Spicy bread and butter pickles are easier to make than you think.
I was looking to make a pickle from scratch similar to Wickles. I didn’t want to use store-bought dill pickle chips and add spices to them. We tried our hand at canning the first batch of these but they became mushy and soft. No Bueno!
So I began researching how to keep them extra crispy. Apparently, the trick is to add tannins. Like from grape leaves, white oak leaves, or black tea. The easiest available to me was black tea.
Why You’ll Love These
This pickle recipe is simple to make and produces spicy, sweet, and extra crunchy bread and butter pickles!
- Cucumbers – We like to use mini cucumbers for extra crunch.
- Pickling Salt – Pickling salt has a fine grain making it dissolve easily. It also keeps the liquid clear featuring the bright vivid green color of the cucumbers.
- Seasonings – Granulated sugar, whole mustard seeds, celery seeds, whole black peppercorns, turmeric, garlic cloves, and red chili peppers.
- Black Tea – For the tannins that help keep the pickles crunchy and firm.
- Use the freshest pickling cucumbers you can find. It’s key to keeping the pickles crunchy.
- Do not use table salt. The anti-caking additives in table salt will produce a murky, cloudy brining liquid and discolor the cucumbers.
How to Make Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles
Begin by soaking the cucumbers in a saltwater brine overnight or longer. We soak ours for about 18 hours. Helpful article.
The next day in a medium saucepan add the onion, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, garlic, and red chili peppers bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Set aside while preparing the jars.
Place 1/4 teaspoon of black tea leaves in each canning jar. Pack the cucumbers as tight as possible. Fill each jar with the pickle brine, leaving about 1/2″ space below the neck of the jar.
Place the lids on and refrigerate. It took our pickles about 7 days to become as spicy as we like. You can eat them sooner but they are so much better if you can wait.
Enjoy these refrigerator spicy bread and butter pickles as a snack or as a condiment on sandwiches, burgers, or even salads.
Crunchy, spicy, sweet, and tangy pickles.
Can be stored for 2-3 months in the fridge.
More Delicious Recipes
- Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
- Pickled Okra
- Marinated Carrot Sticks
- Healthy Marinated Fresh Vegetable Salad
Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
- 2 pounds mini cucumbers
- 1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3 tbsp pickling salt heaping tablespoons
- 2 cups ice cubes or more
- 3 cups cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black tea leaves divided
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 16 dried red chili peppers*
- To draw out excess liquid and increase crunch, toss cucumbers with salt in a large bowl.
- Add ice, fill with cold water and refrigerate overnight. Drain. Rinse well, and drain again.
- In a medium saucepan add the onion, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, garlic, and red chili peppers bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Set aside while preparing the jars.
- Add the cucumbers to the pickling liquid.
- Place 1/4 teaspoon of black tea leaves in each canning jar. Fill 4-pint jars with cucumbers, onion, garlic, and peppers packed tightly. (Adding 2 garlic cloves and 4 peppers to each jar.)
- Ladle the pickling brine into each jar, leaving about 1/2 inch below the jar’s neck. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth; cover tightly lids and screw tops.
- Refrigerate jars immediately.
- Serve in 7 days.
- (use within 3-4 weeks)