How to Make Pickle Recipes

When I first learned how to make pickle recipes, I thought they were all made with cucumbers.  To some people pickles are anything, especially vegetables like peppers that have been canned in pickle brine. I always though they were only cucumbers; they could be small or large, sliced or in chunks. I quickly learned that pickles could be made sour, dill, sweet or hot and spicy but I still thought they were all made with cucumbers. 

One important point to remember when making pickles is to follow the recipe closely. You never want to cook pickles longer than the recipe instructs you to. Overcooking will make them too soft.

My Sister's Bread and Butter Pickle RecipeMy Sister's Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

When you learn how to make pickle recipes, the cucumbers need to be sound and firm not in the least bit overripe. To preserve the crispness when the recipe calls for slicing, use a knife for the slicing, do not use an electric slicer of any kind. 

Although it takes longer for the flavor to be absorbed in the pickles, I do like to pickle whole cucumbers for dill pickles. The bread butter pickles below are one of my favorites. This recipe came from my sister Gloria. They are the best; nothing like what is commercially prepared! I actually like to eat these as a side salad with a meal.

Although I really like bread butter pickles, generally speaking I do not care much for sweet pickles. The bread butter pickles have a sweet sour flavor; not as much sweet. I will use sweet pickles chopped finely in some salads. They just are not something that I would pick up and eat as a snack because they are too sweet for me.

All the gherkin pickles that I have eaten are also way too sweet; however this is not why they got their name. They are actually supposed to be made from the small “gherkin” cucumber. To obtain the desired flavor, the cucumbers should not be over 1 ½ inches long.

Dill pickle recipes have always been my lifelong favorite. These recipes have come a long way! This was the only canning recipe which I did not like that Mom and Dad made. Theirs were more the brine pickles with a sour taste ( I am guessing; it has been so long ago) and I did not like the texture either.

These traditional brine pickles were naturally fermented in brine which makes them grow sour. Mom or Dad would put the cucumbers in those big old time crocks; then they made this solution (without vinegar) and poured over the cucumbers. The cucumbers were weighted down with a board and heavy stones. After several days“gross” foam appeared on the top which they would remove. Anyway to shorten the story, eventually our local grocery began to get in those big barrels of dill pickle recipes. I am sure you have seen them. Those pickles I love!


Homemade Pickling SpiceHomemade Pickling Spice
  • 2 Tablespoons cardamom seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons pounded dried ginger root
  • 2 Sticks cinnamon broken in small pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons bay leaves crushed in very small pieces
  • 3 Whole dried chili peppers crushed in small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons whole allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons coriander
  • 4 Tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons whole peppercorns

Combine and blend all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 ounces.

Bread and Butter PicklesBread and Butter Pickles


  • 4 Quarts sliced cucumbers
  • 2 Green bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 ½ Cups sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 Teaspoons mustard seed
  • 6 Medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 Cup medium coarse salt
  • 3 Cups cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon celery seed

Slice cucumbers thin (do not peel). Add onions, peppers, salt and cover with cracked ice. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 3 hours. Drain well.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumber mixture. Heat just to a boil and pack in hot sterile jars. Seal tightly. (Makes 8 pints)


  • 1 Gallon 2-3 inch cucumbers (slit at ends)
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 5 Cups cider vinegar
  • 1 Stick cinnamon
  • 1 Small red pepper pod, OPTIONAL
  • 7 Cups sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon celery seed
  • Boiling water, plenty enough to cover all pickles
  • 1 Teaspoon alum

Mix salt in boiling water and pour over cucumbers; let stand 1 week. Drain well.

Combine the vinegar, cinnamon, pepper, 3 ½ cups of the sugar and celery seed. Add alum to boiling water and add to the vinegar and sugar mixture; let stand 24 hours. Reheat to a boil and pour this mixture over the drained cucumbers (after the 1 week) and let stand 24 hours.

NEXT DAY; Drain liquid from cucumbers and reheat. Pour over cucumbers again and let set 24 hours.

NEXT DAY: Drain liquid from the cucumbers and reheat; pour over the cucumbers again and let set 24 hours.

NEXT DAY: Drain liquid from cucumbers, ADD REMAINING 3 ½ CUPS SUGAR, and reheat liquid; pour over cucumbers and let set 24 hours.

NEXT DAY: Drain liquid from cucumbers and bring to a boil. Pack cucumbers in hot sterile jars. Pour boiling liquid over cucumbers and seal jars tightly.


The grape leaves in the following recipe are optional, but they will add to the crispness of this pickle recipe.

  • 20-25 Cucumbers (pickle size)
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • Fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 Quart cider vinegar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon alum
  • 1 Hot pepper OPTIONAL
  • 1 Cup pickling salt
  • 3 Quarts water
  • Grape leaves OPTIONAL

Wash cucumbers and pack in 7 hot sterilized quart jars. To each jar add a little garlic, a little red pepper, a little alum and a little dill.

Combine in a kettle the vinegar, salt and water; bring to a boil and boil for ten minutes. Pour over cucumbers in the jars, add a grape leaf on the top and seal jars tightly.


Some of the sweet pickle recipes are canned in chunks or whole pickles. These are good eaten as a snack or I like to cut them up and use in many of my salad recipes.

  • ½ Cup coarse salt
  • ¼ Cup vinegar
  • 2 Quarts water
  • 2 Dozen cucumbers (3 to 4 inches long)
  • 1 Tablespoon alum
  • 1 Stick cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon mixed pickling spice
  • 3 Cups vinegar
  • 6 Cups sugar
  • Water

Wash cucumbers and dry; place in a stone crock or stainless steel container.

Add salt and vinegar to 2 quarts water; bring to a boil and cool.

Pour over cucumbers and cover with a plate or glass pie plate; place weight on plate to hold cucumbers under brine.

Let cucumbers stand in a cool place for 2 weeks; if scum forms remove it each day.

Drain cucumbers, discard brine and cut cucumbers into 1 inch chunks.

Add alum to cucumbers, cover with cold water and let stand for 24 hours; rinse well and drain.

Tie spices in cheesecloth and add to remaining ingredients; bring to a boil and pour over cucumbers; let stand 24 hours.

Drain cucumbers reserving syrup; heat syrup to boiling and pour over cucumbers and let stand 24 hours.

Pack pickles in hot sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch head space.

Remove spice bag, bring liquid to boil and pour over pickles; adjust lids and screw on caps.

Process jars in boiling water bath 10 minutes.


This is one of the pickle recipes which is a little different with the distinct flavor of the additional mustard. Like mustard relish, this is a big hit to many people who love the flavor of mustard.

  • 3 Quarts cucumbers cut in chunks
  • 2 Quarts pickling onions
  • 1 Medium cauliflower broken in pieces
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 1 Quart white vinegar
  • 3 Cups sugar


  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Cup dry mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Small can pimentos
  • ¼ Teaspoon curry powder

Cover cucumbers, pickling onions and cauliflower with 1 cup salt and enough water to cover.

Let stand overnight; wash and drain well.

Add 1 quart white vinegar and 3 cups sugar; bring to a boil.

Combine sauce ingredients with enough water to make a smooth (batter-like) paste.

Add mixture to vinegar and cucumber mixture; bring to a boil stirring until pickles are heated thoroughly.

Can in hot sterile jars and seal immediately; makes about 9 pints.