For crisp, briny pickled garden cucumbers, use a cold pickling or quick pickling technique. For home cooks with little time, pour a heated pickling mixture over sliced cucumbers and serve when room temperature. A longer preparation involves a cold pickling technique where a cold pickling liquid is poured over cucumbers and sealed in a jar for two to three days.
Quick and cold pickling brines are varied and easy to customize according to taste. Vinegars that are commonly used in pickling are white or apple cider vinegar. Common spices added to a brine include garlic cloves, dill seeds, red pepper flakes and bay leaves. Salt is also an important component in brine to infuse flavor into the vegetables. Sugar is optional for a sweeter pickled cucumber.
When using either technique for pickling garden cucumbers, make sure to cover the vegetables completely with the flavorful liquid to ensure even saturation. When using the cold pickling technique with jars, add as many cucumbers to the jars as possible and fill the jar with cold brine. Get rid of any air bubbles by gently knocking the bottom of the jar on the kitchen surface. Fill with more brine if there is any room in the jar.