Can you freeze store-bought pickles?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze store-bought pickles?”, and how to freeze dill pickles?

Can you freeze store-bought pickles?

Yes, you can freeze store-bought pickles. However, expect changes in texture after thawing the frozen pickles. Normally freezing a vegetable with such a high water content would have quality issues because the water forms large ice crystals piercing its tender cell walls.  When the food thaws, water is released from the cells, and they collapse, producing a mushy product. Thus, plain cucumbers are not frozen for use in salads (2).

After the fermentation process of making pickles, during the subsequent storage, low temperature is needed to inhibit the microbial growth and physicochemical changes of pickles. Studies monitored microbial succession and metabolite changes during long-term refrigerated storage of kimchi for 120 d. The results showed that lactic acid bacteria species varied with storage time, and the inhibition of yeast’s growth by cold storage could extend the kimchi shelf life during the long-term storage. Moreover, freezing effectively extends the shelf life of prepared foods, while the formation of ice crystals is inevitable during the freezing process, which may cause the destruction of the cell structure and further lead to changes in texture, color, flavor, and nutrients during the freezing and subsequent frozen storage (1).

Like pickled vegetables such as sauerkraut, sour pickled cucumbers are low in calories (12 kcal). They also contain a moderate amount of vitamin K, specifically in the form of K. 100-gram sour pickled cucumber offers 12–17 μg, or approximately 15–23%, of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin K. However, most sour pickled cucumbers are also high in sodium; one pickled cucumber can contain 350–500 mg, or 15–20% of the American recommended daily limit of 2400 mg (5).

How to freeze dill pickles?

Homemade or store-bought, dill pickles can safely be stored in the freezer. Just grab a good-quality glass container with a tight lid and follow the steps below to safely freeze your dill pickles.

Prepare jars 

Keep your dill pickles and brine ready. Do not throw away the original brine of the store-bought dill pickles. Make sure the freezer jars are completely sterilized before you continue with the next step.

Portion out 

Fill the jars with dill pickle and brine. The quantity of brine should be enough to completely submerge the dill pickle. Leave 1 to ½ inch headspace in the jar. 

This is important because the brine expands during freezing. The brine will freeze solid and break the glass if there is not enough headspace. 


Close the jars with a tight lid. A tight seal prevents the glass from breaking open. For bonus protection, enclose each jar in a freezer bag. This ensures that the contents of the jar are contained within the freezer bag if the glass breaks under too much pressure.


Put a clear label on the jar for identification and to keep track of its shelf-life.


Put the jars at the back of the freezer where it is the coldest and the temperature fluctuations are minimal.

Tips for freezing dill pickles

  1. Invest in good-quality pickle jars. Cheap plastic or glass jars cannot withstand the freezing temperatures and will break easily.
  2. Portion out your dill pickles before freezing. This will help you thaw just the right amount of pickles at a time. 
  1. If you do not want to end up with cracked glass jars, leave a safe headspace before freezing dill pickles.
  2. Make sure your freezer is maintained at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
  3. Adding too much sugar will delay the freezing of the pickle because sugar lowers the freezing point of a mixture. Therefore, keep the quantity of sugar as low as possible.

Do dill pickles freeze well?

Yes, dill pickles freeze quite well. Freezing is the best way to preserve the crispiness of the fresh dill pickles. Some people like to freeze their homemade pickle to further enhance its flavor. Once thawed,these pickles must be refrigerated for use within 2 weeks (3).

How long can you freeze dill pickles?

Dill pickles frozen in brine are best consumed within 6 months of storage (3). If stored correctly, frozen pickles will last a lot longer than this but it is better to err on the side of caution. The shelf-life of the frozen pickles also depends upon the recipe that you use to make pickles.

How to make freezer dill pickles at home?


  • 1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 1/2 cups)
  • ½ sweet onion quartered crosswise and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup dill sprigs
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds


  1. Take a heatproof bowl of medium size. Fill it with cucumbers and onions.
  2. Add ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Then stir in sugar, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring it to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add the piping hot mixture over the onions and cucumbers. Let it sit for about 2 hours. Then add the mustard seeds and dill.
  4. Divide into portions and freeze for up to 6 months.

How do you defrost dill pickles?

Incorrect or quick thawing could easily damage the quality of the pickles. To avoid this, plan ahead of time and let your frozen pickles thaw in the fridge overnight (3). 

There is no rushing in this method or else you will end up with mushy pickles. The thawing time is directly proportional to the portion size of the pickle and the amount of brine.

Can you refreeze dill pickles?

Yes, you can refreeze dill pickles but it does not mean you should. Each refreezing and thawing cycle impacts the quality of the dill pickles. Such extreme temperature fluctuations also promote the growth of harmful microbes. Consumers often ask whether thawing and refreezing is detrimental to food quality. The answer is that when done properly (hygienically, thus preventing microbial contamination during thawing), the effect of multiple freezing on quality (e.g. increased drip) is usually not very serious (4).

Therefore, it is not recommended to refreeze dill pickles. Once thawed, store the dill pickles in the fridge. Make sure the fridge maintains its temperature. Consume the thawed and refrigerated dill pickle within a week for peak quality.

Other FAQs about Pickles that you may be interested in.

Do you have to refrigerate pickles?

Can pickles go bad?

Can pickles go bad if left out?

Does Indian Pickle Go Bad?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze store-bought pickles?”, and how to freeze dill pickles?


  1. Leng, Dongmei, et al. Low temperature preservation developed for special foods in East Asia: A review. J Food Process Preserv, 2022, 46, e16176.
  2. Freezer pickles. Penn State University. 2021.  
  3. Ingham, Barbara H. Homemade pickles & relishes. University of Wisconsin–Extension, Cooperative Extension, 2008.
  4. Evans, Judith A., ed. Frozen food science and technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
  5. Behera, Sudhanshu S., et al. Traditionally fermented pickles: How the microbial diversity associated with their nutritional and health benefits?. J Funct Foods, 2020, 70, 103971.