Fried Pickles

The Minnesota State Fair opened its gates yesterday. And you know what that means…


Our family is completely smitten with the Minnesota State Fair. Blake and I made our first visit together when we were dating, and we haven’t missed a year since. Although the food is a major draw for us, there’s really so much more that keeps us coming back. Enough, in fact, that sometimes attending just one day each year doesn’t cut it. We’ve been known to spend a full day with our girls, and then head back for an evening with friends to snag some additional grown-up browsing, entertainment, and eats and drinks.

(Check out this recent article from Country Living, which highlights Minnesota’s educational exhibits…and Iowa’s standout food. I think we need to check out our neighbor’s state fair, because we think alot of Minnesota’s food offerings!)

In order to taste all the different foods we want to, sharing is a necessity. We usually grab a single item, split it, and move on, fitting in a food booth every now and then throughout the day. Only if the food is exceptional will we take out our wallet to buy another round. This has been known to happen with the cheese curds (the ones from the Food Building), the Australian batter dipped potatoes, my favorite sweet and salty homemade salted nut rolls dipped in chocolate, and…

the way awesome fried pickles!

Although The Perfect Pickle has been serving up fried pickles at the fair since 1997, it was only 2 years ago that I gave this Southern snack a go myself. I think it has something to do with their new dill pickle green trailer parked at their new location near the entrance to the Midway. I know I’m a very visual kind of person, but how can that giant green trailer not grab your attention? It just begs you to check it out.

The pickles that come out of that catchy place are perfectly dilly, salty, and crunchy…and then battered and fried to perfection. Dipped in some ranch dressing…ohhhhhhh my! Last year we left the fair with 3 out of 4 family members (still working on our oldest daughter) on board my fried pickle bandwagon. Yeehaw!

Ever since my first fried pickle eating experience, I’ve been wanting to try my own hand at frying dills at home. So last week I dug out the never-been-used deep fryer from its hiding place in the basement. My apologies to whoever gave that to us for our wedding. Not that I won’t devour whatever comes out of a deep fryer…I am just not a big deep fryer kind of person. Obviously. (We were married in ’99!)

But this occasion warranted the deep fryer’s reveal. And it was tasty and FUN!!!

If the thought of fried pickles makes you drool, and a trip to the Minnesota State Fair is not on your end-of-summer agenda, I highly recommend frying up some pickles of your own. They’re really a treat. Especially with a dip into some ranch dressing and a few healthy dashes of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, which isn’t served with the pickles at the fair. Grab a chair and a cold beer and enjoy some fried puckery amazingness!

Are you fond of fair food, too?!
What’s YOUR favorite thing to eat?

Fried Pickles


  • oil for frying (I used canola)
  • thick cut dill pickle chips
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 T. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 c. beer
  • 1/2 c. fine bread crumbs
  • recommended dips:
  • your favorite ranch dressing
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce


Heat oil to 350°. If using a deep fryer, use the amount of oil specified by the manufacturer. If using a pan on the stovetop, fill oil to about 2'' deep.

Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towel. Set desired number of pickle chips on paper towel to absorb the pickle juice. Pat the tops of the pickles with another paper towel.

For Bowl #1: In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup of the flour.

For Bowl #2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the beer and stir until all lumps are gone.

For Bowl #3: In a small bowl, place the bread crumbs.

Add just a few pickles at a time to Bowl #1, tossing to completely coat each pickle with flour.

Place floured pickles in Bowl #2 and turn to completely coat with batter. Lightly shake off excess batter.

Place battered pickles in Bowl #3, lightly coating each pickle with bread crumbs.

Place breaded pickles in the oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 30 to 45 seconds per side.

Serve with your favorite ranch dressing and Frank's Red Hot sauce.


Inspired by the (awesome!) fried pickles from The Perfect Pickle at the (awesome!) Minnesota State Fair.


34 Responses to “Fried Pickles”

  1. #
    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen — August 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

    We love the MN State Fair too!!! These pickles look like so much fun to make at home. We’re counting down the days until it’s our day to go to the Fair… we love it.

  2. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — August 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I’ve never had these and only heard of them last summer for the first time. Crazy, I know! But I love pickles so clearly I need to try these!

  3. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — August 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’ve never tried fried pickles but these look crispy delicious!

  4. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — August 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    This post makes me miss my home state! Got to love the state fair!

  5. #
    Mercedes — August 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I have only had fried pickles once at a bar in Denver, but it was love at first taste! I might brave the fair tonight because I haven’t been in about 6 years and tonight is the only night I can go! I will definitely be seeking out those salted nut rolls that I keep hearing about!

  6. #
    Rachel — August 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I love fried pickles, friend green tomatoes, fried okra, etc. My favorite fair food is a funnel cake.

  7. #
    Laurie — August 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Heading to the MN State Fair on Sunday! Love it! I’m going to have to put Fried Pickles on the agenda for new foods to try. My favorite — the shredded turkey sandwich (over by the all-you-can-drink-milk booth).

    • Laurie replied on August 27th, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Had them yesterday and they were the best! Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Brenda replied on August 28th, 2012 at 8:03 am

        Glad you liked them, Laurie! I wish I could find the huge slices they use at the fair…

  8. #
    Aggie — August 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I just had my first fried pickle this summer…and WOW! Loved them! They were actually sliced longways which I thought was interesting. I love your Franks red house option :)

  9. #
    Lynna — August 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I love state fair foods! These fried pickles look SO GOOODD!

  10. #
    Nancy @ CouponClippingCook — August 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    These fried pickles sound so good with ranch dressing. I’ve actually never tried fried pickles but I like pickles so I’m sure they are delicious.

  11. #
    Tonia — August 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Our local county fair always has fresh, local corn-on-the-cob dipped in melted butter w/salt&pepper. . .mmmmm!!! Corn in the teeth and butter running down your arm :-)

  12. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — August 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Holy cow – this is absolutely heavenly! Jason is going to be over the moon when I make this for him!

  13. #
    nest of posies — August 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

    love fried pickles! one of my very favorites!

    have a super week!

  14. #
    Amanda — August 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

    My pickle loving son would LOVE these!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — August 27, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I adore fried pickles and hardly ever see them on this side of the country! We have a rib cookoff every year in Reno and I’m always sure to get the fried pickles. Love that yours are completely homemade and they look perfect!

    • Brenda replied on August 28th, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Fried pickles and ribs sounds like a winning combo!!

  16. #
    cassie — August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Fair food is the best! These are so great Brenda. We adore fried pickles and they (along with a funnel cake) are a must on my fair food list!

    • Brenda replied on August 28th, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Oooooo…I haven’t done a funnel cake in years! So many things to fit in!! ;)

  17. #
    Mary Cameron — August 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I have never tried fried pickles either, but they look really yummy. I will have to give them a try sometime.

  18. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    They look delicious, I just love fair foods :)

    • Brenda replied on August 28th, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Thanks, Diane. :)

  19. #
    Born27 — August 28, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I might brave the fair tonight because I haven’t been in about 6 years and tonight is the only night I can go!

  20. #
    Sheila — August 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

    My littlest and I just tried these at Smash Burger the other day.. So yum, I think I want to try making them with bread and butter pickles and then a spicy dipping sauce. Whatdaya think of that combo?

  21. #
    Lisa | With Style and Grace — August 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Oh, my husband would LOVE these!!

  22. #
    Rachel Cooks — August 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    If this isn’t perfect pregnant food, I’m not sure what is! They look delicious!

  23. #
    LisaL — September 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    This was the first year we didn’t make it to our South Dakota State Fair, and I am so sad about that. I love, love, love fair food because calories don’t count there, right? Right??! But I always go back to the homemade lemonade, cotton candy and pork loin sandwiches w lots of BBQ sauce. Mmmmmm Our local restaurant makes these pickles, but I am sure eating them at the Fair is much more fun! :-)

    • Brenda replied on September 4th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      So sorry to hear you couldn’t get the fair. My dad made the trip without Mom this year, due to my grandma being in the hospital. It’s a great childhood memory – we used to camp there every year. Great to hear from you, Lisa!

  24. #
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — September 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I absolutely adore fried pickles! Why have I never thought to try making them at home?? Definitely trying this soon.

    • Brenda replied on September 11th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Great to hear from you, Russell! These are so much fun, hope you like them!

  25. #
    April Hix — July 31, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Love fried pickles! We get them from Buffalo Wild Wings, but I have been wanting to make them at home. What could I substitute for the beer?


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