2 cups pickling salt (Kosher and ionized salts will cloud brine.)
  • 2 tablespoons dried, minced onion
  • 2 tablespoon whole mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoon whole black peppercorn (If you whack these just a bit before you use them, you'll get a much better flavor out of them.)
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric (ground)
  • 2 teaspoons whole clove
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons whole juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons whole dill seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 dried, crumbled bay leaves
  • 4 small, dried hot red peppers, crumbled, seeds and all
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root
  • 9 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 2 small fresh, red hot chili peppers (slit both sides) per jar
Homemade Hot, Garlic, Butter Pickles!

Homemade Hot, Garlic, Butter Pickles!

How to Make Sweet, Hot, and Spicy Garlic-Butter Pickles

Step 1: Prepare the Pickles

You will need the following:

  • About 5 pounds cleaned, sliced cucumbers (small, prickly w/o wax, homegrown or farmer’s market)
  • 2 cups pickling salt (kosher and ionized salts will cloud brine)
  • A 5-gallon bucket

Instructions

  1. Fill 5-gallon bucket about 3/5ths of the way full with sliced cucumbers (a mandoline is a must!), salt, and water. Let sit for 3 hours.
  2. Drain in “batches” (one pot at a time). Do not remove/rinse until ready to pickle/jar.

Step 2: Prepare Pickling Spices

You will need the following:

  • 2 tablespoons dried, minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric (ground)
  • 2 teaspoons whole clove
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons whole juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons whole dill seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 dried, crumbled bay leaves
  • 4 small, dried hot red peppers, crumbled, seeds and all
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root

Instructions

  1. Put cinnamon and ginger root in Ziploc, and pound until broken medium-fine.
  2. Put the other ingredients in a bowl. Stir to mix.
  3. Set aside.

Step 3: Prepare Your Vinegar Infusion

You will need the following:

  • 9 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • Prepared pickling spices

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in stock pot, and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn off heat, and let infuse for 2 hours.
  3. Strain spices from vinegar (run through a colander over stock pot, and then strain again through mesh filter or cheesecloth).
  4. Return to stock pot.
  5. Add 7 cups granulated sugar to infused vinegar.
  6. Dissolve sugar completely in vinegar infusion (no additional heat needed).

Important Notes

  • Divide the Brine: Divide the brine into four equal batches. Section off a small amount to taste once cooled (a little will do; you're only using it as a comparison taste sample).
  • Add Chilis Cautiously: Add hot chili peppers to the first batch of liquid you prepare, and bring back to a simmer. Turn the heat off, and let it steep for two hours (at which point it should be cool enough to taste). If it does not have the "heat" you are looking for, add another pepper and repeat until the brine is just less of what you want. Peppers are added to the jars prior to canning so don't go overboard with hot-peppering the brine. If you do, the pickles will be too hot to eat. At which point, continue as you would below.
  • Smaller Batches Keep Better: The brine will keep better if you attempt smaller batches. This also gives you a chance to sample the heat factor before making pickles with the remaining three portions of brine. It's a great way to add a little, subtract a little, and perfect the pickles to your tastes/preferences.

Step 4: Prepare Jars for Canning

You will need the following:

  • Jars
  • 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 2 small fresh, red hot chili peppers (slit both sides) per jar

Instructions

  1. Boil jars and lids in water for 15 minutes; remove from heat with tongs, and let cool on cooling rack.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and two small, fresh red hot chili peppers (slit both sides) per jar.
  3. Place in bottom of cooled jars.

Step 5: Ready for Pickling

You will need the following:

  • Rinsed cucumbers
  • Prepared vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place one 1/2 pot of cumbers completely submerged in brine over medium heat, and bring to a simmer only (do NOT boil); once semi-soft, remove from heat.
  2. Fill prepared jars with cucumbers using a jarring funnel, and divide liquids evenly in jars to within 1/2 inch of top.
  3. Place lid on jars with rings, and process (place in pot of simmering hot water completely submerged) for 15 minutes.
  4. Lids will “pop” seal when completely cooled.

Variations You Can Try

  • Try a different pepper: Experiment with different peppers to find your favorite. Different peppers are going to taste differently, of course.
  • Use the leftover brine to pickle the okra: Follow the same procedure, but with some okra!

Comments

Perry Fender (author) from www.perryfender.com on October 02, 2016:

I have - I think I made 1/2 okra and 1/2 pickles one summer. The Okra needs an even hotter pepper (with the 4 slits). After coming out of the jar, they're great - but put in a pot of beef soup... they're the bomb!

meloni on July 22, 2016:

Can i make pickled okra with this reciepe??

Enid Dunn on July 29, 2015:

Ball has a wonderful product called Pickle Crisp which is calcium chloride granules which is available on Amazon or at farm stores in the canning section.. Works like a pickle seeder!

My products turn out standing at attention!

sylvia on June 19, 2014:

I have been making pickles for years but have never been successful in getting a crunchy pickle unless i use lime.....are these crunchy?

Chris N Amanda on August 15, 2013:

I made these last night, and after a quick taste test they were great! Can't wait to taste them after the two weeks!

Perry Fender (author) from www.perryfender.com on December 30, 2012:

Anne Marie - you might be able to find the Juniper Berry at World Market or some other gormet shops. It's not something you'll find at your "neighborhood grocery store" since it's not a high demand spice. I skipped the dill as a personal preference - check around for other "butter pickle" recipes to find the proper amount of dill to add to your "personalized" Wickles recipe - post your modifications for others who may enjoy your tweak! Thanks so much ~

Anne Marie on August 11, 2012:

I made the recipe tonight. I had too many cukes for the vinegar infusion. Like previous poster I was confused by reference to brine, as brine to me is the salt water mixture. I'll post when I have had a chance to taste. (PS...I could not get juniper berry, but hopefully it won't be missed too much...PSS...I also noted that the Wickles pickles seem to have dill also infused with the vinegar...) I can't wait!

Saint on July 24, 2012:

Thanks so much for this, I've been looking for a Wickles recipe for ages and have never found anything that came close. LOL I was about to start knocking on doors in Dadeville, AL until I found someone who had the secret! I'll try these as soon as my fall pickles produce.

Perry Fender (author) from www.perryfender.com on July 22, 2012:

Once the vinegar has been infused with spice, the spices strained off, and sugar has been added - that final product is the brine. When you add the cucumbers, do NOT let the brine return to a boil (otherwise you'll get a soggy pickle as a result - the shorter the amount of time the cucumbers spend in heat, the crispier the resulting pickle).

On a side note - it has come to my attention that "red hot chili pepper" means something different to different people. The hot chili I use is a Ghost Pepper (the seeds can be found at http://www.pepperjoe.com/ to grow them in your own garden - otherwise, the pickles will lack "heat" when using less hot peppers).

Pjbrodie on July 12, 2012:

Ok, so when you put on heat, and cukes in brine, do you mean vinegar based infusion mix.

Perry Fender (author) from www.perryfender.com on June 19, 2012:

The bucket is 5 gallons, the cucumbers take up about 3.5 with the water/salt taking up the other 1.5. I should have made that more clear. And depending on the size of the cucumbers, it's about 40-50 (I planted 8 plants last year - I had cucumbers coming out the ying-yang). And if you use the freshest spices, the flavors are more potent. And since there's more cucumbers than brine in a jar of pickles - you'd be amazed at how far a little spice will go. You'll just have to try the recipe and adapt it to your flavor. Shoot me a line when you've made the recipe your own - I'd love to know what tweaks you've made to improve it.

Amanda on June 18, 2012:

5 gallons of cucumbers already sliced as shown in the picture? That seems like it would take hundreds of cucumbers for such few spices... Approx how many cucumbers is that? Thank you