So here’s one way to be just a little more welcome at that backyard barbecue slash rooftop grill-out slash pot luck picnic you were heading to this weekend. Maybe you were going to bring your usual — that pie, some buns, a slaw, an addictive potato salad, right? Maybe even some lemonade? And oh, what friends you’ll make if you do. Everyone loves a good slaw, most especially this girl.
But how about something a little crunchy, a little sweet to accompany that burger recipe your dad has been perfecting since the horse and buggy days. It’s the kind of thing you might only know about from a jar, which means that you probably pass them over at picnics without a second thought. It’s the kind of thing you might not have thought to make at home, I know I didn’t, especially because we’re more of the garlickly-Kosher dill category of pickle eaters, ourselves.
I had a bag of kirby cucumbers I’d picked up at the market this week for my husband who loves to snack on them. And then one day last week I followed a link from The Facebook or The Twitter or wherever you kids are hanging out these days and landed smack dab in the middle of a bread and butter pickle recipe and pretty much dropped everything to co-opt Alex’s supply to make it. Poor guy, though he’s probably used to it by now. [“Don’t eat those berries! I’m saving them for pie!”]
And they’re so good! They taste like the kind you can buy but that much better — crunchier and wonderfully spiced. Something about them makes me want to drop everything and crash someone’s barbecue, armed with a jar. You wouldn’t mind, right? Especially if I bring this little derelict with me?
One year ago: Cheese Straws and seriously, I cannot believe it has been a year since I made these. Where did it go? What did I do?!
Two years ago: Pistachio Petit-Four Cake
Three years ago: Strawberry Tart
Bread and Butter Pickles
Adapted from The Dispatch Kitchen, a few other sources and personal taste
Big important note, especially if you are unfamiliar with bread and butter pickles: these babies are sweet! So very sweet! So sweet that I thought that the sugar level was a typo but sure enough, every other recipe I found listed sugar amounts in cups. Ayee. This one only called for one but I reduced my batch to 3/4 of a cup for a bread-and-butter pickle we find on par with the level of sweetness you expect from them. As in, it is probably “correct”. But, I will still reduce it to a 1/2 cup next time, to accommodate my taste preference, as you should adjust it to yours.
I also reduced the turmeric, which seemed like way too much, and added celery seed, because I like it with pickles.
Makes 4 cups of pickles, filling a 1-quart jar
1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick — “pickling” or kirby cucumbers work best here
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Diamond Kosher salt [Updated: Why Diamond? Read this first.]
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (see note above)
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (if ground, use 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice. Let stand at room temperature for two hours. In a pot, bring sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the fridge. They will begin tasting pickled in just a couple hours.
306 comments on bread and butter pickles
Ooooo…yummy! I love these pickles. So excited to try this!
What would you make with broccoli slaw? Sweet or Pickled??
Yum! I have cucumbers from the CSA that I didn’t want to eat raw. This recipe is perfect, thank you!
MMMM. Now I want pickles! Do these need to be refrigerated?
I love making B&B pickles, but I’ve never tried your ice step. I’ll have to try it and see how they differ. Maybe crispier?
Yes, the fridge. Editing that in now.
Ooh, I’m salivating! I love, love, love pickles!
yummy! growing up, my mom made an asian version of pickles using kirby pickes! better than store bought!
Looks good but hey, where did you get those cute little spice jars?
Maisa — I’ve get into my unhealthily OCD spice rack over here.
Mmm sounds nice and crunchy
this is great. a few months ago i was really craving bread and butter pickles but was trying not to eat any high fructose corn syrup at the time. i searched every jar in two grocery stores and every jar listed HFCS as an ingredient instead of sugar. finally my husband found some at Trader Joe’s, but we love to make our own pickles. we will definitely be trying these!
I love pickles!!! Even better when fried… more delicious when marinated prior to with bread and butter!! thx deb
Oh I would definitely do the same with the sugar level. I’m not sure if I want my pickles to be that sweet!
i have everything but mustard seeds! Would mustard powder work and if so how much should be used?
I am sure mustard powder will work. I’d use 1/3 the amount, or 1 teaspoon.
oh my. this post just gave me a longing for home (and b&b pickles!). i grew up on the farm in canada and my parents still live there. my mother has an amazing recipe for these and for dill pickles that has been passed down through generations. thanks for such a great reminder of home. :)
Thanks for the inspiration! I have about 3 quarters of an english cucumber that has been hanging around in my fridge for at least a week. I was sure it would go bad before I decided to do something with it. Now I can make pickles!
sweeeeeeeeeeeeet! Thanks, Deb!
Would I be able to can these–just by processing them in a hot water bath? Or would that lose some of the crispiness of them?
I would like to know this as well. I was hoping to can some bread & butter pickles this year. I am growing a ton of cucumbers.
Ah, pickles, one of my favourite things to eat AND make. You are teasing me though, we are far from cucumber season, still another month or so until I’ll be able to make these. But make these I will!I like them with some thinly sliced green and red pepper in the mix, the red perking all the yellow and greens up.
Oh you’re my hero! I love, no adore these pickles! They are simply my favorite! So thank you for this recipe it looks easy! :).
How would one make these spicy? A serrano?
My boyfriend’s family lovvve b&b pickles! They got me hooked as well. :) Thanks for posting!
I can huge batches bread and butter pickles every year with the over-abundant cucumbers from my garden (I use the recipe from The Joy of Pickling cookbook). My family expects them as gifts every year. Yes, they lose a little bit of crunchiness with the hot water bath canning, but they last so much longer and they are still way better than store bought.
Do you have some kind of fancy ice cube molds? Those ice cubes are perfection! (And yes, I know this is a weird comment. Of all the things to notice…)
The photos literally made my mouth water; love the idea of having some at the ready in the fridge for snacking or impromptu picnics. But what I really wanted to comment on was your ice cubes — they are so square and PERFECT! Do you have a special tray? I never knew such perfect cubes could exist, and now I must figure out how I can make this magic happen. Especially now that tinkly-ice summer drink season is upon us…
I am a pickle-lover, and was given a jar of McClure’s spicy pickles and usually when things say “spicy”, they’re sorta just kidding, but these people weren’t! oh my. so awesome and tasty though. try them if you haven’t.
that said, i’ve made curry-spiced dill pickles before, but now i’m fiending for those spicy pickles, and i just know i can make them. maybe your post has pushed me to finally do it!
These look amazing and perfect to bring to a bbq! Thanks for sharing :-)
Thank you, thank you….my grandmother used to make the BEST bread and butter pickles and I have yet to find a recipe (not even hers in the drawers full of them) that had any balance between the sweet and other spices! Again, this looks just perfect – thank you. : )
Thanks for your great website, Deb. I always find good stuff here. My question for you is: Where did you procure those spice jars??! They look absoultely ideal. Thanks!
“The Facebook or The Twitter” made people swivel their heads on this train platform, I laughed so loudly. (I like to call it Bokface, which I swiped from The Office. I leave tweeting to birds, though.)
Thanks for bringing it to our attention that pickles need not mean canning! I’m seeing a lot of these types of recipes lately – very exciting.
Err – I meant Bookface, not Bokface! That’s what happens during Oktoberfest!
thank you for making pickles! I’ve been wanting to try pickling but didn’t know how to start…this is definitely the place, and I’m looking forward to trying other veggies. also, does anyone know the origin of the name bread and butter pickles?
Ooooh does this sound good! I’ve never even heard of turmeric before, but I’m going to see if my grocery store has it.
Where did you get your cute spice jars love them! Love your blog!!!
My aunt used to make lots of B&B pickles from her homegrown cucs every year. She used an electric meat slicer to cut the cucs – it went really fast that way.
I love me some pickles. I am disappointed i can’t get them here in the UK so i am definitely going to make these!!! maybe even tomorrow!
Ok weird coincidence, I just made bread and butter pickles last week. Canned four pints for a summer full of pickle goodness!
well here’s the stereotypical pregnant girl comment-OMG pickles! My life would be complete with a jar of those in front of me right now. I know what I’m looking for at the market tomorrow!
I’ve never been a bread and butter pickles girl, but you might’ve just changed my mind.
Have you ever tried the Zuni Cafe’s zucchini pickles? http://www.latimes.com/features/la-fo-calcookrec23c-2008jul23,0,3733306.story
Quite similar, but made with cider vinegar and zucchini. I ate a whole quart by myself over the course of 2 weeks. They are delicious.
mmmm, I haven’t had homemade bread and butter pickles since my grandmother died. They really do say summer, especially when paired with pimento cheese sandwich. YUM
These look so delcious, I’ve always wanted to try pickles!
Deb, do you rinse the pickles or does the salt all go in? I make cucumber salad (which is effectively a quick pickle, eaten immediately) and I forgot to rince once and it was NOT GOOD.
Rebecca — Salt goes in. It is just fine.
Ice cube trays — I’m fond of these. Not the easiest to get the cubes out of (you have to press up from the bottom), but their geometric perfection makes up for it for me.
I’d definitely rinse the salt off. I didn’t and they were way too salty…..and I love salty things.
This is something I’ve wanted to make FOREVER! Thanks.
I eat pickles like candy, but have never attempted my own!
Only comment about the mustard powder is that it can make the liquid a bit cloudy. Still tastes great, but won’t be as clear as with the mustard seeds. I make B&B every year–my father’s favorites!
I’ve been attached to the Sara Foster recipe from Fresh Every Day for years now. But maybe I can expand my repertoire! Your description sounds tantalizing, and I do love pickles!! And the derelict is looking cuter by the day!
Looks great–and Happy 1st Father’s Day to Mr.
CUPS of sugar? Haha, and the OCD spice rack is so funny. Thank you for spiking my pickling interest. I’m off to make some soon.
P.S. . . . Deb, will you be mad if I say that your son’s hair looks like John Mayer’s?
Yum! I love bread and butter pickles!
ohhh-ho-ho-ohhhh…yummy cheap snacks AND another cute pic of your kid’s hair-that-just-won’t-quit. No wonder I check your site daily. You’d be astonished (though maybe not) at the stack of “I must make these” recipes I’ve printed.
Love from Orlando
you just read my mind! i’ve been wanting to make pickles since last summer…i think that this is a sign–this is gonna be the pickle summer i’ve been waitin for.
Love pickles! I happen to have a bunch of Persian cucumbers from the farmer’s market…okay substitute?
I’m surprised to see that you like the silicone ice cube trays. We used those for a while (I also appreciated the geometric perfection!) but they left a nasty residue on the ice that kind of weirded me out. Do you get that on yours?
You continue to surprise me. Everything you touch is something I want to make.
I have to admit, I’m a HUGE garlic-y dill pickle fan and not a big sweet pickle-y fan, but if you say so….I’m going to try these.
I love the thought of bringing homemade pickles to a BBQ!
I wish you would bring the little derelict and those pickles and come to visit! You could stay here – use our car and play tourist and I would happily babysit…but only if you brought the pickles! I’m going to make them tonight – why wait?! xo, Nan
Deb, my dad would LOVE this!! He is a huge fan of pickles, especially homemade.
Where did you get the jar for the pickles?
P.S. Happy First Father’s Day to Alex!!
I made your chocolate donut holes and fell in love! I added a pinch of cinnamon to mine and they were delicious!
I’ve been making these for years from a recipe in an old charity cookbook. It calls for way more celery seed, and cloves instead of coriander (I’ll chalk that up to being Pennsylvania Dutch). Equal parts sugar and vinegar, and I’ve found that using part apple cider vinegar gives a nice flavor (about 2 parts white to 1 part cider). Good stuff!
I’m a huge fan of homemade bread & butter pickles! Never had them until last year when my mom and I canned a bunch of pints up with the garden cucumbers and since then I’ve been hooked! So much so that I planted a cucumber in my garden this year *just* so I could make pickles (well, and the hubby likes cucumbers… but mostly for me!)
I hate to be a negative nancy, especially with pickles. I LOVE pickles. But I’m a bit of a spelling gestapo, and on your spice jar, you spelled coriander wrong. Sorry. Please don’t hate me.
These are my FAVORITE kind of pickle. I usually have several jars on hand so I don’t run out. I have never delved into the world of pickled things, but I might have to give it a shot. Thank you Deb!!!
I just made bread and butter pickles a couple weeks ago! Recipe looks about the same but didn’t have the turmeric in it. Between me and my sister law….we have killed three jars so far. And thats only because we leave two pickles and a handful of onions in the jar until someone gets a new jar, hahaha.
B&B pickles were my munch while I stood in line waiting to pay at those salad bar restaurants. I love them and they are the only sweet pickle that I do like. I like that you are showing how to make a single jar. I don’t think I’m up to canning or even contemplating eating, any more! One’ll do!
This pickles sound like crunchy sweet pickled bliss but what REALLY caught my eye here is how gorgeous and flawlessly cube like your ice is. How do you do it?!
Oops! You already covered the ice cube thing, thanks for the link!
I LOVE B&Bs! I make sandwiches of them on buttered white bread. Or little canapes on Ritz crackers with a bit of cream cheese. And now I can make the pickles themselves. Can’t wait. I sampled some delicious ones by Boar’s Head once that had horseradish in them. They were FIVE DOLLARS a jar, so they stayed in the store! Maybe I’ll do two batches, one with and one without horseradish.
Now, about those ice cube trays… lots of the reviews complain of an odor. Deb, have you had any trouble with that? How long have you used them?
I have been on a HUGE bread and butter pickle kick (i went thru a jar in just a few days!) and was talking to my friend YESTERDAY about how I should make my own. And I thought to myself I would search for a recipe from you. And here it is! Awesome…..
Mmmmm, mouth watering, got to try this. But I usually like the spiced up version of what can be bought off the shelf. What would I add to make it spicy? Thanks!
Pickles! I love them – they’re so refreshing! There’s actually so many spices you can add to your taste, no? So yummy with bread and butter :D
I always thought about attempting dill pickles as my first pickle project, but you’ve convinced me otherwise.
I have mustard seed, turmeric and coriander seed from all the Indian food I normall make, so this is great! I probably have everything but the cucumbers already in my college apartment kitchen! I can’t wait. :)
you deb, are *good.*
my first run in with a b&b pickle was as a youngster at a family reunion. i didn’t even know they existed, and i went cramming them into my mouth all excited like, expecting dill. THE HORROR. kind of like the first time i had tofu in a vegetable soup and was expecting potato. never been the same since.
but after reading your recipe, much like that crazy smashed peas thing, you’ve got me thinking “well, but if i make it *this* way…”
good work :D
My grandma used to make lime pickles in her old retired wringer washer in the basement. Lime pickles are like B&B but the sliced pickling cukes are soaked for 24 hours in a solution of lime (the mineral not the fruit) and water. This makes a terrifically crunchy pickle. But you have to rinse, rinse rinse – hence the old washer. It was perfect way to handle all that running water.
I have her recipe but it calls for pickling spice which varies from brand to brand and even within the bottle because you can never get the same proportions. Every so often, I luck out and get the right combo in the right proportion and I feel like I’m sitting at her farmhouse table again. I’ll give your recipe a spin the weekend and maybe it will be the “right one”. Thanks!
BTW – I frequently assure people that pickles are not an exclusive relationship. You can like garlic dill (like my mom made) and sweet pickles, too. But maybe not at the same meal…
Count me in the “hunt club” – looking for the baby link in every post. Thanks for that special treat, too!
I’m growing my first cucumber plant and OH BOY! no one told me it’s just like growing zucchini… there are soooo many of them! This recipe is perfectly timed! My great great Aunt makes the best B&B pickles, but I’ll use this for ease since getting a recipe out of her is so difficult. But my one question is, what’s up with the “cover with ice and let stand for 2 hours on counter top”? Don’t know about you, but it is super hot where I live. If I cover something in ice cubes and leave it on the counter, the cubes will be melted in minutes. Any suggestions? Can’t I just put the bowl in the fridge or is some kind of magic I can’t see happening on my counter top? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this!
Liz and others that have asked about the ice cubes — I found it odd too! But then I checked a couple other recipes and they also called for it. The idea is clearly to keep them cool; my apartment is always warm and I was shocked the ice cubes were not fully melted after two hours! However, if you think they’ll just be a puddle in your place after a while, put them in the fridge instead.
Laurel — Ugh! *Head explodes*
Pickling jar — Actually, from a friend who brought me the most wonderful homemade granola after having the baby. Label on the bottom says it is from Ikea. I would to get more. Also, total aside, anyone know where to get GIANT (like, 5 pound bag of flour size?) glass clamping jars like this? For canisters, of course. I Google and Google, haven’t found what I’m looking for — usually just in plastic or from a restaurant supply, where you’d have to buy a case of 12!
Andrea — Surprised I use silicone too, since I hate it in bakeware. Anyway, never noticed a residue. I use them to freeze baby food too.
Deb,you got to be a mind reader!! I put up fresh peaches and blueberries,this week,and then last night,I was in the store and got all I needed,and went by the canning section to check it out for this week.Well,the pickles were,well represented there,so I said to myself,got to do it.Its,sorta dishearting,since I am living alone,and don’t use that many in a year,and all the people around,make their own.But,its fun and important to stay busy.I been thinking “Bread & Butter,dill,and maybe more”.Ball has a packet for 4 lbs of bread and butter,don’t know how it is,may just use the recipe.By the way Ladies,Fresh Fruit,does real for putting fruit up,the fruit looks just like you just cut it up,and doesn’t effect the taste.Love the site,and most of all ,”the nugges to move on with it”!!
made bread and butter pickles last year, people remembered and started asking for them again…they really are a free ticket to any summer function!
it took me a while to figure out why these babies were called “bread and butter”. southeast Asians have this pickled vegetable dish called Achar, with a little curry powder added as a ‘secret’ ingredient. i think you’d like it!
We had something like these growing up, but with celery seed & basil, and not the other spices. (Without tumeric, it wasn’t as yellow.) It totally makes me think of summertime! Yum!
Can’t wait to try this! I love bread and butter pickles and I bet these are sooo much better than the ones we buy. I bet they are a huge hit at a summer party.
Have always been a fan so what a delight to hear you on NPR yesterday!! Congrats on the gig and hope it continues to make you as well-known as I you will be.
Yum…I love bread and butter pickles! I can’t wait to try this recipe!
That Jacob- he just gets cuter and cuter!I love his hair!:-)
I will have to try these. I was really craving some bread and butter pickles recently. Not a single jar at the store didn’t have high fructose corn syrup. I was annoyed and left without some pickles.
my favorite pickles! i like the spicy ones, too, with some red pepper thrown in.
My CSA this week had a HUGE bunch of baby carrots — I think this bread and butter recipe could be just the thing some of them need. I’ll try it and let you know how it works. (Real baby carrots — not those little nubbins you get that at the supermarket that are really just regular carrots cut into small bits.)
yummmmy. My mom’s bread and butter pickles are basically a currency in my family.
Hi Deb, Love Smitten Kitchen! This is my first comment/question. I was just curious about the ground Coriander in the recipe. It looks like whole mustard and coriander seeds in the pictures. Do you use any whole coriander seeds in the brine or just ground? Thanks…PS Jacob just keeps getting cuter and cuter!
After I saw this post, I immediately got to picklin’… made them yesterday and they are fantastic! Gonna make more today so I can take some to tomorrow’s Father’s Day BBQ. Thanks Deb!
Happy to report about GIANT clamping jars. They weren’t at my favorite food storage site (www.lehmans.com) where I’ve bought them in the past. Instead, I found them at amazon- what does amazon not carry these days??? It’s a 3 liter size, search for Bormioli Rocco Fido Storage Jar – Wire Bail – 3 L
I just came back home with some gorgeous canning jars. Now i know what’s going to go in them! Don’t get kirby there though. Will use a local favourite. Thanks.
I have kirby cucumbers in my fridge right now w/ the intention of making bread and butter pickles, but I didn’t know how! Perfect timing. Thank you!
D’oh — that’s not supposed to say ground coriander but whole. But I am going to assume either work; I prefer the seeds but the recipe I used called for ground.
Kari — Thanks. I forgot to add that I am looking for one with a wide neck, so I can scoop/fluff/sweep flour inside it. See? I’m so picky, that’s why I can never find what I am looking for.
Deb – try The Container Store for cannisters. They seem to have everything!
I worked at The Container Store (we’d get along great with our OCD) and although they have many sizes large enough for flour/sugar I’ve found that the necks aren’t wide enough to easily measure things in the jar.
Although they aren’t made of glass (my preferred material) everyone has fallen in love with the large, square OXO pop containers. They’re sold on Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Container Store and all the usual places. The reason they’re so popular is because they keep things incredibly fresh, they stack, and you can measure out of the container. All the glass jars I’ve come across are either wide enough to measure out of OR have a good clamp, seal. Also, I have a very small kitchen and their square shape means no wasted space in my cabinets.
If any other readers have better suggestions, I’d also love to know.
I read this yesterday and just got back from the farmers’ market with about 5 pounds of cukes to make them with. I’ll follow your recipe, but would like to make a suggestion for those who want the crispiest pickles AND want to can them by boiling. I have made many sweet pickles using the lime method and they always come out amazingly crisp. Just buy some pickling lime at the grocery store and soak your cukes overnight according to the package directions (just lime and water in a big nonreactive pot). I don’t know what it does, but it surely does make good crisp pickles. No change in taste, either.
Just going to chime in on a couple of things here: SPICE STORAGE-
I went through a number of spice container solutions and wound up happiest with my tupperware! You can also get a spinning rack to stack and store them on too. This set is based more or less on their other food storage genius, the modular mates, which I also am completely in love with. Y’all can have your OXO and your whatevers- I am a solid TUPPERWARE lady!
Deb, to address the what happens if you actually process your cans- I made & put up b + b pickles a couple year ago- the recipe I used had you weigh down the sliced cuke and onion mixture overnight in cheesecloth to press out as much water as possible, which I think helps to maintain the crispness. Mine turned out great, by the way, but I think I am going to have to try your recipe!
I actually love bread & butter pickles, so this is perfect. Thanks for posting this recipe.
Where did you get those awesome spice jars? I’ve been looking for something exactly like that for ages!
Have you looked at World Market for those canisters? I seem to remember seeing the clamping ones there, although it has been awhile. Awesome recipe – I’m looking forward to trying this.
How your photos take me back! Back to the days when my mother would make bread and butter pickles from her garden cucumbers – they were so delicious and she always took a jar to a potluck dinner or picnic. Back to the day when I tried to duplicate her recipe and had canning jars, sugary pickle juice, salt, pots and pans covering all the flat surfaces of my kitchen and floor – they were good, but not my mother’s pickles. I have her recipe and it calls for whole spices, not ground. I loved it when one of those spices would pop when I crunched down on them.
Thanks for this recipe and your knockout photos.
My grandmothers recipe was essentially the same thing, but she called them freezer pickles. She would freeze them in margarine sized containers and thaw them for use that way. They were still very crispy! She froze them in the brine! Have you ever considered this method? the recipe as stated is virtually identical!
I just found your website and am drooling big time.
Can’t wait until I finish the detox/cleanse I’m on.
I will be raiding your site for weeks.
fantastic photos and recipes.
Where did you find those small spice jars? I have been looking for glass ones like that, and am out of luck.
crapola, i just made these and use 1 tbsp of ground coriander… sigh. I hope they are still ok
Do you use the ice that remains, or do you remove it when you drain the cukes and onions? Thanks! Your site is brilliant!
Lila — Ditch the ice, if it hasn’t already melted.
Deb, Thanks so much for this post and the B&B pickle recipe. It looks just like the one my Gramma used. She died before I had sense enough to get her recipe. Fingers crossed that I’ll put one in my mouth and be transported to her kitchen! Oh, that Jacob! He is just too cute. Warning. It is my experience that the cuter and smarter little boys are, the more mischievous they are. My son was a cute baby who would unscrew any screw around. He was always unscrewing the playpen, and then he graduated to electric switchplates. We never knew how he did it, because he just had that innocent, angelic look when anyone was looking at him. We finally had to superglue every screw in the place down. I can close my eyes and see that innocent look now.
Boy, I miss those days!
Thank you for this – my family is all about the dill pickles, too, but my aunt used to make her own bread and butter pickles and I loved them and, of course, cannot be satisfied with store-bought. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
I love pickles. I eat them as snacks all the time. I love the crunch that they have. I have never tried making them myself, I might just give it a go!
Thanks for bringing back a fond childhood memory… Growing up in a small town in Colorado gave me plenty to celebrate. My mother was a wonderful cook (owned her first bakery in Denver at the age of 18) and I grew up in the restaurant in our little town. She’d bake 15 pies a day… and use many products that were home-canned in her daily specials and recipes.
When she retired, I remember canning watermelon pickles, dill pickles, chow-chow, and bread/butter pickles each summer… tomatoes, pears, and peaches in the fall. Jams and Jellies whenever the apricot tree or black raspberries were at the ready.
My favorite were the bread and butter pickles, spicy and crisp… tangy almost. They were delicious come Thanksgiving… they were a treat on a hot summer’s night with a homemade biscuit. My mouth watered when I saw your recipe. And, though she died almost ten years ago, I can still taste them. Her recipe had a bit more mustard in it… I loved getting a pickled mustard seed and popping its pickled flavor between my teeth and tasted its goodness on my tongue.
I may find her recipe tucked in her old Household Searchlight cookbook…
Thanks again. Wishing I had a jar right now….
Thanks – beautiful photo’s and lovely recipe. It is deep winter here in Oz, but this will be one to try in a few months time. I had no idea that they had so much sugar in them, though!!
I’m having a party next weekend and I’m thinking I might just have to buy those cool ice cube trays (even tho my fridge makes ice). Those cubes will look nice in drinks! I guess it’s BACK to the store for me! It will be my 3rd trip to buy stuff to make my table look festive – then of course I’ve got to shop for all the food and start the prep! I do enjoy making parties and hosting company. It’s fun for me.
I have a VERY similar set of ice cube trays that are intended to house babyfood. Of course, since they had the word ‘baby’ on the package, they were more expensive than those ones. I didn’t even think to make ‘real’ ice in them, but the food-cubes are just perfectly square like that.
oh, and I have nothing to add about the pickles, not a B&B fan at all, but my husband asked for your chocolate doughnut holes for Father’s Day tomorrow. I *guess* I could make those…only because he asked, right? :)
I’d love it a lot more if were a tad bit spicy ;) No seriously i wanna make some of this and its gonna happen soon(i promise) I usually make more of the heavy – tomato, carrot, jalapeno pickles, indian style which are heavy on the oil and on the spice!
For anyone asking about canning, you shouldn’t can any recipe that doesn’t have specific instructions for it. These are refridgerator pickles and aren’t meant to be canned. Recipes that can be canned have a specific acidity ratio that makes them safe. Sugar is also one of the ingredients and altering the recipe that’s cannable will void its can worthiness.
cucumber pickle.. thats surely the most innovative idea i’ve seen. its been a general thought yet that they are only suitable for salads. however, the outcome is looking great.. i surely try this out in my house.
My grandmother used to make these pickles. The taste and smell remind me of my childhood!
Deb, there’s a link to some pretty glass canisters that you can store a whole bag of flour or sugar in. They aren’t the kind with clamps but they are glass. Yay for no plastic!
Is there a substitute for Celery Seed? My parents didn’t have it and neither did my Whole Foods :(
I have a niece who LOVES bread and butter pickles. Thanks for the recipe I’m going to make her a batch. I have to tell you–we picked cherries and I made your sweet cheery pie! OMG it was the most wonderful thing ever. I always check your site first when I need a particular recipe. You’re the best! Have a great weekend.
fridge pickles… varieties are endless, preferences rule !~you will be hooked~
I never cared for bread and butter pickles until last summer, when I had some with jalapenos added in. Way good!!!
I loooooooooooove pickles, especially B+B ones. I’m going to try this, minus the salt. The vinegar should preserve them just as well. I’m watching my sodium intake (most of the time, lol).
I want to make pickles. My grandmother made the World’s Greatest pickles, spicy dill pickles. I’m not a huge fan of bread and butter pickles, but this has definitely inspired me to dig out her recipe and hunt for cute cukes and glass jars.
#122, Dana – Maybe dill seed? It’s fairly close but not the same. Since Deb said she added celery seed just because she likes it, I figure you can just leave it out or substitute anything you like. That’s what makes things interesting!
Wow. Chewy granola bars, and now B&B pickles?
I I’m *rapidly* becoming a big fan of this site, nice job.
I axed the tumeric, and used 50/50 mix of white and apple cider vinegar. Came out nicely. Oh and yeah, closer to 1/2 cup of sugar.
…oh… And slice them very, very thin. Mandolin works wonders here, I harldly ever use it – but I think thin B&Bs are better.
I am so excited…. Pickles and the 4th of July seem to sound good to me. Thanks for sharing.
Since you are on the subject of pickles, could you please please post a recipe for kosher dill pickles? I hate all other kind of cuke pickles especially if they are sweet. I LOVE crispy, salty, sour and crunchy kosher pickles but it is hard to find good ones outside NYC.
Thanks for sharing Jacob’s pics, he is a very cute child.
Sonia — If I ever make them successfully, yes! Both times I tried, I had moldy jars of ugh-you-don’t-want-to-know within three days.
oh oh oh, thank you!I have got many cucumbers from my market garden!
I had never heard of these before ! They look great, but I’m wondering…why are they called bread & butter pickles ?
Wow, Those look amazing! off subject, but where did you get those precious little spice jars.:)
i am jst a newbie at fashion blogging. but i found u at bloglovin and i must say i love your blog so so much. ever since childhood i loved cooking and watching how such type of vegetables, meat…etc can turn into something master piece and taste so beautiful! ur photos are fantastic and ur cooking skills seem so superb! i really wish i could taste all ur dishes! they are stunning! I can looking forward to making some meals from ur dishes! ill try one this week!
I made these last night and they came out perfectly! The ice trick worked really well. My mother’s pickles always come out a little limp, and I think it’s because they get too warm. These pickles seem to maintain their crispness, which I like. Thanks, Deb!
When I saw your recipe I couldn’t wait to try it. This weekend I finally found the time and the pickles are really great. I used 1/2 cup of sugar and it is just perfect – I don’t like it too sweet.
Yum! I have been toying wit the idea of making pickles. Can’t believe I have never done it before! I have a ton of dill, so I’m thinking dill pickles first, but this recipe looks so good, I may have to do bread and butter pickles instead. Small side question… I’ve always wondered… why are they called bread and butter pickles?
Cool! I have a pregnant friend with a pickle craving. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m going to have to make these! I love bread & butter cucumbers and remember my mom making them when I was a kid and we had a garden with an overabundance of cucumbers. So yummy!!
BTW, your little boy is such a doll!
Wow, so many container comments and all. I’m building up my own kitchen container collection bit by bit. Lock ‘n’ Lock mostly (plastic).
This recipe looks great! I was just reflecting the other day as I made a ham and cheese sandwich that I wished I knew how to may B&B pickles to top it, but supposed most recipes would be for dill and take forever. Now I’ll have to hunt down some of those seeds, it sounds so easy!!!
I actually made these about two weeks ago. There was a recipe in Country Living that I tried. They were good but the recipe called for 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric. The flavor was certainly there, but the turmeric didn’t dissolve so I was left with this sludge at the bottom of the jars. I will definitely reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon. I also used ground coriander and will definitely use the whole seed next time. Its a great pickle, my kids love it. Thanks for the tweeks that i was not brave enough to make. The taste of these pickles are like nothing you buy in the store.
You are a rock star! My hubby and I absolutely love bread and butter pickles. I’ve never thought of making them and now, I must. You never fail to satisfy our food longings!
Deb, I’m with Sonia – I think we need to find a good recipe for dill pickles, too! I’ve made them twice. Once, they were great. Once, they spoiled. Unfortunately, I have no idea why the difference, and I’ve lost all the recipes. Maybe I’ll try the Good Eats recipe again… but I’d love to have something reliable because my wife and I both love pickles as snack food.
Thanks for this recipe!
I love the spice containers!! Did you make the label? They are so cute!
This is the perfect time of year to start pickling things. Everything is young and fresh. Last year I did pickled peppers among many other things and thanked myself all winter : )
Oh, yum! And your jar full of them is so enticing!
These look great! I’m totally making these to bring to our 4th of July festivities!! Thanks for another great post and recipe Deb!
check out some salmon recipes on my blog if you want to :)
Made these over the weekend after picking up some small cukes at a farmer’s market. Used 1/2 cup sugar and sliced the cucumbers very thin with a mandolin. They are fabulous! (and plenty sweet enough with the lesser amount of sugar) We even snitched a few from the jar before breakfast this morning, they were that irresistible! The ice definitely keeps them crunchy. SO much better than anything at the grocery store.
This is similar to my grandmother’s recipe, which I’ve been making for 20 years. A few years ago, I updated it by adding 2 – 3 Vidalia or Walla Walla onions, sliced thin, plus 3 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. The heat from the garlic and red pepper flakes balances the sweetness very nicely, and the pickled sweet onions are almost as good as the cucumbers – fantastic on sandwiches – so when sweet onions on in season I often make a batch of bread and butter onions too.
I’ve been experimenting with grape leaves in my pickles to make them extra crispy, and I think it’s working (-:. Will have to try ice.
I’m not fond of sweet pickles unless they are in something, but dill pickles are super easy to make. 1 3/4 c. of water, 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 TBSP kosher salt. In the bottom of the sterilized quart jar, 1 garlic clove (or more! we love pickled garlic!), some dill seed or dill flowers or dill weed or combo thereof, and maybe a grape leaf if you like. (For a slightly sourer brine, try 400 ml of water to 100 ml of water, with a tablespoon of salt.) Keep in the fridge if you’ll eat them soon, process them for 10 minutes per quart if you want to preserve them.
The IMHO perfect container for large amounts of sugar and flour is the large DROPPAR jar from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40112543
I’ve been using them for two years by now and they are perfect for measuring without causing a mess. They just shouldn’t fall on the floor though because the lid does not clamp. But this hasn’t happened to me yet and I usually drop everything! Bugs haven’t been a problem either, the seal is tight enough. And they are only 10 dollars!
I hated pickles as a child and when I got to college I still hated them. My boyfriend at the time loved them and was determined to get me to eat pickles. He eased me in with Bubbies Bread n Butter. Boyfriend’s gone (good thing) and so is my hate for pickles (another good thing). I love Bread n Butter’s and now can’t wait to make my own.
Oh my goodness. I’ve never considered making my own pickles before but I have these on the docket for next week because bread and butter pickles are my fave and you make it look so easy! I can’t wait – thanks for sharing this recipe. They look positively amazing!
My mom still cans pickles I believe, she used to can something called “stickles” that were sweet. They were never quite crunchy enough for me though so I still buy my bread ‘n butter pickles. Maybe I’ll try it on my own?
Why have I been so afraid of personal pickling? Sounds simple enough – and my fridge IS perpetually stocked with store-bought B&Bs. Our Pulled Chicken Sammies just wouldn’t be the same without ’em
I have actually made some similar to these looong time ago. They are so easy and very good expecially since it does not involve canning. Only difference is that I added garlic and carrots. Yummy!
Silly question, but… how long will these last if kept in the fridge?
Deb, are you sure it is only 1 lb of cukes? I made them today and didn’t get anywhere near enough to fill a qt. jar and they were wayyyyyy to salty. They are really crisp and have a great taste if you can get past the salt.
this looks just like the ones my mom made years ago. the only difference is, she added sliced green peppers. I’ve been craving them for a long time, but she can’t remember the recipe. looks like she has no excuses now!
Billie — For me, that 1 pound was something like 4 5-inch Kirbys if I remember correctly. I wrote it down and didn’t type it up — d’oh. Did you use the lower amount of sugar? Maybe that throws it off. I only tried it with the higher one…
I’m so glad you posted this! I grew up eating bread and butter pickles, and I love them, but my firstborn is allergic to corn, and I haven’t been able to find any pickles except dill he can eat. I’m on vacation now, but I’m so excited to make these when I get home!
Deb, Although the cukes were a bit shorter than that I used twice as many. I did use Morton’s Kosher salt rather than Diamond Crystal. I have both but I have to search for Diamond in this area so use Mortons when I don’t think it matters as much. Yes, I did use just 1/2 cup of the sugar. Maybe someone else will try it as well and we can compare to see what went wrong. Also the jar which says it is a qt. (Wal-mart special) is only half full.
Billie- I think the Morton’s kosher salt is a big part of the problem. It tastes significantly saltier than Diamond Crystal and also has an acrid aftertaste. I found out the hard way when cooking at a friend’s house who only had Morton’s kosher. I made a recipe I’ve cooked dozens of times at home using Diamond Crystal and it was completely inedible when made with the Morton’s. If you do use it, I would cut the amount by a third.
Jasmine — Thank you! I am so air-headed these days. I just learned about that Morton versus Diamond thing and meant to add a tip about it before I posted this. I should sleep more and stuff.
Anyway, Chow had a great post about it recently. In short, Morton is much saltier than Diamond. I now only keep Diamond around and am trying to suggest Kosher salt less often in recipes since others will get such different results. But with pickling, Kosher salt is the norm.
Billie — Sorry you had to find out the hard way! I’ll add this tip into the recipe later… halfway out the door now.
Jasmine, Deb, I do know about the differences in the salt but obviously didn’t consider it in this case. I always use table salt for baking. Don’t know why Diamond is so hard to find in this area (southeastern VA). Only Food Lion carries it and only some of those stores and only in the shaker box. Guess I’d better stock up. Although I learned the hard way at least it wasn’t a terribly expensive lesson.
Told someone earlier one of the benefits of this site and others like it is that we learn from each other and are happy to keep someone else from making the same mistake.
First time pickler here. I tried this today, with 5 pickling cucumbers (~5 inches long), sliced thin but lengthwise. I doubled the rest of the ingredients except the sugar and had nowhere near enough liquid to cover my pickles. I think they still taste good but the sugar:vinegar ratio must be more important than I thought! (I don’t like sweet pickles, particularly.) So that’s what happens when you do that.
Thank you so much for the recipe! My grandmother used to make these and I have really missed them. I am definitely going to give this recipe a go this weekend.
Anne, the liquid barely covered mine either sliced crossways and I didn’t double it. If you sliced yours the other way unless you laid them flat they were too tall to be covered. Bread and butter pickles have a different sweetness than the normal sweet pickles.
I just made a batch of these, and they are delicious! I only had large english cucumbers in the fridge so I used both of those and added 1/2 extra of everything except the sugar. They taste great – not too sweet with a lovely spice.
Thank you for another GREAT recipe.
We don’t really get these kind of cucumbers in the UK, but I made a very similar recipe last year with courgettes (zuccini) and it was a revelation. Everyone in the UK who grows veg grows courgettes, usually too many, and this is a great way to use up the excess. I found that they keep for months, not weeks, as long as you can resist eating them…
These photos are insanely gorgeous!
I am making these right now…I can’t wait to taste them tomorrow! This really would be such a nice gift to take the hostess of a BBQ (oh- and you and your cute little derelict Jacob are always invited to my BBQ’s here is Maryland)! Thanks for sharing, Deb!
I am totally making these!!! I love pickles, and my last pickle recipe from your site were your Pickled Grapes. Mmmmm… I think I’m going to make those again too!
I am an expat living in the Netherlands, and am dying to make these pickles, but I can only seem to find European cucumbers (I’ve searched everywhere: 4 grocery stores, farmer’s markets, ethnic stores). Can I make these with European cucumbers? Should I adjust the recipe in any way? Thanks!
Kate — I am sure other cucumbers will work. Look for the freshest and most crisp you can get.
I can’t wait to try this recipe and my kids and I have just agreed that your little one is the the most adorable ever!
I always wanted to try making pickles but I always assumed it was some long and drawn out process. Also, bread and butter pickles are my absolute favorite but like other readers I struggle to find ones that aren’t made with HFCS. Needless to say I was thrilled to see this post. I just made these today and they came out a bit on the salty side. At first I thought I didn’t drain thoroughly enough but after I read some comments I thinking it might of been the Morton’s salt. I’m going to try this recipe again next week with well drained cuckes and Diamond salt.
Made these this weekend and they are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. Going to make another batch this weekend.
Sounds awesome! But i will totally lowering the sweetness… I like the contrast in flavors like b&b more than a gherkin.
Firstly, this is my first posting but I am an AVID follower of your blog and have made MANY of your recipes! I always enjoy them and love looking for new posts! I’ve made this recipe twice and definitely had the salt problem the first time (w/ Morton’s Kosher) using less that the recipe called for but the second time just used a light sprinkle and am quite pleased (did not rinse). The flavor is great. I made these w/ ground coriander the first time and think I might prefer that as biting into the seeds is a little strong for me. Also, used regular cucumbers (2 “regular” sized, if that makes any sense) and it worked well. Thanks again for the great posts, beautiful pictures, and the sharing of your cute-enough-to-eat son!
Just made these and wish I had read the comments more thoroughly. The pickles are WAY too salty. I used Morton salt (doesn’t say kosher, so that’s my fault) and didn’t rinse except to pour off the melted ice. The background flavors seem like they would be good though. I followed the recipe exactly and used 3/4c sugar.
Sorry about the salt issues, guys. I’ve updated the recipe with a warning, and a link to this note:
Funny enough, I’d just read about this Kosher salt gap a couple weeks ago, but I think this is the first time it had dramatically impacted a recipe. Oof!
My result was the same as Allisons. I doubled the recipe, so I’d have some extra. I only had Morton’s Kosher Salt; my grocery has quit carrying Diamond. They are almost inedible. I thought it was because I needed to rinse off the salt since I used the full 3/4 cup of sugar version. The acrid aftertaste is just awful. I will pitch these and start over. Glad to know it was the salt and not me. Does Whole Foods carry Diamond? I can make the extra trip there.
Another sad result with Morton’s instead of Diamond Crystal (I was at my mom’s house, and that’s what was in the cupboard). They are not really edible. And I made a double batch!
Folks, the water that you pour off after the salt-and-ice stage is not (only) from melted ice; it’s from the cukes and onions! They are crispy not because they’ve been kept cold, but because the salt has drawn off so much of their moisture (this technique is used in the Cook’s Illustrated buttermilk coleslaw recipe, which is fabulous, crispy and not watery). And even in a hot kitchen, you probably won’t have all the ice melt, because of its reaction with the salt (haven’t you made ice cream the old-fashioned way?).
Oh so mouthwatering (looking)
I have been searching for a good recipe for b&b pickles ;)
So did you already answer the question about the super cute simple spice containers ? Where to grab some of those!?
Morton’s kosher salt users, listen up, you can still make these delicious pickles without an extra trip to the store. I just reduced the amount to a tablespoon and a half to sprinkle over the cucumbers and onions and it turned out quite well. These pickles are fantastic (and oh-so-perfect for this weekend’s BBQs)!
Just thought I’d share a Morton’s success story :)
Deb and others interested in dill pickles: I’d recommend taking a look at Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby, and Dan George for excellent dill pickles as well as half-sours, and a wonderful and diverse assortment of fresh vegetable and fruit pickles, with an assortment of other fermented pickles and oil pickles, too. I’ve made almost every recipe in the book and it’s a great guide.
Sugar, yes, my mother and I have always waterbathed and have pickles for a whole YEAR not just a few weeks
Took your advice on the amount of sugar, I used only 1/2 cup – I will never buy the store version again. Wonderful, Wonderful, and Wonderful!
Is 1/2 cup vinegar the only fluid you used? 1/2 cup won’t fill up a 1 quart jar, I know, I made them, and I had to add water to make up the difference. Did you add water? All of the other pickle recipes I looked at recently all had water. Thanks. and thanks for the info on Diamond Salt!
just made these with cucumbers from our garden – they turned out great! thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
It is the only liquid I used. My cucumbers and onions were tightly packed in that quart jar, so the liquid almost made it to the top.
We had our first cucumber harvest from our garden this evening, can’t wait to try your recipe! I will be on the hunt for Diamond salt first thing in the morning.
Concerning your search for the perfect jar, I live in eastern PA and am certain that if you took a day or weekend trip to Amish Country (Lancaster/Reading, PA) you are sure to find the perfect jars!
I love making pickles, especially B&B – will try this recipe soon. But I LOVE your little spice jars! How do you keep all this stuff organized in a small, city apartment? Would love a photo of your spice rack/cupboard!
I looked in the comments but didn’t see a solution to my problem: I don’t have enough liquid to submerge the cucumbers (pickles) and onions – do I add water to them or just not worry about it? It seems like the pickles will get dry if I leave them out of some sort of liquid.
Oooo! Must try! I love bread and butter pickles, but have been wondering why they’re called that. Do you know, by any chance? =)
I tried these out for a fourth of July barbeque and they were AMAZING. Truly little wonderful sweet yet savory bites of happiness. Everyone at our backyard bbq agreed, and they were devoured too quickly for me to even get as many as I wanted (which means I have to make more, sort of a luxury problem. :) thanks soooo much for sharing!
This is the first SmittenKitchen item I made. They were wonderful! I had to make a bit more brine to top off the jar, but I think I added a kirby cucumber to many at the start. I’m going to be shopping this site for lots more goodies in the future.
just made these and they were FAB thanks for the recipe!
Also, on a kosher dill pickle note… I am trying my first batch and they are on their 2nd day now… they look good still (no mold) so I hope they don’t get all moldy like your experiences. I used the recipe from here http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2008/05/arthur_schwartz_1.html guess I can only wait and see… but for now, they smell wonderful!
I love these sweet pickles, I like to put them into egg salad and potato salad recipes. Having pickles that aren’t cooked give you a really nice crunch! Thank you for sharing this recipe.
can the recipe be put in canning jars when it seals and put in a cabint for a year.
Here’s the best guide to safe home pickling and canning:
The B&B Pickle recipe is very good. It even gives a crispier version using lime water.
Love your website. Thanks! tTis may have been covered above, but just in case: you did not include that that the iced down/salted cukes should be drained and rinsed before adding to the vinegar mixture. Otherwise, the pickles will be too salty, as much of the salt remain even after thoroughly rinsing.
Jeanne — You know, I don’t think I rinsed mine. The salt became the salt normally in the brine of cucumbers. However, if yours was aggressively over-salted, may I ask which brand of Kosher salt you used? Morton’s tends to run much saltier for the same volume.
I am about 8 years late to this party but just made this recipe today and here are my thoughts:
– I used the as-written amount of Diamond salt totally by coincidence (it’s what I had) and they are VERY salty. Having just made them this morning, I tried 4 pickles from various places in the jar and they each vary a little bit in saltiness. The first taste made me worried I’d have to throw them out and the last was pretty good. I will keep them because they’re going to part of a pickle plate with lots of other options, but if I make them again I will reduce the salt by a third and rinse them. They taste good, but make me feel like I just sucked a lemon.
– I used a 1 lb bag of small cucumbers (which was 5). It filled two pint jars without packing them too tight and there was still some room.
– The liquid did not quite cover the pickles, but after sitting a few hours I was able to squish the cucumbers down into the liquid and they’re mostly covered. In a day or two I’ll pour some of the liquid from the jar I’m working on into the not yet opened jar.
– Will make again, with less salt and a little more liquid.
Mine were SUPER salty too. I was afraid to rinse them, but now that I’ve just clicked on here I see someone else had the same problem… I’ll try rinsing next time.
Once I talked about this recipe on my site, other readers of my blog asked the same question about rinsing the cucumbers. I used the same salt as you Deb, and did not rinse them, and mine were not too salty at all, just perfect. I think rinsing them would take away too much salt from the brine, and I bet the real trick is just in using the right brand of salt. Anyway, since I am making this recipe now for the THIRD time (can you tell how awesome it is?!) I thought I would come back again and say how much I loved it. :)
I wonder if this recipe is can-able? I’ve been dabbling with canning lately, and it’d be nice to be able to make a big batch of these and put them up for the summer.
Just made a batch of these tonight. I also had an issue with the amount of liquid, so just doubled the amount of vinegar/sugar/spices to the cooking liquid before adding the cukes. I think my problem was at least partially caused by the farmer at the market being friendly and giving me a rather generous “pound” of cukes. :) The pickles taste yummy already even though they’re still warm so I’m sure they will be even more delicious tomorrow when they have aged and chilled.
These look so good! I’ve been playing around with a few different types of vinegar. This recipe is my latest rendition: http://handmeafork.blogspot.com/2011/01/homemade-bread-and-butter-pickles.html
Ooooh, I can’t wait to try these! Going to try it without the onion, though as I’ve got a friend with an onion allergy (that poor, poor soul).
JARS: I have had a bunch of these jars in many sizes, tiny to huge. I picked them up a few at a time in a gourmet cookware shop. This is the LeParfait (brand) website, where you may be able to buy them: http://www.leparfait.com/gamme.html
PICKLES: also try slicing them vertically (stackers) instead of rounds (chips) they fit on sandwiches really nicely. My whole family seems to like them better this way.
I made at least 6 batches of these last summer, and they were the best pickles I have ever eaten! I can’t wait until my cucumbers are ripe so I can make some more. I foolowed the recipe exactly, and used kosher salt from Penzey’s.
Made these…loved them!!! The whole process was magic! thanks
Love your note on sugar here. For whatever it’s worth, I typically make my grandmother’s old bread & butter pickle recipe and she uses more vinegar than suger. 3 c. vinegar to 2 c. sugar (obvs a bigger batch)….
Love these things, even though I’m typically a dill pickle kind of girl. Pregnant or not. :)
Ok…am running slow this morning, but Mom just did the math for me: My grandmother’s proportions in your recipe above would be 3/4 c. vinegar and a 1/2 c. sugar.
Just made these for a summer snack two days ago and they’re already gone…my husband was very happy… :)
Thanks again for an awesome and easy recipe!
I’m so glad I tried this again after being one of the people with salt problems last summer. They turned out really well with the Diamond.
I made these yesterday, they are great! Very easy, and aside from the 2 hour waiting time, super fast. I thought the 1/2 cup vinegar wouldn’t be enough liquid, but it absolutely was. I went with 1/2 cup sugar and half an onion.
When you drain the cucumber/onion/salt mixture, do you rinse the mixture a couple of times with water to get the salt out? Or is it just a drain leaving the salt? Thanks.
Matt — In general, most of the salt drains off. If you’re still concerned about their saltiness, you can rinse it again.
I too went with half a very large onion and 1/2 cup of sugar and found them perfect. The whole jar lasted about two days. :)
I have a question, can fresh grown celery be used in place of celery seeds? We grew our own and it has a much more robust flavor than the store bought celery, just wondering if it would work in the pickled.
so- if i want to can this recipe- is it ok to do the water-bath thing? for how long? i only make pickles in summer when the garden’s producing, and can’t fill the refrig with jars……..
AWESOME!!! Made 1 batch and after my wife and son devoured an entire jar in one sitting I made another double batch. Thanks
There’s no reason you can’t can a big batch of these… any pickles can be canned. I did a batch of these myself yesterday and they were not too salty. They were just right without rinsing. I would decrease the sugar to less than 1/2 a cup per quart, but they were still good at a 1/2 cup. I add red pepper flakes for a zing and it’s super delish on sausages or burgers!
Also, I never water bath my pickles. I put boiling hot brine in to sterilized packed jars with boiled lids and rings and they seal great and the pickles don’t get soft. They last ages on the shelf too. Got this tip from an old-time farmer and food preserver.
When making bread & Butter pickles, do you have to cut them up? Can you just use a whole pickling cucumber?
You don’t have to, but they’re traditionally sliced.
I’m planning on making pickles tomorrow and I love the method you used. I was going to can them but I think I’ll just make these refrigerator pickles instead. Thanks for the post!
I’ve been pickling/canning for about a year, but this is the first time I’ve seen a recipe that calls for icing the cucumbers, what’s the science there?
I just made these this weekend after a week of drooling in my office staring at this recipe. Seriously awesome result. My boyfriend and I are absolutely in love with these and will be making these from now on! Yummmm :D Thank you!!
Made these in just 2.5 hours to accompany a BBQ dinner and they were fantastic, and fully pickled! (I did thin slices.) Thanks Deb!
Guess what I had for lunch? A wrap with smashed chick pea salad topped with slow roasted tomatoes, roasted red pepper, lemon garlic yogurt and walnuts. And on the side? Homemade bread and butter pickles! A complete Smitten Kitchen meal!
The pickles are great! I used white wine vinegar instead of white vinegar and 1/2 tbsp carraway seeds instead of 1tbsp coriander. I used the 1/2 cup sugar option.
If you think there isn’t enough liquid I suspect you aren’t cooking the cucumbers long enough. You throw the ice away, drain away the liquid and toss the sliced cucumbers into the boiling vinegar. Then continue to cook until it almost reaches a boil. When I first added the cucmbers to the pot I thought there was no way that there would be enough liquid. But by the time they almost reached a boil the pot was only 2/3s full and there was just enough liquid to cover them.
I have a huge crop of pickles and have been using them to make all sorts of cucumber dishes; cucumber sandwiches, cucumber salads, and I have finally made some bread and butter pickles.
I cut the salt down a bit as well as the sugar, we do not care for them real sweet, but otherwise it is a perfect recipe, thanks!
We loved these so much we ate them up already! Can I reuse the brine to make more?
I don’t see why not.
These are awesome- and the onions (& red pepper slices in mine) are great to chop into tuna salad, tartar sauce potato salad, etc.
Loved this recipe when we made it a few weeks ago…I made a half gallon of it and took it on vacation…the group went thru it in under a week….I would really like to know how long it will last in the fridge as I am making another batch tonight.
Thanks for answering.
Love your spice jars! Where did you find them?
Hi Tori — I talk about them (and various places where they’re available) over here.
I’ve been making this perfectly every week for the whole summer. And then……….
Here is what NOT to do: use a purple onion because you don’t have a white one. It turns the liquid a weird muddy pink colour. Tastes fine though. Here is a second one: don’t walk away from the liquid, let it boil too long and then think that you will top off the vinegar but forget that your bottle doesn’t have that plastic insert that makes it pour out slowly. So you dump way too much in and have to then throw in extra sugar. So don’t do that!
I don’t have any mustard seed on hand, do I really need to put it in the recipe or can I increase the coriander?
I have made these pickles at least twice and they are quite good. My problem is there seems to be a shortage of liquid to cover all the pickles in the jar, leaving the top bunch to get a little dry. Am I missing something? The 1/2cup vinegar just is not enough and the cucumber/onion mix is drained. Hmm. Can you help?
This last time I topped the jars off with boiling water, have yet to see if that effects the outcome.
Shout out to you and your pickles! I have made these at least a dozen times since I discovered them 2 years ago. I love reading your blog and your pages are my go-to when I’m searching for recipes. Love, love, love! Thanks for what you share with everyone :)
Elizabeth, above: ME too! Although this is only my second batch I just love them… I live between London and the south of France, so these are a delicacy—-I doled them out as a gift for friends, and use them for my very American bbq — hamburgers, egg salad, potato salad. Perfect – and the only change I made is using Maldon salt (no Kosher salt around Nice!!!) — and Maldon is also very cheap in the UK markets. thank you thank you thank you.
I sliced my cucumber too thin and am having trouble eating them without getting spices with each bite. I know you said 1/4 inch thick but I used an automatic slicer that did not slice that thick. Please empathise need for thickness. They are delicious. I will be making many more. Cucumbers are growing fast. I’m going to can my next batch.
After two hours, the ice cubes were not melted. Do I leave them in the cucumber/ onion mix when I put them to boil in the vinegar solution?
The next step is to drain them, so just discard any unmelted ice and drain any that melted.
Just an fyi, I used pickling salt, in the same amount as the recommended Kosher Salt, when I tried this and it did come out Very Salty. Of course, this is my fault and not the recipe’s.
If you are not canning them then you can reduce the sugar. However if you are canning them it does act as a preservative- or at least I was told that.
Came out very well. Crunchy, sweet but not hair-curlingly so, well spiced. Thanks.
I love your Blog & bought your book. I look forward everyday to see the new recipes you add on the sire and have tried many recipes already.
Re: Breat & Butter Pickles, I am planning to make several jars to last a few months. I was thinking of placing the cucumbers in the jars and then cover them with the hot liquid. Do I need to boil the jars and do I need to adjust the amount of sugar? Tks
As a pickle virgin these were a delight! Quick and dirty, and ready to eat immediately. I <3 Smitten Kitchen :)
I just made these and like a lot of other people, I didn’t have enough liquid so I tripled it and barely made it. I didn’t really pack my cucumbers into the jar, though. Maybe that’s why.
I’m confused by the directions. It says to “Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil.”
What am I adding to the vinegar mixture? The cucumber-onion water or the cucumbers and onions? If I’m adding the cucumbers and onions, what do I do with the water? If I toss the water, what was the point of extracting it?
You’re adding the cucumbers and onion. The cucumbers and onion, when soaked with salt and ice, will be super wet and need to be drained before pickling. You extract the water to keep the pickles from being too watery to pickle well.
I need more juice to cover pickles. can u send me the correct recipe? Or the one that has not been altered
I have a stack of cucumbers waiting to be pickled! Question.. I couldn’t find mustard seeds.. will the taste be compromised?? Or should I continue on my hunt for them? I was able to find pickling spices (for the refrigerator dill pickles) Perhaps I can use some of that?
Ooops.. I didn’t see the other comments that suggested powdered mustard instead of whole seeds. I’ll see if I can find that instead! How about a squirt of dijon? Just kidding…
I’m using reg’lar cukes (with massive amounts of seeds since I didn’t pick them soon enough) so I’ll see how it turns out by de-seeding and cutting them into chunks. *fingers crossed!*
OOOOO these turned out so well!! I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup and they are plenty sweet. I might cut it further next time. I also threw in some green beans from the garden, and they taste pretty good, too. Who knew pickling was so easy! After reading a ton about salt, I used about 3tbsp of Morton’s Kosher (1/4 cup = 4tbsp, so I cut out just under a quarter of it). Ok, I’ll stop commenting on this post :)
Can you tell me where you bought those adorable little spice jars you show in this post? I love them!
I like this recipe (with the 1/2 cup of sugar).
Note on the salt: Some Kosher salts (Morton’s for one) contain an anti-caking agent, which is best avoided in pickles. Morton’s pickling salt does not have this. And now (five years after this recipe was published here) is a good time to get a scale if you don’t have one. More recipes specify weights now, and if you make a few test weighings of your own (brown sugar, for example — no more packing) you can save time and fractions.
Thanks for the tip. I’ve always had and used a scale, but I tend to write recipes in spoonfuls because most U.S. home cooks do not. If you’d like, we can add the weights to this recipe if it makes it easier for others to use.
Emily — Insanely late response, but I talk about spice jars over here.
I know I am a little late to the pickle party, but I seriously love you for this recipe!!! (Like I didnʻt already…)
This recipe does not have enough liquid to cover the cucumbers. 1/2 cup of vinegar to a quart of cukes is not enough. Be warned people. The idea is nice but if you use jars, forget about coverage. It is not enough. Also 1 pound of cukes is not equal to a quart of cukes. If you are going to write a recipe using weight be consistent and check your facts. Ugh! What a frustrating recipe. Nice idea but very frustrating.
I am so frustrated. I recommend not using weight and then switching to volume in any recipe. Weight is always, always a more reliable source in any recipe. I am sure we all know why…a cucumber could weigh 10 oz or it could weigh 14 oz. ‘mericans don’t you know this? My ‘merican self does. Also, no matter what, I recommend at least doubling the liquid and spice portion, especially if you are using a quart jar!!! Who stores or pickles, pickles on a plate? Not me. Also, I would rinse the cukes and not just drain unless you love salt. And yes, I used the Kosher salt. Frustrating recipe all around. You may delete this post moderator, to save your ego. No problem…but at least you got some constructive criticism as well as emotional feedback.
I was a victim of cucumber overbuying at the farmers’ market– who can resist kirbys for 99 cents a pound?! I love bread&butters and decided to make these. They turned out pretty delicious, although I will dial back the salt to 3 T (I used Diamond) when I make them again. I’ll also use less coriander and a bit more celery seed, but that’s just a personal preference. This is a great recipe to experiment with. Long live summer produce!
The recipe from the Columbus dispatch uses 2 1/2 cups of vinegar. That might work for some people having problems with the amount of liquid
Deb – I get my flip top jars for $3.99 and they are one gallon. Sometimes they can be a gallon +, They also have the sizes going down to $1.99. I pick them up at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory,always $3.99, occasionally $4.99, and Walmart always has them for $5.99 and $6.99.
Does the jarred Bread and Butter pickles have to go into the fridge? I would like to gift to an out of town family member. Thank you!
I never made these yet but w/all the talk about salt can anyone comment on using Celtic salt or other unprocessed salts Celtic is said to have less sodium. I would use Diamond because of the success of it but just wondered if anyone has used unprocessed salt or Sea Salt. I use organic sugar but is it possible to use honey rather than sugar? I do like the idea of crispy pickles & if using lime, how do you know when you rinsed them enough? I used to get Winn-Dixie B&B pickles that were crispy & not too sweet but they stopped selling them long time ago. One of the dollar stores sell B&B made with sugar& I toss 1/3 or more of the juice & add water to it. Not so sweet then. Thanks for this recipe and any comments.
Love the new site Deb!
Almost as much as I love these pickles. So simple, so good. The only thing I’ve changed after a few batches is the coriander. The flavor is bodacious, but unlike the mustard seeds I don’t feel it mellows with age. After a couple days it’s a bit overpowering. I strain them out now after the first boil. Not quite as much pow! that way, but better for the long haul, at least for people like me who sit down and eat a half jar of these.
I just made these pickles again for the umpteenth time & they are perfect! I use Diamond Kosher salt, a little less than 2/3 cup sugar, & Japanese cucumbers from Costco. I can’t imagine why some posters are complaining about there not being enough liquid to cover, because I’ve never had a problem. If you just proceed with the recipe, in the end the cucumbers will release enough liquid to cover.
Thank you Deb love your site & your kidlets!
Hi Deb! I’m a long-time fan of your site and cookbook, and have never had any issues with your recipes before. I probably just misunderstood the salt guidelines you linked to, but I made these pickles yesterday and they were so salty we couldn’t eat them. I used regular table salt (not sure which brand, but the same fine stuff I use for baking), and doubled it to be 1/2 cup. Did I read the instructions incorrectly? Any guidance for next time? Thank you!
Emma, I TOTALLY did the same thing in another recipe! If you use “not Diamond” you need to use half as much as the recipe calls for, not 2x. I make this recipe all the time and I use 1/8th c. of sea salt.
I made this recipe 5 days and I love the pickles. They taste exactly how I wanted. I used between 1/2 -3/4 cup of sugar. I used Morton’s table salt. I did not rinse the cucumbers after the ice soak. I used pickle barrel pickles from my garden (they were in the fridge). I did have the issue with only half the jar filled with liquid, I expected the cucumbers to fill in more but perhaps the ice soak is when they release. I made sure to turn the pickles due to the liquid being low. They taste great. Not sure if they will survive shorter term due to liquid. I would absolutely use this recipe again!
To pair with the quick refrigerator dills recipe, I also make this one at this time of year. they are divine! Again the salt thing- I discovered I had Ball pickling salt instead of either Diamond or Morton…. oy.
This is a no fail sort of recipe. So good
You CANNOT fill a 1 quart jar of pickles with 1/2 cup liquid, no matter how tightly you pack those cukes and onions! I doubled the recipe and had barely enough to fill a pint jar. Did you omit water?
I also had to make more liquid as i didnt have enough either.
Can you process these pickles in a pressure canner or hot water bath for longer storage?
I have made this recipe many times and love it. I make it without salt because I need to avoid salt – it turns out just fine, though I’m sure not as good as with the salt. My question is, given that I’m not using salt, is there any other reason for the let-it-sit-with-ice phase? Or would I do just as well to skip that? I’ve done it both ways, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference, but I’d be interested in other thoughts.
I use apple cider vinegar in mine, and also cloves. And, like you, I cut down on the sugar.
I just made these pickles with some farmers market Japanese cucumbers. I wanted to put some away for future use, and give some small jars as gifts, so I quadrupled the recipe. I used Morton kosher salt, as that is all I had and just used less. They were still pretty salty, even though I rinsed them after the ice soak, but I expect the flavors to meld together over time, and next time will look harder for the Diamond salt. I also added a little red, orange and green sweet peppers. I ended up with the equivalent of 5 quarts. I am quite happy with this recipe, and will definitly make again. I have yet to have a failure of any of Deb’s recipes–I love them!
Addendum to the above post: I processed in a water bath for 10 mimutes to preserve them. Looking forward to pickles this winter!
Do you also rinse when you drain ?
No, I do not.
THOSE ICE CUBES!
I know this is an old post but I just wanted you to know that you made my day. I have been wanting to make this type of pickle forever (it’s my favourite kind) and I am heading out now to get the ingredients. Thank you so much!
I made these today, and in addition to the spices listed, I added a tablespoon or so of prepared horseradish. I think it is going to be good. The brine tasted amazing.
when you say “Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil.” What am I adding to the vinegar mixture–the cucumber & onions, or the liquid?
The cucumbers and onions. The cucumber-salt mixture will let off a lot of liquid/water; that’s what you want to drain off.
OK, trying them now. Can you please explain the ice step. Why the ice? For weight? Cold?
Deb – have you ever tried Mr. Food’s Homemade Microwave Pickles?
The ingredients are almost identical, but all ingredients cook in one step in the microwave. They’re the best pickles I’ve ever eaten! I eat them with a fork right out of the jar.
These are lovely. I do one extra step because otherwise it can be too salty.
After the onions and cucumbers have been salting for 2 hours, I remove the ice and fill the bowl with water from the tap to rinse off some of the salt and then drain.
These are delicious! I’m going to enter a jar in our Fall Fair. The only change I made was a small pinch of hot pepper flakes to the brine. Make sure to read the recipe, especially the tip about salt(s).