Fried Pickles? First Attempt.

If you remember from my trip to Florida last month, I had fried pickles for the first time and have officially become obsessed with them. I decided when I got home from the trip that along with researching every restaurant in Boston that serves them, I also need to at least attempt to make them on my own.

So I did.

And the honest truth is I wasn’t even going to post this recipe. They weren’t my favorite. It’s definitely one of those recipes that was trial and error, but those are typically the ones we learn the most from. After thinking long and hard about whether or not to post, I figured I’d share it with all of you and get some feedback! Plus, the name of our blog is We are not Martha. Which means we make mistakes and not everything comes out perfectly the first time (or second sometimes!) and it’s only fair to share those mess-ups sometimes, too. Otherwise you’d think we really were Martha and then things would just be all confusing 😉

So I followed this recipe from The Food Network and this is what I used:

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• Vegetable oil, for frying
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 1 cup cornmeal
• 1 jar bread and butter pickles (more on this later)
• Honey Mustard Sauce, recipe below

Here’s what I did:

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I first brought about 2-inches of oil to 350 degrees

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Then set up a dipping station of individual bowls with from left to right: flour with a dash of salt and pepper; beaten eggs; and cornmeal with a dash of salt and pepper.

Next, I dipped the pickles in the flour, followed by the egg, and then the cornmeal.

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I then lowered the covered pickles in the oil and fried them for around 3 minutes.

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Once they were done frying, I placed each batch on paper towels to drain. At this point I thought they looked somewhat promising so I continued on to make the honey mustard dip. Which was actually good!

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I just used 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons honey and mixed it all together.

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So, hooray! Everything is done and plated and time to dig in!

And I did.

And… I waited. And waited. And ate a couple. Then a couple more. Hmm.

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They were just. Boring. Nothing special at all.

The Assessment:

My first thought was that I need to use a thicker, crunchier pickle. The bread and butter pickles were far too thin and “weak”, which, when fried, didn’t make them crunchy at all. The batter itself was crunchy but when I bit through, the pickle was just too thin. I was also thinking I could just buy spears and cut them to a more desirable thickness as well.

My second first thought (hehe) was there was a severe lack of flavor. Which I kind of assumed would be the case just from looking at the ingredient list since there wasn’t really anything to provide a kick of uniqueness to the fried pickle. When I tasted these I pretty much just tasted cornmeal. Bleh. Next time there will definitely be cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, hot sauce… SOMETHING. Anything, really.

My third thought was I just want to purchase a deep fryer.

My fourth thought was thankfully I have a free gym membership because I’m gonna need to go a lot more if I plan on perfecting the fried pickle.

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So this is where you come in. Have you made fried pickles before? Do you know someone who has an outstanding fried pickle recipe? Are you a pickle-freak and know something that I don’t know. Are you a chef with a fried pickle recipe hiding up your sleeve that you want to share with me… then marry me? What restaurants in Boston serve fried pickles that will change my life? Heck, what restaurants in New England serve them. I have a car and will travel.

Please HALP me! Before I buy a plane ticket back to Florida to experience them again. Don’t think I won’t actually do it.

[Chels]

37 Responses to "Fried Pickles? First Attempt."

  1. Amber says:

    Taking a page from my favorite restaurant back home (Scotty’s Brewhouse in Indianapolis), I’d try making them with a thicker pickle (I think they use dill slices that are about 1/4 inch thick?), and using beer batter. Much nicer flavor! And they serve them with an amazing horseradish dip.

    I wonder if they’d be willing to give me the recipe, seeing how I live 12,000 miles away, now…

  2. Abbie says:

    I put a little Worcestershire in my eggs before I dip the pickles–but I also use dill pickles, not sweet ones, so the Worcestershire zip could be a little weird. I also fry in peanut oil.

  3. Even if they weren’t perfect they do look good! I hope you find your perfect recipe soon:-)

  4. Adrienne says:

    Cambridge Common on Mass Ave does a pretty good fried pickle (and they have a good beer selection!). As for making your own, I’d say you have to start with a really good pickle – maybe get a half-sour entire-cucumber pickle from the deli and slice it thickly? And definitely season the crap out of the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and maybe also dry the pickles off as much as you can on paper towels before you bread them. Good luck!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck that is *usually* in Cleveland Circle has delicious fried pickles. The truck has been missing for 2 weeks, though, so who knows if they will ever be back. But, if they do start operating again, you should definitely try them.

  6. Katie says:

    Redbones has good fried pickles too! If I knew how to make them I would be in trouble!

  7. I’ve never made fried pickles (although I do love them and will order them almost anywhere we go that has them) before but there is a place out there that has them and they dip them in a beer batter, not bread them. OMG they are good!! The pickles are definitely a thicker cut… I know that doesn’t help, but another idea at least to add to your list 🙂

  8. Val says:

    Red Bones and BBW both have great fried pickles…. how about buying whole pickles and slicing them 1/4 inch thick? Those tend to be firmer than spears… also what about a little cayanne and dill in the batter and a flour batter over corn meal? Corn meal is really dense and I don’t think it makes as good fried food (unless you’re talking corn dogs) …. can’t wait to see the progress!

  9. Tavern on the Square in Porter has fried pickles which I was dying to get but I Adam wouldn’t let me. Silly boy. Maybe you can ask them what their secret is if you like them. I think thicker pickles are key and some spices in the batter… I always make sure to season the batter!
    PS – I just fried fish last night and loved frying things! I’m not tempted to get a deep frier 1) because I’m not planning on frying things often and 2) it’s so easy (and fun!!) without one!! Definitely post about your next try. I need to make these too!

  10. Erica says:

    oh my gosh- I love fried pickles. They’re one of the only fried foods I just have to have. The thickness of the pickle is a total preference thing. Down in SC, they sometimes due fried pickle spears, but I prefer a chip, like you did- just a bit thicker. Let us know when you perfect those babies!

  11. Beverly says:

    Redbones does it best. They serve them with fried jalapeno chips too. Yum. They are enough for this transplanted Southern girl. My tips from someone who has done this before – follow a batter recipe not a fried pickle recipe. Find your favorite batter. It is really just a method. Skip the bread and butter pickles, you need sour pickles to bump up the flavor. Lower the cornmeal ratio. Also, seasoning salt and cayenne pepper will be your best friends in this recipe. Think about marinating them in buttermilk. Finally, honey mustard? I have never thought of having sweet fried pickles and sweet dip before. Just my two cents.

  12. Jen M says:

    I love them but haven’t tried making them. In restaurants: I only eat fried dill pickles though (and I live in FL). I tried sweet once and didn’t think they were very good. I like thicker chips and spears the best.

  13. oh i wish they had been good! been curious about these since i saw snookie enjoy them on jersey shore, haha…fried food is my fave thing in the whole world 😉

  14. Bee says:

    My first attempt was after coming home from the bar late one night after declaring that I would not pay $10 for deep fried pickles when I could surely make my own! What happened? In my sloshy state I forgot the egg wash and all the panko fell off in the oil. Oops. Also mixed panko with flour and hardly any panko ended up sticking to begin with. Double oops! Going to try a sober version soon, with a ranch dipping sauce methinks.

    Also, bread and butter pickles? Yuck! Try with dill, much better 🙂

  15. I wonder if you could give it a run with spicy pickles? I’m very much in favor of adding spices to the breading but it might help to start with a firm kick in the pants. Regardless, VALIANT effort. I love fried pickles and will be watching for your updates.

  16. Candice says:

    I’ve never heard of bread and butter pickles fried? I’ve always had fried dill pickles. I purchase the thick hamburger slices and they work perfectly…I would skip the cornmeal and just use flour too. Cornmeal makes the batter too thick
    xo
    Candice

    Hooters makes a mean fried pickle!! 😉

  17. Kerry says:

    I’m with the dill pickle group. They have the flavor kick that makes all the difference!
    I’ve had good pickles with cornmeal and without, so it’s all preference.
    Some places down here (in AL, GA and TN) fry dill pickle spears instead of chips, if you want something less flimsy.

  18. kellypea says:

    Oh my oh my. Fried pickles. Even though you mention they were “boring.” No way. I made them a couple of months ago for the first time and the photos are so bad, of course I didn’t post. Seeing yours makes me want a batch right now. I like that you used Greek Yogurt in the sauce. I can’t use any mayo or the chief taste tester won’t touch the food. Ugh.

  19. Beth says:

    Cambridge Common, hands down, best fried pickles I’ve had. Comes with a chipotle sauce…YUM!

    I’ve always prefered fried pickle spears to fried pickle chips, too.

  20. Meesh says:

    i commend your efforts! I love the fried pickles at Bleacher Bar, they use whole spears and dill pickles. You gotsta try ’em!

  21. Andreea says:

    One of my friends loved the Hooters fried pickles so I made them once using whole pickles and the spice mix from copykat, but changed the quantities a bit. They turned out quite good.
    http://www.copykat.com/2010/09/06/hooters-fried-pickles/

  22. Ann says:

    Try the fried pickles at American Craft in Brookline. I tried to recreate them using green tomatoes and making their dipping sauce. I just pan fried, which might not be enough for pickles – but they were good!

  23. Megan says:

    The fried pickles at Jerry Remy’s are ridiculously good. They use spears instead of bread and butter pickles.

  24. Bonnie says:

    1st I want to say how much I Love your blog.I only found it three weeks ago and in the past few weeks I have made 6 recipes and have loved each one. So thank you!!!
    On to fried pickles…my husband loves them he says the best ones ever are from Bingas Wingas in Portland,Maine. Worth the trip and so many other great places to try 🙂

  25. Jen says:

    Bleacher Bar has some pretty good fried pickles too!

  26. Melissa says:

    Joe Sent Me has great fried pickles – they use spears too!

  27. Kelly says:

    I haven’t made fried pickles before, but the times I have had them out, they were definitely a more substantial, bigger piece of pickle so I agree with your assumption that a bigger pickle would make a better fried pickle. I also think this is probably one of those things where few ingredients means you need to start with the highest quality everything to make it tasty so I’d probably start with a spicier, artisan pickle maybe.

  28. Chels says:

    Thanks, Bonnie! For reading and for the suggestion! I Think I might have to make a trip up to Portland this summer to try Bingas Wingas (love the name!) [chels]

  29. Carolyn says:

    You used SWEET pickles for this? GEE-ROSS! You must, MUST use dill pickles (the more sour the better)… it’s where all the flavor comes from. I like the Mount Olive kosher dills. And try a beer batter next time (I like to mix in hot sauce with the batter). Mmm.

  30. Tania says:

    I have has them with crinkle cut pickles and they were pretty good. Also, as pickle brands go, I’m partial to Mt. Olive.

  31. Kelsey says:

    They are so big in Louisiana where my parents live. They use very thick slices or they fry spears. I wish I knew their trick to making the batter taste so good. There is a place here called Pickle Barrel and the fried pickles are delicious.

  32. Stephanie says:

    Me and my husband first had fried pickles as spears not chips at a place called Alamo Pizza here in S.A. Tx. They are good but once we had tried some other places that had them Oh My Lord are they good. We make them at home quite a few times a month. Always use flour and dill chips. Season the flour with dill and salt to bring the flavor up and then finish with ranch for taste.

  33. Cynthia says:

    LOL! Bless your Northern heart. They are made, routinely, with dill pickles. And, of course you need a thicker cut – you’re not making pickle chips – you’re making fried pickles. Bread them however you like – beer batter or an egg wash/crumbs. A deep fryer is usually a bit more user friendly than a skillet of oil when it comes to frying anything. AND – many places use a whole spear – and they are terrific for dipping. Good luck, Yankee!

  34. Friedpicklelover says:

    OMG I love fried pickles! One thing you’re doing wrong (or differently I should say) is the pickle you’re using. It’s gotta be spears. Slices will just not hold up to the frying as well as spears. Also some sort of ranch dip should be used for dipping. Trust me.

  35. Friedpicklelover says:

    And, after reading the other comments, which pointed out the type of pickles that I missed, yes, it must be DILL.

  36. Chantal says:

    Just saw you ladies on tv and had to check your site out and I’m addicted already 🙂 I’ve had deep fried pickles and it has to be dill pickles it gives a really good balance and a thinner batter works best a tempura or a beer batter, I’ve had mine with a thai chili dip and sooo yummy the sour and hot make an amazing dance on your tongue!!

  37. Sues says:

    @Chantal- Aww I’m so excited you saw us on TV and headed over to our blog!! 🙂 Thank you!! 🙂

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