Bread & butter pickles

Bread & butter pickles

The Hang Fire Cookbook
2 X 500ml jars

Aside from your first successful smoke, there’s nothing more satisfying than making your first batch of house pickles. We started making these pickles about eight years ago, as soon as one of us had access to some garden space where we could grow vegetables. We were both terrible gardeners so pickling became a way of using gluts of odd-looking vegetables.

This is the basic recipe for the pickle slices that we eat with just about everything on a daily basis. Feel free to add your own spices and vegetables on your next batch, to create your own signature pickles.


Quantity Ingredient
5 cucumbers, sliced about 3–4mm thick
1 large onion, halved and sliced 3–4mm thick
1 tablespoons fine sea salt
2 fresh dill sprigs

For the pickling brine

Quantity Ingredient
250ml cider vinegar
200g soft light brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
5 cloves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt


  1. Combine the sliced cucumbers, onion, and salt in a colander set in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, to drain. The osmosis caused by the salt gives the pickles more crunch.
  2. Drain the vegetables and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Put back in the colander and allow to drain while you make the pickling brine.
  3. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a non-reactive pan. Set over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mustard and celery seeds, turmeric, chilli flakes, cloves and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the drained vegetables and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
  4. Put a sprig of dill in each sterilised jar (see recipe note), then using tongs, fill your jars with the vegetables. Slowly pour the hot brine over the vegetables in each jar, leaving 5cm space at the top. Poke the vegetables around with the handle of a wooden spoon, to dislodge any air bubbles.
  5. Wipe the rims with kitchen towel, seal with the lid and keep in the fridge for 1 month before eating. They will keep for 3 weeks once opened if stored in the fridge.

Why pickles and barbecue are the perfect couple

  • In the South, pickles are almost always served with barbecue. There’s something about a sweet, sharp or salty pickle that cleanses the palate and seems to aid digestion. They’re also the perfect contrasting flavour to rich, smoked meats. A little like eating that pickled ginger between mouthfuls of sushi. For us, if the only side served with barbecue were pickles, we’d be happy girls.

How to sterilise your jars

  • To sterilise jars, preheat the oven to 140°C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse them well. Place them upside down in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove carefully and turn them the right way up, being careful not to touch the insides. When done, immediately fill your sterilised jars as described above.
Deep South
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