Sunday, November 28, 2021

Deep Fried Pickles (Hooter's Copycat) + Video

Deep fried pickles are perfectly crunchy with just the right amount of tanginess. Enjoy a big batch in 30 minutes with this simple recipe!

This Southern starter was made famous by Hooters restaurant, but now you can enjoy your favorite fried dill pickles right at home with this easy copycat recipe!

It starts with a handful of simple ingredients that you may already have on hand. Dip the pickle slices in a seasoned buttermilk mixture, dredge them in a tasty coating, and deep fry until perfectly golden brown.

You can even make deep fried pickles in the air fryer with a fraction of the oil!

For more restaurant favorites, check out my homemade versions of Cheddar Bay Biscuits and Mexican Pizza.

Deep Fried Pickles dipping in sauce

Deep Fried Pickles - Tips and Tricks

  • Work in batches. This goes for both dredging and frying. Making too many at once will cause them to stick together. Plus, the oil temperature will drop and they won’t crisp up properly.
  • Sift out clumps. Stir the flour mixture between batches and pull out any doughy chunks so the slices get evenly coated.
  • Kick up the heat. If you want yours extra spicy, increase the amount of hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
  • Don’t have buttermilk? Make your own in a snap! Stir 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of regular milk, then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Once it has thickened, it’s ready to use.
fried dill pickles ingredients

Video: Fried Dill Pickles

To see us prepare this from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

Serving Suggestions

These are traditionally served with a horseradish or spicy ranch sauce, but I say why mess with a good thing? I pop a few in my mouth at a time and enjoy them as they are.

Fried dill pickles are good with lunch, dinner, as a snack, or just because jars are on sale! Serve them up with your game day favorites or alongside sandwiches and hamburgers.

pickles in dip

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • 8 Quart Stock Pot - Allow plenty of room above the surface of oil to prevent splatters and burns.
  • A Candy Thermometer ensures that the oil is the proper temperature, giving you better results.
  • Sieve or Slotted Spoon for scooping out the deep fried pickles
  • Mixing Bowls - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
fried dill pickles in batter

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make pickle chips ahead of time?

These really are best when freshly made. Once they are refrigerated, they tend to get a bit soft and the batter can peel off.

However, you can certainly prepare them an hour or two before guests arrive if you’ll be serving them for a get-together.

fried dill pickles in dutch oven

Which brand of pickle is best?

That really comes down to preference based on flavor and size. I prefer dill hamburger slices with the ridges and get good results from both Vlasic and the Great Value (Walmart) brand.

Can I make this recipe with spears instead?

Yes, but you will need to adjust the cook time to accommodate the larger size and thickness. It might also be a good idea to double dredge them so the balance of pickle to batter is just right.

Deep Fried Pickles on a tray


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Deep Fried Pickles wide shot

Yield: 4
Author: Donna Elick
Deep Fried Pickles (Hooters Copycat)

Deep Fried Pickles (Hooters Copycat)

Deep fried pickles are perfectly crunchy with just the right amount of tanginess. Enjoy a big batch in 30 minutes with this simple recipe!
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1 (16-ounce) jar dill pickle slices
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Neutral cooking oil, (peanut, vegetable, canola, etc)


  1. Preheat about 2-inches of oil in a large (8 quart) pot to 350°F. Prepare a tray with double paper towel stack. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, egg, and hot sauce. Beat with a fork to combine. Drain pickle juice from pickle jar, add pickles to buttermilk mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
  4. Add about a handful of pickles to flour mixture. Swirl pickles around and make sure they are well coated. Shake off excess flour and drop pickles in hot oil one at a time. Only put 7-8 pickles at a time so the temperature does not drop too much.
  5. Fry pickles for 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a tray lined with paper towels.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
  1. Stir flour mixture between batches and pull out dough chunks to keep coating from getting chunky.

Deep Fried Pickles closeup

Originally published November 2013, updated and republished November 2021

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  1. These look absolutely perfect. My husband would do just about anything to have a basket of these!

  2. Are the pickles sliced? I can't see where it says what type pickle to use, but the picture looks like they are sliced. Hamburger slices, sandwich sliced. ,slice your own from whole?

    1. You can really use whatever pickle you like, but these were created with dill hamburger slices (with the ridges). Enjoy!

  3. I made these tonight, delicious!!!

  4. Was wondering if you have to use buttermilk? Would regular work?

    1. Buttermilk gives it a specific flavor and richness. If you can not get buttermilk then I would use a buttermilk substitute. Here are a few recipes. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  5. This looks really yummy! Thank you for sharing. I have had some great ones in restaurants (and some aweful ones!) - this would be such fun to make at home for parties and BBQs.

  6. What is the sauce you dip them into?

    1. Ranch Dressing makes a great dipping sauce!

  7. What kind of hot sauce do you use?

  8. Donna, what kind of sauce is this red sauce pictured you are dipping your pickles into???
    Donna King

  9. Yes, I'd like to know as well. Is it some sort of hot sauce or a sweet and sour sauce.


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