I have made these three times and my of eight loves them!
This year I came across another recipe that boasted “the best” which required twice as much sugar! Yikes! I made that recipe today and we’ve all decided that we like Elise’s recipe much better!
So tomorrow we’re canning a double recipe and never changing again!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
I’m so glad you like it Heather!
I made a batch of these 50 hours ago. When can I eat them?
Any time. Now.
I made these, I think these are the best ever! Coming from someone who doesn’t care for pickles, is saying a lot!
I think they are too sweet so I put 1/4 cup less sugar and I tho k next time I’ll put 1/2 cup less sugar.
I was wondering if I can add a cup or 2 of water to dilute the vinegars??
Hi Ale, I haven’t tried making these with more diluted vinegar, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
I LOVE this recipe for B&B pickles. My Mom canned everything but I never learned until last summer (2013) and fell in love with this recipe. As a matter of fact, I didn’t share but maybe a few bites. Right now I have 17 lbs of beautiful organic cukes and happy that it’s canning season again, I missed these! Thanks so much!
I made the recipe as posted exactly….
but they came out SUPER spicy!
I am trying again, and leaving out all but a PINCH of the red pepper flakes, and this time i will just cook the recipe liquids and not the pickels with it… and process for 20 minutes! we will see!
been canning pickels for 14 hours today and not done yet! holy cow!
I made this recipe with 2 variations. Also, I had to make more solution as it only filled 3.25 jars and the 2.5lb of cucumbers made 5 pint jars. It wasn’t a big deal, but next time I will start with more solution.
My 2 variations were thus: I used 2c of cider vinegar and 1/4c of white vinegar. I did not cook the cucumbers in the solution. After rinsing them 2x I put them in the sterilized jars and filled then filled them with the hot solution and processed for 20mins.
I had read on other sites that skipping the cooking step kept the final product crisper. We shall see!
How long do you let them sit in the vinegar solution before having a “finished” pickle?
Good question, at least a day or two. Best after a week. ~Elise
Tried this recipe – didn’t read the comments before I did. I doubled the recipe -Carefully weighed my cukes – used a postal scale – 5lbs – brined them – 2 cups salt – did all the rest as per recipe.
I anticipated 10 pints – but all my 5 pounds made were 4 pints and the pickles were too salty and over spiced – only conclusion I can come to is that I did not have enough cukes. Next time I’m thinking I won’t weigh but rather measure cut produce by the quart/pint.
Sounded like a great recipe – may try again – but the cukes are gone from the garden.
If you doubled the recipe, you should only have used 1/2 cup of salt, not 2 cups. The pickles shouldn’t have ended up salty at all. Almost all of the salt gets rinsed away in step one. ~Elise
Not sure where you live but in So Indiana I am getting a fall crop of pickles planted with short season seed planted in mid late August.
Reading your comments about childhood memories, it sounds like you have similar memories to mine. I have a recipe from my grandmother for mustard pickles that included caulaflower. carrot coins, pearl onions and gerkins pickles( or cornechon) in mustard sauce. I’d have to look up the proportions and sauce. I’ve also been trying to make watermelon pickles with the same problem. I’ve started checking out cut watermelon for wedges that have a thick rind and cobbling together a few jars. I’ll get specifics on the mustard pickles and post it.
This is a fantastic recipe, and the fact that it doesn’t require a bushel of cucumbers to begin with is the best part. I have one very prolific cucumber plant this year that gives me 9 or 10 at a time, which is perfect for this recipe. It is super easy to follow and the pickles have a great flavor. I especially loved your encouragement to try other things, added some of my green peppers this last batch along with the cucumbers and it tastes yummy. Thank you for making it so easy, and scaling it down for smaller batches.
Great recipe- I’ve made 4 batches so far and they are a big hit with my wife. I tweaked it to our taste- sub 2-3 pinches of cloves and allspice, cut back to a little more than 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes and leave out the cinnamon stick. Thanks!
I would highly recommend not cooking the pickles with the pickle juice before canning. I tried that and my pickles came out a little soggy. Instead, I just go from the ice and water step right to packing the jars with pickles. Then I heat up the liquid and pour it over the cucumbers and then place the jar in the canning boil. They come out very crunchy which is the way I really like it. Quite a few people who have tried them and also tried making pickles are confounded by my secret for getting them so crunchy. Worth a try if you like them that way!
You sound very encouraging, I might just do some SWEET PICKLES. Thanks.
I just made these pickles and they are just what I was looking for!!!! I really like Bubbies pickles and these are similar but with even more zip. I am poised to pickle everything in our garden with this syrup, especially onions and peppers. I just refrigerated the first batch but will try a canned version next – there’s only so much room in the fridge. Thanks so much.
I haven’t seen this recipe pop up here nor searched it, so if this is a repeat, my apologies. It is a simple favorite of my family:
One cup of white vinegar
One cup of sugar
Cucumbers and white onions to fit into a quart jar or a large glass mayo jar.
Slice the veggies thinly and pack/fill the jar to the top, alternating between the two. Bring the equal parts of sugar and vinegar to a boil and slowly pour over the veggies.
Cover and let the jar cool off a bit and then refrigerate. Let it stand for a day or two and enjoy. Crisp and tasty and so easy. No other flavorings are needed but I can see the creative chefs around here adding all sorts of good things.
I absolutely love bread & butter pickles! I remember the yummy ones that my Mom canned when I was a little girl. I would love to try and make them myself~ But I don’t have a canner or canning jars. So I have 2 questions?? Do you have to put the pickles in canning jars or can you use plastic (rubbermaid-type) containers? also, does anyone have a recipe for sugar-free refrigerated bread & butter pickles? thanks a lot!
You should put them in a glass container, not plastic or metal. You can use a mayonnaise jar or a peanut butter jar (if glass). If you use a container that isn’t a canning jar, store in the refrigerator. ~Elise
I just had a hankerin’ for some bread and butter pickles today, and, never in my life have I canned anything, I decided to be brave and try to make some at home. This was so easy and so much fun to make. And they are absolutely wonderful!These are so much better than store bought. Now I sit here wondering what other kinds of yummy stuff can be canned.Hmmmmmmmm………..Thank you so much!
I am looking for a fast easy method for making sweet or bread and butter jalapenos. I love them but am not sure how to make the sweet syrup that is usually with them. Any ideas? Thanks so much
I think you can just follow this recipe, but use jalapenos. A friend of mine makes bread and butter jalapenos and I’m planning to try a batch when they are in season this summer. ~Elise
The above recipe sounds yummy. As promised a week ago, here’s my Nana’s version (verbatim).
Isabell’s watermelon pickle:
6 lbs watermelon rind, pink pared off. Cover with cold water and boil 3 to 4 hours.
2 quarts vinegar (probably white?)
6 lbs sugar
1 oz cinnamon stick
1 oz whole cloves – wrap spices in cheesecloth and tie.
Dissolve and bring to a boil.
Add watermelon rind and continue cooking for one hour.
Remove spices and ladle into sterilized jars.
Thanks April! ~Elise
Here’s a recipe for WATERMELLON PICKLES that I found at epicurious.com. It was originally published in House and Garden, August 1962.
Servings: Makes about 5 pints.
4 pounds watermelon rind
8 cups sugar
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups water
4 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 tablespoons whole allspice
Scrape off any pink flesh from rind. Cut rind into 3/4″ squares. Cover with cold, salted water (1/4 cup salt to 1 quart water), and leave overnight. Drain, cover with fresh water and cook 1/2 hour, or until just tender. Drain again. Stir together sugar, vinegar and water in a large preserving kettle. Slice oranges and lemons thinly, discard pits and add fruit to the pot. Tie cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a cheesecloth bag and add to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Add watermelon rind and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the rind is translucent and the juices syrupy. Ladle into hot, sterilized preserving jars. Open cheesecloth, place a piece of cinnamon in each jar, cover and seal.
April–could you be talking about Piccalli? My grandmother had this recipe:
1 gallon ground cabbage
1 gallon ground green tomatoes
1 quart ground onion
3 green peppers
3 red peppers
1 teacup salt
Mix and let stand four hours. Put in bag and let drain over night. Then add
3 quarts vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon clery see
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon alspice
4 lbs. brown sugar
Boil for 30 minutes. Makes 12 pints.
If anyone does have a great recipe for watermelon pickles, would you please post it here in the comments? My father has found a source for standard watermelons (with seeds and thick rinds) and I would love to experiment.
Oooo this post is bringing back memories. If I can find my nana’s watermelon pickle recipe, I’ll post it. I think she got it from her sister in Mass.
My Aunt Esther used to make something called pickalilly (sp??). I loved it, especially with hot dogs, but don’t have a recipe, can anyone help me with that?
I like Japanese salt pickles. All you need is one cucumber (long and thin) sliced, 2tbsp salt and a half inch of ginger, grated. Mix everything up in a ziploc bag and leave on the counter for an hour or two or in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Every twenty or thirty minutes squeeze out the water that has been sucked out by the salt and discard. You can also make this with cabbage or chinese cabbage.
You can keep them in the fridge for a few days.
Gedney makes a series of what they call State Fair pickles. Several years ago they had a sweet pickle that used mustard seeds, garlic and bayleaf from what I could see floating around in the jar. Anybody ever hear of those? Think it was from a woman that found it in a North Dakota area cookbook from years and years ago that her aunt had.
Oh my!!! I LOVE watermelon rind pickles. We ate them all the time as a kid. You can hardly find them and they are nasty tasting. If you have a recipe for them, Elise, I would love to try it. My mother passed away before I could get it written down. (She never wrote any of her recipes down)
My sister-in-law, Carolyn and I made these pickles last summer. They are very easy to make, but they need to be kept chilled. They are very refreshing.
CRISP REFRIGERATOR PICKLES
4 cups thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers
2 cups sugar
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
1½ cups white vinegar
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Tbsp pickling salt
1 carrot, peeled & thinly sliced
1 Tbsp mustard seed
Combine sugar, vinegar, salt and mustard seed and bring to a boil. Cool.
Combine cucumbers, onions that have been separated, pepper and carrots. Toss well. Pack into jars and pour vinegar mixture over vegetables. Cover tightly and shake.
Can store in the refrigerator for up to one year. (They will be gone before that time is gone!)
I gave quite a few jars away as gifts. Everyone asked for the recipe.
My Mom passed away almost 4 years ago now. Several years before, she composed our “Family Favorites” in a recipe book and this was one of the many family traditions. Hope you enjoy, cause they are the BEST ever!
Bread & Butter Pickles
Makes 12 pints
Despite its name this recipe contains no bread or butter, but the pickles may be eaten with almost any meal.
8 qt. medium cucumbers
12 large onions
1 c coarse salt
10 c sugar
3 t turmeric
1 t cloves
4 T mustard seed
2 T celery seed
14 c vinegar
Cut the unpeeled cucumbers into thin slices. Peel and slice the onions thinly. Combine the cucumbers, onions, and salt, and let stand for three hours. Rinse off the salt with cold water and drain.
Combine the sugar, turmeric, cloves, mustard seed, celery seed, and vinegar in a large kettle and heat to scalding, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables to the hot liquid and heat to just boiling. Seal at once in hot sterile jars.
I love fridge pickles a lot – here’s my favourite recipe: http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/2008/08/pickled-sliced-cucumber-salad-recipe.html
But your addition of turmeric, allspice, celery seeds and pepper flakes sounds interesting, so I might give this version a go as well.
And thanks to Larry for explaining the name – I was wondering where the butter comes in :)
Thanks for the pickle recipe. It’s not a complete summer until I’ve made some Bread & Butter pickles. For several years I’ve used the following recipe I got from Kitchen Gardener magazine (July 2000)(no longer published). The result has been satisfactory, but I like the additional spices in your recipe. I made your version this afternoon; the quantities are as stated in the recipe – perfect (one pint for the ‘frig and 4 for the canning cellar). I’m always afraid of not having enough brine to cover the vegetables, but there was just enough. The end product is very tasty indeed.
Bread & Butter Pickles (Kitchen Gardener 7/2000)
Makes 4 pints.
2 c. vinegar, 5% acidity
1 1/2 – 2. c. sugar
2 T. whole mustard seed
2 tsp. celery seed
1 T. ground turmeric
Red pepper flakes, to taste
8 c. sliced pickling cucumbers
1 – 2 c. sliced onions
In a large, non-reactive pot, stir together the vinegar, sugar and spices. Boil 5 minutes. Add cucumbers and onions. Return to a boil, stirring and turning the vegetables to mix evenly and coat them with the brine. Let boil until the color of the cucumbers changes from green and white to an even yellow-green, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Pack into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Store in a cool, dark place.
You’ll notice that this recipe eliminates the 4 hour chilling time so it goes a little quicker, but no doubt the texture is different.
Since the topic is pickles, do you have a relatively quick and easy recipe for sour pickles? I’d love to hear from any one who can post a recipe. Many thanks, Paula
How long do they have to stay sealed in the fridge before they taste like pickles and you can eat them?
We started eating ours the next day. ~Elise
For Jen in Baltimore
My refrigerator pickles are in undiluted 5% vinegar. They last several months – I have kept them about 2 months (I can only store so much in the fridge!). I have seen various references sayong they would last from 2 to 6 months; I am sure it depends on the pickle recipe – the more acid – or salty (both salt & vinegar help to preserve food), the longer the shelf life.
You can use very young (finger size) regular cucumbers for pickling if you do not have “pickling” cucumbers. And pickling cucumbers are perfectly fine to eat too – some are better than others too. As Elise said, cultivars have been bred for desirable features. Like eating apples vs. cooking apples….
Two-Week Pickles – verbatim from my grandmother’s handwritten recipe notebook
Sweet Pickles – our family speciality
Select and wash about 75 pickles 3 or 4 inches long and cut into chunks about 1 inch long. This should make about 2 gal. after cutting. Place in a stone jar and pour 2 cups salt over them and 1 gallon boiling water. Let stand one week, skimming every day if necessary. On the 8th day, drain and pour 1 gallon boiling over them and let stand 24 hours. On the 9th day, drain again and pour 1 gallon boiling water over them and 1 tablespoon alum. Let stand 24 hours. On the 10th day, drain well and pour 1 gallon boiling water over them and let stand 24 hours. On the 11th day, drain and put into a clean jar and and pour the following syrup over them:
5 pints strong vinegar
6 cups sugar
1/2 ounce celery seed
1 ounce stick cinnamon
On the 12th, 13th and 14th days, drain and reheat liquid each day, adding 1 cut sugar each day. May leave jar open with a clean cloth over it or put in jars.
If only making 2 quarts of pickles, recipe for syrup is:
1 1/2 pints vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 oz. celery seed
1/4 oz. cinnamon stick
wow, I wish I had one of those jars ……sigh.
Elise, these look really good. and for what it’s worth, My grandma always told me that bread and butter pickles were named that way because in the depression era, people would make sandwiches out of the pickle, bread, and butter and eat them that way.
just passing on word of mouth!
That picture of delicious-looking pickles is very appealing to a pregnant woman! However, I’ve never tried making my own. (Canning seems so daunting to me.) Two questions for you…
1. How are pickling cucumbers different from regular? (Is it just the size?)
2. How long do refrigerator pickles keep?
As always, thanks for expanding my culinary horizons, Elise!
Hi Jen, both great questions. Pickling cucumbers are smaller than regular cucumbers and their peel is bumpier. I imagine that they are more bred for being firm and holding up to the pickling process than regular cucumbers. As for how long refrigerator pickles last? Not sure about that one as we tend to eat them up within a week. A month maybe? Perhaps someone can step in and answer this one. ~Elise
I love pickles, but I love them tart and crunchy, not sweet. Bread & Butter pickles are too sweet for me. But I love tiny cucumbers pickled with straight vinegar, salt, spices and some herbs – a great refrigerator pickle! Also a great way to control cucumber overload, by picking them when they are no bigger than your small finger (although that was last year for me. This year, the squash bugs were horrendous, so I have not been bale to harvest many cucumbers to eat – let alone pickled). Other veggies I love to pickles are ginger, okra, sweet banana peppers & hot peppers: hot peppers are going like crazy this year – so this is the year of hot sauce and hot pickles. Guess what many friends will find in their stocking for Christmas?
This year, I just did beet pickles for the first time (again, using no sugar). Have not tried them yet to see if they are palatable.
It’s funny what you said about watermelon rind pickles, Elise. This is the first year I am growing watermelons (and just harvested my first one and wrote about it on my blog), and I have been scouring recipe books & site, and bugging friends for what to do with the rind. I am finding plenty of recipes but not too many suggestions on how to eat them (I suppose if you make them you know how to serve them). How do you, Elise, eat them?
I remember eating them straight out of the jar. So good! ~Elise
These bread & butter pickles look fantastic (as always)! I have been toying with the idea of pickling and canning for some time, but haven’t braved the initial investment of time and equipment yet. I am really excited about the prospect of your father’s pickled carrot and cauliflower recipe, as my taste for cucumbers is not as appealing as say, pickled asparagus, or pickled “rooty” radishes, kohlerabi, turnips, parsnips and the like. While I have never seen it done, what I imagine pickled parsnips to be — just sounds like I need to give it a try (both tasting and preparing). That, and pickled radishes (halved, quartered or julienned) might be at least as popular as pickled garlic as a salad topping?
Now I’m just dreaming out loud. I await more of your pickle recipes with expectant salivation!
I’m completely wed to the countertop half-sour dill pickle recipe from The Victory Garden Cookbook (the original edition). They’re not bread-and-butter pickles, but they are delicious. You make a basic brine of salt, vinegar and water; add some pickling spice and garlic, plus huge handfuls of fresh dill, and let the pickles sit on the counter for up to 2 days before refrigerating. The smaller the pickling cukes, the better, too.
I’ve been makinng the Better Homes and Gardens bread ‘n’ butter recipe for about 35 years. Never let me down; everybody loves them! Consider green peppers optional. Never NEVER throw away extra/leftover juice. Freeze it for later or use in pot or mac salad.
I live close to the Rocky Mountains in western Canada and am not always assured of getting pickling cucumbers to mature in my garden. BUT, I always have an abundance of zucchini.
This recipe uses zucchini to make bread and butter pickles and is every bit as tasty and the pickles are just as crunchy as with cucumbers.
18 cups sliced zucchini
1/2 cup coarse pickling salt
4 medium onions
1 green pepper
2 red peppers
3 cups good quality vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp turmeric
I use zucchini that are just a bit bigger than the baby variety. I also use a mandolin to slice the zucchini and onion evenly.
The night before, slice washed, unpeeled zucchini around 1/8 inch thick. Put in an enamel roaster or some other non-corrosive dish. Sprinkle with the pickling salt, cover adequately with ice cubes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, drain the zucchini well.
Slice the onions and finely dice the peppers.
In a large pan that is safe for using on a cook top (I use my large rectangular enamelled turkey roaster), combine the vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the sliced onions and diced peppers and boil for another minute. Add the drained zucchini and cook at high heat just until they are warmed through completely and change color.
Put in hot sterilized jars leaving around 1/2 inch head space. Make sure that you do not pack the jars too tightly with the pickles, you need enough liquid in each jar to do its job of pickling.
Seal. Store in a dark place. Use in 3 weeks.
Note: I use the mason jars with snap lids. Put the lids in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Sterilize the jars and keep them hot as you fill them with pickles. When the lids and jars and pickles in brine are all hot, you should get a very good seal.
This was the year I was determined to make pickles. I have my Gran and great Gran’s recipe boxes and they are LOADED with pickle recipes. Gran didn’t consider it a meal unless pickles were involved. I broke out the recipe box and flick, flick, flicked through the cards for Mrs so and so’s pickles cousin blah;s pickles and all the recipes were a peck of pickles or more! I haven’t braved the canning beast yet, so I broke out Chris Schlesinger and Doc Willoughby’s Quick Pickles, scaled it back for a tester batch and OMG I was a happy girl. I bought a jar of pickles up in Maine at a local farmstand called The Greenspot and she added cayenne and chipotle to her sweet and sours and they were amazing so I did the same. Fabulous! Sweet and sour and bread and butter pickles are my fave. Gran used to make something called cheatie pickles that used already made pickles into a quick version of these, when I find that recipe I’ll put it up.
The first batch I made was devoured in 2 days, I made more up in Maine when I was hanging with Mom and left them for my Stepdad who called one night to rave at how pleased he was that someone picked up the pickle mantle.
I also concur with you about watermelon rind pickles, they are my fave! Sadly, as you said, they are breeding watermelons with thinner rinds, we are going to have to buy some heritage seeds and grow our own I guess. I still have my Gran’s cranberry glass pickle canister waiting for some to magically appear.
I meant to blog pickles this summer and didn’t get a chance, thanks for bringing them to the forefront.
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