Sweet Pickles are the perfect thing to do with the plethora of cucumbers in your garden! They can be water bath canned or cold packed (quick pickled), for shorter storage!
I have about half a ton of cucumbers this year in my garden! So I need to do something, anything, with them all! I hate wasting food! I have given them to friends and family and they still keep coming! This Sweet Pickles recipe has come to my salvation more times than I care to say! Want to learn my secrets to growing so many cucumbers from 4 plants? See my How to Plant a Vegetable Garden Series for tips and tricks!
How to ensure your pickles are crispy
As everyone who likes pickles knows, the key to a good pickle is that they are crispy! Soggy pickles? No, Thank YOU!
To this end, I utilize a few tricks to make them extra crispy.
- Make pickles the same day you pick them.
- Salt cucumbers to remove some of the water from the pickle.
- Use black tea to help the pickles stay crisp.
- Additional tips for crispy pickles.
How to make sweet pickles
- Wash pickles well.
- Slice into spears, lengthwise. See recipe notes for quantities.
- Pickles can also be sliced about 1/8″ thick, by hand or carefully, with a mandolin. Add salt to pickles.
- Toss cucumbers around with hands to distribute the salt among all of the cucumbers. Let cucumbers sit, in a colander, over a bowl, on the counter, or in the refrigerator, overnight.
- Place water and vinegar and sugar to a pot.
- Add spices. Heat over high heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Heat until the mixture boils. Reduce heat until ready to use.
- Rinse the cucumbers well and allow to drain for a few minutes.
- Load cucumbers in hot, sterilized jars. To load spears, lay jar on it’s side and lay the pickles in.
- Squeeze as many sliced cucumbers per jar as you can fit.
- Ladle hot vinegar mixture into jars. Wipe rims of jars clean with a damp towel. Attach lids and tighten bands, finger tight.
Process in water bath canning pot for 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. Turn off heat and allow jars to sit in hot water for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove from canning pot and let sit on counter overnight. Then check lids. If they flex up and down in the center, store in the refrigerator. If they are fully sealed, store in a cool dark place for up to 12- 18 months.
What to do with sweet pickles
Sweet Pickles are great for more things than just a side for burgers or sandwiches.
- Chop and add to salads, like potato, macaroni or tuna for an added kick.
- Use them in your holiday or hostess gift baskets.
- Chop and add to mayonnaise or ketchup for a new condiment.
- Add to pizzas or casseroles to make a burger themed dish.
- Use them in easy appetizers, with ham and cheese rolled around the pickle.
- Add to chef’s salads.
- Make a cheese ball with pickles.
Other delicious pickled recipes
- Pickled Peppers
- Pickled Red Onion
- Sweet Pickle Relish
- Pickled Garlic Scapes
- Pickled Radishes
- Kosher Pickles
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Tools I use to make sweet pickles
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That’s how easy it is to make Sweet Pickles. Thanks for stopping by today!
Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
- Slice cucumbers, by hand or (very carefully) with mandolin
- Add cucumbers and salt to bowl. Toss to coat all cucumber slices with salt.
- Cover bowl and stand on counter, or in refrigerator overnight.
- Next morning, place in bowl and rinse salt off of cucumbers. Rinse the cucumbers well or they will be salty! Allow to drain.
- In a sauce pan, add sugar, vinegar, water and spices. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat and high simmer or low boil, for about 30 minutes.
- Sterilize jars in canning pot.
- Remove hot jars, one at a time and drain water. Cut open black tea bag and add 1 bag per pint jar.
- Pack cucumber slices into hot jars, within a 1/2 inch of top of jar.
- Pour hot canning liquid into jar leaving ½" headspace.
- Wipe rim of jar with wet towel. Attach hot lids and tighten bands finger tight. Return to canning pot.
- Process jars for 15 minutes per pint, adjusting for altitude. Allow to rest in hot water 5 minutes after turning heat off.
- Remove jars from canning pot and let sit on counter overnight.
- Check seal in the morning, if lids flex up and down, when pressed in center, jar is not properly sealed. Store any that didn't seal in refrigerator.
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Love Gardening? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden!
Second is Preparing the Garden Site.
The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden.