Recipe: Sous Vide Bread and Butter Pickles
November 25, 2022
Sous vide pickles are a perfect hybrid of traditional canning practices and modern technology. The highly customizable nature of pickles - bread and butter or otherwise - means that you can easily tune this recipe to your personal tastes. For instance, pretty much any type of onion will work depending on your palate and the same can be said for the vegetables. If you're not a fan of jalapenos then many other peppers will work great - although we do draw the line (personally) at Ghost peppers and Bird's eye chillis.
- Prep: 5 mins
- Cook: 2 hrs
2 lbs of picking cucumbers
1/2 red onion, sliced in half and then again into crescents
2 cloves of garlic, sliced into rounds
2 red japapeno peppers, cut into rounds
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cloves - a little goes a long way!
2 cups distilled white viengar
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
For the Brine
1Combine all your spices together in a bowl except for the white sugar and salt.
2In a seperate bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the dry ingredients are dissolved.
3Pour the brine over the dry ingredients, give them a mix, and set aside.
For the Pickles
1Begin by removing 1-inch from each of end of your cucumbbers. The stem contains enzymes that will lead to your pickles softening during the brine.
2Cut your cucumbers into spears that will fit your mason jars. Do the same with your other onions, and optional herbs - such as springs of dill. Make sure to leave a bit of space at the top.
3Screw the jar lids to "finger tight." This means screwing on the top until it won't turn, then loosening it by one half rotation.
For the Pickling Process
1Heat your water vath to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
2While the water is heating up carefully lower your mason jars into the water bath with a pair of tongs. This will reduce the chances of thermal shock and cracking as the glass will be heated slowly.
3Sous vide your pickles for 2-3 hours.
4Finally, remove the mason jars from the water bath and let cool at room temperature - make sure to keep an ear out for the lids popping into place!
One of the best things about pickling - and sous vide - is your ability to customize the flavor profile as you will. In this recipe we used red onion, but both white and yellow are also great fits. Likewise, you can experiment with combining a variety of acids for a recipe like this such as mixing in a little apple cider vinegar.
If you're looking for a more classic style then swap out the 2 red jalapenos for 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and cut into strips. This is much more what you could expect from a depression era pickle recipe - although with way more spices than would have been available.
Photo credit: sjarrell/Shutterstock