Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts

How to Make Sweet Pickles

The Old-Fashioned Way

Credit: http://people.emich.edu
Your rating: None Average: 3.6 of 5 (26 votes)

Learn how to make sweet pickles the "old-fashioned" way. We guarantee you that the slow way is the best way.

Sweet Pickles

  • Put 2 dozen 3–inch cucumbers, freshly picked, in a crock or a jar. A crock can be anything from an unchipped enamel crock to a big glass jar that supermarkets buy their pickles in. 
  • Cover with a brine of 1/2 cup pickling salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 quarts water.
  • Weight down the cucumbers (a plate with a canning jar full of water on top of it will do nicely), and cover the crock.
  • The fermentation of the cucumbers will cause a white, scummy substance to form on top of the brine. Every day for 2 weeks, check on your cucumbers and just skim the scum off if it is present.
  • After 2 weeks, drain, cut into chunks, and let them stand for 24 hours in cold water, and then rinse.
  • Combine 3 cups vinegar with 6 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup water. Tie 2 tablespoons each whole cloves and mixed pickling spices in cheesecloth, add to vinegar solution, and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours. Drain, reheat vinegar solution, and repeat 4 times (this is only a 5-minute process each day).
  • Remove spices and pack pickles in sterile jars. Bring vinegar solution to a boil and pour over pickles. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 

Now you have tasty sweet pickles to enjoy all summer long! For more pickle recipes, see the recipes in our Related Articles at the top of the page, or browse our Almanac Recipes archives! 

Related Articles


Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Luv, luv the sweet

By Criss on July 9

Luv, luv the sweet pickles...it keeps me going thru the cold winters. So easy and thanks for sharing the recipe.

Thank-you in for reading my

By linda landers

Thank-you in for reading my question and for the responds. Do you have to use a crock to make 2 week pickles like my Mom did? If so can I use a reproduction crock? Thank you Linda

A crock can be anything from

By Almanac Staff

A crock can be anything from an unchipped enamel crock to a big glass jar that supermarkets buy their pickles in.

Do you have recipes for

By Ben Brinson

Do you have recipes for pickling
Jerusalem Artichokes
(AKA Sunchokes)?

We're sorry to say that we do

By Almanac Staff

We're sorry to say that we do not have a recipe for pickled Jerusalem artichokes, but here is one from Bon Appetit:


Awesome sweet pickles! We are

By RosemaryL

Awesome sweet pickles! We are in love! I can only send pint jars to my grandson's house as he and his mother will sit down and polish a pint off in a setting. I'm afraid to know what would happen to a quart. Thanks so much for the recipe.

would like a recipe to make

By Tony Payne

would like a recipe to make corn relish

The old fashion way


Hi Tony, Here's a recipe from

By Almanac Staff

Hi Tony,

Here's a recipe from our archives.

  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  1. Place the corn, onions and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a pot combine sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seeds, and dry mustard. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture over the corn mixture. Let cool. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before servings. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3 cups.


Is calcium chloride as

By Jody wiewel

Is calcium chloride as effective as lime for crisp sweet pickles?

Do you mean calcium

By Almanac Staff

Do you mean calcium chloride—or calcium hydroxide? The latter is used in lime-vinegar soaking solutions. See here.


As for calcium chloride, there are mixed reviews on this. See above also: Lime must be food grade—lime sold in lumberyards is industrial grade and may contain contaminants.

At least one cooperative extension advises against using lime in homemade pickles, as it may result in an "unsafe" product." Calcium chloride is used to firm commercial pickles and it was not used in this recipe.

You can read more here: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/b2267.pdf

We hope this helps.

The recipe doesn't say how

By Laurel

The recipe doesn't say how many pints or quarts it makes. Also, is it scalable? Could I double or triple it, come summer?

I have been looking for a

By Rosemary Spettigue

I have been looking for a recipe for bread and butter easy pickles is this one or is it just sweet pickles?

Give this easy and delicious

By Almanac Staff

Give this easy and delicious recipe a try:

i can,t find a recipe for

By rosalind

i can,t find a recipe for cauliflower pickels can you help, thanks.

You can use this pickling

By Almanac Staff

You can use this pickling recipe for cauliflower, too. Hope this helps. http://www.almanac.com/content/how-make-dill-pickles

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?