Batter Fried Pickle Recipe

Fried pickle recipe

 

Fried pickles make some folks weak in the knees, me included. When I began writing 101 Things To Do With a Pickle, the top question people asked was, “Are you going to include a recipe for fried pickles?” Is a cucumber green?! The book, in fact, features three different fried pickle variations to satisfy crispy-fried cuke lovers everywhere.

This version features pickle spears dipped in a light, garlicky batter and quickly fried to preserve the crispy crunch of the pickles inside, served with a spicy ranch dip. Would you like to make a batch? The recipe’s super easy:

Batter-fried Pickle Spears

You’ll need a 24-ounce jar of your favorite pickle spears, and you can use homemade, refrigerated, off-the-shelf, or whatever pickle spears you like. The first step is to cut the pickles in the shape you desire. I cut these pickle spears in half horizontally. After you’ve cut them, arrange them on a cotton dishtowel or paper towels and let them drain. Refrigerate them for several hours until the cut edges are dry. Be sure to reserve 2 tablespoons of pickle juice from the jar, which you’ll use later for the batter.

 

Fried pickle recipe drain pickles

 

If you like, you can also do nice long pickle spears. In that case, cut each spear in half lengthwise:

Pickle spears.

 

Next, gather the batter ingredients. (Do I usually arrange everything neatly like this when I cook? No!) You’ll need 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 3/4 cup club soda, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 2 eggs, and the 2 tablespoons of pickle juice you saved earlier. (The complete recipe is posted at the bottom of this page.)

Ingredients for fried pickles

 

After whisking the flour,¬†garlic powder, salt, paprika and pepper together, add the egg yolks, melted butter, pickle juice and club soda. (I forgot to beat the egg yolks before adding them, but it doesn’t really matter.)

Making homemade fried pickles

 

As you stir this thick, weird batter, you may find yourself shaking your head with disbelief that this concoction could possibly yield a tender fried pickle batter. Keep the faith, and stir the ingredients just until blended. Try not to over-mix the batter.

Batter for fried pickles

 

Ideally you want a super-sticky, fairly thick batter to adhere to the pickles, that still manages to be light and crisp. This is no easy feat, but two beaten egg whites will help lighten the sticky batter considerably. If you have a whisk attachment on your electric mixer, use it now. If not, just use the regular beaters and whip the egg whites until they are stiff.

Egg whites lighten fried pickle batter.

 

Gently scoop the egg whites on the batter.

Beaten egg whites with fried pickle batter.

 

Now, gently…gently… fold them in, while keeping as much air in the egg whites as you can. Just go easy and take your time…

Fold egg whites in batter.

 

…and pretty soon the batter it won’t look quite so gnarly. Stop folding when the egg whites are mostly incorporated. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Batter for fried pickles.

 

In a heavy saucepan, pour in cooking oil to a depth of 3 inches. I like peanut oil for frying, but you can use regular vegetable oil or canola oil. Heat the oil to a temperature of 365 degrees. (If you get the oil temperature just right, the pickles will fry up light and crispy without absorbing much oil.) Dip a pickle in the batter, coating evenly and letting the excess drip off.

Dip pickles in the batter.

 

Gently slide the pickle in the hot oil.

Frying pickles.

 

When the bottom is nice and brown, turn it with a slotted spoon and cook the other side. These pickles took about 2 minutes to cook, but yours may take more or less time depending on the size and thickness. I usually fry about three pickles at a time, to avoid crowding and keep the oil nice and hot. I thought this photo looked a little like a funny face!

Frying pickles

 

When the pickles are nicely browned, drain them on paper towels. If you’re cooking a big batch, you can put them in the oven set on “warm” and hold them for a bit.

Drain fried pickles after frying.

 

If you fry long pickle spears, they’ll look like this:

Fried pickle spears

 

Here’s how they look on the inside:

Fried pickles

 

You can serve the fried pickles with ranch dressing, or you can make a zippy version by mixing 1/3 cup ranch dressing with 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce like Frank’s Hot Sauce.

Fried pickles

 

I hope you “relish” this Southern treat, and here’s the recipe for you in standard form:

BATTER-FRIED PICKLE SPEARS WITH SPICY RANCH

  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar dill pickle spears
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup club soda
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl, combine the ranch dressing and hot pepper sauce to taste; cover and refrigerate. Drain pickles, reserving 2 tablespoons pickle juice. Cut each pickle spear in half and blot with paper towels; cover and refrigerate.

Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika in a medium bowl. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks. (Reserve and refrigerate the egg whites.) Add the egg yolks, club soda, butter and reserved pickle juice, and stir until combined. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff; fold into the batter mixture.

Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven and heat to 365 degrees. Dip pickles into batter, letting excess drip off, and fry in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with spicy ranch sauce. Makes 6 servings.

101-Things-To-Do-With-PickleI hope you’ll stop back next week, when I’ll be giving away a signed copy of 101 Things To Do With a Pickle.

In the mean time, have a dilly of a weekend!

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

2 comments to Batter Fried Pickle Recipe

  • Sue Coletta

    If you use cucumbers instead of pickles, what do you use for the juice? They look yummy, but we are overloaded with cucumbers from our garden. Your instructions are awesome, and with pics! Just perfect.

    • I’ve never tried these with unpickled cucumbers, but my hunch is that they might taste a little plain. However, as far as the batter you could just substitute club soda for the pickle juice and that should work just fine. Let me know if you try the recipe with some of your cukes!

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