These easy, homemade Bread and Butter Pickles will transform your sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs and more. This recipe skips the complicated canning process and will keep well in the fridge for weeks!
For some reason, I thought that making bread and butter pickles would be hard. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not so hard at all! A little time consuming? Sure, but not hard at all. Most of the time is waiting, not chopping or doing anything strenuous.
I have nothing against a good Vlasic, but once you start eating homemade pickles, it’s going to be hard to reach into the old Vlasic jar. Crispy, crunchy, sweet, and tart all at the same time. Not to mention easy. And how fun is it to be able to say, “Would you like a homemade pickle to go with your sandwich?”
Now, are you ready to be amazed at how easy these are to make?
What are Bread and Butter Pickles? //
Bread and butter pickles are a variety of sweet pickles. Other types of pickles include dill pickles, also known as kosher pickles, which are primarily flavored with (you guessed it) dill, and sour pickles, which are fermented in salted brine instead of using vinegar. Bread and butter pickles are pickled in a mixture of vinegar, water, and sugar, which gives them a sweeter taste than other kinds of pickles.
Why do they call them Bread and Butter Pickles? //
There are a few different stories about where bread and butter pickles might have got their name. Some say that the name comes from pickle sandwiches that were a staple during the Great Depression. These sandwiches consisted of pickles served between bread and butter!
Another theory is that the name was invented by an Illinois farming couple, who used to trade their pickles at the market for bread and butter. Personally, I like this story best. Wouldn’t it be fun to trade homemade pickles at the market?
Do homemade pickles need to be pressure canned? //
I did not can these little babies! To be honest, I’m afraid of the whole canning process. I’m afraid that I’m going to unintentionally poison my family and friends! If any of my lovely readers know of a good book or class, please share. I really feel that my not being able to make pickles and preserves is holding me back on my quest to be a domestic goddess. That and the fact that I cannot sew.
I made these refrigerator pickles, and they will last up to 3 weeks in your fridge, but I guarantee they won’t be around that long. This recipe is based on Deb’s Bread and Butter Pickles at smittenkitchen.com. The only difference is the quantities. I had a lot of cucumbers to use up!
Ingredients needed to make bread and butter pickles //
To make these crunchy, slightly sweet pickles, you’ll need cucumbers and onions, vinegar, salt, sugar, and plenty of spices!
- Kirby or pickling cucumbers (3 lbs)
- 3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
- Diamond Kosher salt (3/4 cup), note that the brand does matter here, as other Kosher salts will be way too salty
- Sugar (1 1/2 cups)
- White vinegar (1 1/2 cups)
- Turmeric (3/4 tsp)
- Mustard seeds, I used both yellow and brown (3 tbsp)
- Coriander seeds (3 tbsp)
- Celery seeds (3/4 tsp)
An up close shot of the gorgeous spices. Starting at 12 o’clock, yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander seeds, and celery seeds. I had a lot of leftover mustard seed from when I made my own mustard, hence the variety.
How to make bread and butter pickles //
I cannot emphasize enough how easy and satisfying it is to make your own pickles!
- Wash and prep your cucumbers and onions.
- In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion, and salt. Mix well.
- Cover with ice and let sit at room temperature for two hours.
- In a large pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil.
- Drain the cucumber mixture and add to the vinegar mixture and bring almost to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and let cool.
These pickles will start to get that glorious pickled flavor after a few hours. You can store your pickles in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. See? I told you it was easy.