Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles are one of the best eats at the Minnesota State Fair. And with my fried pickles recipe, you can now enjoy this hot and crispy snack at home, whenever you want!

fried pickles on tray with ranch dip

The Minnesota State Fair opens its gates again in just a few weeks. And you know what that means…

FAIR FOOD!!!!

One of my favorite eats at the fair are the Fried Pickles. 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!

Be sure to check out the rest of our family’s favorite foods and drinks at the Minnesota State Fair – click here!

fried pickles on tray with ranch dip

Fried Pickles

Our family is completely smitten with the Minnesota State Fair. Blake and I visited for the first time together just a few weeks prior to our getting married. We haven’t missed a year since. And our two daughters have visited every single year of their lives (currently 17 and 12)!

Check out the 5 Best State Fairs in America from Country Living, that cites the Minnesota State Fair “among the most family-friendly of all fairs” with “an astonishing variety of activities sure to delight children”.

Although the food is a major draw for our entire family, 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. Sometimes we spend a full day or two with our girls, and then head back for an evening with friends to snag some additional grown-up browsing and entertainment, plus more eats and drinks.

In order to taste all the different foods we want to, sharing is a necessity. We usually grab a single item, split it, and then move on, fitting in a food booth every now and then throughout the day.

We have quite a list of favorite fair foods after 20+ years!

Cheese curds (the ones from the Food Building) are a must. As well as homemade salted nut rolls dipped in chocolate (here’s my own homemade version), a Dole Whip pineapple float, almost anything at The Blue Barn, Martha’s Cookies, and…

the way-awesome fried pickles!

Fried pickles booth at the Minnesota State Fair, girl holding a tray of fried pickles with ranch dip

Although The Perfect Pickle has been serving up fried pickles at the fair since 1997, it took me a number of years to try this southern snack myself.

I think it had something to do with their upgrade to a new dill pickle green trailer, parked at a new location near the Midway’s entrance. 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!

a hand dipping a fried pickle slice into ranch dip

The pickles are perfectly dilly, salty, and crunchy.

Just imagine the pickle slices battered, fried to perfection, and then dipped in some ranch dressing…ohhhhhhh my! They’re so good that our daughters – who don’t even like dill pickles – can’t resist a few pieces.

Ever since my first fried pickle eating experience, I had been wanting to try my own hand at frying dills at home. So I dug out the deep fryer wedding gift from its hiding place in the basement many years ago. And the rest is homemade fried pickles history.

fried pickles on tray with ranch dip

Tips for fried pickles recipe

  • It’s very important to make sure the pickle slices are dry, to properly adhere the batter and reduce splattering in the hot oil.
  • Monitor the temperature of the cooking oil with a thermometer. 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.
  • It also helps to have a kitchen spider or a large slatted spatula for removing the finished pickles from the hot oil.
a hand dipping a fried pickle slice into ranch dip

If the thought of deep 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 a fun, puckery treat, especially when dipped into your favorite ranch dressing. We also recommend a few healthy dashes of hot sauce. Pickles at the fair are not served this way, but we’ve found this to be a fun way to add a little heat.

fried pickles on tray with ranch dip

Here are a few more dill pickle recipes you might like:

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles are one of the best eats at the Minnesota State Fair. And with my fried pickles recipe, you can now enjoy this hot and crispy snack at home, whenever you want!

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • canola oil for frying
  • 40 dill pickle slices
  • 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
  • your favorite hot sauce

Instructions

  1. 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 - I use one like this. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside, for your finished fried pickles.
  2. 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.
  3. For Bowl #1: In a cereal-size bowl, place 1/2 cup of the flour.
  4. 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.
  5. For Bowl #3: In a cereal-size bowl, place the bread crumbs.
  6. 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 left hand to coat pickles with flour, and to add them to Bowl #2.
  7. In Bowl #2, turn floured pickles to completely coat with batter, again using my left hand. This coating will be wet/messy - and then lightly shake off excess batter and transfer pickle to Bowl #3.
  8. In Bowl #3, lightly coat each pickle with bread crumbs, using a fork to flip the pickle. With your clean right hand, very 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 slatted metal spatula, lift pickle up out of the oil, letting excess oil drain away for a couple seconds, and then remove 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.
  9. Enjoy immediately. Fried food is always best when eaten right away! Serve with your favorite ranch dressing and/or hot sauce.

Notes

Inspired by the fried pickles from The Perfect Pickle at the Minnesota State Fair.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 732mg Carbohydrates: 37g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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a hand dipping a fried pickle slice into ranch dip

This post was originally published August 2012. I updated some of the photographs and text in August 2019.

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