Table of Contents
  1. There are two types of pickles
  2. What type of pickle are mustard pickles?
  3. Watch how to make these mustard pickles:
  4. How to Make Mustard Pickles Recipe

I have never said no to a pickle. I earn that honestly from my Grandma Conrad. She loved pickles and would always make a “pickle plate” for any event. Her plates of pickles were not just a dill or bread and butter. No, they included sweet, lime, cinnamon, and other various pickled vegetables. Her attention to detail always impressed me. If I would swing by during cucumber season, her house always smelled of a sweet and tangy brine. Upon walking in, she would immediately ask me to taste a few different pickles and give my thoughts. Sometimes, the only change was a teaspoon or two of salt. To her, that could make all the difference in the balance of a good pickle. She was right.

There are two types of pickles

Let’s go over the two types of pickles and what defines each one:

  • Canned pickles are often made with slices or spears of raw cucumber packed into canning jars with a hot vinegar brine poured over the top. Sealing lids and rings are added, followed by a variable amount of cooking time in a hot water bath. After a few weeks, they’re ready to eat and are shelf-stable for at least one year.
  • Fermented pickles are an earlier form of preserving. The cucumbers are cleaned, often soaked in salt water for 24 hours, and then placed in a crock or fermentation vessel. It’s important to note that no vinegar is used in fermentation. A brine of water, salt, spices, and sugar (at times) is poured on top of the cucumbers. Over the coming days, the cucumbers ferment with the brine and create flavor. The brine needs to completely cover the cucumbers to prevent spoilage. After a certain amount of days, when the pickles gain the desired flavor, they’re jarred up and kept in the refrigerator in a stable state for at least one year.

What type of pickle are mustard pickles?

These mustard pickles are a fermented pickle. Classic pickling spices flavor the brine with an added boost of mustard powder. Now, it’s not a strong or astringent mustard flavor. Nope, just the right amount of balance, which Grandma tested and perfected over her years of experimentation.

The unique part of this recipe is the sugar added daily for eight days, making these an eight-day pickle. The sugar sweetens these, but not to the point that you would assume. Instead of becoming a sweet pickle, much of the sugar is “eaten” in the fermentation process by good bacteria in the brine.

The result is a perfectly balanced pickle with an amazing sweet and tangy flavor.

Watch how to make these mustard pickles:

YouTube video
Top down view of yellow and green colored pickles sitting in a wire spider on top of a large crock holding other pickles

How to Make Mustard Pickles

4.69 from 19 votes
With a crisp exterior and a semi-sweet interior, these mustard pickles are incredibly delicious! They're an eight-day pickle that hardly requires any work at all!
Servings 5 quarts


  • 5 lb small cucumbers (1" to 3" in length) cleaned
  • 1 gal water
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 4 cups sugar separated

For the brine

  • ½ gal vinegar
  • 4 tbsp ground mustard
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp canning salt
  • 2 tbsp pickling spices


  • Mix together the water and salt until the salt is dissolved. Pour the water mixture over the cucumbers. Weigh down with a plate to ensure all cucumbers are covered. Soak for 24 hours.
    5 lb small cucumbers (1" to 3" in length), 1 gal water, 1 cup canning salt
  • After 24 hours, remove cucumbers from soaking liquid and rinse.
  • Place in a large 3- to 4-gallon crock or glass container.
  • Prepare the brine.

For the brine

  • Combine the vinegar, ground mustard, sugar, salt, and pickling spices. Stir to combine and dissolve sugar and salt.
    ½ gal vinegar, 4 tbsp ground mustard, 4 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp canning salt, 2 tbsp pickling spices
  • Pour over the prepared cucumbers.
  • Weigh down the cucumbers with a plate and jar of water to ensure all cucumbers are covered with liquid.

For next 8 days

  • Daily, remove the pickles and add ½ cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved in the liquid. Return the pickles to the liquid and weigh them down.
    4 cups sugar
  • After the 8th day, leave the pickles in the crock for 1 week.
  • Put the pickles in quart jars. Strain the brine and pour over pickles in jars, covering pickles. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.
Course Preserving
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Canning

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you! I’ve been looking for how to make these pickles for years. My mom made them every year and they are my all time fav! We would keep the crock on the counter until they were gone. Your crock looks just like my Mom’s. Again, thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    Is it common for the pickles to be cloudy toward the top? Mine are kinda gunky at the top on day 4 but they still smell awesome.

  3. I’m finally subscribing. I’m originally from Illinois. But live in Michigan. So, I relate to a lot you talk about.
    So happy you’re Sharing pickle recipes.
    Love to follow the “Kip” stories too.
    Thanks for being a positive model in my Instagram world. If you ever get to West Michigan, I would love to show you around.

  4. 5 stars
    I love to watch you. However I’m rather lazy at 69 yrs after watching my daughters 9 yr old twins. So could you give me a quick and easy pickling beet recipe

  5. Would love to know where to buy the cucumber seed you used in the mustard pickles. Enjoy watching you can as I love too

  6. Hello,
    I just discovered your site and already loving it.
    Question; can is use pickles cut as spears to make the mustard pickles?

    Thank you

  7. Hi Kaleb, I am on day 4 of your mustard pickle recipe but I have a few question.
    1. Some of the cukes, which are 4″, feel a bit soft. Is that normal?
    2. If they are soft now, will they eventually crisp up in the fridge?
    3. Would it be okay to leave them in the crock past the last 8 days for an extended week before putting them in jars?

    1. Hello!I know what you mean, larger cucumbers will get slightly shriveled and can seem soft but once they spend time in the fridge yes they are still crisp!also you can easily leave them in the crock a few weeks after making them!

  8. Hey Kaleb,
    The written instructions say to leave the mustard pickles in the crock for an additional week after the 8th day sugar addition but your video doesn’t mention that. I’m only on my first addition of sugar but trying to plan for the end. Can’t wait to try these mustard pickles!!

    1. Hello! Honestly the pickles can be finished either way. I sometimes leave them in the crock a couple weeks and sometimes pack them in jars right away! Hope you love them too!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m at day 4 and my pickles look shriveled and soft. They smell great but yours looked crisp. I only did 3 lbs of cucumbers but I “mathed” the recipe to match the amount. Any suggestions?

  10. 3 stars
    These were fun to make and taste pretty good. Doesn’t the fermentation stop after you replace the water brine on day one with the vinegar brine on day 2 thru 9? So is it a truly fermented pickle?

    One big negative for me is that the pickling liquid is so cloudy that the aesthetics of the pickles in the jar when all finished are not good. Does not look appetizing.

    For the effort and handling required I prefer refrigerator pickles using sliced pickles and onions, mustard and celery seed, sugar,salt and vinegar. One week in the fridge and they are good to go. And crunchy and beautiful in the jars.

    Thanks Caleb!

  11. 5 stars
    I want to try these. What type of cucumber bush should I plant. I have 4 raised planters each 4 x 8 ft 2 get potatoes because I love them & my not so green thumb can grow them LOL My mom had the green thumb & I miss her to pieces since she passed in 2006. My other 2 planters i try to grow carrots & lettuce without much success. Both turn out bitter. tomatoes also fail me. Green beans I can grow 🙂 Love your cooking & everything you do. You have me eating squash which I have hated all my life. Keep at it you are amazing, so full of life & happiness.

  12. 5 stars
    These pickles are delicious! They are my new favorite and by the looks of the amount that was eaten during the holiday they hit the mark for many. I made 2 batches this summer and it looks like I will be making 3 for next year. I may have to buy a refrigerator just for Mustard Pickles! Kaleb, thank you for sharing your family recipes.

  13. 5 stars
    I first made a half batch of these pickles last year based on my love of Maine mustard pickles. These are even better. By the middle of the winter I was hoarding the remaining pickles and when they were gone I started dreaming about them. Making multiple batches this summer so I can give a few jars away. Maybe.

  14. I look forward often to your videos, recipes, and gardening tips. I may just have to try these mustard pickles. They sound delicious.
    Glad you are doing this. It is interesting. I seem to learn something new almost every video.

  15. I love your ideas and recipes and design you have. Most of all I am a dog lover and I love Kip…🐶🐾. I have a had time putting things together for design so watching you makes it so beautiful.

  16. 5 stars
    I haven’t canned or made pickles in years, but this one really pulls me back into wanting to try and make them!
    Love you 😍 you inspire me

  17. Hi,
    I was so excited to try this recipe, my pickles turned very soft, I still put them in jars & am now wondering if they will crisp up & are they safe to eat?
    Would love to hear from you!

    1. Hi Joy!

      I am so glad you made these pickles! They are soft at room temperature when made in a crock. Like all home-canned or fermented pickles, the texture is softer at room temperature. Once they are jarred and stored in the fridge, they have more of a crisp-like texture. The softness has nothing to do with safety they are just fine!

  18. 5 stars
    I have terrific memories of my sister and I as young girls sneaking into the basement to steal a few of these pickles out of the crock. I have been searching for a mustard pickle recipe for years but have only found the pickled vegetables with turmeric recipe, until now. I am 3/4 through the recipe process and am ready to jar them in a few days…I am still sneaking them from the crock just as I did as a young girl. These are perfect and so, so delicious. I am so thrilled I came across this recipe. I was concerned about the amount of sugar at first but I “trusted the recipe” and it worked out great. Thanks so much.

  19. Hi. I have been enjoying your videos for the past few years now. Just bought a farm a property. Enjoying you landscaping, gardening and cooking tips. What size pickling container do you use. Also instead of a plate you can buy the weights and lid . I found some on Amazon and Walmart surprisingly . I have been searching all my local antique stores

  20. I so want to taste these but am afraid I won’t like them and be stuck with jars or em. I have a small crock and am going to make a 1/4,recipe. All timing will be the same.

    1. Hi Mary! It sounds like you did everything perfectly! The pickles do look wrinkled when they are finished with the eight day process, especially because they are fermented at room temperature. Once they are stored in the refrigerator they have a great crisp texture. Of course, this can be dependent, sometimes, on the variety of cucumber as each can preform differently. The brine should be cloudy. Mine always is. That is from the mustard powder and the fermentation process!

  21. 5 stars
    These taste like “home” to me. I’m living in England and many of the pickles here are in the sweet side and it’s hard to find a nicely balanced tart with a hint of sweetness pickle. These go great in sandwiches and a burger in addition to any other possibilities you can think of. I’ve made these for two years now and will continue. Thanks Kaleb for being true to your heritage with your family recipes.