Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canning Bread & Butter Pickles the Easy Way

Bread and butter pickles are an excellent addition to the pantry. They are delicious on sandwiches as well as chopped up into tuna and egg salads. Munch on them alone for a quick and satisfying snack. Would you like to try and make some? First off, I must confess with cheating a bit on this canning recipe. I bought a mix!

Why? Because it was 99 cents on clearance two seasons ago… Now that I have the truth off my conscience, shall we continue?

First of all, sterilize your jars, lids and bands. Begin to boil your water bath water (visit here for more details on this). You should also place your jar lids in a pot of water to simmer until ready to use. Next, wash all your cucumbers ~ about 10 pounds worth (approx. 50 -3 to 4 inch cucumbers).

Now, slice them up. I used a garnisher which was a lot of fun but you can always just slice with a knife. Make sure to remove the blossom end of the cucumber because there is an enzyme in it that inhibits your pickles from staying crunchy when processed. To be safe, I remove both ends and feed them to our chickens.

Now, prepare your brine (this is where the mix helped me to cheat) by bringing all the ingredients listed to a boil. Do not use aluminum pans for this. Stainless steel is recommended for canning because it is non-reactive. The bread and butter pickle recipe in the Ball Blue Book from scratch is a lot more work and time consuming than this so I would definitely use this mix again in the future. Summer brings in so much bounty and you don't want to get overwhelmed. In this case, I just added vinegar and sugar to the bread and butter pickle mix to create the brine.

While the brine is being prepared, begin to fill your sterilized jars with sliced cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch "headspace" from the top. Stuff them in to the best of your abilitiy. Otherwise, your jar will have floating pickles instead of "packed" ones. It basically looks prettier and makes better use of your jar space.

Once all your cucumbers are inside the jars, ladle the brine inside the jars using a funnel.

You want to leave 1/2 inch worth of space from the top of the jar (aka: headspace). Remove any air bubbles inside using a bubble remover (or the other side of a thin plastic spatula). Wipe the rim of your jar when finished so that there aren't any particles on it to hinder the final seal. (Visit here for more details on this.)

Next, using your magnetic lid wand, lift lids (which should be simmering this whole time) and place directly on top of your jars after you fill each one. Follow with the screw bands. Screw each band on until just firm.

Place your jars inside the canning rack using your jar lifter since these will be hot.

Now, place your jars inside the boiling water bath very carefully. Begin timing once your pickles are submerged in the water. Process pint jars for 5 minutes and quart jars for 10 minutes. Be sure to put the lid on canner once jars are inside.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In all other canning recipes you wait for the water to come to a boil prior to timing. Pickles are the exception to this rule. You can begin timing once they are submerged in the boiling water bath.

Once time is up, carefully remove jars from canner. Let them sit for 24 hours before checking the seals. The next day, test each seal by verifying if the lid is inverted and doesn't pop up and down when touched. If it does pop up and down, store that jar in the refrigerator and eat within two weeks.

Here is a sample of my "Bread and Butter Pickles" label (cucumber picture courtesy of The Graphics Fairy). You will find the free printable HERE. You can either print them out on plain paper and affix them with a glue stick (I do this since it cleans off easier than sticker labels) or you can print them on label paper or plain sheet sticker paper (and cut to size). You can also use a sharpie and mark the contents and date directly on the lids. Happy preserving! 

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).


  1. Hi Jes,
    Your Pickles look amazing and I must confess I am a bit envious.. :) We haven't been able to garden and put up our own bounty and I have always wanted to learn how to can more than just jam ( which is the only thing we have ever tried ) I think my mouth is watering LOL!!!! So glad to have met you.

    1. Well… jam is always a "sweet" place to start :)

  2. I love the crinkle cut of your pickles. I have got to get me one. I put up our Bread and Butter Pickles a few weeks back. I have been over run with tomatoes this past week. But I am not complaining. The Lord is providing for our needs. I just recently found your blog and I love it.
    In Him,

    1. Great to hear, Jeanna. Thank you for sharing and your words of kindness :)

      Talks about tomatoes are coming soon as that is the best of our pantry staples. I can not have enough canned tomatoes in our pantry as they are so versatile!

      Have a wonderful weekend :) and nice to meet you ~ JES

  3. I'll be featuring this at tonights Link and Greet Party @ CountryMommaCooks.......thanks for linkin' up and have a great weekend : )

    1. Thank you Deana! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!


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