Homemade Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles

So the cucumbers are really starting to produce well.  We just have a small 4 foot trellis of cucumbers but we are picking 3 or 4 every other day.  With everything else we are pulling from the garden right now we can’t possibly keep up with those cucumbers.  So we are continuing to experiment with new refrigerator pickle recipes.

I like dill pickles, but Mrs. Stoney loves bread and butter pickles.  So this week I scoured the web looking for recipes for bread and butter refrigerator pickles.  I ended up adapting a recipe I found on the recipegirl.com.  I didn’t follow her recipe exactly so I will give you my adjusted recipe.

Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles

1- 1/2 pounds of pickling cucumbers (enough to fill a quarter jar)

1 1/2 Tablespoons of salt (sea salt, kosher salt or pickling salt)

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

1 1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon celery salt (you can use 1/2 tsp celery seeds)

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Slice the cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick

Slice the cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick.

Slice the onions thinly

Slice the onions thinly.

Combine salt, onions and cucumbers, mix well and cover with ice

Combine cucumbers, onions and salt in a shallow bowl.  Stir it up good so the salt covers everything.  Cover the mix with ice and let sit for about 90 minutes.  Then drain the water off and return the mix to the bowl. (If you don’t like salty pickles you can rinse the salt off at this stage, but we left it on and the pickles tasted just right)

Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Pour this hot mixture over the cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.  Store in a non-reactive airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

One thing I’m learning about refrigerator pickles is you can be flexible.   If you don’t like onion, leave it out.  Add some garlic if you like.  Like the pickles less sweet?  Cut back on the sugar.  The only non-negotiable item on the list is the turmeric.  Turmeric is what gives bread and butter pickles their taste, so you can’t skip the turmeric and expect to have good pickles.

Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge

We really liked this recipe.  In a pinch these can be ready with just a couple of hours in the fridge but are better after 24 hours.  The heat softens up the cucumbers a bit so be sure to cut them a little thicker than you would for recipes that don’t use hot brine/vinegar.  That way you will still have crunchy pickles.

The finished product is ready to eat in a few hours but is better if you wait at least 24 hours


  1. Robin August 10, 2012 3:21 am Reply

    I have never seen a recipe for refrigerator B&B pickles before. Do you like them as much as the regular type?? Thanks for sharing!


  2. Liz August 10, 2012 6:38 am Reply

    I make a similarish version of this but keep it in preserving jars and I find they keep for about a year or so. I add chilli and dill to my version but no celery salt – i’ll have to give that a try.


  3. kitsapFG August 10, 2012 7:06 am Reply

    Refrigerator dills are so liberating and produce such great results. Thank you for sharing this variation of bread and butter dills.


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