Pickles

how to make 14 day homemade sweet pickles | Family Cuisine

Making homemade sweet pickles is easy and fun. You can make these in a jar or in a crockpot, whichever you prefer. The recipe calls for using the juice of three lemons, but if you're short on time,

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How to make 14 day homemade sweet pickles

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A family favorite, this 14-day sweet pickle recipe is definitely worth the wait. Be sure to grab the free printable jar labels if you’re planning on giving these pickles away as gifts.

The best recipes always have a lineage.

Reading: how to make 14 day homemade sweet pickles

homemade sweet pickles in an ironstone bowl

They’ve been passed down, one generation to the next, notes scribbled in the margins to share tips and tricks and updates for modern kitchens and ingredients.

That’s certainly the case with this 14-day sweet pickle recipe.

14 day sweet pickle recipe

Many years ago, a neighbor’s grandmother shared this sweet pickle recipe with my mom. After that, Mom would pull out the recipe at the end of every summer, buy a bushel of cucumbers and get to work “putting up” a batch of the most addictively delicious sweet pickles you’ve ever tasted. Every year at Christmas, friends and family know that they’ll be getting a jar — if they’re still in mom’s good graces.

(Hey, these pickles take work and the cost of the ingredients can add up — though not so much that you should be scared away from making them.)

sweet pickle slices in an ironstone bowl with a pickle fork

This year, my mom passed along the 14-day sweet pickle recipe with me, and I’m happy to be sharing it with you.

Two weeks may seem like a lot of time to commit to making pickles, but these are worth every bit of time, effort and money you will spend on them. And while there is some hands-on work required on days 1-4 and again on days 13 and 14, most of the two weeks is just spent waiting, letting the cucumbers process by soaking in various solutions of vinegar, spices, water and sugar.

If you want a quicker pickle fix, try these overnight refrigerator pickles.

making homemade sweet pickles in a jar

You can scroll to the end of this post for a printable version of the sweet pickle recipe, but I recommend reading through the step-by-step instructions before starting to make sure you have all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need. I’ve also included some photographs of the pickling process from separate batches my mom and I made.

(We usually double or triple this 14-day sweet pickle recipe, so the number of cucumbers shown in these photographs is not representative of the what you’ll need to make a single batch. Also, my mom used a weird filter on her phone on some of her photos, so the color is not accurate, FYI.)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I only recommend products and companies I love. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Ingredients & Supplies

2 gallons of pickling cucumbers (approximately 10-11 pounds) 3 cups pickling salt water 4 ounces alum 1 3/4 ounces Mrs. Wages Mixed Pickling Spice 1 gallon white vinegar 10 pounds sugar 10-12 pint jars, lids and rings large non-reactive container, such as a glass jars, food-safe plastic or a canning pot

How to Make Sweet Pickles

Day 1

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly.

basket of pickling cucumbers

Leave them whole and place them into a large glass jar, food-safe plastic container or a canning pot. DO NOT use an aluminum pan or other reactive container.

cucumbers soaking in brine to make pickles

Add 3 cups of pickling salt to 1 gallon of boiling water and pour over the cucumbers. Cover. If necessary, use a plate or bowl to hold the cucumbers down to make sure they’re completely submerged in the salty water. Allow to sit, covered, for 24 hours.

Day 2

Drain the cucumbers well. You will notice that they have been reduced in size, as the pickling salt has drawn the liquid out of them.

Read more: Fried Pickles | Family Cuisine

rinsing cucumbers after they have been brined to make pickles

Return the cucumbers to the container you used to soak them. Add 4 ounces of powdered alum to 1 gallon of boiling water. Pour the water over the cucumbers. Cover, making sure the cucumbers are submerged in liquid. Allow to sit for 24 hours.

Day 3

Drain the cucumbers. You may notice they have plumped up after soaking in the water and alum. Return the cucumbers to container and cover with clear boiling water. Allow to sit for 24 hours.

Days 4-12

Drain the cucumbers well and return to the glass jar or soaking containers.

Prepare spice bag by tying 1.75 ounces of Mrs. Wages Mixed Pickling Spice into cheesecloth.

pickling spices in cheesecloth

Add spice bag to 1 gallon of vinegar and bring to a simmer.

Pour the simmering vinegar, along with the spice bag, over the cucumbers. Cover. If necessary, use a plate or bowl to hold the cucumbers down to make sure they’re completely submerged in the vinegar. Allow to soak in the vinegar for a total of 9 days.

making pickles in a large glass jar

You do not have to leave the pickling spice bag in the jar for the entire 9 days. Remove it after two or 3 days and discard.

Day 13

Drain the cucumbers well. Slice off the blossom ends cut into round slices.

Place a layer of sliced cucumbers in the bottom of the large jar or container you’ve been using. Cover with a layer of sugar. Continue layering sugar and cucumbers.

adding sugar to make sweet pickles

The sugar will dissolve and form a syrup. Eventually, you want to add 10 pounds of sugar to the two gallons of cucumbers.

I don’t recommend adding all the sugar at once as some of the bottom layers may not completely dissolve. Instead, add the sugar in batches as the previous amount dissolves. Once the syrup has begun to form, it helps to stir the mixture gently. It usually takes a day or two for the sugar to dissolve completely and form a syrup. Stirring the mixture will help the syrup form.

Day 14

One the sugar has dissolved completely, it’s time to pack the sweet pickles into jars.

sweet pickle slices in sugar

Sterilize jars, lids and rings. Spoon pickles into jars. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch of headspace and make sure the pickle slices are covered with syrup.

Wipe the jars clean before adding the lids and rings.

jar of sweet pickles with a bowl of sliced pickles

Now the pickles are ready to eat. They are so good on a burger or a sandwich or all on their own.

pickling fork engraved with "Pick Me" spearing a sweet pickle

You can also or you can store the jars to give as gifts, but only to people who are super sweet!

Read more: how to make homemade refrigerator garlic pickles | Family Cuisine

(Be sure to grab the free printable pickle jar labels and other canning labels HERE.)

My mom says these pickles do not require any further processing once you put them into jars. She stores hers in the pantry until she’s ready to open a jar, but you can also store them in the refrigerator. If you have concerns about this method of pickling, I recommend you read the Q&A on a similar recipe from What’s Cooking America.

We’ve used my mom’s 14-day sweet pickle recipe for years. We have had no food safety issues with these pickles, even after storing them for many months in the pantry.

Here’s the printable version of the 14-day sweet pickle recipe.

Pin this! 14-Day Sweet Pickle Recipe

14-day sweet pickle slices in an ironstone bowl with a pickle fork

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