With the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors, this refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickle recipe has been in my family for generations. With just a few simple ingredients, you'll have deliciously sweet and sour pickles ready in no time. The best part? No complicated canning required.
Why These Pickles Are a Classic Favorite
Not only is the recipe easy to pull together, but they go with so many recipes. We especially love them with brats and burgers. Their sweet and sour flavor is especially great alongside brisket and chuck steaks.
This old-fashioned bread and butter pickle recipe is:
- Sweet and Tangy
- Quick and Easy
- Crunchy and crispy
- Cucumbers - typical grocery store cukes, pickling cucumbers, homegrown cucumbers, or picked up at the farmer's market - any one of these work fine. I typically use any fresh, nice-sized cucumbers I can find.
- Small onions - any variety you like works for this recipe. Make sure they are small and sliced thinly.
- Kosher salt - a course salt such as kosher is necessary to remove excess water from the cucumbers. You can use table salt, but decrease the amount accordingly.
- Pickling brine - a mixture of white sugar, distilled white vinegar, mustard seed, ground tumeric and celery seed.
- Add a tinge of extra sweetness, by adding apple cider vinegar. You can halve the amount of white vinegar in the recipe and replace it with apple cider vinegar.
- Brown sugar adds a unique depth of flavor. Reduce the white sugar by one-third and replace it with the brown sugar.
- For a bit of spiciness, add sliced or chopped bell peppers or a pinch of red chili flakes.
- For onion lovers, increase the amount of small onions. It's a double treat with pickled cucumbers and pickled onions.
- Slice the cucumbers and onions very thin, and separate the onions into rings. In a large glass bowl, combine the sliced cucumbers, onion slices, and kosher salt. Let stand for 1 hour.
- After an hour, strain the cucumber mixture, pressing out excess liquid to ensure the cucumber slices are ready to soak up the brine.
- In a large pot, combine white sugar, white vinegar, water, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery seed to create the flavorful pickling liquid. Bring it to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Stir the cucumbers into the boiling pickling liquid. Remove the pot from heat just as the mixture returns to boiling. The cucumbers will turn about 1 color different.
- Let the mixture stand until the hot brine is safe to handle.
- Carefully transfer the cucumber mixture and pickling brine into clean canning jars. Leave about 1 inch of head space before the top of the jar. Seal the jars and let stand until room temperature. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
- For the best flavor and texture, use fresh cucumbers.
- Since cucumbers are mostly water, make sure to let them stand with the salt for at least an hour to ensure crisp pickle slices.
- Slice the cucumbers thinly and evenly. Do the same with the onions. You can use a mandoline slicer or food processor to make it easier.
Store your Classic Bread and Butter Pickles in clean, airtight mason jars in the refrigerator up to 3 months.
It is alway a good idea, and very easy, to sterilize your jars in a hot water bath before adding the cucumber and onion mixture.
These sweet pickles are conveniently prepared as refrigerator pickles so no need to can them. If you would like a canned pickle recipe, this is a great alternative.
Don't hesitate to try out various picklling ingredients and add your own twist to these delicious pickles.
Bread and butter pickles got their name from the Great Depression era when folks often ate them on bread and butter sandwiches. The sweet and tangy flavor pairs well with plain bread and butter.
Regular pickles are typically dill pickles, known for their savory and briny taste. Bread and butter pickles, on the other hand, are sweet and slightly tangy, thanks to ingredients like sugar and onions.
Homemade bread and butter pickles can stay tasty for about 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator. Just make sure to store them properly in an airtight container.
Hamburger dill pickles are dill-flavored and have a tangy kick, often found on hamburgers. Bread and butter pickles are sweet, slightly spicy, and go great with sandwiches.
Bread and butter pickles taste sweet because they are made with sugar and occasionally apple cider vinegar, giving them their signature sweet and tangy flavor.
Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles
- 12 cucumbers (about 6 pounds) thinly sliced
- 3 small onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt Morton brand*
- 2 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons celery seed
- Mix cucumbers, onions, and kosher salt together in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 hour.
- Strain liquids from the cucumber mixture. Press down on the cucumbers to release as much liquid as possible.
- In a large sauce pot combine sugar, vinegar, 1-½ cups water, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery seed; bring to a boil over high heat.
- Stir cucumbers into the boiling vinegar mixture. Remove from heat shortly after returning to a boil and as cucumbers turn about 1 color.
- Carefully transfer mixture into clean jars. Chill 24 hours before serving.
Source: https://www.almanac.com/measuring-vegetables-recipes-pounds-cups Bread and Butter pickles can be refrigerated up to 3 months.