There’s nothing quite like a big, juicy pickle to spice up a sandwich or salad – or hey, just to eat as a snack!
However, once you’ve eaten all of your crispy dill pickles, you’re left with a jar filled with brine. Most people just dump the brine down the drain, but that’s a waste of a perfectly good byproduct of the pickle-making process.
Rather than wasting that delicious brew, consider some of these awesome uses for pickle juice instead.
23 Uses for Pickle Juice
1. Make a Bloody Mary
One of the quintessential uses for pickle juice, a Bloody Mary is one of the most delicious ways to use up leftover pickle juice. If Bloody Marys aren’t your style, you can also make Picklebacks, which involves taking a shot of pickle juice after a shot of whiskey. Recipe with measurements at Bon Appetit here.
2. Re-make Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a family classic, but if you’re getting sick of the same old, same old, consider livening things up with a pickle mac and cheese. Add a dash to your favorite recipe.
3. Add Some Zest to a Marinade
If you’re making some pork chops, steak, or chicken, consider adding pickle juice to your marinade. It will not only liven up the meat but will help to tenderize it, too.
4. Use it as a Vinegar Substitute
In most cases, if a recipe calls for apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, you can use pickle juice instead. Just keep in mind that pickle juice also contains spices and herbs, so you will want to make sure those mesh well with your recipe of choice. It is great in barbeque sauce
and salad dressings!
5. Can Vegetables
You can brine all kinds of foods with pickle juice – and worst-case scenario, you can save your brine, boil it, and reuse it on another batch of pickles. You could also use it to can onions, carrots, beets, or even hard-boiled eggs or ginger.
6. Kill Weeds
Pickle juice contains a ton of vinegar and salt. Combined, the two can kill weeds by changing pH in the soil and essentially “burning up” those unwanted plants. Be careful using too much, though, as it can dramatically alter your pH and affect plants growing nearby (you know, the ones you actually want to grow).
If you’re worried about harming your plants with this method, simply mix at one part juice to twenty parts water. Dilution is the solution!
7. DIY Dill Pickle Butter
Dill pickle butter is a great way to add a savory flair to toast. Just whip up some butter in a stand mixer, ideally with some unique seasonings and ingredients mixed in.
8. Make Bread
Dill pickle bread might not be the first kind of bread you think of when you’re spending the day baking, but it’s delicious nonetheless. Also known as Jewish deli bread, this bread is leavened with yeast. Instead of warm water or milk as the liquid, you can use pickle juice instead.
9. Boil Potatoes
Sick of boiling your potatoes in plain old salted water? Use pickle juice! It will give your potatoes a nice tangy flavor, making it perfect for when you want to make potato salad.
10. Use it in a Cocktail
There’s nothing quite like a dirty martini – and if you don’t have any olive brine, a good dose of pickle juice should do the trick. All you need to do is mix two ounces of vodka or gin (your choice) with half an ounce of dry Vermouth. Give it a splash of pickle brine – less than an ounce will do.
The pickle juice will help bring a unique tartness to the beverage, while it will also lend a savory quality to the cocktail.
11. Make Deviled Eggs
Dill pickle deviled eggs? Yes, please! You can use it to boil your hard-boiled eggs.
12. Clean the Grill
Pickle juice can even help you clean your grill. Vinegar is highly acidic, so all you need to do is dab a bit of pickle juice on the grill and let it soak for a few minutes before wiping away the grime. It should melt right off!
13. Make Pickle Popsicles
Bear with us on this one! These Popsicles won’t be like your favorite bomb pops, but they will help fill the urge when you’re craving something sour, briny, and cold.
14. Drink it Post-Workout
Pickle juice is great for after a workout. The electrolytes will help you stay hydrated and energized, and some athletes even swear that pickle juice can help to relieve muscle cramps.
15. Clean Copper Pots and Pans
If you don’t want to drink your pickle juice straight, consider using it to clean up copper pots and pans. It will help clean all those hard-to-reach stains and spots without damaging the pans.
16. Make Poached Fish
You can really liven up the flavor of poached fish by cooking them in pickle brine.
17. Steam Vegetables
You can boil or steam your vegetables in a dill pickle brine to add zest and interest to your normal side dish.
18. Use it as a Cheese Marinade
If you really want to impress the guests at your next dinner party, consider making a marinade for your soft white cheese, like mozzarella. Just marinate the cheese in the juice and serve it with crusty bread and some veggies, like roasted red peppers.
19. Hangover Helper
Had one too many cocktails last night? Your body suffers from a hangover because it is dehydrated. You can ease your hangover with a one-ingredient remedy – pickle juice!
It will help to balance your electrolytes, replace sodium, and cover up the smell of alcohol that always seems to emanate after a long night out.
20. Add Some Zip and Zest to Creamy Dishes
Anything that calls for cream can really be livened up with a dash of pickle juice. From mashed potatoes to chowders, white sauce to…well, whatever your heart desires!…pickle juice can add a ton of flavor to an otherwise bland dish.
21. Make a Dill Pickle Soup
Dill pickle soup is great for those cold winter afternoons. Best served with sour cream, this soup can be served with bread and, of course, a few pickle slices on the side!
22. Increase Soil Acidity
We already mentioned how pickle juice can increase the acidity of your soil. If you’re growing plants like hydrangeas and rhododendrons, both of which thrive in acidic soil, that’s a godsend. Add pickle juice to increase the soil acidity quickly – but avoid pouring it directly on your plants.
23. Stop Hiccups
If you’re suffering from hiccups, consider drinking a few sips of pickle juice. It should stop your hiccups in their tracks!
Conclusion: use pickle juice instead of throwing it out
The next time you find yourself with an empty jar of pickle juice, consider these helpful homestead hacks. You won’t want to waste that miracle brine any longer!