Not all pickles are sweet and innocent.  These pickles are wicked.  Sweet, sour and HOT pickles you can make in minutes.



The odd time people send me things.  Sometimes the things people send me are odd.  When I was on television a woman used to send me feathers that fell out of her parrot.  I’m not sure if it was because she thought I was a parrot lover, or a parrot hater, or that I needed a little ornamentation myself.



Last summer reader Milton sent me a package of goods native to his hometown in Mississippi, which as any Canadian will tell you, seems as foreign and magical a place as Mars.

In that package that contained everything from olive oil to ridiculously delicious desserts, there was a jar of Wickles. Wickedly delicous pickles.  Also hot.  Wickedly, deliciously hot, pickles.  They’re sweet pickles, like a bread and butter pickle, that are also, just for fun, blindingly hot.


You can’t get Wickles in Canada.  At all.  Anywhere.  I know this because I’ve searched.  You can get ones that are similar, but they aren’t quite sweet enough, or the pickles are a bit mushy or they’re just plain wrong for whatever reason.  They’re je ne sais blah.

So I took it upon myself to figure out how to make Wickles.  Luckily for me (and you) it’s easy.

You can either make them from scratch using my Bread & Butter pickles recipe, or you can just use this little trick with a jar of store bought sweet pickles.

Ready for your list of incredibly detailed instructions?  Do you have a pen?  A piece of paper?  Maybe an abacus?  Here we go.

To turn sweet pickles into hot and sweet pickles:

Add a dried hot pepper to the jar.


Seriously. That’s it.  They’re not just Wickles, they’re Quickles.

Just take a dried hot pepper (you can find these in the grocery store), split it in half and add both halves to the jar of pickles.  Shove it in there.  Seeds and all.



I like 2 hot peppers, split in half, in 500 ml jar of pickles.  That’s a pint for you non ml folks.  They’re just hot enough to make me cry out in pain a little bit but not so hot that I can stop myself from eating them.

But one full hot pepper might be TOO hot for you.  Or it might not be hot enough.  Or, it might be baby bear’s bed and you’ll think it’s just right.  You just have to play around and see what you like best.

I’d say start with 1 hot pepper sliced in half in the jar and go from there.

These pickles need to steep for around 2 weeks for the heat to infuse them so if you want to serve them for Christmas for instance, you should think about making them now.  And by “making them” I mean you need to start thinking about sticking a pepper in a jar.  Yeah.  Oops, there is the  incredibly difficult and important step of cutting the pepper in half as well.

And I encourage you to serve these for any family get together.  I also encourage you not to warn people that these are hot pickles because it’s more fun that way.  And therefore, now that I’ve given it more thought, I encourage you to go the three hot pepper route.

I do not encourage you to send me parrot feathers.


  1. Billy says:

    Wow! What kind of peppers did you add to the pickles? This seems like something I could get on board with! I love spicy food and I love pickles so getting those two in conjunction sounds like a dream. How much heat does this add to the pickle at the end of the process? I really think I’m going to have to give this recipe a try. Thank you for your recipe, and also for the beautiful pictures of the process.

  2. Amy says:

    KAREN! I may have been a 1st Wickles Pickles taste tester!!! Around 12 years ago I worked lunches at SWEET SUES TEA ROOM in Bolingbroke Ga. The creator of Wickles Pickles came in our popular tearoom/authentic soda fountain to ask us to try his Pickles. It was his product he was looking to put on the market. We bought a case of Pickles and relish. We loved them and sold the whole lot. The rest is history and now I buy them at my local grocery. I love mine layered on top of Eizekel toast with jalapeño pimento cheese. Delicious!

  3. Sandra says:

    What’s the best way to dry peppers? I have some jalapeno’s that are starting to shrivel.

    • Susie says:

      Just let them keep shriveling and in a single layer away from any dampness…I’ve had them dry completely on their own in my pottery fruit bowl. I’ve also strung them up on dental floss and hung them on a hook in my kitchen. I have a ton of them now…wish I could share.

      • Sandra D says:

        Wow, thanks, Susie, I’d forgotten I’d even asked, lol. What do you do with them? Can this be the way to dry them for seeds?

  4. Mindy says:

    So, the parrot feathers would have creeped me out a wee bit. That is definitely odd.

  5. Ruth says:

    ‘Number two’ should be an ‘interesting’ encounter after consuming such delights. Hmmm.

    Maybe your next post should be how to avoid ‘anus on fire’ after consuming wickedly hot pickles (or any other fiery concoction, for that matter). Hehe

    • Karen says:

      Hey Ruth! Yes. Wickles are a double edged sword so to speak. ;) I was wondering about you. There was something going on in Jamaica a while ago. Fires? Drought? Tsunami? Something anyway. Glad to see you’re safe from whatever it was that was happening in Jamaica in possibly my imagination. ~ karen!

  6. Benjamin says:

    In lieu of parrot feathers I’ll be sending you my new recipe for sautéed fresh cranberries and Brussel sprouts with a balsamic and honey vinaigrette. You could probably even add a little hot pepper action to this also for a kick of I dare you to try it. And for a little ornamentation I could loan you my rainbow afro wig to wear while you cook. It’ll go great with the feathers that lunatic woman sent. PS: have I told you recently how much I think you’re super wonderful. ((hugs)) :)

  7. Tammy says:

    I have another quick idea for you all! I pickle my home grown okra, but you can buy jars of pickled okra, add a chipotle pepper from a can found in the Mexican food isle and steep for 2 weeks. I call it “Smokra”. The chipotle peppers are smoky and not too very hot, but dangerous enough. Delicious!

  8. Nicci says:

    We call them Fire and Ice pickles in Kansas too… In addition to the peppers (jalapeños in my family’s case) we add peeled whole garlic cloves to the sweet store bought pickles. Garlicky spicy sweet deliciousness.

    • Benjamin says:

      omg, that sounds like something that’ll make my toes curl a my eyes roll back with a sigh and a giggle. you know what that means… I have got to try it.

  9. Kelliblue says:

    Wickles and je ne sais blah. Two things I will add to my verbal repetoire forthwith. :)

    Was just discussing the heat signatures of vindaloo and phall with a Brit coworker yesterday. Wickles might fit right into that discussion. Not to mention make for a tasty Christmas gift. :)

  10. Anti Kate says:

    Parrot Feather Brigade, arm up! Karen needs Christmas presents, lots and lots of Christmas presents!

  11. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Meant to ask, any reason it’s a dried pepper? Would a fresh one be just as good?

  12. Melissa says:

    Wow, that’s it? I love Wickles and didn’t realize they were so easy to mimic…

  13. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Hey Karen! Your encouragement to NOT warn folks that the pickles are hot is absolutely wicked. My Mom used to do that when I brought a fella home for Sunday dinner. She’d pass the pickled banana peppers with a smile. The only one to pass the test without dying was my current husband of 45 years years of relatively wedded bliss. Thanks Mom.

  14. Renee says:

    Mix good maple syrup & some good bourbon added. Put in a recycled jar so you can feel fancy. Yum with pecans & or chocolate chips over pancakes, ice cream, with a straw……:) maybe pickles?

  15. Gayle M says:

    Great idea! For those of you who don’t like it hot, another way to use jarred pickles to make a food gift is this: take one jar (any size ) bread and butter pickles. Drain them and if you are planning to “fool” your friends into thinking you actually canned last summer, pack them into canning jars. Sorry, here’s the cooking part: brew up a small batch of dill pickle brine, and then pour it hot into the jars to cover the pickles. Cap and let cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge for 2 weeks before sharing. These sweet dill pickles are amazingly good.

    Any other short cut food gift ideas out there?

  16. lyanne says:

    You are too funny! thanks for another morning laugh!…(def going the 3 pepper pickle and no telling)

  17. Jennie Lee says:

    When I was little, my Grandmama, who lived 400 miles away, had an Amazon parrot named Amigo, and she sent me all the feathers he shed. You missed the whole point, Karen: the feathers were for my CAT. Your cats would love them. Somehow, cats know that feathers are parts of BIRDS, and they love them. It doesn’t matter what color they are, the instant my cat’s eyes land on a feather, he wants it. NOW. The only exception is peacock feathers. I guess they’re so huge, he doesn’t realize they’re feathers. Which is good, because they would no longer be pretty after he drooled all over them.

  18. Melinda says:

    Being from Mississippi, I love that you compared it to Mars! hahahaha! I love reading about your adventures. I also look forward to seeing the completed fancied up bookshelves…


    My relatives who own “Wickles” in Dadeville AL will not be happy to see you discovered their secret recipe. :) I cannot wait to send this to them! They have made a nice living for several families off of these pickles. Have a great day!

    • Karen says:

      You’re kidding?? That’s hilarious. :) Forget sending them this post, have THEM send me pickles, lol. ;) They probably owe reader Milton a few jars too. ~ karen!

  20. Eileen says:

    Ha, I’m sending cat hair fluff balls…none of this feather nonsense. Cat hair fluff balls can keep you warm in Canadian winters, 1 square inch (oh hell, do I have to convert that to metric for you?) at a time.

  21. BamaCarol says:

    Oh we love our Wickles down here in Alabama. I bet this place is as strange to you as Venus if you think Mississippi is like Mars. I was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi and have lived in Alabama for the last 38 years. Would love to visit Canada sometime.

  22. Ann Brookens says:

    I really don’t like spicy/hot, but all these comments are making me want to try those pickles! And I KNOW I’ll regret it if I do!

  23. ronda says:

    i have two kids who are into hot too! AND pickles. sriracha on everthing! what a great “homemade” Christmas idea!

  24. Ev Wilcox says:

    I am not a pickle person nor is their father, but my adult children are, for some reason. Must be one of them there recessive genes. I would like to make up pint jars for gifts, but what pickles do I get? If anyone answers this-please be specific. Thanks!

    • Lez says:

      I make these. So easy. Just make normal refrigerator pickled cucumbers (gherkins) & literally, as Karin says, just throw in one dried hot pepper. Done!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ev. You can just use any sliced sweet pickles. Or bread and butter pickles. Thin sliced would be best. Vlasic or Bicks or anything like that if you don’t have access to super-fancy pickle brands (which you don’t need) ~ karen!

      • Ev Wilcox says:

        Thanks Karen-Vlasic I know. If the jars say”sweet pickles” or “bread and butter pickles” I’ll be ok. I guess.

  25. Karin in NC says:

    I have tried Wickles and they’re fine, but for the best sweet/hot pickles you have to try McClures. They are made in Detroit and Brooklyn (NY) and used to be available only in those two cities, but they are now sold at Cost Plus/World Market stores and online. I don’t have stock in the company, by the way, just a huge fan. Anyway, after I eat all the pickles (10 minutes) I use the brine, which is PRETTY and full of garlic cloves, dill flowers and peppers, to pickle all kinds of veggies and even use it for other not so good pickles, and they are all delicious after a week or two in that brine.

  26. Deb says:

    We’ve been buying Wickles here in Alabama for years. My husband LOVES them. But now he has a second pickle addiction: Market Stand Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles, found at the local WalMart! A couple of jars of pickles, some Pirouline cookies and a book of postage stamps (yes, he’s old school, for sure!) and his Christmas stocking is filled! ? Gotta love a low-maintainace guy!

    • Jenifer says:

      Omg! Market Stand Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles sound great! I am going to search for a recipe right now…unless Karen is feeling inspired…what do you say Karen? eh? (See I’ve even learned how to speak Canadian from you!)


      • Karen says:

        Ha! Eh, is the Canadian equivalent of the American, huh. :) I’d love to make Market Stand Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles. But I don’t know what they taste like. :/ So for now I’m just going to recommend you take a swig of maple syrup, a swig of bourbon, then eat a pickle. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      A book of stamps, lol! That’s great. :) ~ karen!

  27. Mary W says:

    Bet the juice would be good sprinkled over a plate of nachos that were first dripped with melted boxed cheese. I NEVER use that cheese, ever and think it is made with plastic, but this quick chipendip is just not right without it. Your Wickle Quickles will make it over the top good. Wonder if I could name them Qwickles?

  28. Karin says:

    My husbands coworker got him hooked on homemade hot pickled beets. The sweet is already in the beet but the guy uses ghost peppers so I won’t touch ’em. I’m told they’re delicious.

  29. Sandy Z says:

    I have a jar in my fridge right now called “Sweet Fire”. They also have jalapeno pepper rings in there, and they ARE sweet fire for sure. Be v-e-r-y careful!

  30. Marilyn says:

    Quickles. Lol my spell check wants to make it quickies. Not quite the same thing. ..

  31. KariMcD says:

    I always have a jar of Wickles in the fridge.,,,dear God, they’re addictive!

    • Karen says:

      They really are! It’s weird! Even when I’m thinking, O.K. … this is too hot now, I’ve had too many … I just keep shoving them in my mouth. ~ karen!

  32. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    No thank you Ma’am…I like hot but I’m not touching wicked hot…lol…

  33. Susan says:

    We call them fire and ice pickles in Louisiana.

  34. Tere Crow Lindsay says:

    I positively love Wickles. Try them on your tuna sandwich. Old tuna fish never tasted better. MMMMMM makes me want some right now, only, it’s almost 2 a.m. Maybe I can have some with my oatmeal………not. LOL! Love your quickle trick!!!! That’s a good one.

  35. Thandi Welman says:

    And here I was, just randomly putting together a parcel of Birdbird’s best moult to send to you for Christmas. Well fine. Be that way.

  36. Melissa L. says:

    Je ne sais blah… I’m totally stealing this. But first I’m gonna stick peppers in pickles. Well, first I’m gonna buy pickles, then put them in canning jars, then stick peppers in there… “homemade” gifts. Shh.

  37. Shirley says:

    I think I can one up you on the hot department. This fall I had some spring planted garlic that didn’t really clove out if you get my meaning. They just turned into large single cloves. I made a jar of refrigerator pickled garlic. There was room in the jar so I thought what the heck and threw in some sliced Shishito peppers. I put the jar n the fridge for about a month. One night after some socialization involving various liquids, we cracked open the jar! I think I can still feel the burn! Grown men with tears in their eyes. If there had been wallpaper it would have gone up in flames! Strangely no one has asked for the recipe!

  38. That same guy. says:

    Linda’s Carolina Reapers make for a nice bump in the bread and butter pickles.
    Reuse of brine for pickled eggs is heartily endorsed.

  39. Tina says:

    There used to be a pickle I found in Oregon called Sweet-n-Heat…I think made by Killer Dave…but he’s a bread guy so maybe I’m wrong. But they were SO amazingly good I’d buy them any time they were on the shelf!

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