Feb 11, 2023 - Food and Drink

How to make Pinky’s famous fried pickles just in time for Super Bowl Sunday

Pinky's fried pickles

Pinky's fried pickles. Photo: Laura Barrer/Axios

The Panthers may not be in the Super Bowl, but we still expect our city to show up and show out for the big game.

Context: Super Bowl LVII airs Sunday on FOX, and kickoff is at 6:30pm. Several local bars are going all out.

  • Or, you might be going all in and watching from the comfort of your own home so you can cheer on Rihanna at full volume in your pajamas, like me.

What’s happening: The Super Bowl is just as much about the food as it is about the game. One popular side beats out all the rest in Charlotte — fried pickles.

  • I crashed a live WBTV segment and got the best fried pickle recipe from Pinky’s owner Greg Auten himself. “You can’t resist the allure of the pickle fried golden brown,” Auten says.

Why it matters: Pinky’s is a Charlotte institution. Even the Red Hot Chili Peppers recognize that.

Flashback: The fried pickles at Pinky’s are ingrained in Charlotte’s restaurant industry history. They’re called “Greg’s pickles” after Auten, former head chef and co-owner of the original Penguin restaurant.

  • There’s been a fried pickle debate between Pinky’s and The Penguin’s fried pickles since at least 2011.
  • “I considered not putting fried pickles on the menu at Pinky’s because they were so popular at The Penguin during my time there but everyone thought I was crazy for that,” Auten said.

Here’s the recipe from Auten:


  • Hamburger dill pickles (drain juice)
  • Buttermilk (enough to cover pickles)
  • All-purpose flour (for dredging)
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Granulated garlic (start light and adjust to taste)

Step 1: Mix well and get ready to fry some pickles!

Step 2: Use a bowl for pickle/buttermilk mixture.

Step 3: Use a separate bowl for flour.

  • Pro tip: Designate one wet hand and one dry hand to minimize the mess.

Step 4: Use enough vegetable oil to fry in. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

Step 5: Pick up a handful of pickles, shake off excess buttermilk, drop in flour and toss to coat thoroughly using your dry hand.

  • Shake off excess flour using a deep frying pan or pot.

Step 6: Drop pickles into the oil a few at a time and fry until golden brown, or 2-3 minutes.

Step 7: Using a slotted spoon, remove pickles and put them on a plate with a few paper towels to soak up the grease.

Watch the video: Need a Super Bowl snack? Make Pinky’s fried pickles with this recipe


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