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What are TikTok pickles?

TikTok pickles refer to videos on the social media platform TikTok that show people making and eating homemade pickles. These videos often use ASMR techniques and follow specific trends in terms of ingredients, techniques, and presentation. Pickling has seen a major resurgence in popularity in recent years, and TikTok has played a big role in introducing pickling to a new generation. TikTok pickles represent a fun new way for people to share their love of pickling and learn new recipes and methods from others.

History of pickling

Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, with origins tracing back over 4,000 years. Most anthropologists believe pickling emerged out of the practice of using salt or brines to preserve fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. Early pickling methods were crude, typically involving soaking food in a saltwater brine. Over time, people discovered that adding herbs, spices, vinegar, and other ingredients helped enhance flavor and preservation.

The earliest pickles likely originated in India and Mesopotamia, where cucumbers were soaked in salty brines. From there, pickling spread throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe. Pickled foods quickly became a diet staple because they added variety and nutrients during long winters when fresh produce was scarce. Pickles also helped prevent scurvy on long ocean voyages thanks to their vitamin C content.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, pickling methods became more refined across Europe. Ingredients like vinegar, dill, garlic, and allspice helped pickle flavors evolve. Pickled fruits and vegetables were shipped between colonies and became an early global export/import food.

In the United States, pickling reached new heights in the 19th century as waves of immigrants brought their pickle-making traditions. Pickled cucumbers, eggs, pig’s feet, and more became commonplace. The rise of home economics made canning and pickling favorite hobbies. By the mid 20th century, commercial pickle production was booming, led by brands like Heinz.

Today pickling remains both a beloved food craft and major industry around the world. Global pickle exports were estimated at over $13 billion USD in 2021.

Pickling process

The pickling process involves soaking fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other foods in a brine or vinegar solution. This acidic environment helps:

– Preserve foods by inhibiting microbial growth. The acids kill or suppress bacteria, yeasts, and molds that cause spoilage.

– Infuse foods with savory, salty, and sour flavors.

– Change food textures resulting in a pleasant, crunchy pickled state.

There are two main pickling methods: fermented and quick pickles.

Fermented pickles

Fermented or brined pickles rely on salt, time, and naturally occurring good bacteria called lactobacilli to preserve food. Cucumbers or other vegetables are submerged into a saltwater brine and left to slowly ferment for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. During this time, anaerobic lactic acid bacteria feed on the natural sugars in the food, producing lactic acid as a byproduct. The acidic environment created by the lactic acid preserves the food while adding tangy sour flavors. Common fermented pickle varieties include:

– Dill pickles – Cucumbers pickled with dill, garlic, and other spices.
– Sauerkraut – Fermented and salted cabbage.
– Kimchi – Spicy, fermented Korean staple made with napa cabbage and radish.
– Fermented green beans
– Fermented beets

Quick pickles

Quick or shortcut pickling involves submerging sliced fruits or vegetables into a vinegar solution. The acetic acid in the vinegar works as the preservative instead of lactic acid from fermentation. Since this is a faster process, quick pickles are ready to eat within several hours or days. Common quick pickled foods include:

– Cucumbers
– Radishes
– Carrots
– Onions
– Peppers
– Green beans
– Eggs
– Fruits like watermelon rinds or grapes

The brine solution for quick pickles usually includes vinegar plus water, salt, sugar, and pickling spices like coriander, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and dill. Quick pickling is popular for making small batched refrigerator pickles that last 1-2 months.

History of pickling on TikTok

While pickling has a long history, it has seen a major revival thanks to TikTok. Pickling videos first started gaining popularity in late 2020 and have continued trending into 2023. There are now over 12 billion views for videos using the #pickles tag. Pickling perfectly suited for TikTok because the videos are visually engaging and follow easy recipes.

Pickling TikTok took off during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were cooking at home more and looking for food craft hobbies. Cottagecore and farmcore aesthetics popular on TikTok also made pickling feel fresh andnostalgic. Canning and pickling allow people to literally “pickle their passions” and capture the taste of summer bounty year-round.

Pickling videos are popular across generations – everyone from teenagers to seniors are sharing their recipes. Short-form videos allow pickling experts to share knowledge while novices can ask questions in real time. The joy of cracking open a freshly pickled jar is instantly gratifying in a 60 second TikTok.

While traditional fermented pickles still appear on TikTok, quick refrigerator pickles are by far the most popular. Their speed and simplicity is perfect for the TikTok format. Refrigerator pickles also provide instant gratification compared to long ferments.

Popular pickle trends on TikTok

Certain pickling trends have risen to fame on TikTok thanks to their unique flavors, colorful hues, satisfying textures, or unexpected ingredient combinations.

Rainbow pickles

Rainbow pickles take their technicolor look from a brine tinted with spices like turmeric, pineapple, beetroot, and red cabbage. They are most commonly made by quick pickling vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, onions, and broccoli. The resulting neon pickled veggies make a pretty addition to charcuterie boards and snacks.

Spicy pickles

Spicy pickled flavors are always popular, but TikTok has fueled an obsession for extra fiery pickles. Many recipes boost the heat using jalapeno peppers, habaneros, crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha, or spicy dilly beans. They provide a lip-tingling, pickle-y kick perfect for dares and pickle challenges.

Sweet and sour pickles

Adding a touch of sugar to brine balances out sour pickle tang with a hint of sweetness. Popular options include candied bread and butter pickle chips, honey ginger pickled carrots, and cinnamon apple pickles. The sweet-sour flavor combo is highly craveable.

Fruit pickles

Fruit pickling is having a moment thanks to recipes like pickled grapes, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon rind, blueberries, and more. The unique taste and texture of pickled fruit delights both young and old. Quick pickled fruits make easy party appetizers or salad toppers.

Pickle chips

Forget potato chips – thinly sliced pickle chips are the pickled snack sweeping TikTok. Quick pickled vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and green beans get chopped into rounds or chips before getting a bubbly pickle bath. Crunchy pickle chips are perfect for dipping or topping tacos, nachos, and sandwiches.

Big pickle energy

Giant pickles the size of a forearm have become their own viral meme thanks to extreme recipes using oversized cucumbers or even kool-aid pickles. These monster pickles symbolize bringing chaotic energy and fun to your feed. Giant pickles get sliced into audibly crunchy chips or demolished with epic pickle crunch ASMR.

Why are TikTok pickles so popular?

Pickling is having its big moment thanks to TikTok for many reasons:

ASMR appeal

TikTok pickle videos often use ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response techniques. ASMR triggers like crisp pickle crunching, pouring brines, and jar scraping create tingly, relaxing sensations for viewers. The popularity of ASMR mukbang eating shows make pickles a perfect food trend.

Satisfying textures

Watching crisp quick pickles emerge from brine is instantly gratifying. The satisfying crunch and juicy pop when you bite into a pickled chip delivers an addictive pickle texture experience.

Bright colors

Vibrant pickled rainbow veggies and fruits delight Gen Z and millennial audiences. The colors are perfect for the visually driven TikTok platform.

Strong flavors

A sour, tangy pickled snap excites your tastebuds. Spicy, sweet, and savory pickle flavors also inspire recipe innovation and pickle flavor combos.

Nostalgia factor

Older generations enjoy pickling content on TikTok because it reminds them of beloved family recipes or pickling with grandparents as a child. Younger viewers see pickling as a cool vintage craft.

Creativity outlet

Pickling allows for creative remixing across colors, flavors, textures, shaping pickled veggies, adding fun additions like peppers or grapes, and plating in jars. The possibilities are endless.

DIY and homesteading appeal

Pickling fits into larger TikTok trends like homesteading, gardening, and home cooking. Pickling fruit and veggie bounty satisfies the urge to live more sustainably, save money, and avoid food waste.


Basic pickling only requires a few inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, salt, sugar, and jars. The ease of refrigerator pickles makes pickling doable for beginners and without fancy equipment. Short TikTok tutorials demystify the process.

Pickling tips for beginners

Interested in trying your hand at pickling for the first time? Here are some top tips:

Start with quick pickles

Quick refrigerator pickles are ideal to begin with over long ferments. You’ll be eating your crunchy creations within hours instead of weeks.

Pickle in small batches

Avoid getting overwhelmed by pickling veggies in large batches. Start with just 1 or 2 jars before scaling up.

Use fresh, firm produce

The crispest veggies and fruits make the best pickles. Avoid limp or overly ripe produce. Small cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and grape tomatoes work well.

Keep it simple

Basic brines of vinegar, water, salt, sugar, garlic, and dill or cumin provide classic pickle flavor. Once you master the basics, experiment with new ingredients.

Refrigerate immediately

After packing your pickles into sterilized jars, refrigerate right away to cool and preserve.

Remove air bubbles

Make sure the brine fully covers your pickled ingredients and taps out any trapped air bubbles. This prevents oxidation and growth of harmful microbes.

Use the right proportions

A general rule is a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water plus 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar per cup of liquid. Adjust acidity and sweetness to your tastes.

Check seasonings

Taste your brine before pouring over vegetables. This ensures the saltiness, tang, and flavors are right on the mark.

Common pickle ingredients

Here are some of the core ingredients that go into many popular pickle recipes on TikTok:


White vinegar is most common, but apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, and champagne vinegar also get used. Vinegar adds acidity to preserve and sour pickled foods. A 2:1 vinegar to water ratio is typical.


Filtered or distilled water helps keep brines crisp and clear. Hard tap water can cause pickled veggies to soften.


Kosher or canning salt adds flavor and crisps up pickles. Use 1 tablespoon per cup of vinegar and water.


White sugar balances acidity and adds sweetness. Use 1 tablespoon per cup of brine. Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave work too.

Fresh herbs

Dill, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, and peppercorns infuse pickles with flavor. Bundle in cheesecloth.


Mustard seeds, coriander, red chili flakes, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves add warmth.


Cucumbers, carrots, radishes, green beans, onions, cauliflower, peppers, and grapes are top choices for pickling.

Color additions

Ingredients like turmeric, cabbage, beets, and pineapple give rainbow pickles their vivid hues.

How to make TikTok crispy pickle chips

Looking to make those famous crunchy pickle chips sweeping TikTok? Here’s an easy refrigerator pickle recipe to try:


– 4-5 small cucumbers or 1 pound cucumber spears
– 2 cups white vinegar
– 2 cups water
– 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
– 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 tablespoon dried dill (or 1 small bunch fresh dill)
– 4 cloves garlic, halved
– 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Wash cucumbers and trim ends. Cut into 1/4-inch rounds or chips.

2. Combine remaining ingredients except cucumbers in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.

3. Place cucumber slices into two sterilized 1-pint jars. Pour hot brine over cucumbers to cover completely.

4. Tap jars gently to remove air bubbles. Add more brine if needed to cover. Seal lids.

5. Refrigerate jars for a minimum of 2 hours before eating for flavors to develop.

6. Store pickled chips refrigerated up to 2 months. The longer they pickle, the more flavorful they become.

7. Enjoy TikTok-worthy crisp, tangy pickle chips on burgers, tacos, salads and more! Adjust brine ingredients to your tastes.

Pickling safety

While pickling is generally safe using the right methods, there are some important safety considerations:

Use sterile equipment

Wash jars, lids, tongs, and utensils thoroughly before use. Sanitize with boiling water or pickle jar sterilizer.

Only use vinegar with at least 5% acidity

Higher acidity is needed to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

Follow tested recipes

Improperly canned or fermented pickles can allow C. bot growth. Only use trusted recipes.

No oil in brines

Oil floating on top of brine can harbor anaerobic bacteria. Use vinegar for acidity.

Avoid doubling recipes

Doubling acidity can prevent safe preservation. Make multiple smaller batches instead.

Refrigerate after opening

Once exposed to air, always store pickled jars chilled at 40°F or below.

Discard moldy pickles

Discard any pickles with mold, off colors, bad smells, or sliminess. Don’t taste test. Botulism has no taste.

Can properly for shelf storage

Only properly canned pickles can be stored at room temperature. Refrigerate quick pickles.

Following basic food safety helps prevent dangerous foodborne illnesses like botulism when DIY pickling. When in doubt, stick to pickle recipes from reputable sources and refrigerate.


TikTok pickles represent a fun, fresh way to preserve seasonal produce and explore new flavor combinations. Their popularity proves pickling is far from a dying art. While TikTok makes pickling trendy again, it still taps into pickling’s rich history and human desire to capture summer’s bounty for the winter. Pickling provides an outlet for creativity and self-sufficiency that appeals across generations.

The next time you scroll TikTok, look for satisfying pickle chip ASMR, pickle hacks, recipes from pickle pros, and pickle joy. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to start quick pickling easy refrigerator versions like zesty dills, cinnamon apple slices, or neon rainbow chips. Embrace the tangy, refreshing snap of fresh TikTok pickles.