AB’s B&Bs (Bread and Butter Pickles)

AB’s B&Bs (Bread and Butter Pickles)

Did you know that George Washington, John Adams, Dolly Madison and Elvis Presley were all major pickle heads? So pickles are in our nation’s blood.

Behold: Give acid and spice a little time and some relatively bland produce is transformed.

Leftover pickle brine can be added to marinades, salad dressings or mayo. Oh, and pickle juice in beer really is quite refreshing.

AB's B&B's

  • 1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium cucumbers (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup water (filtered if possible)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds (not brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  1. Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean, 1-quart spring-top jar.
  2. Combine everything else in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Drop the heat and simmer for 4 full minutes.
  3. Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, completely filling the jar. (A large ladle is a good tool for the job.)
  4. Cool to room temperature before topping off with any remaining pickle (that is, the liquid) and sealing the jar.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 week before serving and finish them within 2 months. Remember that these pickles are not actually preserved, so they need to be kept refrigerated.


Add yours
  1. 1
    Debbie Cook

    No soggy pickles! Layer sliced cukes with ice and salt only for at least 30 minutes. Once the brining liquid is done drain the cukes and rinse. Pack in jar and pour brine over them. No soggy pickles.

  2. 2

    Sometimes, the ends of cucumbers have a very bad flavor. So, if you cut off the ends and throw them away, you’ll get better tasting pickles.

  3. 3

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  4. 4

    I don’t know what I did wrong but my pickles are awful. I did leave out the onions, but followed the rest. They aren’t sweet at all and have an odd flavor. Did I perhaps use cucumber that isn’t suitable for pickles? I saw reference to pickling cucumbers on another site, didn’t know there was such a thing…

  5. 6
    Kaylene Hengst

    Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Many thanks!

  6. 8
    Lisa Hall

    I’m not sure what the other comments are about – I’m seeing an article on bread and butter pickles. My husband loves the juice over beans n’ cornbread. I’ve tried to preserve pickles many times, to keep all winter, but they are always soft and soggy. I have adjusted the brine and water bath time to no avail. I guess I’ll just start making the brine for him and preserving that – unless you have any ideas I can try. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    • 9

      Hey, Lisa! 🙂 I just read your comment about soft and soggy pickles. I realize you commented a while ago, so hopefully you see this! Try slicing the pickles a little thicker, perhaps around a quarter of an inch. That should result in a crisper pickle. I hope you see this, and I’m curious to know if you found another solution through your own experimentation. I love a crisp pickle, so any tips you have to share would be awesome!

    • 11

      You don’t want to alter the recipe much. Only things you should alter would be spices. You need the proper amount of acid in place. Make sure you cut away the blossom end of the cucumber and do not use cucumbers larger than 2″ around. Pickling salt helps. It contains calcium chloride. The calcium helps the cucumber to maintain more of its structure. Sometimes it is called pickle crisp.

  7. 12

    I cannot remember how many people have asked me for this recipe for pickles. They are so easy and delicious. To James – I have kept them in mason jars without any problems. Just make sure they are clean.

    Thanks Alton!

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