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Easy Fried Pickles

Bowl of batter-covered easy fried pickles with a jar of dipping sauce nearby
These easy fried pickles are a cinch to make and call for cornmeal, hot sauce, buttermilk, and seasoned salt. They go perfectly with beer.
Kay Robertson

Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Snacks
Southern
6 to 8 servings
204 kcal

Equipment

  • Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

Ingredients 

  • Peanut oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce such as Crystal or Cholula
  • One (16-ounce) jar dill pickle slices drained
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned salt such as Tony Chachere's, Lawry's, or even store-bought or homemade Old Bay, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
  • Ranch dressing for dipping (optional)

Directions 

  • Pour the oil in a large, deep cast-iron skillet or deep-fryer to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil until it reaches 365°F (185°C) on a deep-fry or instant-read thermometer.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Add the pickle slices and gently toss to coat.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, seasoned salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Use a fork, slotted spoon, or tongs to remove anywhere from 5 to 8 pickle slices from the buttermilk mixture and let the excess goop drip off. Then toss the pickles in the cornmeal mixture and turn each one and ensure its coated lightly and evenly. Slip the coated pickles, 1 at a time, into the hot oil, making sure not to fry too many at once since you want them to float freely rather than be crowded. Fry until the coating is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on how lightly or darkly golden you like your fried things. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried pickles to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the hot pickles with a little more seasoned salt, if desired. Repeat until all the pickles are fried. Between batches, skim and discard any large clumps of cornmeal mixture that accumulate in the oil. Also bear in mind that the most important thing about this entire process is to make absolute certain the oil returns to 365°F (185°C) before adding the next batch of pickles.
  • Serve the fried pickles hot. If desired, set out a dish of ranch dressing on the side for dipping.