This easy Fried Pickles recipe features juicy dill pickle slices dipped in a perfectly seasoned batter and fried to crispy perfection. Enjoy this favorite fair food at home, any time you want, dunked in some creamy ranch dressing!
The Best Deep Fried Pickles
Fried Pickles definitely makes our Best Minnesota State Fair Food list. And you’re going to love my homemade version – I promise they’re just as awesome (and maybe even just a bit better?!) than those you’ll find at the fair!
With just a handful of ingredients and very basic seasonings, these deep fried dill pickles are perfectly dilly, salty, and crunchy.
Just imagine juicy dill pickle slices dipped in batter, fried to crispy perfection, and then dunked in some ranch dressing…ohhhhhhh my! They’re so good that our daughters – who don’t even like dill pickles – can’t resist them!
What You’ll Need
This homemade fair food has a simple ingredients list. See the recipe box for instructions.
- Canola oil – You can also use vegetable oil for frying.
- Dill pickle slices – I like to use thick, crinkle-cut dill pickle slices.
- All-purpose flour – The base of the batter.
- Yellow cornmeal – I add this to the batter, to mimic the fabulous deep fried pickles at the MN State Fair. Yellow cornmeal (affiliate link) offers incredible flavor and texture, for the best crunchy fried pickles!
- Baking powder – This helps give a crunchier, crispier texture to the fried pickles.
- Seasonings – The batter is seasoned simply, but perfectly, with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne pepper.
- Beer – I like to use beer to make the batter. It adds extra flavor and also helps keep the batter light and crisp. (Think beer battered fish.)
- Fine bread crumbs – Fine bread crumbs (affiliate link) are the final step to the best crispy deep fried pickles!
What Pickles Are Best For Frying?
When it comes to deep fried pickles, you’ll most often see that dill pickles are used. This type of pickle has a strong, clean flavor that goes well with being battered and fried. And it also pairs well with a variety of dips.
However, you can also deep fry bread & butter pickles or any other favorite pickle. I love bread & butter pickles, but I personally think dills win when frying!
For this recipe, I use round dill pickle slices, sometimes call dill pickle chips. I like to use thicker slices that are crinkle-cut. And I recommend staying away from thin-cut pickles as you’ll just end up with more breading than pickle.
You can also deep fry pickle spears and the long slices as well, just adjust the frying time accordingly.
How to Make Fried Pickles
These fried dill pickles are easy and fun to make. Let’s go!
- Heat the oil. You can use either a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan on the stove with about 2″ of oil. Heat the oil to 350° F, keep track of the temperature with a kitchen thermometer (affiliate link).
- Dry the pickles. Set the pickle chips on paper towels to absorb excess pickle juice.
- Prepare the batter for dipping. Place 1/2 cup of flour in one bowl. In a second bowl, combine the rest of the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne, then whisk in the beer to make the beer batter.
- Dip the pickles. Use one hand to completely coat each pickle slice with flour, and then transfer to the second bowl. With other hand, coat the pickle slice with the beer batter. Shake off any excess batter. Finally, lightly coat the pickle slice with bread crumbs, using a fork to flip.
- Fry. Gently drop the coated pickle slices into the hot oil, taking care to not crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pickles with a kitchen spider (affiliate link) or slotted spoon, letting the excess oil drain back into the pan, then transfer to a paper towel-lined pan. Repeat with the remaining pickle slices, frying a few at a time.
Then enjoy! Grab your favorite dipping sauces and start dunking!
Tips for Crispy Fried Dill Pickles
Here are a few tips to ensure you get perfectly crispy fried pickles every time.
- Dry the pickle slices first. It’s very important that the pickles don’t have excess pickle juice on them, to properly adhere the batter and reduce splattering in the hot oil.
- Monitor the cooking oil temperature. It’s easy to keep track of the oil temp with a thermometer (affiliate link). If the oil is too cool, you’ll have limp, greasy fried pickles. If it’s too hot, the pickles will burn up on the outside without properly cooking on the inside.
- Wet/Dry Hand Method: Use one hand to dip the pickles into the flour, the other hand to dip into the beer mixture. And then use a fork to flip the pickle slices in the breadcrumbs. While this is still a bit of a messy process, having dedicated wet and dry hands will definitely help!
- Let the oil drain. It helps to have a kitchen spider (affiliate link) or a large slotted spoon to remove the finished pickles from the hot oil. Then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate or pan, so the paper towel can absorb any more excess oil.
- Don’t crowd the fryer. Cook the pickles in small batches, depending on the size of your fryer. Adding too many pickles at once can lower the oil temperature more dramatically. Since they only need to cook a few minutes, it goes by quickly.
- Keep Warm: When we make fried pickles, it’s usually a family affair, all of us gathered at the kitchen counter. And we eat the fried pickles as fast as we can make them! But if you’d like to make them all first, then enjoy them once they’re all made >>> keep a baking sheet in a 250° F oven and add each new batch of fried pickles until you’re done frying. This will keep them hot and crispy.
Deep fried pickles should be served immediately, while they’re still hot and crispy. Dunk them in your favorite dipping sauce, like ranch dressing, hot sauce, or barbeque sauce.
Besides just dipping and enjoying, these are also super fun on burgers, wraps, and other sandwiches.
As for what to drink with fried pickles, I think a crisp, cold beer is perfect. If you lean more to wine, try a crisp white sparkling wine, such as prosecco.
How to Store Leftovers
As I mentioned, I highly recommend enjoying these immediately. But if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two.
To reheat, pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes or place under a broiler in the oven. Note that they’ll likely still have a softer texture, but these methods will help crisp them up just a bit.
More Dill Pickle Recipes:
- Dill Pickle Potato Salad is your next best potato salad recipe.
- Dill Pickle Dip is an easy, creamy, crowd-pleasing appetizer.
- Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Rolls are extra fun with bits of dill pickle!
- Cheeseburger Soup features the flavors of your favorite cheeseburger, including dill pickles!
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- Heat oil to 350° F. If using a deep fryer, use the amount of oil specified by the manufacturer. If using a heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop, fill oil to about 2'' deep. Monitor oil temperature with a cooking thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside, for your finished fried pickles.
- Line a separate baking sheet with a layer of paper towel. Set 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 cereal-size bowl, place ½ 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 cereal-size bowl, place the bread crumbs.
- Add just a few pickles at a time to Bowl #1, tossing to completely coat each pickle with flour. I like to use separate hands for the different coating dips, which helps to keep the multiple dipping process a bit cleaner. So here I use my right hand to coat pickles with flour, and add them to Bowl #2.
- In Bowl #2, turn floured pickles to completely coat with batter, now using my left hand. This coating will be wet/messy - and then lightly shake off excess batter and transfer pickle to Bowl #3.
- In Bowl #3, lightly coat each pickle with bread crumbs, using a fork in my right hand to gently flip the pickle. Then, using the fork, carefully release the coated pickle into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Using a kitchen spider or large slotted spoon, lift pickle up out of the oil, letting excess oil drain away for a couple seconds, and then remove fried pickle to prepared paper towel-lined pan. I like to do 4 to 5 pickles at a time, rotating them in and out of the fryer.
Enjoy immediately. Fried food is always best when eaten right away! Serve with your favorite ranch dressing, hot sauce, or BBQ sauce.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 570mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published August 2012 and updated in 2023.