World’s Greatest Bread & Butter Pickles


I know, “world’s greatest” is a pretty bold claim, but I think you’re going to agree. What’s more, these will be ready in just 24 hours! (Note though that waiting several days to a week will allow for more flavor penetration.) Yes, they’re vinegar pickles, not fermented, but this is a site with the word “brine” in the title and the brine on these is something special.

This recipe fills a half gallon jar. If preferred, you can use two quart jars. For one quart jar, just cut all the amounts in half.

At the end of this recipe, instructions are given for making some pickled eggs using the brine once you finish the pickles. The insane brine just keeps on giving!

You will need: half gallon mason jar (or equivalent); cutting board; knife (or wavy slicer is even better); large mixing bowl; measuring cups & spoons; wooden stirring spoon; medium saucepan; mortar & pestle (suggested)

Note that since these are not fermented pickles, they won’t have the healthy probiotic bacteria produced by lacto-fermentation but they are still all natural (just take a look at all the junk in store bought vinegar pickles!) and can easily be made using organic produce and sugar. For other reasons, a limited amount of vinegar in your diet is also beneficial to gut health.


  • 2 – 2.25 lbs. small/pickling cucumbers, 1/4″ sliced
  • 2 TBSP pickling salt (40g)
  • 1 rounded cup (100 g) thinly sliced sweet onion (or substitute with other onion)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g)
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 1.25 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Recommended add-on blend (to make these pickles the best in the world):

  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • For spicy bread & butters: 1-2 jalapenos (or more), sliced
The complete spice blend of cloves, coriander, mustard seed, turmeric, celery seed, allspice, and bay leaf


1.) Wash and then slice cucumbers into 1/4” slices

2.) In a large bowl, gently mix the salt and the cucumber slices evenly. Allow to sit for about 1.5 hours. (Covering with plastic wrap recommended)

3.) After the allotted time, strain and then thoroughly rinse the cucumbers. Place them back in the mixing bowl and add the sliced onions.

4.) Combine all the spices into a mortar and pestle and lightly crush. (Or you can place in a plastic bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin.) The bay leaf can be kept whole or crushed by hand. Alternately, if you have the time, you can take all the whole spices, toast them on a small pan over low-medium heat for a couple minutes, until they’re aromatic. Then coarsely crush in mortar and pestle.

5.) In the saucepan, add the white and apple cider vinegar and the white and brown sugar. Heat on medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

6.) Add all the spices to the saucepan, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before pouring the brine over the cucumbers, bring the brine to a near boil.

7.) Place the cucumber/onion mix in a half gallon jar (or divide between two quart jars if needed). Slowly pour the heated brine mixture over the cucumbers and allow to stand for one hour. Fill to about 1/4″ of the lid. If there’s excess brine, it may be discarded or used for another purpose.

8.) Transfer to the refrigerator and allow at least 2-3 days before opening. (Full flavor penetration will be after at least a week but these can be eaten at any time!)

Pickled eggs: Leftover brines, whether they be vinegar-based or from saltwater lacto-fermentation, are excellent to use for pickling eggs in the fridge. Once you finish these pickles, you can make at least a half dozen hard-boiled eggs per quart jar. Pour over this leftover brine and allow a week in the fridge to absorb the flavor. (When using ferment brines, I do recommend adding vinegar at a rate of about 15% of the original brine to ensure safe levels of acidity. This Bread & Butter recipe is already vinegar-based so no need to add more to this for eggs.)

I absolutely adore my rapid egg boiler. Once, boiled, peel them. For them to soak up even more delicious brine, you can salt cure them overnight first. This means rubbing each egg in about 1 tsp salt and placing them in a ziploc or other container, in a fridge, overnight. The next day you will see a lot of moisture has been released by the egg. Rinse the eggs and then put them in the jar of brine. Place the jar in the refrigerator and give them a try after several days to a week. These will have shelf-life in the fridge of a couple weeks beyond that. Bon appetit!


  1. Holy hell! These pickles are delicious and easy AF! I’ve made some pickles in my time but I have to say, these really are the best in the world. I haven’t been without these pickles (and other veggies in this brine) in my fridge since I made the first batch. Carrots, jalepenos, onion, and cauliflower. They are all perfect in this brine! You nailed it brother!

  2. Thank you from South Africa for your bread and butter pickle recipe. It is also nice that you use it to pickle your eggs. I see on your FB page you also fry the BB pickles? This I have never tried before.

    • Daniel Berke

      Thanks! I love that recipe. Someone posted the frying them on there but I haven’t done this myself. However, deep fried (crispy breaded) pickles are a decadent pleasure you should try with some dipping sauce!

  3. I made these exactly as written with the extra listed spices and they are terrific. Remind me of my great grandmother’s. I have her recipe book and compared the two yours have extra spices which brings it up a level. Next time I may add some heat for a switch up. Thanks!

  4. Wesley Bratton

    I pretty much come here for inspiration, insight, and of course the recipes! I was looking for a way to make bread and butter pickles, all the more popular ones and then it came to me, why am I wasting all this time? Check out Daniel’s.

    Woah, these are the best. You can count on me posting a pic and comment on reddit.

  5. Hi. Recommend using the side of a box grater to slice bread and butter pickles. And also let stand with ice.

  6. Hi Daniel,
    How long will the pickles last in the frig? And can I can the world’s greatest b+b? Thanks.

    • I just now see this! I am sorry. They are perfect for canning. If not canned but just prepared as directed, they will be good (crunchy) for at least six months. They’ll go soft before they go bad. All the best to you!

  7. I decided to double this batch and apply it to a 1 gallon jar of sweet onions and i got 40 regular large eggs into the jar. Layered some onion every 10 to 12 eggs. We had 42 eggs in the jar but 2 really didn’t fit well. So after the couple minutes that they were in the brine and we ate the 2 eggs .. oh … my … i can barely stand to wait 2 weeks to try them after soaking up the good brine. Just amazing i love it and so does the family. We initially were on the fence with even trying a bread and butter pickling style for pickled eggs but with this recipe i doubt anyone will be disappointed.

    • I am sorry I didn’t see this when you wrote it but I am so happy to see it now and am glad you loved them! I love it the eggs in this brine as well.


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