How to Make Bread & Butter Pickles

Bread & butter pickles are one of my family’s favourites, so I make as many jars as possible while the cucumbers are in full production out in the garden. These sweet bread & butter pickles are easy enough for a beginner to make and can using the boiling water bath method.

Jars of homemade bread & butter pickles

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How to make bread & butter pickles

Since I only use cucumbers for the garden, I’ve written the recipe for one pound of cucumbers. Multiply by the number of pounds of cucumbers you have, but don’t make more than 4 pounds at a time.

To check how many pounds of cukes I have, I use this handy digital kitchen scale.

You can use a kitchen knife to slice the cucumbers into pickle chips, or use a mandoline or a crinkle cutter tool.

A few summers ago, I found this vintage crinkle cutter at a flea market – for 50 cents! I love it!

crinkle cut cucumbers for making bread & butter pickles, and a vintage crinkle cutter tool

The night before you plan to make your bread & butter pickles, run your canning jars, lids and rings through the dishwasher. I like to use half-pint jars for this recipe.

Bread & Butter Pickle Ingredients

  • 1 pound cucumbers

    Cut the cucumbers into “chips”. No need to peel them.

  • 1/2 pound sliced Vidalia onions

  • 4 tsp pickling salt

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 1/2 tsp celery seed

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


In a large glass bowl, add a layer of cucumber chips and onion slices and sprinkle with salt.

Keep adding layers until you have all the cucumber chips and onion layered in the bowl. Top with remaining salt. Cover with ice cubes and let sit on the counter for 1 – 2 hours.

Using a medium to large size non-reactive pot – depending on how many pounds of cucumbers you have – add the vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil. I like to use an enamel clad cast iron pot.

Meanwhile, place your canning jars in a stockpot for the boiling water bath, and start boiling the water.

When the vinegar mixture comes to a boil, rinse the cucumber/onion mixture and drain.

Add the cucumbers and onions to the vinegar mixture, and return to a boil.

bread & butter pickles in a vinegar and spice mixture

Remove the canning jars, lids and rings from the boiling water, and add the appropriate amount of pickle crisp granules to each jar.

Add pickles and vinegar mixture to each jar, leaving 1/4″ head space. Wipe rims; add lids and rings.

Adding bread & butter pickle chips and vinegar mixture to canning jars

Process pints or half pints for 10 minutes in the boiling water bath

Allow jars to cool. If any lids are not concave, refrigerate and use right away.


Keep the bread & butter pickles in a cool dark place, and use in a year. They will be fine after a year, but the flavour may be a bit diminished.

Jars of bread & butter pickles – along with homemade hot dog relish and herbal vinegars – make great gifts!

More ideas for your garden harvest:

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