Bread and Butter Pickles are easy to make and have a wonderful sweet and tangy flavor.Have you ever made homemade pickles? This recipe comes from my great-grandmother’s farm kitchen and has been passed down for generations. They are easy to make and you’ll be loving the flavor! Nothing says summer more to me than making a batch of these delicious pickles! We grow our own pickling cucumbers, but you can certainly buy some at the farmer’s market.
Each year, we plant a small vegetable garden and grow our own pickling cucumbers. As you can see, in the picture below, we train the vines to grow up the lattice. This keeps the cucumbers up off the ground, so they grow nicely, take up less space, and keep them in better shape as they mature.
Why do they call it Bread and Butter Pickles?
These delicious pickles supposedly got their name because during the Great Depression, they were an inexpensive staple in households. People used them in sandwiches of Bread and Butter because that’s what they could afford. Many things during that time were rationed too, so they made many things from scratch.
What kind of cucumbers are good for making pickles?
Making homemade Bread and Butter Pickles is relatively easy. While you can certainly use different kinds of cucumbers, pickling cucumbers are the best. They have a thicker skin and are small in size, therefore have less seeds. They can withstand the very hot brine and still come out crunchy.
How to make Bread and Butter Pickles:
Step 1: Wash the pickling cucumbers and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 2: Place the salt, cucumber slices, onion, and bell peppers in a food-safe bucket. Use your hand to stir the mixture so the salt is evenly distributed. I place that bucket into a cooler and place a clean kitchen towel on top of the cucumbers, with few inches of ice on the bucket, as well as ice around the bucket. Allow it to sit for 3-4 hours in a cool place.
Step 3: Drain the cucumbers and set aside. Make the brine. Prepare the boiling water canner. Heat the jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in soapy water and rinse well. Set aside. Set bands aside.
Step 4: Place equal amounts of cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers into each hot jar. Ladle hot pickling brine over top of cucumbers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Center the lids on jars. Apply the bands to fingertip tight.
Step 5: Let the jars cool and the lids will begin to make a “popping” sound as they seal.
Once the jars are sealed, store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. Although, I highly doubt they will last that long!
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Grandma's Bread and Butter Pickles
My mother kept a vintage stoneware crock in the basement of our farmhouse- a symbol of how deep the love of pickles goes in our family. This recipe comes from my maternal great-grandmother's farm kitchen, and I hope you love it as much as we do!
- 25 to 30 pickling cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 cup pickling or kosher salt
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 large green bell pepper diced
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 7 cups white vinegar
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
In a 5-gallon food-grade bucket, combine the sliced cucumbers, salt, onion, and bell peppers. Stir so the salt is evenly distributed. Cover the cucumber mixture with a clean kitchen towel or tea towel, and place a few inches of ice on top of the towel. Allow to sit for 3-4 hours in a cool place.
Drain the vegetables and set aside. Make the brine by bringing the vinegar, sugar, cloves, mustard seeds, celery seed, and turmeric to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Meanwhile, prepare a boiling water canner. Heat the jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash the lids with hot soapy water. Set bands aside.
Place an equal amount of cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers into each hot jar. Press down the mixture, as it will rise when you pour in the brine.
Use a wide-mouth funnel, ladle hot pickling liquid over top of the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Center the lids on the jars. Apply the bands until the fit is fingertip tight.
Process jars in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove the jars and allow to cool completely on the counter for 24 hours. Check the lids for seal. The lid should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
For best flavor, let stand for 3-4 weeks before enjoying. Store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. If a jar doesn't seal, store in the refrigerator and use within 3 months.
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