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How to Make Mustard Pickles - Great-Grandma's Recipe

Melissa Norris
This old-fashioned mustard pickle recipe is straight from Great-Grandma's kitchen and is delicious on sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and in salads. A must make when the summer bounty is on!
3.93 from 167 votes
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine America
Servings 4 pints (8 cups)


  • 6 cups washed and diced pickling cucumbers
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup canning/pickling salt
  • 8 cups water or enough to cover the cucumbers and onions for the salt water soak
  • 4 cups vinegar you can use apple cider or white vinegar but make sure it's 5% acidity
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar You can increase to 1 cup sugar if you prefer a sweeter flavor
  • 2 Tablespoons ClearJel® optional, but produces a thicker relish
  • 6 Tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons dry turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt you can use regular salt, but the celery salt adds to the flavor
  • ½ cup water


  • Place cucumbers and onions in a large stainless steel or glass bowl.
  • Mix 1 cup of pickling/canning salt with 8 cups of cold water (double this as needed if doing a larger batch of pickles). Pour over top of cucumbers and onions, add more cold water if necessary to cover the tops of the cucumbers. Use a clean plate and place on top of the cucumbers to keep them under the surface of the ice salt water.
  • Fill a pint sized Mason jar with water (use a lid) and set it on top of the plate to act as a weight. Let soak for 1 to 2 hours on the counter or put the bowl in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.
  • After soaking cucumbers and onions, pour out salt water and rinse thoroughly with cold water and allow cucumbers to drain.
  • Prepare water bath canner and begin warming the water.
  • In a large stainless steel pot, combine sugar, dry mustard and turmeric, celery salt, and ClearJel®, then pour in a ½ cup of water, whisking until combined and smooth. Pour in vinegar and bring to a full boil while stirring.
  • Once it’s reached a full boil, lower heat to a simmer and stir until it thickens up, then add the cucumbers and the onions and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil with the vegetables added, keep at a low boil and cook for 5 minutes, stir as needed.
  • In jars just washed in hot soapy water and rinsed, pack the relish/pickle mixture to a ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and add more product if needed to keep the ½ inch headspace. Clean the rim, put on lid and bands, and screw down to finger tip tight. Place filled jar into your water bath canner. Make sure at least 1 inch of water covers the top of the jars.
  • Bring water to a full boil, once water is boiling, process pints for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars sit in canner for 5 minutes. Then remove from canner and let cool and seal on a folded towel.



You may safely sub in zucchini in place of cucumbers in this recipe per Ball Book of Complete Home Canning.
You can use either apple cider or white vinegar, just make sure it says 5% acidity (no homemade apple cider vinegar for canning recipes)
You may increase the sugar to taste, Great-grandma's recipe only called for 4 Tablespoons sugar but if you prefer it sweeter you can add more sugar.
Keyword grandma's mustard pickles, how to make mustard pickles, mustard pickles
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