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Old fashioned bread and butter pickles – just like grandma used to make

Bread and butter pickles are such a great combination of sweet and savory. They area a great way to use up all those cucumbers from the garden.

Last year our garden produced lots of cucumbers. At least a lot for our family since only 3 of us like them. We had enough that I wanted to make pickles – bread and butter pickles like my granny’s.

The problem was, I didn’t have her recipe. So I called one of my aunts and asked her if she had it. She didn’t. But she said she would look for it.

I began poking around the internet looking for how to make bread and butter pickles and I found several recipes. I printed one out and I guess I just used it as a base because when I pulled it out of the drawer I had written a different “recipe” based on what we liked.

Apparently, I kind of did my own thing (as usual). But those of us who like pickles enjoyed them all year. 

SchneiderPeeps - Bread and Butter Pickles have the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. My grandma's recipe will bring back memories of days gone by

A few months later my aunt sent me a package and inside were photocopies of my granny’s handwritten recipe cards. Her bread and butter pickle recipe is a little different and if we get any more cucumbers we will try it.

I know I loved them growing up – but this recipe was written in 1960 and well, my memories really don’t begin until about 1972. I don’t know if she made any changes to it and didn’t write them down. I do that sometimes. It’s a terrible habit.

Here’s what’s written…

1 gal med sized cucumbers, 8 small onions, 1 green pepper, 1 red sweet pepper, 1/2 cup canning salt. Slice cukes, onions and peppers, add salt, cover with ice and mix well. Let stand three hours. Drain. Make a solution of 5 cups sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 tbsp mustard seed, 2 tbsp celery seed, 1/2 tbs ground cloves. Cover cukes with liquid, bring to a boil and seal.

Clearly, my granny did a lot of canning and understood her directions to mean that you still have to put the mixture in jars and process safely. She kept these in her pantry not in the refrigerator so I know she canned them.

Pickles aren’t the only things to do with cucumbers, you can also freeze, dehydrate, and ferment them. I like to keep a list of all the things I’ve preserved so I’ll know how much of each thing we need to preserve each year. You can get a copy of the worksheets I use by filling out the form below.

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bread and butter pickles in jar
Yield: 4 pint jars

Granny's Bread and Butter Pickles

Granny's Bread and Butter Pickles

Old fashioned bread and butter pickles are easy to make and a great way to preserve the summer cucumber harvest.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds cucumbers
  • 1 pound onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 1 1/4 cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 3/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric


    1. Slice the cucumbers, onions and peel the garlic
    2. Put cucumbers, onions, and peeled garlic in a big bowl. 
    3. Sprinkle the canning salt over them and then covered them with a clean towel.
    4. Put ice on the towel.
    5. Let it sit for about 3 hours.
    6. After 3 hours make a brine out of the vinegar, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric. Bring to a boil in a large pot.
    7. Pour the now salted water off the cucumbers and rinse them just a bit.
    8. Put the cucumbers, onions and garlic in the pot with the brine and bring back to boil for 90 seconds.
    9. Ladle into hot jars and put on lids.
    10. Process for 10 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts in a water bath canner.

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    Did you make this recipe?

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    What are your favorite pickles?

    image of The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables and jars of home preserved vegetables

    The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables

    If you you’re looking for more preserving inspiration, I know you’ll love The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables. In this book I share how to can, dehydrate, freeze and ferment almost every vegetable. I also share 100 favorite recipes for preserving the vegetables in fun way that will save you time and money later. Get your copy here. Get your copy here.


    Thanks for sharing with your friends!

    Sue Derden

    Wednesday 30th of March 2022

    My great aunt used to make the best B and B pickles but added cauliflower. Those and the onions were my favorite parts. Tomorrow I'm using your recipe to make B and B cauliflower and onion pickles. No cukes. Can't wait to try them!!

    Angi Schneider

    Tuesday 5th of April 2022



    Friday 20th of August 2021

    Made 4 quarts of these pickles and they were fantastic. I gave 3 jars away and I have devoured the last jar.

    Angi Schneider

    Saturday 21st of August 2021

    I'm so glad you like them!!! That would make my Granny happy!!


    Thursday 5th of August 2021

    If I have a 24 ounce jar and boiled them for 15 minutes is that long enough? I might have started the timer before the water returned to a boil.

    Angi Schneider

    Saturday 21st of August 2021

    They need to go into the refrigerator if the timing was started before the water was at a boil.


    Thursday 5th of August 2021

    How many pints does this recipe make?

    Angi Schneider

    Saturday 21st of August 2021

    4 pint jars


    Saturday 31st of July 2021

    How long do you leave them set before opening for the first time?

    Angi Schneider

    Sunday 1st of August 2021

    Ideally, a couple of weeks. But we never

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