Pickle juice? It's a pretty big dill. Never throw out a jar of pickle juice again with this exhaustive list of ways that you can reuse the liquid! You’ll be so amazed by the many uses for this salty solution that you’ll wonder why they don’t sell the pickle juice by itself already. Business idea, anyone?
We’ve all been there – you’ve just used up the last pickles swimming in the jar of pickle juice. Now you're standing in your kitchen holding the jar of juice asking yourself if you should dump it down the drain – but that just feels so wasteful. Don’t dump it! Pickle juice has SO many uses.
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We’ve come up with 15 genius ways to use leftover pickle juice in your home. You’ll be so pleased with the many uses for this unsung hero that you’ll be cheering the next time you’ve got an empty jar.
IS IT SAFE TO REUSE PICKLE JUICE?
The short answer is yes – with a caveat. Remember that when pickles are processed, they require a certain ratio of salt to vinegar in the brine to properly preserve the veggies. So, you shouldn't use leftover pickle juice to make a new batch of pickles. The brine won’t have the same salt to vinegar concentration that it originally had. Ewwww.
If you are going to take the time to make fresh homemade pickles, then go ahead and whip up some fresh brine. Other than that, there is no end to the ways that you can safely use leftover pickle juice.
RECIPE FOR AN EASY PICKLE JUICE
Are you starting from scratch? Wow. Ambitious, much? Here's a super easy and super yummy recipe for how to make pickle juice (brine).
Easy Pickle Juice Recipe
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar (plus extra 2 Tbsp for good measure)
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 whole clove
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ whole jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- ½ – 1 tsp dill (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Juice can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 1 month.
The obvious choice with this recipe would be to make traditional pickles with cucumbers. But we all love to mix things up now and again. We can't wait to hear about the non-traditional things that you will make with this salty brine!
CLEVER USES FOR PICKLE JUICE IN YOUR MAIN DISH
Pickle juice adds such an amazing depth to so many dishes. It’s incredibly versatile. You'll suddenly think of it as your salty secret weapon. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to serve it up.
- Make Refrigerator Quick Pickles – You CAN put raw or lightly blanched veggies such as onions, carrots, cauliflower, or beets in the leftover juice for quick pickles that will be consumed within a few days. Even better, use hard-boiled eggs! Simply drop them in the jar and refrigerate for about 24 hours before eating.
- Use It as a Brine or Marinade – Pickle juice can be added to any homemade marinade that calls for vinegar. It’s especially great with pork or steak.
- Give Your Tuna Something Special – Add some pickle juice to your next batch of tuna, chicken, egg, or potato salad for a delicious dill flavor.
- Grown-Up Mac & Cheese – Sneak some pickle juice into your next homemade mac & cheese. You’ll have a dish both kids and adults will applaud.
- Season Seafood – Dill is a commonly used flavor with seafood because it pairs SO WELL together. Use your brine to poach or braise fish and you’ll sing its praises.
- Add It to Soup – Pickle juice makes a great addition to soups like clam chowder, potato soup, borscht, or tomato soup.
- Straight with No Chaser – Is pickle juice good for you? It's a surprising secret weapon of many sports teams because it is a highly effective method for hydration when sipped straight or slightly diluted. Consider taking it along on your next hike or sports event.
APPETIZERS AND SIDES FEATURING PICKLE JUICE
Need a side dish or an appetizer with some zip? Here are a few clever ways to add pickle juice to really make your side shine.
- Make Bread – Make a YUMMY and savory homemade dill bread by substituting pickle juice for some of the liquid in your bread recipe.
- Super Sinful Deviled Eggs – Use a splash of the pickle juice to flavor your yolks to have party guests wondering why they taste so delicious.
- Marinate Soft Cheeses – Soft cheeses such as goat cheese, fresh mozzarella rounds, or even feta taste amazing after marinating in pickle juice. Give it a try!
- Take Store-Bought Condiments to the Next Level – Take those toppers from blah to brilliant by adding a splash of pickle juice to a tablespoon of sauce, mayo, or dressing.
- Give Potatoes Some Pop – Add pickle juice to the boiling water for your boiled potatoes to give the starchy veggie some depth.
Who else is blown away by the usefulness of pickle juice? We could have continued to count the ways we love it, but we'll save a few surprises for you to discover on your own.
NON-EDIBLE USES FOR PICKLE JUICE
If you REALLY want to go rogue, then take that pickle perfection to other areas of your home. Here are a few more clever suggestions for home hacks using pickle juice.
- Keep Weeds at Bay – Douse the weeds in your garden with pickle juice. Then, let out your best evil laugh as you watch them wither away in submission.
- Make Stubborn Copper Pans Shine – You know those amazing pans with copper bottoms we all love to cook with – but hate to clean? Just pour your leftover juice in a large bowl and set the pan inside to soak for about 15 minutes. It will come out looking so shiny and new that you’ll feel like you're in an infomercial.
- Clean That Dirty Cooktop – Chefs at many gourmet restaurants use leftover pickle juice as a chemical-free way to wipe down their still-warm cooktop after using. Simply pour leftover pickle juice on the cooktop and rub with a cloth or scouring pad that won’t scratch the surface. Then, rinse with clean water.
We’re so excited for you to try out the many ways to use this often wasted staple – and we’d love to hear if you have a favorite way to use it! Drop a comment below and share with us your favorite use for pickle juice.
For more smart hacks, check out the following posts:
- Check out these 35 cooking hacks that will rock your world.
- Learn how to use up leftover baby food.
- Need a substitute for chicken broth? Find one here.
Have a dilly of a day!