How To: Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles
Photo by Andrea Nguyen

How To: Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles

In my opinion, if you're not a pickle lover, you're absolutely nuts. On a sandwich for an added bite, alongside homemade barbecue, as a savory snack with afternoon cocktails, or just straight from the jar, pickles are good on any occasion.

And while I'll never discriminate against any pickle, my all-time favorite are the incredibly sweet, tangy and crunchy bread & butter variety.

Which is why, of course, I made some at home. These uncanned pickles have hints of brown sugar, ginger and Thai chili, and they're incredibly easy to make.

Here's how:

Ingredients yields a 1-quart jar

  • 1 lb pickling or Kirby cucumbers*
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Thai or Serrano chilies, split lengthwise

    **Pickling cucumbers are smaller than your average cucumber, about 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick work best. Choose the freshest cucumbers you can; the fresher the produce, the crisper the pickles will be.


    Prep vegetables:

    Wash and scrub cucumbers thoroughly. Use a knife or crinkle bladed mandoline attachment to cut cucumbers into ¼ inch slices, discarding the ends. Thinly slice onion, and half cloves of garlic.

    Toss sliced vegetables together in a large bowl and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Mix well and cover mixture with ice. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours (can also be refrigerated overnight).

    Drain and rinse the vegetables, tasting for saltiness. You want them to be salty, but not overly so.

    Make Pickling Liquid:

    Bring a pot of sugar, vinegar, spices and split chilies to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.

    Combine & Jar:

    Pour the hot pickling liquid over the cucumber mixture and let sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour.

    Add to large jar, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours (cucumbers will start to pickle within a few hours, but wait the whole time for the full effect - it's worth it!).

    Your crispy, sweet bread & butter pickles will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.


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