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Ice Box Pickles

Ice Box Pickles
This cold pickle recipe is a family recipe, compliments of my grandmother, Jeanette Kesselring, from Arnold, Missouri. These are delicious eaten straight from the jar (although we use them as sandwich toppings).

Submitted by: Alyx from Evanston, IL
Yield: varies


Featured in this Recipe


  • 7 cups cucumbers, sliced thin (smaller cucumbers are preferable, if you don't care for seeds)
  • 1 cup sweet onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Bring the sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed mixture to a boil.

  2. Cool slightly and pour over the cucumbers and onions.

  3. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. Will keep indefinitely.


Based on 9 reviews

Customer Reviews


I substituted 3 ts of Old Bay seasoning in place of the celery seeds and boy, it was a hit! I also tossed into each jar, whole and halved cloves of garlic and fresh Dill & Parsley from my garden. (I included the flowers) I didn’t wait long to pour the brine over the cukes and onions. Right into the fridge and we started eating them in about 48 hours. This would be great if you added nasturtium flowers too!

Ed M

Honestly I didn’t make this recipe as it is written. Either it was stated incorrectly or they had to wait a long time for it to develope. Allowing the “brine” to cool is a mistake. It would take weeks for the pickles to become “pickled” this way. My grandmother had basicly the same recipe except she cut the onions into rings and also added some allspice and coarse ground black pepper to the mixture. Pack the cucumbers and onions into a jar and pour the brine mixture over them enought to cover them and screw the lid on tightly. When they cooled to room temperature, or until you could handle the jars with bare hands you put them in the refrigerator. Let them set at least overnight but the longer the better.

St. Louis Joe 2

My wife corrects me. It was her Aunt Ruby, married to Uncle Clyde who lived in Garden Prarie Illinois.

St. Louis Joe

In my house we call them Aunt Ruby Pickles, although no one can remember whose Aunt she was! I just made some this morning, added some whole black peppercorns, some whole closed and a pinch of saffron, because, what the heck, it was right next to the celery seed in the spice drawer.

Tim S

I’m in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. We can’t get sweet pickles here. So, I did a search and found you. I shared the pickles with a lot of people and shared your recipe also. I like tuna salad, so I grated some of the cucumbers to make relish. It is delicious.

Great Recipe!

Karen B

An important step was left out of this recipe. I have 3 very similar ice box or refrigerator pickle recipes, one involves using a large tub like container with a lid, layering the veggies and brine and then storing them in the refrigerator for at least 4 days before eating. You also have to gently toss the veggies in the brine once each day. On the last day you put them into jars, filling to the top, and seal and place in refrigerator, mine kept beautifully for up to 3 months.

elaine l

This recipe is good, however I added onion slices, garlic, sliced hot peppers, allspice—I did not allow to “cool” but poured it over the cucumber mixture.

Donna S

How ironic that I went to google and typed in “ice box pickles” because my mom is looking for the recipe and found your recipe. My mom still lives in Arnold, Missouri and grew up there :-) Can’t wait to show her this recipe from your grandmother!

Bonnie W

This is my second year using this recipe—we love these pickles! I put the syrup over the jars packed with cucumbers and onion after it had cooled from boiling but was still hot and the pickles turned out great. Maybe a better definition that just “cool” would be helpful. Yes, I will make these pickles again—talk about easy!!

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