How to Make Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles: An Easy DIY Guide

If you’re craving a snack with a kick, you’ve got to try these easy refrigerator bread and butter pickles. They’re the perfect combo of crisp, sweet, and tangy, and they’re so simple to make. 

You won’t need to spend ages in the kitchen or deal with any complicated canning process. All you have to do is whip up a quick brine and pour it over sliced cucumbers in a jar. It’s as easy as that! The perfect recipe for using up cucumbers.

overhead view of finished pickles.

Easy Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

A simple brine, a few jars of sliced cucumbers, and you can enjoy delicious, homemade pickles. This recipe is so easy and the flavors are perfect.

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds cucumbers sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions 

  • Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, water, kosher salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar completely dissolves. Once simmering, cook for about one minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
    brown liquid in saucepan.
  • Prep the jars. While the brine is cooling, tightly pack the sliced cucumbers into four pint-sized jars. Ensure the cucumbers are compacted well to leave room for enough brine to cover.
    jars full of sliced cucumbers.
  • Cover cucumbers with brine. Once the brine has cooled, pour it over the cucumbers in the jars, making sure they are completely submerged. Adjust the cucumbers as needed to ensure no air pockets and cucumbers are fully covered.
    close up view of open jar of pickles.
  • Store. Seal the jars tightly and refrigerate. For best flavor development, let the pickles marinate for at least 24 hours before consuming. These pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
    3 pint sized jars of homemade pickles.

Notes

For the crunchiest pickles, use fresh, firm cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are the best choice because they are usually the same size and have less water, which makes the pickles crunchier.
It’s important to slice the cucumbers evenly. You can use a mandoline slicer to make sure all the slices are the same thickness. This way, all the pickles will soak and become crunchy evenly.
Once you add the brine, use a clean knife or a skewer to remove any air bubbles from the jar gently. This helps make sure all the cucumber slices are completely covered in the brine.
These pickles are delicious in sandwiches or as an appetizer.

More Tips:

Seal the pickle jars tightly before storing them in the fridge to keep them crisp and prevent fridge odors from affecting them.

Let the brine cool down completely before pouring it over the cucumbers. Using hot brine can slightly cook the cucumbers, making them less crunchy.

While you can eat the pickles after 24 hours, leaving them for at least 48 hours can really improve their flavor and texture. It’s worth the wait if you can manage it!

If you have extra brine, you can quickly pickle other vegetables like carrots, onions, or even hard-boiled eggs. Just be sure to use the brine within a week for the best flavor and to make sure food safety.

mason jars of finished sliced round pickles.

Serving Suggestions

This recipe pairs well with sourdough rolls, sandwiches, burgers, barbecue beans in the crockpot, classic macaroni salad, or homemade blackberry lemonade.

About the Ingredients

You can make these simple swaps for the key ingredients in your bread and butter pickles recipe:

  • White Vinegar: Use apple cider vinegar for a milder, slightly sweet tang.
  • Brown Sugar: you can use an equal amount of white sugar for a less molasses-like sweetness, or try honey as a natural alternative.
  • Mustard Seeds: If you’re out of mustard seeds, use ground mustard as a substitute. Use 1 teaspoon of ground mustard for 2 teaspoons of seeds.
  • Celery Seeds: Fennel seeds can be a good alternative for a slightly different flavor, or skip them if you don’t have any on hand.
ingredients on red and white cloth

These changes might affect the flavor and texture of your pickles, but they can be a fun way to experiment with the recipe based on what you have available.

Storage Instructions

After putting the pickles and brine in the jars, make sure to screw the lids on tight.

Put the sealed jars in the fridge. For the best flavor, let the pickles sit for at least 24 hours before you eat them.

Keep the jars in the back of the fridge where they are coldest to keep the pickles crisp.

Your pickles will stay good for up to 3 months in the fridge.

close up view of open jar of pickles.

With these simple steps and tips, you can create a batch of fresh, flavorful pickles that are perfect for enhancing your meals or enjoying as a snack. Just remember to store them properly in the refrigerator to keep them crisp and tasty for months.

Enjoy your homemade pickles!

How to Make Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles: An Easy DIY GuideHow to Make Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles: An Easy DIY Guide
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4 Comments

  1. My kettle has green stain on it. Any ideas how to clean it? They are new and like to keep them in good shape?

  2. There is no mention of onions until Step 3 of the directions when you pour the brine into the jars. I suspect they should be thinly sliced, as many as preferredand mixed or layered with the cucumbers? Thank you. Sounds like a perfect summer time saver when cukes are plentiful!

    1. Hey Peggy! Yes! I actually don’t always add them and intended the recipe to NOT have them, but I do occasionally add them thinly sliced with the cukes. I’m going to fix that up to make it more clear. Thanks!