Easy Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe

Preserve the harvest with this easy recipe for a sweet and sour classic.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Likely named for its reputation as an inexpensive sandwich stuffer during the Depression, this old-time favorite is among the sweetest of pickles, but with a delightfully sour bite. Follow these easy, step-by-step instructions to make your own bread and butter pickles using cucumbers straight from the garden.

What You'll Need

You will need: 5 lbs pickling cucumbers / 2 medium onions / 1 gallon water / 1 cup kosher or pickling salt / 5 cups white vinegar / 5 cups sugar / 2 tablespoons mustard seed / 2 teaspoons celery seed / 2 teaspoons turmeric / 1 teaspoon whole cloves / large non-reactive pot / water bath canner / six 1 pint canning jars with lids and bands

Step One: Slice Cucumbers

Wash 5 pounds of cucumbers, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and place in a large container. Thinly slice 2 medium onions and add to the sliced cucumbers.

Step Two: Add Salt Brine

Dissolve 1 cup of kosher or pickling salt in one gallon of water and pour over the cucumber-onion mix to cover. Non-iodized salt is used in pickling brines to avoid the discoloration from produce coming into contact with iodine.

Step Three: Add Ice and Refrigerate

Cover the top of cucumbers with a layer of ice, cover the container with a lid or towel and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to allow cucumbers time to soak up the salt.

Step Four: Heat Water Bath

Before preparing the vinegar brine, fill a water bath canner or large pot with water and place over high heat. Bring water to a boil as pickles are being prepared.

Step Five: Prepare Vinegar Brine

Pour 5 cups of white vinegar into a large, non-reactive pot over high heat.

Step Six: Add Spices to Brine

Add five cups sugar, two tablespoons mustard seed, two teaspoons celery seeds, two teaspoons turmeric and one teaspoon whole cloves to vinegar and bring to a boil.

Step Seven: Rinse Cucumbers

Use a colander to drain salt water from the cucumber-onion mix and rinse with cold water.

Step Eight: Add Cucumbers to Brine

Add cucumber-onion mix to boiling brine. Allow the mixture to return to a near boil, then remove from heat.

Step Nine: Prepare Canning Jars

Prepare six 1-pint canning jars with lids and bands. Jars may be sterilized by placing in boiling water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, wash jars in a dishwater set to hot wash or wash them and place in a 225 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Step Ten: Pack Jars

Using tongs, pack bread and butter pickles into pint jars, then pour brine into jars to cover cucumbers. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace to ensure jars seal properly when processed.

Step Eleven: Cap Jars

Cap jars with sterile lids and bands. Tighten firmly, but take care not to overtighten.

Step Twelve: Process Jars

Process jars for 15 minutes in boiling water bath to seal.

Step Thirteen: Cool and Store

Remove jars from water bath and allow to rest at room temperature to cool. If the jars have sealed properly, a satisfying ping will be heard as the jars cool and a seal is established. Any jars that do not seal correctly should be stored in the refrigerator until used. Canned bread and butter pickles have a shelf life of at least 12 months when stored in a cool, dry location, but should be refrigerated once opened.

Next Up

Garden to Table: Broccoli

With its sweet high notes and sulfurous body, broccoli might be the perfect vegetable.

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table

Easily refinish a dated or worn dining room table to give it a fresh look.

When to Plant Garden Mums

Want your garden mums to survive winter? Learn tips for planting fall garden mums to help them return next spring.

How to Refinish a Kitchen Table

Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture.

How to Clean a Wood Kitchen Table

Got half an hour? Make your wood kitchen table spotless and germ-free.

How to Preserve Your Garden Herbs

Follow these simple steps for making your herb garden last.

How to Construct a Rustic Trunk-Style Coffee Table

Trunk-style coffee tables are not only stylish, they also provide practical storage for toys, extra throws and pillows, a movie collection and anything that needs to be stored for a busy family. This rustic trunk-style coffee table is an easy build, but the result will have your friends thinking you're a pro woodworker.

How to Kill Weeds (Without Hurting Your Garden)

There are several good reasons to keep your garden clear of weeds. They not only compete with flowers for light, nutrients and water but some also harbor diseases, which may spread to surrounding plants.

How to Grow a Watercress Container Garden

Garnish your food with tasty, shiny watercress leaves — or make a yummy salad with watercress as the main attraction.