Claussen Knockoffs (Copycat Recipe)

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Claussen Knock-offs

Are you a pickle fan, like I’m a pickle fan? Are you overrun with cucumbers (from friends with gardens, or from your own), like I am overrun with cucumbers? Well, then…this simple copycat recipe for Claussen-style pickles is for you! Right here? This is pickle heaven!  

I know several people who have made these Claussen-style pickle knockoffs; I have always wanted to make them too, but just never seemed to have enough cucumbers that I wasn’t stuffing into salads, eating sliced and dipped into some homemade Ranch-style dressing, or putting into Pickled Cucumber Dips.

This year, though, I have been overrun with cucumbers! Before you start congratulating me on the success of my cucumber crop from Saucy’s Wee Kitchen Garden, let me say that the cucumbers I am overrun with are not my own. Yet.

My own cucumber plants are loaded with blooms and I have harvested a grand total of five. I started my garden with seeds and most of my friends started with plants, and got them in the ground earlier than I did. So, the cucumbers I used were from my friend Jack (of Southern-style Mustard Potato Salad fame), and my sister.

We are currently over twenty inches above normal for the year in rainfall. This has resulted in a bumper crop of cucumbers! I was going to an event and riding with Jack and his wife, Donna. Jack asked me if I wanted cucumbers…and never being one to turn down a bag of free produce, I said yes. Until I saw them, that is. They were huge fat cucumbers…just enormous. So, I said to Jack, “I really don’t think I could do anything with all of those monster cucumbers!” There were so many, and they were so large there was no way they would make pickles.

Well, Jack being the ever practical man that he is replied, “You can make pickle SPEARS with them! Duh!” He didn’t really say, “duh.” But he should have…I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself! So, that load of cucumbers equaled three gallons of Claussen knockoff pickles.

No sooner did I have them in jars brining than my sister brought me an equally enormous basket full of cucumbers from her garden. Seriously, people…I’m going to have my OWN cucumbers soon! Yikes! You guessed it, her batch of cucumbers yielded another three gallons of pickles. Well, plus a quart, in case anyone is counting.

Y’all that is SIX gallons (plus a quart) of pickles! That might, I mean just might, last me six months; just in case you were worrying about what would become of my own cucumbers, I’ll be making enough of these to last a full year. *wink*

Of course, you don’t have to make six gallons of pickles, but you really should try making some of these pickles if you are a fan of Claussen’s. They retain the same really crisp texture, the flavour is absolutely fantastic, they are reeeeeheally easy to make; they are the perfect answer for an overabundance of cucumbers!

The one caveat is: do not use store-bought cucumbers, as they have a wax on the skin and will not work properly. You can use store-bought pickling cucumbers, which are not waxed. Or, head to your local farmer’s market and buy some cucumbers straight from the field.

Also, the recipe is for the brine for a gallon of pickles, you can cut it down for a smaller batch (but you’ll wish you did the gallon of pickles, I promise). If you are using multiple jars, like I did, you will want to strain the brine through a small mesh colander and then evenly distribute the solids into the jars.

Three days later? Ta da! Pickles! Make ‘em!


5.0 from 3 reviews

Claussen Knockoffs (Copycat Recipe)
These super easy refrigerator pickles are unbelievably like Claussen Kosher pickles.
Recipe type: Pickles
  • 1½ quarts water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup canning salt (it’s important to use canning or pickling salt)
  • ⅓ cup instant (dehydrated) minced onion
  • 1½ tablespoon peppercorns
  • ½ tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cucumbers, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush, cut length-wise either in half, quarters, or eighths (depending on the size)
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed (I doubled this from the recipe and didn’t mince them)
  • 6 heads fresh dill (or 4 teaspoons seeds for the gallon)
  1. Sterilize your jars by immersing them in boiling water.
  2. Remove from the boiling water and place on a clean, dry towel.
  3. In a large, nonreactive pan, place the water, vinegar, salt, minced onion, peppercorns, mustard seeds and crushed red pepper flakes.(If you are using dill seed rather than fresh, add the seeds to the pan too.)
  4. Bring the brine to a boil to dissolve the salt, then allow to cool.
  5. If using fresh dill, add it to the sterilized jars along with the garlic cloves.
  6. Slice cucumbers lengthwise into quarters (or eighths as I did with larger cucumbers); pack into the sterilized jars along with the dill and garlic cloves.
  7. If you are using more than one jar, strain the solids from the brine by pouring the brine into another large pan, using a fine-mesh colander to trap the seasonings.
  8. Stir the seasonings in the colander to mix well, then using a spoon evenly distribute them between the jars you are using.
  9. Pour the cooled brine over pickles.
  10. Put the lid on the jar, and turn the pickles a few times to distribute the seasoning through the pickles.
  11. Loosen the lid and allow to sit on the counter for three days, shaking or turning them occasionally,
  12. On the fourth day, refrigerate the pickles.
  13. The recipe says they will keep in the refrigerator for a year…mine won’t last that long to test that theory. *wink*


About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
This entry was posted in Canning and Freezing, Vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Claussen Knockoffs (Copycat Recipe)

  1. I love these, P! I’m a pickle fan. Also a cucumber fan and I’ve not gotten my hands on near enough cucumbers these days. Wish we were neighbors so I could help you out with those ;)
    addie | culicurious recently posted…Frangelico-Spiked Iced Coffee RecipeMy Profile

    • P~ says:

      I wish we were neighbors too! I’d totally share! I’m down 1 1/2 gallons from this post; I gave one half gallon to my sister, another to another friend and I’ve eaten the third. BUT I made two more gallons just yesterday. Net gain! Woo hoo! P~

  2. dave says:

    too much salt for the pickles, everything else ok. I’ll reduce salt by half. with so much salt these pickles won’t need refrigeration

  3. Aaron Kizer says:

    Is this recipe safe for hot water caning? I know that the crunch won’t be the same, but I love the taste of the brine.

    • P~ says:

      Aaron…the vinegar to water ratio is very important in canning pickles. This recipe doesn’t meet that criteria. What you could do is a two-step pickling process. This would have you brine the pickles in this recipe for at least 24 hours; dump off the brine and can them with a ratio of 1 1/2 quarts of vinegar to 2 quarts of water, along with spices you desire.

      Hot canning will impact the crunch, you’re right. P~

  4. Linda Curley says:

    I want to try these but am wondering if I can use coarse Kosher salt or course sea salt. Whats the dif between those and canning or pickling salt? Also cider or white vinegar?

    • P~ says:

      Linda, I appreciate your question. The vinegar doesn’t matter, and I have seen both used in similar recipes. As to the salt. Picking salt and kosher salt don’t contain any additives, so they are similar in that respect. The difference is in the grain of the salt. Pickling salt is much finer a grain and will dissolve more easily in the brine. Also, because kosher salt is coarser in grind, it will impact the amount you need to use to get the same amount of saltiness. P~

  5. Angele says:

    Just to prevent any goofs…when we say “cider vinegar,” we’re talking apple cider….right?

    • P~ says:

      Yes, Angele…apple cider vinegar. I’ll edit the post to reflect that. Thank you so much for pointing out what could be confusing. I really appreciate it! P~

  6. Amanda says:

    I followed this recipe- however this is my first “canning” experiment and everything I’m reading is talking about the presence of bacteria if the jars aren’t processed or correctly or if the jars/liquid isn’t boiling when added and then directly refrigerated. I followed the receipe above, except that I didn’t loosen the lid. They’ve been on the counter for three days now- but the lids have popped up and there is a cloudiness to them. Did I do something wrong? How do I know if they are safe to eat or not?

    • P~ says:

      With all that salt and vinegar, I can’t imagine they are bad. They do tend to look a bit cloudy.

      • Amanda says:

        So I didn’t mess anything up by sealing the lids to soon? I notice pressue is building, should I just unseal them? It’s about time for them to go into the fridge…

        • P~ says:

          I don’t think it could have hurt them. The recipe I adapted had the lids cracked and that’s what I did too. I’ve been looking online at other counter-top pickle recipes and I haven’t found anything that would indicate that it would hurt them. Of course, I can’t make that determination online. I know that probably doesn’t help much.

  7. Autumn Harris says:

    What is instand minced onion? Does that mean dehydrated minced onion from a shaker? As in the minced onion you buy in the seasoning and spices aisle at the grocery store? Just making sure I use the right thing. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pickles and ESPECIALLY Claussen’s, so I want to do this RIGHT! :)

    • P~ says:

      Yes, dehydrated minced onion is what you need. I’ve edited the recipe in case anyone else questions that ingredient. Thank you for commenting. I hope you love these pickles as much as we do! P~

  8. nate orr says:

    Very good crispy pickle, but not a Clausen copycat. Needs more vinegar in the white variety in place of the cider. If you take a sip of this brine and then a sip of Clausen brine you will find them quite different. Not quite as salty or sour. Still, it is an excellent pickle. Reminds me of the half sours you find in some New York delis where they make these daily to serve on the side for the next days service.

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