It has been years since I have done any canning but the other day at the farmer’s market I spotted some pickling cucumbers and decided to make these homemade refrigerator Crispy Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles.
Growing up we had a huge garden and we spent the end of summer canning and freezing the harvest. I fondly remember my grandmother’s pickles, and today I spent my Sunday afternoon making my own and thinking of the hours spent cutting and slicing all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, and corn with my grandmother.
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No matter what brand of pickles I buy at the store, nothing matches the taste of these freshly homemade canned pickles. This small-batch recipe is so simple and is made with a few ingredients; it makes two jars so you won’t be overwhelmed making these.
The best part of this recipe is it doesn’t require a long canning process. These pickles just need time in the refrigerator while making and then you just store them in the refrigerator for up to three months.
What kind of cucumbers to use for pickles?
I am using a smaller cucumber, especially for pickling. The major difference between the pickling cucumber and the standard cucumber is these are smaller, they have fewer seeds, less moisture, and the skin is not as tough. I can only find the pickling cucumbers at farmer’s markets, however, you can use the regular slicing cucumbers found in grocery stores, just try to buy small ones.
- Pickling cucumbers
- Kosher salt
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- White vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Mustard seeds
- Celery seeds
How to make refrigerator bread and butter pickles
Step 1. After you give your cucumbers a good washing slice them up in 1/4″ slices. I love this crinkle-cut slicer to cut the cucumber, it is very easy to use and make those beautiful ridges.
Step 2. Put the sliced cucumbers in a nice big bowl and sprinkle the salt over them, stir and then put your bowl in the refrigerator for an hour.
Step 3. After 1 hour, rinse the cucumbers in a colander to remove the salt then put them back into your bowl.
Step 4. Add in the sliced onions
Step 5. While the cucumbers are in the refrigerator you can make the brine.
Mix all the brine ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over. medium heat until all the sugars have melted then simmer for a few minutes. Check out all the mustard seeds floating around the brine.
Step 6. When the brine is ready, pour it over the cucumbers and onions, give it a big stir then let sit for one hour in the refrigerator.
Step 7. Make sure to sterilize your glass jars and lids and when the cucumbers are ready, spoon the pickles and onions into the jars and cover the pickles with the brine. Leave a 1/2″ of space at the top of the jar and with a spoon press down on the pickle slices to remove and air pockets. You may have leftover brine and that may need to be added to the jars once you press down on the pickles. When done seal tightly and store the jars in the refrigerator.
The reason I like these pickles is they stay nice and crisp and retain their beautiful color.
How to hot pack pickles
These pickles can also be hot packed which will last longer and can be stored on a shelf for a year using this method.
For more information on home canning and hot packing, this USDA Home Canning guide can help you out.
- Clean and sterilize the jars and lids and prepare the canner.
- Pack the pickle and onion slices in the sterilized jars then ladle the hot pickling liquid over the top, leave 1/2″ of headspace. Press down on the pickles with a spoon to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe the jar rims and apply the lid and tighten.
- Bring the water to a boil in the canner and place the jars into the boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove to a towel and dry the jars.
- Let the jarred pickles sit for 4 weeks before eating. Store for 1 year.
- For high altitude adjust the processing time to:
- 5 minutes for 1,001 to 3,000 ft
- 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 ft
- 15 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 ft
- 20 minutes for 8,001 to 10,000 ft
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These Bread and Butter Pickles make a nice addition to a cheese and bread plate, add some dry salami, and some veggies for an appetizer or even for a light meal. My preference for eating these pickles, it would be straight out of the jar!
Don’t forget to grab your crinkle-cut slicer and spices so you can make these delicious pickles.
Pickles are great served with other appetizers like these
Serve these pickles on a Cheese Board
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds pickling cucumber I used 8 cucumbers
- 1 1/2 tbls. kosher salt
- 1 small onion sliced use to your taste
- Wash and sterilize canning jars. Note: I have various sized jars but 12 ounce-sized jars will work.
- Wash the cucumbers
- Slice the cucumbers into 1/4" slices
- Put the cucumbers in a bowl and add the salt
- Stir to combine and put into the refrigerator for one hour
- After an hour transfer the cucumbers to a colander and rinse to remove the salt
- Put the cucumbers back into your bowl and add the onions
- Make the brine by adding all the brine ingredients to a saucepan
- Stir and bring to a simmer, cook until the sugars are dissolved.
- Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers and onions and let sit in the bowl for one hour
- Put the pickles and onions in the sterilized jars cover with the brine then press down on the pickles to release any air pockets. If necessary pour more brine over the pickles. Leave 1/2" space at the top.
- Keep the jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. These pickles are ready to eat the next day. They just need a good chilling.
First Published: August 15, 2018… Last Updated: Sept. 16, 2019
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.
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