Crisp Sweet Pickles in pint jar ready to seal

Crisp Sweet Pickle Recipe was first seen on Grumpy’s Honeybunch as Nanny’s 7 Day Sweet Pickles where I am an author.

This recipe for Crisp Sweet Pickles are a crunchy dark green pickle with a sweet and tangy vinegar bite. While it does take a full 7 days to make these pickles, it involves very little work. And, are super simple to make!

These 7-day pickles are a perfect addition to your relish tray, no matter what time of year it is. They go great next to a serving of Fried Cod Fish Sticks or just as a snack on their own!

Crisp Sweet Pickles in pint jar ready to seal

Crisp Sweet Pickle Making – A family tradition

My family has always processed their fruits and vegetables from their gardens. I remember my mom making my Aunt Bonnie’s Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe and how lovely the house smelled with all the vinegar, dill, and garlic in the air.

Mom didn’t make the Crisp Sweet Pickle recipe as my dad didn’t care for sweet pickles. But, my Grandmother would make them, and I’m happy she did! I remember being at Nanny’s house when she had her pickles in process in a ceramic crock. The pickling process was always very interesting to me!

Pickle Making FAQ’s

What is the best cucumber to use for making a crisp sweet pickle recipe?

The best cucumber is one grown specifically for pickling. The seed packet will indicate they are specifically for pickling. I like the Burpee Pick-a-Bushel brand.

How are Crisp Sweet Pickles different from Bread and Butter Pickles?

The biggest difference between these two sweet pickle recipes is the method used to pickle them. Crisp Sweet Pickles are not cooked on the stove top, whereas Bread and Butter Pickles are brought to a simmer then sealed, without the 7 day fermentation process.

Why do you soak cucumbers in water before processing your crisp sweet pickle recipe?

Soaking your cucumbers in water helps to ensure their freshness and helps to improve their texture and flavor.

Do you have to refrigerate crisp sweet pickles in the refrigerator once they have been packed in jars?

There is no need to refrigerate them once they have been jarred. You can place a jar in the refrigerator to make them cold before consumption and once opened I always store the jar in the refrigerator until that jar is emptied.

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How to make crisp sweet pickles

To start, wash the cucumbers, removing any dirt and debris they may have once removed from the garden. Once washed, you can trim and slice the cucumbers.

(Please refer to the recipe card for complete instructions)

thick cucumber slices on a white cutting board

You will need a gallon sized, food safe jar for fermenting the pickles. Place the cucumber slices in the jar and cover in boiling water. Next, they will sit undisturbed for 24 hours. You can cover the pickles but they do not have to be sealed shut tight. This is mainly to protect anything from getting in the jar.

sliced pickles in crock before pouring boiling water over them

On the second day, drain the water on the cucumbers and cover them with fresh boiling water. Next, on the third day, add the powdered alum to the cucumbers before adding the boiling water. The powdered alum is to help keep the pickles crisp and if it is skipped, your pickles will not be as crispy as they would be with it.

On the fourth day, drain the pickles and add the spice packet to the jar. Next, bring the cider vinegar and pour it over the cucumbers. After they are covered with vinegar, they will sit undisturbed until the seventh day!

Crisp Sweet Pickle Recipe

On the last day, the pickles are drained and pickling spices are removed. Reserve the pickling vinegar to cover the pickles in the jar at the end of the process.

Transfer the pickles to a large non-reactive (no metal) mixing bowl stir in the sugar. The sugar and pickle mixture will sit undisturbed for 2 hours. During this time, the sugar will dissolve and there will be a little syrup in the bowl with the pickles.

Add the pickles with some of the syrup to the sterilized jars and cover them with vinegar solution. Cover with a sterilized seal and cap. Set the hot jars on a thick towel and cover with another towel to prevent drafts. As the pickles cool down, they will make a pop noise which means it has sealed. To test to see if the jar is sealed, touch the center of the seal. If it pops in and out, it is not sealed.

If your jar does not seal, you can either store it in the refrigerator or process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Some may feel safer processing them for 10 minutes in a hot water bath in a canner.

Tips for Crisp Sweet Pickle Recipe

  • Be sure the cucumbers you use to make pickles are freshly picked and avoid using supermarket produce. Many times cucumbers bought in the supermarket have had a wax coating put on them.
  • Remove the flower end of the cucumber. That part of the cucumber contains an enzyme that can cause your pickles to soften.
  • Always use pickling salt for making pickles. Pickling Salt does not have the anti-caking ingredient table salt has in it. And, it has fine granules that make it break down and dissolve easier.
  • For safety sake, do not skip the sterilization of jars!
pinnable image of pickles in processing jar

Try my Aunt Bonnie’s Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe!

Crisp Sweet Pickles in pint jar ready to seal

Crisp Sweet Pickle Recipe

Prep Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days

Sweet and tangy homemade pickles made in a crock over a 7 day time frame.



  1. Day 1: Clean cucumbers and soak in ice cold water bath for 30 minutes. Drain cucumbers, trim ends, then cut into thick chunks. Pack cucumbers in a gallon sized food safe jar. Cover with boiling water. Let sit 24 hours.
  2. Day 2: Drain water from cucumber slices. Add salt. Pour boiling water over top of cucumbers and salt. Cover and let sit 24 hours.
  3. Day 3: Drain cucumbers. Add alum. Pour boiling water over cucumbers to cover. Cover and let sit 24 hours.
  4. Day 4: Drain cucumbers. Place pickling spice in cheesecloth tied with string to form purse. Place in jar with cucumbers. Bring cider vinegar to a boil. Pour over cucumbers.
  5. Day 5 and Day 6: Do nothing.
  6. Day 7: Drain cucumbers reserving juice. Remove cheesecloth with pickling spices and discard. Place cucumbers in large mixing bowl. Pour sugar over top of cucumbers and toss to coat. Let sit at least 2 hours.
  7. Heat reserved cucumber juice until scalding. Pack pickles into hot sterilized jars. Pour hot cucumber juice over top of pickles. Cover and seal.

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and Harvesting. Written by Shelby Law Ruttan, author and owner of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, she (Honeybunch) and Phil (Grumpy) have come together in a joint effort to share their knowledge and experience from the woods, to the garden, to the table.


  1. Claudia Lamascolo May 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    your site is beautiful Congratulations

    • Shelby Law Ruttan May 16, 2019 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Thank you Claudia! I am very happy with it and look forward to adding much more! Thanks for checking it out!

      • Brenda July 23, 2020 at 10:05 pm - Reply

        Please say that you should add salt on the second day in the directions above the recipe. I was following those directions and missed adding salt. I’m now on day four. I’ve added vinegar and spices. What should I do?

        • Shelby Law Ruttan July 24, 2020 at 4:42 am - Reply

          Hi Brenda, I will add it to the body of the post, however, the recipe card is the complete full instructions and is what should be followed. I’m sorry you missed the salt. You can still add the salt and I would do it now.

  2. val September 23, 2019 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I forgot the salt on day 2 & didn’t notice until after I rinsed and put alum & boiling water on them on day 3. Did I wreck my batch? 😢

    • Shelby Law Ruttan September 26, 2019 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      I think the recipe is pretty forgiving, so you should be ok.

  3. John Graham October 4, 2019 at 11:32 am - Reply

    I do not like the taste of vinegar. Is it possible to cut way down on the amount of vinegar called for in this recipe?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan October 4, 2019 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Hi John, I don’t recommend it. First off, you will need the vinegar solution as the brine to cover the pickles when you can them. If you cut it down, you won’t have enough brine. This recipe does call for apple cider vinegar, which is not as strong as white vinegar. Also, I don’t feel the vinegar is strong in this recipe. The sugar really tones down the pucker effect of vinegar. The vinegar is needed for the pickling process. How much you use probably wouldn’t affect how it tasted anyway as the cucumbers will absorb all the flavors they are being pickled with. Good luck!

      • John Graham October 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm - Reply

        Thanks Shelby. I will stick to the recipe and I’m sure it will turn out great.

  4. Kathryn November 9, 2019 at 10:36 am - Reply

    If you use white vinegar, is it an even substitution?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan November 9, 2019 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Hi Kathryn, yes, you can substitute white vinegar evenly.

  5. Melanie Parnell April 21, 2020 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Can you alter this to make sour pickles? Or just sweet?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan April 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Melanie, I’m not sure how it would work to leave out the sweetener. I would probably try to find a different pickle recipe. I do link to a Garlic Dill Pickle recipe in this post that is on my other website. It is a family favorite. You might like that one better than this one if you don’t want a sweet pickle.

      • Pam July 26, 2020 at 1:56 pm - Reply

        You mention that you have a link to a Garlic Dill Pickle recipe in this post but I cannot find it. Would you put in a comment here to make it more obvious for me?

        • Shelby Law Ruttan July 26, 2020 at 9:05 pm - Reply

          Hi Pam, you can find the link to the recipe just above the recipe card in this post and at the beginning of the post. It’s called Aunt Bonnie’s Garlic Dill Pickle. I also emailed the link to you. Thanks! Shelby

          • Pam July 26, 2020 at 10:43 pm

            Thanks Shelby! I totally missed it!

          • Shelby Law Ruttan July 27, 2020 at 6:15 am

            Your welcome!

  6. Kimberly June 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    So no hot water bath after they are in the jars?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan June 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      No hot water bath. These pickles are packed these in hot sterile jars with hot syrup. We do not hot water bath these pickles.

  7. Kathryn June 9, 2020 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    My mother-in-law seemed to have a recipe where she made a solution with the sugar and vinegar and used that for canning. Have you ever tried that method rather than covering the pickles with sugar in a bowl? How do you ensure the sugar is even between the jars of pickles?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan June 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Kathryn, the sugar dissolves over the two hour time frame and becomes a syrup. The syrup is poured over top of the pickles in the jar, then stored in the fridge. I have brought the syrup to a boil and poured it over the pickles in the hot sterile jars then covered. Often times the jars will seal when doing so and I will store them on the pantry shelf.

      • Donna Thomas July 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm - Reply

        What is the shelf life of this recipe since there is no water bath ?

        • Shelby Law Ruttan July 2, 2020 at 6:42 am - Reply

          These are hot packed. They should be good as long as your jar has a seal. If the jar does not seal, they should be refrigerated.

        • Janet Cook July 28, 2020 at 10:33 am - Reply

          Hi Shelby!
          I put my cukes down yesterday, then realized I only have “Pickle Crisp”, not alum. Will I be able to make a substitution with this?

          • Shelby Law Ruttan July 28, 2020 at 12:10 pm

            Hi Janet, I think you probably can use pickle crisp. I have no experience with it myself but I have done a bit of research on it and think it should work fine. You should read what your container tells you about how to use it in pickles. I think it will tell you to put a certain amount per jar in the pickles. If that is the case, I would add it when the pickles are added to the jar on the last day. Shelby

  8. JAN June 17, 2020 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    On day 7 what do you do with the sugar syrup after you pack the pickles in the jar? Do you pour it into the jars with the pickles or do you add it to the brine and boil?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan June 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Jan, I apologize that portion of the instruction was not clear. On the last day, after the pickles have been soaking for a couple of hours, the sugar should be dissolved. The syrup will be poured over top of the pickles once they are packed into the jars. If you run out of liquid, some of the reserved vinegar liquid can be poured over top to completely cover. These pickles are stored in the fridge and will not need the syrup to be heated. However, if your more comfortable doing so, you can heat the syrup and pour it over the pickles. After discussing this with my Aunt, who has made this recipes for years, she indicated that she stores them on shelves after hotpacking and has done so for years.

      • Amber July 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm - Reply

        This is still not clear, do you add the sugar to the vinegar and boil or just boil the sugar? So they will not can and seal for storage? Thank you.

        • Shelby Law Ruttan July 28, 2020 at 9:18 am - Reply

          The vinegar is reserved and the sugar is stirred into the pickles. They need to set for two hours and in that time, the sugar will dissolve. There will not be a lot of liquid on the pickles but they are wet enough to dissolve the sugar. The pickles with the a little bit of the sugar liquid is packed into a sterilized hot jar and boiling vinegar solution is poured over them. Then place the sterilized seal and lid on the pickles. I always place mine on the counter with a towel over top to prevent drafts from hitting a hot jar. You should hear them pop and seal as they cool down. Anything that does not seal needs to be refrigerated or process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. I hope this helps. I will update my post to try and make sure it is clearer. Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions. Thank you. Shelby

  9. Mar June 22, 2020 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Wonder if you don’t have a gallon jar can I use a big glass bowl?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan June 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Mar, as long as your bowl is at least 1 gallon in size and can be covered.

  10. GeorgAnn M Vohsen July 19, 2020 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Do you have another sweet pickle recipe that doesn’t take 7 days?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 22, 2020 at 6:01 am - Reply

      Hi GeorgAnn, not at this time, but I will have in a few weeks time.

  11. Darlene July 20, 2020 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    When you say to cover the jar (on the first day) do you seal the jar tight with a lid? Or is it lightly covered where it can breathe?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 22, 2020 at 6:15 am - Reply

      Hi Darlene, in step one you are to cover the cukes with boiling water. it is not necessary to cover and seal the jar tight. I cover with a towel or the lid to prevent anything from getting into the jar. Thank you!

  12. Gayle July 22, 2020 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Can I use pickle crisp in place of alum?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 23, 2020 at 7:39 am - Reply

      Hi Gayle, I have not used pickle crisp myself so I do not know how it would work. The alum I am recommending in this post is Potassium Alum which is made for pickling.

  13. Gayle July 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks. I put my cucumbers in yesterday. I will need to buy alum today. I have some that is in the little white spice jar that I used a couple of yrs ago for dill pickles, but it is probably lost its strength by now. Is that the same alum you are talking about?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 23, 2020 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      The alum might still be fine that you have. The alum I have is more than a couple years old. I only use it for pickling and it still has worked fine for me. That part is up to you though. The alum I use is McCormick. I have linked to it in the blog post. Good luck!

  14. Lea Ann Smullin July 24, 2020 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Help!!! I thought I picked up Alum but apparently grabbed Apple Pie Spice. What and how much of something can I replace it with

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 25, 2020 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Hi Lea Ann, I personally have never used a substitute. I did a search to see what you could use in its place and there really isn’t anything I can find. Since it is going through a fermentation process, the pickles can become soft and alum is used to help keep the pickle crisp. I can’t think of anything you could have on hand to replace it in pickling. The internet offers up Calcium Chloride, which is probably an ingredient many people don’t have in their home as well. I recommend getting the alum if you can do so. Shelby

  15. Allison Guenther July 25, 2020 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I was wondering how many jars this recipe makes. And what size jars?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 26, 2020 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Hi Allision, you should get approximately 5 quarts of pickles.

  16. Kelly Resnick July 26, 2020 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    During the 7 day process, do you have to use a glass container? Can it be metal or plastic?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      You need to use a non reactive container, so I would not use metal. Plastic or a ceramic crock should be ok.

  17. Marilyn July 27, 2020 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I ruined mine! I did not see to pour the syrup on in time. Can I open them and add syrup I made? (I already discarded the syrup.)It was a 1/2 batch which was about 3/4 quart syrup. I grew the cucumbers!!!!

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 27, 2020 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Marilyn, I would try to save them and add syrup, I just would keep them in the fridge after you do so for safety sake. I hope it works out for you, I am sorry that happened to you!

  18. Marilyn July 27, 2020 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I mean I did not pour the syrup on at all!

  19. Marilyn July 27, 2020 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I am beside myself!

  20. Marilyn July 27, 2020 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Not to worry. I just unsealed them and re-coated with slightly less sugar and I will re-can them. I added cinnamon sticks. It should be fabulous!

  21. Regina July 29, 2020 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I’m very confused I used 10lbs of sliced cucumbers I feel very certain I will have more than 5 quarts when done. What have I done wrong and what should I do? Please help I’ve finished my second day and would hate to loose this whole batch. This is my first attempt and I’m feeling a little lost.

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 30, 2020 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Regina, If you think you followed the recipe correctly, then you will be fine. I don’t think you will lose your whole batch. You are only on day two and the cucumbers will shrink up some also as they sit. They are 95% water so they will release water and shrink. Let me know how they turned out. I think you should be fine. Shelby

      • Lili July 30, 2020 at 10:51 pm - Reply

        So I used table salt instead of pickling salt. And after I boiled 6 cups of vinegar it doesn’t cover my pickles. Only about half. Now what?

        • Shelby Law Ruttan July 31, 2020 at 6:03 am - Reply

          Hi Lili, table salt will give it a salty flavor, but, it will not do what pickling salt does which is to help keep them crisp and give them flavor. It will still be ok to eat, but just be aware that your end result will not be the same. If you used the alum, your pickles will probably still be crisp. I’ve never used table salt in this recipe myself. 6 cups of vinegar should have covered the pickles, but if it didn’t, I would just add more boiling vinegar to cover them. Shelby

          • Shelby Law Ruttan July 31, 2020 at 6:14 am

            Hi Lili, my apologies, I first thought this comment was on a dill pickle recipe I have – the table salt will probably be ok, but if you were to make it again, I would highly recommend the pickling salt as it is made for pickling.

  22. Allison July 30, 2020 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Hi! I am on day 4 and I am boiling the apple cider vinegar now. I have a question. I remember my great grandmothers pickles having the spices in them. Will this happen with using the cheesecloth. And 1/4 cup of spices doesn’t seem like a lot. I am sure you know what you are talking about… but just making sure!

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 31, 2020 at 6:10 am - Reply

      Yes, the spice flavor should still be there. The flavor will to soak in over the time it is in the pickle mixture. However, if you desire, leaving the spices in won’t hurt, just remove the cheesecloth 🙂 Shelby

  23. Allison July 30, 2020 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Ok. Hang on a minute. I just saw where are you are supposed to use pickling salt and used regular salt. Now what? And I boiled 6 cups of vinegar and it isn’t covering my pickles. What should I do?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan July 31, 2020 at 6:12 am - Reply

      I don’t think using regular salt will hurt, but pickling salt is made for pickling and I highly recommend using it if you make these again. If you don’t have enough vinegar, it is ok to add more boiling vinegar to cover. Shelby

  24. Debbie Stadler August 1, 2020 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    I have my great grand mother’s recipe for 7 day pickles. It is very similar to your recipe except that the cucumbers are left whole for three days. On the 4th day the ends are removed, cut in half lengthwise and alum added. Today is day four for our pickles. We cut the cucumbers and found that many had become hollow. They were fresh picked, solid cucumbers to begin with. Can you tell us why this happened? Once in a great while this would happen to my great grandma. My mom and I cannot remember her explanation. Thanks for your help.

    • Shelby Law Ruttan August 2, 2020 at 7:04 am - Reply

      Hi Debbie, the most common reason for hollow pickles in your case (where they are fresh picked solid cucumbers to start) is improper curing and brine strength. And, since your cucumbers are left whole to start, they could have been too large for the brine to penetrate through the core properly. I hope this helped. Shelby

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Shelby I'm Shelby, author of Honeybunch Hunts. I love hunting, homesteading, and harvesting and am sharing my experiences and recipes with you! I hope you will join my journey and find something you will love! Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and... read more

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