Canning / In the Kitchen

Bread an Butter Pickles, aka my favorite pickles!

I got introduced to bread and butter pickles by my awesome mom (love you!) and it was in the form of grilled cheese of all things. She normally uses regular pickles in her grilled cheese when the mood strikes but we tried it with bread and butter and it has stuck with me for the rest of my life.

After moving to our current home I really got into gardening and canning my produce. The first year I had a shiny new boiling water canner and my garden kinda sucked. I went to a local farm produce stand and bought a bunch of cucumbers and made lots of pickles. I also went there when I needed more tomatoes for making salsa because my tomatoes weren’t producing enough, they also have beehives and I got a huge thing of local honey from them that has lasted me two years now and I still have about 1/4 of a quart-sized mason jar. When I can’t produce what I need I prefer to shop locally.

So for those who have never canned before this is for you. I know canning can be scary, I did a ton of research, and seeing what could go wrong scared the crap out of me. I was so worried about giving the family botulism that I kinda goofed and over-processed my first batch, yes that’s a thing. The liquid seeped out and didn’t create the best seals, they held but not very well in my opinion.

Now that I know better I’m here to teach you to the best of my ability and I’m including photos! Once I have a nicer(bigger) kitchen I’ll look into doing a video tutorial. Or I may just beg my awesome sister to let me borrow her kitchen cause it’s gorgeous and I’m envious. Now on to the tutorial!

Bread and Butter Pickle Tutorial

So first you need to get your ingredients set up, measuring and weighing ahead of time will save you time and a huge headache! Also, go ahead and get your clean jars into the rack hanging above the water in the canner. You want the jars hot and this will also sterilize them. I start the fire under my canner before I do absolutely anything else that way the water will already be steaming by the time I’m done giving the usually already clean jars a cursory wipe down.

You will need these ingredients prepared:

  • 4 quarts sliced medium cucumbers, I think I cut up about 4-5 cucumbers. It all depends on the size.

    I kept them relatively thin, a good slicer comes in handy for these projects. We got mine on sale at harbor freight. I love that it comes apart for easy cleaning. So the only thing I have to actually wipe off by hand is the part with the motor.
  • 8 medium white onions, sliced. I think I actually used yellow onions because that’s what I had on hand.
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt. It has to be pickling/canning salt, table salt has additives that will affect the brine and therefore the pickling process.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, halved. I usually just smash them with the flat of my knife, it releases the juices just as well if not better.
  • 4 cups sugar, I know it’s a lot but it’s needed to do this properly, high sugar content is what helps preserves the pickles.

    Makes you realize how much 4 cups of sugar really is.
  • 3 cups cider vinegar, also known as apple cider vinegar. I used vinegar with the mother because that’s what I have on hand.
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seeds

    All of my spices measured out.

Now that you have all of your ingredients gathered and measured and your jars are already steaming to keep hot let’s get pickling!

Instructions:

  1. In a 6-8 quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick pot(I used my pressure canner for this bit since it’s stainless-steel) combine the vegetables with the pickling salt and garlic. Add 2 inches of cracked ice (sonic ice would work well for this) and cover with a lid, place in the fridge for no less than 3 hours but no more than 12 hours.

    All the salted veggies under the ice.
  2. After the time has elapsed remove any remaining ice and drain in a large colander, mine wasn’t big enough so I had to do this in batches with the assistance of a plastic mixing bowl. Remove the garlic cloves.
  3. In the same pot, you salted your pickles in (see saving dishes!) combine the sugar, vinegar, turmeric, mustard seeds, and celery seeds. Heat this mixture to boiling, make sure the sugar dissolves. Add your vegetables back to the pot and return to boiling.
    Our pickling brine. The turmeric turns it a funny color but once it’s soaked into the pickles it turns a nice golden hue.

    Almost there!
  4. Pack hot pickles and liquid into your hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims with a towel dipped into some white vinegar; place the lids and screw the ring on fingertip tight.
  5. Process in the boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, the timer starts once the water starts boiling again. Once the timer goes off, turn the heat off and let it sit for a while.
  6. After about 10-20 minutes remove the canner lid and let the room temperature air into the canner. When it’s sat for a while with air getting to it you can then pull the jars up in the rack/holder and wait about another 5 minutes. Then you can remove the jars to a place where they won’t be disturbed for 24 hours. After 24 hours check the seals by looking at where the pop-up buttons are, if it’s concaved then it has a good seal. Label and store in a climate-controlled area.

    The Best Bread and Butter Recipes

    These are a family favorite on the farmstead.
    Prep Time 45 mins
    Cook Time 15 mins
    Ice Soak 3 hrs
    Course Canning, Pantry Staples
    Cuisine American
    Servings 7 pints

    Equipment

    • Boiling Water Canner
    • Canning Funnel
    • Sharp Knife
    • Mandolin (optional)
    • Cutting Board
    • measuring cups
    • Measuring Spoons
    • Large Liquid Measuring Cup
    • Non-reactive Pot
    • Colander
    • Jar Lifter
    • Magnetic Lid Lifter
    • Small Pot

    Ingredients
      

    • 4 Qts Cucumbers sliced
    • 8 Medium Onions sliced
    • Cup Pickling Salt
    • 3 Garlic Cloves
    • 4 Cups Sugar
    • 3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Whole Mustard Seeds
    • 1 ½ tsp Tumeric
    • 1 ½ tsp Celery Seeds

    Instructions
     

    • In a 6-8 quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick pot combine the vegetables with the pickling salt and garlic. Add 2 inches of cracked ice (sonic ice would work well for this) and cover with a lid, place in the fridge for no less than 3 hours but no more than 12 hours.
    • After the time has elapsed remove any remaining ice and drain in a large colander, mine wasn't big enough so I had to do this in batches with the assistance of a plastic mixing bowl. Remove the garlic cloves.
    • In the same pot, you salted your pickles in (see saving dishes!) combine the sugar, vinegar, turmeric, mustard seeds, and celery seeds. Heat this mixture to boiling, make sure the sugar dissolves. Add your vegetables back to the pot and return to boiling.
    • Pack hot pickles and liquid into your hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims with a towel dipped into some white vinegar; place the lids and screw the ring on fingertip tight.
    • Process in the boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, the timer starts once the water starts boiling again. Once the timer goes off, turn the heat off and let it sit for a while.
    • After about 10-20 minutes remove the canner lid and let the room temperature air into the canner. When it's sat for a while with air getting to it you can then pull the jars up in the rack/holder and wait about another 5 minutes. Then you can remove the jars to a place where they won't be disturbed for 24 hours. After 24 hours check the seals by looking at where the pop-up buttons are, if it's concaved then it has a good seal. Label and store in a climate-controlled area.
    Keyword Bread and Butter Pickles, Canning, Fresh produce, Home canning, Homemade, Pickles, Straight from the Garden

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