Fried pickles are a menu staple in the South. These salty, crispy, tangy pickles are just as delicious as french fries, but pack a bigger flavor punch. But who wants to relegate something so tasty to dining out only?
That's why we're happy to share that we've totally nailed the oven-fried pickle! It's equally as tasty and crispy as its fried restaurant friend, without the hassle of heating up oil and frying in the heat of summer. Here's how you can make restaurant-worthy oven-fried pickles at home.
What the Heck is Oven-Frying?
Oven-frying is a technique for cooking food in the oven with bit of fat, and sometimes a coating, until it takes on the characteristics of fried food. Yes, golden, crispy food is possible, and in the case of oven-fried pickles, egg white and cornmeal are both used to create a crisp coating that sticks without being fussy and bakes up into a crunchy crust that shatters when you bite into it.
Key Steps for Crispy Oven-Fried Pickles
- Dry the pickles well. A problem that plagues both fried and oven-fried pickles is the coating falling off either mid-cooking or mid-bite. The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure that your pickles are well-dried. Drain the pickles of their juices and then spread the pickles into a single layer and pat dry with paper towels.
- Whip the egg white. A single egg white is doing double duty here as both an adhesive and a crunch-maker. Whisking the egg white until fluffy and sort of dry-looking denatures the egg white's proteins, making it very sticky. That's good for holding onto the cornmeal coating and encouraging it to bake up crispy in the oven.
- Shake and bake the pickles. Oven-fried pickles should feel easy to make. Add the dried pickles to a bag filled with cornmeal, flour, and Creole seasoning and shake them to coat. There's no dipping of individual pickles here!
- Use plenty of olive oil for baking. Be generous with the oil you use on the baking sheet — it helps brown the pickles as they bake and helps them taste more like fried pickles.
Dipping Sauce Is a Must
Almost every restaurant serves their fried pickles with a simple mayo dipping sauce, and these oven-fried pickles should be no exception. The dipping sauce for these oven-fried pickles is just four ingredients and can mixed up while the pickles bake.
Serving Oven-Fried Pickles
Trust me when I say that you'll want to serve these pickles right away. Although the coating will stay crisp for about an hour out of the oven, there's just something about dipping these warm pickles into the cool dipping sauce that cannot be missed. Just like ordering these at a restaurant, you'll want to eat these before everything else anyway!
How To Make Oven-Fried Pickles
What You Need
- For the pickles:
1 (16-ounce) jar
dill pickle slices
large egg white
- For the dipping sauce:
freshly ground black pepper
Measuring cups and spoons
Rimmed baking sheet
Gallon zip-top bag
Thin, flat spatula
Heat the oven to 425°F and preheat a baking sheet. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack to preheat while you prepare the pickles.
Drain the pickles well and pat dry. Drain the pickles well. Place them in a single layer on paper towels, then pat the tops of the pickles dry with more paper towels.
Whisk the egg white. Place the egg white in a medium bowl and whisk until foamy, white, and soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Coat the pickles in the egg white. Add the pickles to the egg white and gently stir with a spatula to coat.
Coat the pickles in the flour and cornmeal. Place the flour, cornmeal, and Creole seasoning in a large zip-top bag. Seal the bag and gently shake to combine. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pickles to the bag. Seal again and shake the bag to coat the pickles evenly in the cornmeal mixture.
Bake the pickles on the preheated pan for 10 minutes. Pour the olive oil on the preheated baking sheet. Working quickly, remove the pickles from the bag, shaking off any excess cornmeal mixture, and place on the baking sheet, making sure they are spaced evenly and not touching. Bake until golden-brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce.
Mix up the dipping sauce. Place all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Serve the pickles warm with the dip. Using a thin, flat spatula, transfer the pickles to a serving platter. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.
Make ahead: The dipping sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.