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Publication #FCS8245

Pickled or Non-Fermented Foods: Quick Sweet Pickles 1

United States Department of Agriculture, Extension Service2

Quick Sweet Pickles

May be canned as either strips or slices.
8 lbs of 3- to 4-inch pickling cucumbers
1/3 cup canning or pickling salt
4-1/2 cups sugar
3-1/2 cups vinegar (5 percent)
2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp whole allspice
2 tbsp mustard seed
1 cup pickling lime (optional)

Yield: About 7 to 9 pints

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4 inch of stem attached. Slice or cut in strips, if desired. Place in bowl and sprinkle with 1/3 cup salt. Cover with 2 inches of crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Add more ice as needed. Drain well.

Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, allspice, and mustard seed in 6-quart kettle. Heat to boiling.

Hot pack -- Add cucumbers and heat slowly until vinegar solution returns to boil. Stir occasionally to make sure mixture heats evenly. Fill sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. For more information see "Jars and Lids," (FCS 8255).

Raw pack -- Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Add hot pickling syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Variation for firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Slice or strip cucumbers. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamel-ware container. Caution: Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices or strips in lime water solution for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution and rinse and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and resoaking two more times. Handle carefully because slices or strips will be brittle. Drain well.

Storage: After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.

Variation: Add 2 slices of raw whole onion to each jar before filling with cucumbers.


Table 1. 

Recommended process time for quick sweet pickles in a boiling-water canner.


Process Time at Altitudes of

Style of Pack


0-1,000 ft


Above-6,000 ft


Pints or Quarts

5 min












*After the process is complete, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait five minutes before removing jars.



This document is Fact Sheet FCS 8245, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication date May 2003. Revised August 2005. Reviewed January 2014. This document was extracted from the Complete Guide to Home Canning, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. Please visit the EDIS website at


Reviewed for use in Florida by Amy Simonne, assistant professor, Food Safety and Quality, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.