Fried pickles y’all!

The word “y’all”, Sweet Tea, a Southern drawl, biscuits with gravy, Southern hospitality and fried pickles with ranch sauce. I love all these things. I mean, what’s not to love?

I find the word “y’all” to be inviting, welcoming and gives you that instant feeling of comfort. Sweet tea is just that, it’s sweet, refreshing and perfect for an afternoon of sitting and contemplating life. I find a Southern drawl quite charming, especially if it belongs to a lovely Belle of the South. Fluffy biscuits with white sausage gravy, it clogs my heart thinking about it, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying it. Southern hospitality is unlike anything you’ve felt before, the drawl, the warmth and smiles along with that comfort food makes you feel a part of the family. And fried pickles with ranch sauce…let’s run with that one for a bit.

When I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama recently, I was at a restaurant with about ten other people at the table. I was brimming with excitement when I heard deep-fried pickles had been ordered as an appetizer. They were passed around the table and in an attempt to be polite, I took one (1) off the platter and figured they’d come back around to me at some point. Sadly, they never did and I was left with the memory of one absolutely incredible bite, but as I said, it was only one. I left the restaurant that day with a vow to myself that I would once again eat fried pickles!

Imagine everything good about a pickle. For some, it’s that initial crunch and pickle juice squirting halfway across the table and for others it’s that cold, refreshing taste of dill as you crunch down on it. Now, let’s take everything good about deep-frying and combine the two! When the pickle gets deep-fried in a beer batter, you give it a second texture which consists of a hot crispy crunch that precedes the pickle crunch and it’s honestly like nothing you’ve tasted before. Think onion ring (which I also love), but better because who wouldn’t want to bite into a pickle rather than an onion! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it gets dipped into a Spicy Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce.

Now, just a quick note on the types of pickles used. In the Southern Living cooking, they state that they’ve used a Wickles pickle which is produced in Alabama. It’s a sweet-hot pickle sliced lengthwise which they found was best for frying. So to stay true to the recipe, I also bought sweet-hot pickles sliced lengthwise AND some traditional bread and butter sweet pickles sliced into “circles” (for the proper term escapes me right now).

My preference was the sweet-hot lengthwise pickle. I definitely preferred the taste of it compared to the bread and butter pickle. It was considerably thinner having been cut lengthwise than the bread and butter pickle which I think allowed for the batter to get more crispy. I’m thinking it may have had less water content than the thicker, more round pickle and so the batter could be more effective. The beer batter made for a very light and crispy coating and I’ll definitely use the batter again to make onion rings or deep fry a burger or grilled cheese!

Beer-Batter Fried Pickles (Recipe from Southern Living – 1,001 Ways to Cook Southern)

Ingredients

  • 2 (16-oz.) jars dill pickle sandwich slices, drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (12-oz.) can beer
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Pat pickles dry with paper towels
  2. Whisk together egg and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add 1 1/2 cups flour, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches into a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat to 375 F. (I used a small portable deep-fryer with a lid which prevented oil from splattering everywhere. My suggestion for the skillet or Dutch oven route would be to invest in a splatter screen.)
  4. Dip pickle slices into batter, allowing excess batter to drip off. Fry pickles, in batches, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Drain and pat dry on paper towels; serve immediately with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce.

Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. minced green onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • Garnish: seasoned salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients. Garnish, if desired. Store in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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29 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Beer-Batter fried pickles, Deep-fried pickles, Pickles, Southern, Tuscaloosa, Wickles

29 responses to “Fried pickles y’all!

  1. gingerbreadbagels

    Are you sure you aren’t Southern E? 😉
    I love how you described the taste/texture of a fried pickle. They sound sooo insanely delicious. (I LOVE onion rings so something better than one is something I must try!) And what a great idea to fry different kinds of pickles and compare them.
    If you deep fry a burger or grilled cheese, you must blog about it! That’s just crazy in a very good way. 🙂

  2. Fried pickle? Now I’ve seen everything! 😉

  3. These look amazing! There is a bbq place by us that has fried dill pickles, but the hot and sweet sound much more flavorful. I’ll have to try these out!

  4. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of a fried pickle. I need to try these.

  5. At our local fair here in January, they have fried every thing! Fried twinkies, snickers, and of course, pickles. This is a great post and is making me crave a fried pickle!!:)

  6. Amy

    I don’t remember what type of pickles they used at the State Fair. They were definitely long and thin…but I never thought to ask the type. I was too busy stuffing my face. Also, they didn’t serve them with a ranch dressing, but I assume that’s because they were filled with cream cheese and didn’t want to give people a coronary right there on the spot. Oh wait…it’s the State Fair.

    I never fry food at home because of our poor ventilation system and the smell it leaves behind for 3 days. But holy cripes, I want these again. I’m now on a mission to find some restaurant that serves them! Y’all.

  7. Very fun and I’m so glad you shared with me, a true born and raised southerner. Great job!

  8. Oh yes, fried pickles embody everything good in this world! I really need to make these at home.

  9. magicofspice

    I have had these only once and loved them…great recipe 🙂

  10. Your post made me crave the tempura pickles from Red Fish Blue Fish in Victoria. Mmmmm, my favourite and because they’re nobody else’s favourite I get to have the whole thing to myself!

  11. Well, I have to say they do look yummy, although I am not a fan of deep-fried foods. I LOVE pickles (thanks to my stint in the States) and so may just try these one day, if I can find the right pickles…(and maybe even if I can’t)

  12. I like dill slices and spears fried up but I’ve never had them with ranch dressing — why cover that fried pickled flavor?

  13. I haven’t had fried pickles in ages! I ate so many when I was a teenager that I literally made myself sick and it was a long time before I wanted them again. My kids love them and with ranch dressing they are the perfect snack!

  14. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter)

    Love this! I tried them last year in Arkansas and was also too polite. I only got one. Never thought of making them myself!

  15. Oh my! Friends of ours lived in Tennessee for a while, and they came back loving fried pickles. I thought they were totally crazy, but recently had a chance to try them, and they’re SO good. I will have to make these for them 🙂

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  17. I have had a healthy obsession with fried pickles since discovering them in central Illinois during college over a decade ago. I love that they’re becoming more popular in restaurants, especially now that I live in the South. I tried making them a few years ago for friends that had never tried this delicacy and they turned out OK. I will definitely be trying your version!

  18. Oh my word. I just love fried pickles. Especially the sweet hot variety. Gives them that zest beneath the lush batter. So sorry those pickles didn’t make it back your way. I’d have been hollering for them. Lol.

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  20. Deep fry a burger, hmmm? I’d try that! These pickles have me a little on the hesitant side but I’d try it. By the way Wickles are just about the best pickles I’ve had. Fried pickles have GOT to be good with so many people raving about them. Ok, now I’m curious. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I just might try this.

  21. As a fried food enthusiast, I’m ashamed to say I never had a fried pickle. Now this is a must-try!

  22. Holy cow! I took one look at that fried pickle and I wanted to dive right through the screen for a munch! LOL. Looks insanely good.

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  24. Dawn

    Love that you added a southern recipe! I am from New Orleans and while your version looks scrumptious, I recommend you try breading the pickles in some fish fry or if you don’t have fish fry try cornmeal with a little cayenne or old bay or other cajun seasoning. It is sure to knock your socks off!

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  26. Meredith

    Great post! I currently live in Tuscaloosa, and after reading a description like that, I need to know where to find these pickles! Could you share the name of the restaurant?

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Well, the pickles I sampled were at The Cypress Inn along the Black Warrior River, the pickles in the picture were the ones I made at home. I had the Shrimp & Grits at the Cypress Inn and I’d like to have it right now.

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