Bread & Butter Pickles

By • August 27, 2009 • 11 Comments

Author Notes: Bread and butter pickles have been a family favorite for at least three generations. This is another one of the great preserve recipes passed down from my paternal Grandmother, and it is our ultimate family favorite. I can't even begin to count the number of jars of these I've made with my Dad over the years. When I was little he taught me how to operate the slicing apparatus on the KitchenAid and walked me through the recipe each summer until a few years ago - gasp! - I was finally put in charge of a whole batch by myself. We eat these with just about everything, my favorite is putting them on top of a burger fresh off the grill. This recipe makes about 12-13 pints, but it can be halved if you want to make fewer. It is also worth noting that unlike some bread and butter pickles recipes we do not use cloves, we find they overpower the flavor of the pickles too much. - KelseyTheNaptimeChefKelseyTheNaptimeChef

Food52 Review: There were two details that drew us to KelseyTheNaptimeChef's excellent bread and butter pickles recipe: she doesn't call for the customary clove, which can overpower the pickles. And she didn't call for too much sugar -- many bread and butter pickles are too sweet and syrupy. In these, the mustard and celery seed come across clearly, and the cucumbers remain bright and crisp. - Amanda & MerrillA&M

Serves 12 - 13pints

For the Pickles

  • 1 peck small cucumbers (1/4 bushel)
  • 12 medium sized onions
  • 6 green peppers
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2/3 cups Kosher Salt
  • 3 pounds bag of crushed ice, for crisping

For Marinade and Canning

  • 10 cups sugar (1.5 lb bag)
  • 6 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons tumeric
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 4 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 12-14 pint jars with lids and rims, all sterilized
  1. Using the slicing apparatus on a KitchenAid mixer (or a similar slicing tool in your kitchen), thinly slice cucumbers, onions, green peppers and garlic. Place them all in a large pot and mix in Kosher salt. Then cover the top of the ingredients with 1-inch thick layer of crushed ice. The purpose of this is to dehydrate the cucumbers as much as possible. The ice and salt draw out an enormous amount of water and the cool ice helps the cucumbers stay crisp. Let the mixture stand for 3 hours (no peaking!). After 3 hours remove remaining ice, and drain the cucumber mixture thoroughly to get rid of excess moisture. I usually squeeze the vegetables in a dishtowel to really get out all excess moisture.
  2. In a large stockpot over medium heat dissolve sugar, vinegar, tumeric, celery seed and mustard seeds. Once it is all dissolved add the cucumber mixture and stir to make sure everything is fully combined.
  3. Heat the cucumber mixture just to a boil and let simmer for one minute. Then, ladle cucumber mixture into sterilized pint jars, filling the jar until there is 3/4 inches remaining at the top. Then, ladle broth over the cucumbers until there is only 1/4 inch of air remaining at the top of the jar. Note: When ladling I find it helpful to place a wide mouth funnel over the top of the jar to catch any drips and cucumbers.
  4. Seal with lids and rims. Once all the jars are filled there will be liquid remaining in the stockpot. You can use this to start the next batch or for another use you can think of in your kitchen.
  5. Seal jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Store pickles in a cool dry place, like a canning cellar, and enjoy as a condiment with all your favorite foods!

Tags: keeps well, preserves, savory, travels well

Comments (11) Questions (1)


over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Kelsey, thanks for such a wonderful pickle recipe. I made a sample batch of these a few days ago and now planning a bigger batch later today. The taste of these took me right back to my childhood. I'd completely forgotten that a woman who was like a grandmother to me made these all the time for me. Once I bit into them, I remembered the taste immediately. Love when food unearths such sweet memories!! Thanks very very much.


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks for all the help, everyone! I am determined to make pickles. Now, Kelsey, how about sending your Dad over to coach ;) Eagerly awaiting pickle video!


almost 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

hi! The video is up on my site! This year's batch were fantastic! Enjoy!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks so much - I think I will weigh 8 lb at market and cross my fingers. BTW, Kelsey will be blogging about her pickles in a couple of weeks - most likely a video with her Dad - check it out - her recipes are foolproof!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

What is a "peck" in terms of weight? Help! Thanks -


about 4 years ago CathyB

According to the websites I visited, a peck is however many cucumbers will fit into a 2 gallon (or 8 quart) container. A bushel or a peck is a dry measurement for volume, so the weight will vary according to what is being measured. So a peck of cucumbers will have a different weight than a peck of strawberries or a peck of peaches. I hope this helps. I'm going to try this recipe too. It sounds great!


about 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Hi! Sorry for the late reply - we were road-tripping yesterday.I am here with my Dad and he concurs with CathyB, a peck is a volume measurement, not a weight measurement. We measure it by 2 gallon container as CathyB notes. Also, Dad made 21quarts of these on Wednesday as a "warm up" for our video in two weeks!


about 4 years ago slulibby

Bread & butter pickles always make me think of visiting Indiana. I havnet seen these for a long time-thanks for bringing it back!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Say, not a green bell pepper eater, could I substitute another "color" like orange or yellow?


almost 4 years ago SousChefSharyn

I am not sure but I am trying them with a yellow pepper variety I got throught my CSA. I too am not a green pepper eater. I will reply with my results


over 4 years ago Lizthechef

I haven't seen a recipe for these in years. I made them with my Mom and Grandmother when I was a kid, never allowed touch the slicer. The recipe has been lost - now I have one! Thank you!