how to make quarts bread and butter pickles | Family Cuisine

Making bread and butter pickles is easy with a few simple steps. The process starts by chopping the cucumbers into ¼-inch pieces, then adding them to a jar of white vinegar and salt for at least an hour. After that

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe: Extended, Step-By-Step Instructions

Gather your canning supplies

  • water bath canner
  • canning jars
  • canning seals and rings
  • jar lifter
  • canning funnel
  • large pot
  • bowls
  • large spoons
  • sharp knife
  • towels and dish cloths
  • ladle
  • Crinkle cutter or mandolin slicer – optional


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 2 pounds onions
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • Ice cubes

How to Make Bread & Butter Pickle Slices

Wash cucumbers. Thinly slice both cucumbers and onions.

I like to use my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter for making crinkle slices.

I also have a mandolin slicer that I used this time. It is great for making thin, even slices. It comes with a straight edge too, but for this purpose, I like the crinkly cuts. It made it easy, but it also made the slices thinner than I like. The cucumber slices ended up pretty soft and super thin afterthe pickles were processed. Still tasty, but thicker slices were a better quality. It is personal taste.

Combine layers of cucumber, onion, and salt to a large bowl. Cover with ice cubes and let sit for 1 – 2 hours, covered with a towel.

Start by preparing jars, and get water in your canner heating. (See Water Bath Canning for full directions.)

Place vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Drain and rinse cucumber and onion. Add to vinegar mixture and return to a boil.

Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.

This will make about 7 pints. Remove air bubbles with a plastic knife or other small tool. (I like to use an orange peeler.)

Wipe rims clean and process according to water bath canning directions.


Processing time is the same for pints or quarts.

Pints and quarts are processed the same: 10 minutes.

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude, using chart in recipe card below. For more information, see this altitude adjustments page.

Pinnable Recipe

Bread & Butter Pickles FAQs & Tips

Tips for Bread & Butter Pickle Flavorings

Remember, you can adjust the dry spices if you have a different flavor that you are looking for. Note: Turmeric is very yellow and it stains. I’d suggest having a towel down that you won’t mind staining if spills happen. I’ve done this recipe and ended up with yellow splotches on my counter. If it happens to you, clean it up best you can, and then have patience. It wears off eventually.

Do Bread & Butter Pickles Need to Be Refrigerated?

This recipe is safe for canning and once processed, the sealed jars are safe for shelf storage. Store the jar in the fridge once you open it though.

Why Do They Call Them Bread & Butter Pickles?

Do you know why these are called “bread and butter pickles”? Apparently, back in the Great Depression years, inexpensive pickle sandwiches were common. These pickles on bread with butter made an afternoon meal!

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Three jars of bread and butter pickles linked to member lesson.

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book

Page Last Updated: 6/24/2021

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