Canning Bread and Butter Pickles

Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600131

Canning Bread and Butter Pickles

GUIDE 6:19                                                  
BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES                                    

6 lbs of 4- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers                    
8 cups thinly sliced onions (About 3 pounds)                
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt                            
4 cups vinegar (5%)                                         
4-1/2 cups sugar                                            
2 tbsp mustard seed                                         
1-1/2 tbsp celery seed                                      
1 tbsp ground turmeric                                      
1 cup pickling lime (optional - for use in variation        
below for making firmer pickles)                            

YIELD:  About 8 pints                                       

PROCEDURE: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16 inch off blossom        
end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices.  Combine        
cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt. Cover       
with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4      
hours, adding more ice as needed.                           

Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Boil 10       
minutes. Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly      
reheat to boiling. Fill jars with slices and cooking        
syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and          
process as below or use low-temperature pasteurization      
treatment described on page 5.                              

Variation for firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-     
inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch        
slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and 1/2 cup salt to 1       
gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamelware        
container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the        
lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices in lime water     
for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from      
lime solution, rinse, and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold       
water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more        
times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle.         
Drain well.                                                 

Recommended process time for BREAD-AND-BUTTER PICKLES       
in a boiling-water canner                                   

                    Process Time at Altitudes of            

Style     Jar       0-         1,001-      Above            
of Pack   Size      1,000 ft   6,000 ft    6000 ft          

Hot       Pints     10 min     15          20               
          or Quarts                                         

STORAGE:  After processing and cooling, jars should be      
stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.                

VARIATION:  Squash bread-and-butter pickles.  Substitute    
slender (1- to 1-1/2 inches in diameter) zucchini or        
yellow summer squash for cucumbers.                         

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