How To Pickle Cucumbers Instantly With One Unexpected Tool

If you're a pickle lover, you may have encountered the horrifying experience of opening your fridge to find that a kitchen goblin (aka your significant other or child) has stolen your last pickle in the middle of the night, and you have yet to buy replacements. You need some pickles but you don't have the time to make your own. What can you do?

With 2023 being the year of the pickle, it's time we learn how to deal with this worst-case scenario through instant pickles. This method, shared by the Instructables, takes a scientific approach to drastically cut the brine time. It'll produce delicious pickles within a couple of minutes, with the actual brining process taking about 30 seconds. All you need is a syringe, cucumbers, and pickling liquid.

To make instant pickles, place thinly sliced cucumbers into the chamber of the syringe, being careful not to crush them. Pull enough of your brine to submerge the cucumbers – there are a lot of different types of pickles, but all you need for the brine is vinegar, a little sugar, and a mixture of herbs and spices. Then invert the syringe, place your thumb over the tip, and pull back the plunger with your other hand. Hold the cucumbers in this brine vacuum for at least 30 seconds, then release the brine from the syringe, and voilà! Fresh pickles!

How it works

You may have noticed that some other methods for homemade pickles take, at the very least, 10-30 minutes to make, and the longer they sit the better they are. This raises the question: Is it really possible to make delicious pickles that quickly? Unlike the normal process for making homemade pickles, this method relies on using negative pressure (suction).

After submerging the cucumbers in pickling liquid, a partial vacuum is created when you cover the tip with your finger and pull the plunger back. The low-pressure environment causes the gas within the vegetable to expand, which ruptures the cell walls and releases the trapped air into the syringe. When the cell walls break, the water inside the cucumber is released with the gas, and the brine subsequently takes its place. This allows the slices to undergo an extremely effective infusion, giving you a flavorful pickle in next to no time.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you want to try this method. Cut your cucumber into thin slices – the thinner the slice, the more effectively it can soak up the brine. If the cucumber is too thick, you may have to repeat the process a couple of times to achieve the desired effect. This method has only been attempted with cucumbers so far. We don't know if it would work as well with other vegetables, but you can give it a try if you're interested.