The Return of Ranch Pickles


I know.

It is barely March, and the temperatures in our far northeastern Illinois town are acting like it is May.

Of course, we are gonna get hit with more snow and ice and what have you; but, just for today, I am gonna think about mebbe firing up the grill and enjoying the sunshine and balmy weather.

And ranch pickles are the perfect accompaniment; whether for brats, or in salads, or just on their own.

•1 jar spicy sweet pickle chips*
•1 packet ranch dressing mix

*I use Famous Dave’s sliced pickles, but feel free to use your own fave, or even pickles spears. A dash of pickled jalapeños is also a nice addition.

Empty the ranch dressing packet into a quart canning jar, then add the juice from a large jar of pickles.

Cover the jar and shake to mix well before adding the pickles.

Note: of course, you can just add the ranch dressing mix directly to the pickle jar, then close that and shake to blend, but I think combining the brine and the mix before adding the pickles gives me a more nicely blended batch.

Cover and stash in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to blend.

I will admit, I did not fire up the grill after making this batch of pickles, but we did have some brats, fresh from the air fryer.

Add brats to a pot with beer to cover, some thickly sliced onion, and a nice pat of butter, then bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the brats are cooked.

Remove the brats and sliced onion from the pot and arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined air fryer tray.

Air fry the brats at 400º for 15 or 20 minutes, turning the brats over to crisp evenly after ten minutes.


I made my ranch pickles into a relish with freshly chopped sweet onion and thought it practically perfect.

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