Watermelon pickles are something I’ve wanted to make for a long time. I’ve heard people talk about them, and I always figured there had to be something I could do with the rinds leftover from my watermelons. Watermelon pickles are just like regular ole cucumber pickles. They’re good and crunchy.
This particular recipe makes watermelon pickles that are sweet at the start and spicy at the end. You could eat them right out of the jar or even put them on hot dogs or hamburgers for something totally different.
I’m contemplating chopping a few of these watermelon pickles and making a relish. I think it’d come out delicious. The flavor balance is perfect, not overly sweet or spicy. The pickling spice is strong, which I like, but if you’re not such a fan of the cloves in it you might want to use slightly less or remove some of them before adding to the brine.
Love pickles but in a hurry? Try my quick fix spicy pickles. For a delicious easy pickled salad, try my refrigerator cucumber salad.
Servings 2 pints
- 5 cups water divided
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- 4 cups of watermelon rind peeled, chopped into 1/2"-3/4" cubes
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- Red pepper flake to taste (optional)
Blanch the watermelon rind by bringing 4 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil in a pot over high heat. Stir until the salt dissolves.
Add the watermelon rind. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering until just starting to turn tender (you want them to still be a bit crispy), about 5 minutes.
Skim off any fat and drain. Transfer to a large bowl.
Make the brine by bringing the remaining 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon salt, vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, and red pepper (if using) to a boil in saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the brine over the watermelon rind.
Cover with a plate to keep the rind submerged and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer to glass jars, cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Combine and store: Pour the hot brine over the rind. Use a small plate or a Ziplock bag partially filled with water (I use the Ziplock bag) to hold the rind under the brine. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer the rind and brine into clean glass jars (I use Mason jars), cover and chill before serving. Keep refrigerated - they'll keep several months.
Want to surprise everyone at your next picnic or get-together? Bring a jar of grilled pickles. Everyone will want to know how you did it. You don’t have to admit how easy it is. The pickles do get a little char flavor, but not much. They still taste like, well, dill pickles, but with just slightly less crunch. The grilled red onions do add a nice light onion flavor.
These jarred grilled pickles are good for 5 days. And don’t feel like you have to grill only spears. Sliced pickles or even whole pickles can be grilled just as well. If you don’t want to grill the pickles but still want a hint of grilled flavor, just grill some red onion and then add that to a jar of pickles and refrigerate overnight.
If that’s enough, try pickling hot dogs too. They’re definitely different. And good!
Jarred Grilled Pickles
- 1 26 ounce jar dill pickle spears
- 1 red onion cut into 8 small wedges (you can keep the root end on to help keep the onion wedges together)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Drain the brine from the jar into a large bowl.
Remove the pickles and lay onto a few sheets of paper towels. Dab with the paper towels to dry as well as you can.
Transfer the pickles to another large bowl.
Add the onion and drizzle with the oil. Toss gently to coat.
Fire up your grill.
Place pickles and onions onto the grill and grill on all sides until you get grill marks.
Remove and let cool slightly before returning pickles to the jar.
Add the onions and the reserved brine.
Seal and refrigerate until ready to use within 5 days.
Ever since I made a crazy good batch of Nashville Hot Chicken I’ve been jonesin’ for that same great hot crunchy experience on other foods. Like fried pickles. Making these Nashville Hot Pickles was easy, and boy are they packed with a nice kick! I didn’t go the mild route with these, that’s for sure. And to make sure I kept the burn going I served the pickles with a habanero ranch sauce for dipping.
You’re going to see other great dishes like this one for Nashville Hot Pickles here on Life’s A Tomato. I love that great crunchy breading and that fiery hot seasoning. Next up? I’m thinking chicken fingers!
Also try my jalapeno bottle caps and my and my copycat of Hooter’s fried pickles.
Nashville Hot Pickles
- 16 ounce jar Dill pickle slices drained, dabbed dry with a paper or kitchen towel
For the dip
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
For the dredge
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
For the spicy coating
- 1/3 cup hot frying oil
- 1-3 tablespoons cayenne pepper I used 2 and found the flavor to be perfect, and not too terribly hot
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 teaspoon paprika
- 12 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat a few inches of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 325 F.
Working in batches, dredge the pickles in the flour. Shake off excess.
Dip pickles into the milk mixture. Shake off the excess.
Return the pickles to the flour and dredge again. Shake off excess.
Transfer pickles to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Place on a rack to cool and drain.
For the spicy coating
When you're done frying the pickles, ladle 1/3 cup of the hot oil into a small sauce pan and whisk in the spicy coating ingredients.
Brush mixture over the pickles. The more you brush on, the hotter it'll be.