Bread & Butter Pickles

These pickles are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. They taste amazing with burgers, and will make a great side or snack at any barbecue or picnic.

Prep Time
15 to 20 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Glass Jar
Glass Jar
2 (500mL jars)
For the pickles:
  • 4 lb (1.8 kg) pickling cucumbers
  • 2 cups (300 g) sliced shallots
  • 2 red hot peppers, seeded and cut into rings (optional)
  • 8 cups ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup (88 g) pickling salt + 12 cups cold water
For the pickling liquid:
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp (24 g) mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp (18 g) pickling salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) celery seeds
  • 1 tsp (3 g) ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp (1 g) turmeric
  • pinch ground cloves
For the pickles:

Step 1

Wash and scrub cucumbers clean. Cut the ends off, then cut into 1/4-inch slices.

Pickling cucumbers

Step 2

Layer cucumber slices, shallots, and ice cubes in a large deep glass or stainless-steel container or bowl.

Cucumber, shallots and ice cubes for pickling

Ice cubes on cucumber and shallots

Tossed cucumber, shallots and ice cubes for pickling

Step 3

Dissolve the pickling salt in the 12 cups of water, then pour over the cucumber mixture. Add more water if necessary to cover. Place a plate on top, and add heavy objects on top to weigh it down and keep cucumbers submerged. Let stand for 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Dissolving pickling salt in water

Salting liquid poured over cucumber and shallots

Step 4

Drain and rinse well. Drain again, gently pressing down on the cucumbers to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Strain cucumber and shallots

Step 5

Sterilize the jars: First, wash your jars and lids in hot water with detergent and rinse thoroughly. For this recipe, you'll need at least 6 2-cup (500 ml) canning jars. After washing, place empty jars (right side up) in a boiling-water canner* with the rack in the bottom. Fill the canner with water until it is 1-inch above the tops of the jars. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep the jars in hot water until ready to fill. Note: If at an altitude higher than 1,000ft, add 1 minute of boiling for each additional 1,000 ft.

*If you don't have a boiling-water canner, you can use a large flat-bottomed pot instead.

Pickled cucumber and shallots in mason jars

For the pickling liquid:

Step 1

In a saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, salt, celery seeds, coriander, turmeric, and cloves to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Preparation of the pickling liquid

Step 2

Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the hot water. Use oven mitts or a towel while handling the jars to protect against burns. Tightly pack cucumber mixture into still-hot jars to within 1 inch of rim, then cover with liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a wooden spoon or chopstick to remove any air bubbles from the jars. Simply insert and gently wiggle around to release any air bubbles trapped inside.

Note: It's best to use wooden or plastic utensils for this step, as anything metal could scratch your jars, shortening the lifespan of your jars. Cover jars with lids cleaned in boiling water. If using screw-tops, screw on the bands until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

Pickling liquid poured into salted cucumber and shallots

Pickled cucumber and shallot

Step 3

Fill canner* halfway with clean water and heat to 140°F (60°C). Place sealed jars in the rack and lower into the heated water, or fill the canner one jar at a time, using a lifter to lower them into the canner. Make sure the water level is 2 inches above tops of the jars; if not, pour in more boiling water for. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, boil continuously for 10 minutes, then turn off heat, uncover canner, and let sit for 5 minutes. Lift up rack, and with canning tongs, transfer jars to cooling rack; let cool for 24 hours.

*Note: If you don't have a boiling-water canner, you can use a large flat-bottomed pot. Wrap a thick elastic band around a pair of tongs to use to transfer the sealed jars to and from the pot.

Step 4

Once completely cooled, store pickles in the fridge at least 1 week before opening. Will keep well for at least 1 month in the fridge.