Do You Have to Refrigerate Pickles? A Guide to Pickle Storage
do you have to refrigerate pickles

We all know that pickles are cucumbers that have been soaked in vinegar or brine. What you may not know is that there are different types of pickles, and some don’t require refrigeration.

This blog post will discuss the different types of pickles and whether or not you have to refrigerate them. We will also provide tips on storing your pickles, so they stay fresh for as long as possible.

Let’s get started!

Do You Have to Refrigerate Pickles?

pickle inside refrigerator

Most people assume that pickles must be refrigerated, as they are cucumbers that have been soaked in vinegar or brine. However, this is not the case! Pickles will stay fresh and safe to eat at room temperature, provided they are stored properly.

So, why won’t pickles go bad if you don’t refrigerate them? The answer is due to the high acidity level of vinegar and brine. Vinegar and brine prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast.

In fact, cucumbers that have been soaked in vinegar or brine are often used as a natural preservative in other foods.

If you are wondering whether or not you should refrigerate your pickles, the answer is probably no. However, if you are unsure, it is always best to check the label or ask the manufacturer. 

Pasteurized pickles generally do not need to be refrigerated. The same goes for unopened pickles. Some types of pickles, such as those made with fresh herbs, may need to be refrigerated in order to maintain their flavor.

So, there you have it! You don’t need to refrigerate pickles, but some types may benefit from being stored in the fridge. When in doubt, check the label or ask the manufacturer.

If you decide to refrigerate your pickles, they will last up to two weeks. However, be aware that pickles may become softer and less flavorful if they are refrigerated.

Which Pickles Need Refrigeration and Which Don’t?

Now that you know that most pasteurized pickles don’t need to be refrigerated, you may wonder which types require refrigeration. As we mentioned earlier, pickles made with fresh herbs are one type that should be stored in the fridge. Other types of pickles that may need to be refrigerated include:

  • Pickles made with eggs
  • Fried pickles
  • Sweet pickles

If you are unsure whether or not a particular type of pickle needs to be refrigerated, it is always best to check the label or ask the manufacturer.

Some pickles absolutely have to be stored in a fridge, such as unpasteurized pickles, and may become unsafe to eat otherwise. One of the best ways to know which is unsafe to eat is to think about where you picked up the pickles from.

If you pick up the pickles from a grocery store shelf, you can safely keep them in your kitchen cabinets or counters without worrying. However, if they were in the refrigerated aisle, you will need to keep them in a cooler place for long-term storage to prevent mold growth.

This is because the cucumbers in these pickles have not been preserved properly. Without refrigeration, the cucumbers will start to rot and can harbor bacteria that causes food poisoning. 

Uncontrolled bacterial growth is extremely dangerous and can lead to side effects, such as food poisoning.

This is most common in unpasteurized pickles, such as the ones you make at home. Unpasteurized pickles do not go through a preservation process to keep them safe at room temperature. 

This can result in moldy pickles that are extremely dangerous to eat.

For this reason, it is always best to follow the storage instructions on the pickle label. If the label does not indicate that the pickles need to be refrigerated, you can store them at room temperature. 

However, if the label says that the pickles need to be refrigerated, make sure that these pickles are always in the fridge and are not left out for more than two hours.

How to Properly Store Pickles

storing pickle

The key to keeping pickles fresh is to ensure they are stored in a cool, dark place. Heat and light can cause pickles to spoil, so it’s important to keep them away from these elements. An airtight container will also help to keep pickles fresh for longer.

If you are storing pickles in the fridge, be sure to keep them in a covered container. This will help to prevent them from drying out or becoming too soft.

How to Tell if Pickles Have Gone Bad

Even if you store your pickles properly, they will eventually go bad. When pickles go bad, they will often develop mold or start to rot.

If you see any mold on your pickles, throw them away immediately. Do not try to remove the mold, as this can cause the rest of the pickle to become contaminated.

Pickles that have started to rot will often have a sour smell and may be discolored. If your pickles look or smell funny, throw them away and don’t risk eating them. Keep in mind that pickles may become softer and less flavorful over time. 

If you want your pickles to taste their best, eat them within a week or two of opening the jar.

How Long Can a Jar of Pickles Last?

Pickles are a delicious and crunchy snack that can last for a long time if stored properly. Most commercially canned pickles will last for at least one year on the shelf and often much longer. Home-canned pickles can also last for a year or more.

You can rest assured that your pickle jar will stay good for a long time!

However, it is important to note that the quality of the pickles will decline over time, so they may not taste as good after a year or more. If you are unsure if your pickles are still good or what their shelf life is, it is always best to throw them out and replace them with a jar of fresh pickles.

How Are Pickles Made?

Pickles are typically cucumbers that have been preserved in vinegar and spices or what we think of as a salty brine. The cucumbers are washed and then soaked in a brine (salt water) solution for several hours. They are then rinsed and drained before being covered in vinegar and spices. 

The pickles are lastly sealed in jars or containers and left to ferment for several weeks. After fermentation, the pickles are ready to eat and can be stored for a long period. Pickling is a great way to preserve cucumbers and other vegetables. It is also a delicious way to add flavor to food. 

Pickled cucumbers can be used as a condiment or eaten as a healthy snack.

How to Make the Perfect Pickles at Home

making pickles at home

There are a few things to keep in mind when making a homemade pickle. First, choose the right type of cucumber. Pickling cucumbers are smaller and have thinner skin than slicing cucumbers so they will hold up better during the pickling process.

Second, ensure the cucumbers are fresh – look for firm ones with no blemishes. Fresh cucumbers will not be prone to unwanted bacterial growth and will be safe to eat. 

Third, use good quality vinegar. Some of the best options are apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.

Finally, don’t forget to add some spices! We like to add dill weed, mustard seed, and peppercorns to our pickles.

Here is a recipe for making your own pickles at home: 


  • 4 cups cucumbers, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)


  1. Slice all of your vegetables with a sharp knife, including the onion, bell pepper, and cucumbers. 
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl or container.
  3. Cover the vinegar solution and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 24 hours, transfer the pickles to jars or containers. Be sure to include some of the onion and bell pepper slices in each pickling jar.
  5. Look out for any signs of mold. If you see anything like mold, discard the pickles immediately and start over. Keep the area around the pickles and the rest of your kitchen clean to avoid the chances of bacterial growth.
  6. The pickles will be ready to eat after 1 week, but they will taste best if left to ferment for 2-3 weeks. Allow them to go through the fermentation process without being disturbed.
  7. Once opened, pickles can be stored in the fridge for up to a period of time of 1 month.

Enjoy your homemade pickles! Remember that they have not gone through a pasteurization process, so you will need to keep them at cold temperatures to preserve them. You can enjoy your pickles in the fridge for about a month, but if you see any visible mold, they need to be discarded. 


Do you have to refrigerate pickles? Storing pickles may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes the answer isn’t as easy as it looks. You may have the answer to the question of do you have to refrigerate pickles, but sometimes the answer is as easy as looking at the official answer from the manufacturer on the label of the jar itself. We hope this article has helped you understand more about the pickling process and how you can create your own homemade versions!

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