Peel and pickle pearl onions to enjoy a lightly sweet, vinegary crunch on top of your burger or salad.


Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 12 hours 5 mins


  • 2 pounds pearl onions, peeled * see note
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups malt vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pickling spice *** see note
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 12-ounce mason jars with lids


1) Put the onions in a bowl and sprinkle the salt, mix to coat well.

2) Mix in salt and leave overnight. ** see note

3) Rinse the onions well and dry.

4) Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.

5) Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse well.

6) Place them on a baking sheet and allow them to dry in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

7) After 10 minutes, turn off the oven and leave them in there until you are ready to use them.

8) Add the onions to sterilized jars.

9) To a saucepan add the vinegar, sugar, pickling spices and bay leaves.

10) Heat over medium heat, but do not boil, until the sugar is dissolved. Do not breathe in fumes.

11) Pour the vinegar mix into a heat-proof jug and allow to cool.

12) Once cooled, pour the vinegar over the onions (until they are completely submerged) and seal the jars.

13) Store in a cool dry place for 3 to 4 weeks before eating. If the weather is warm, store in refrigerator.

14) Refrigerate after opening.

* To easily peel the onions, put them in a heat-proof bowl. Pour over boiling water and leave until cooled. They should peel easily by rubbing the skins in the water.
** Do not leave the onions longer than overnight or they won't be crisp
*** Premixed pickling spice can be found in the spice section of the grocery store.