A Pickle Predicament! 39 Ways To Use Leftover Pickle Juice!

pickle juice

American households purchase pickles every 53 days…….More than 67 percent of all households eat pickles……..Americans consume more than 9 pounds of pickles per person annually.

That’s a whole lot of pickles….and pickle JUICE! But what to do with the juice once the pickles are gone? In the past I have always just poured it down the drain! *GASP* Little did I know how many different ways there are to “recycle” pickle juice! So I have mended my pickle juice-wasting ways and offer this list of ways to use leftover pickle juice for your consideration in doing the same.

Here are 39 ways to use every drop!


pickle juice

Vinegar Replacement
Pickle juice works in place of vinegar in salad dressing, soups, or virtually any recipe. It is basically just a souped-up version of vinegar.


pickle juice

Re-Pickle With It

  • Empty whatever leftovers you have in your vegetable drawer into a jar of leftover pickle juice. Let them sit for a few days and you have NEW PICKLES!
  • Place shredded or baby carrots into a jar of pickle juice for a tangy snack.
  • Slice some red onion very thinly and throw it in the pickle juice for perfect pickled onions! The “pickled” onions liven up turkey, chicken or ham sandwiches, as well as hamburgers.
  • Add cilantro and use the pickled carrots & onions as a topper for fajitas or tacos.
  • You can also pickle hard-boiled eggs in the leftover juice.


pickle juice

Meat & Poultry Tenderizer/Marinade

  • The acid in pickle juice acts as a tenderizer, resulting in super-succulent meats
  • Use it as a marinade for pork chops or steak. It will add a ton of flavor to your meats, without the extra calories in heavy sauces or marinades. Pickle juice, garlic, pepper, mustard mix to a thin paste, brush on meat. Leave for an hour up to overnight. BBQ, or broil. Works well for tougher cuts or wild meat.
  • You can also use pickle juice as a delicious marinade for chicken. Soak the chicken overnight in a resealable plastic bag and then cook on the grill. If it seems a little too strong, try adding a little milk to the marinade. Discard pickle juice when done.
  • Add garlic and your favorite spices and use it to baste ribs on the grill.


pickle juice

Potato Booster

  • Add pickle juice to a pot of boiled potatoes to give them a nice little zing.  The flavors absorb so perfectly you won’t feel the need to add as much salt, butter, sour cream, etc.
  • Soak potatoes in brine for 12 to 24 hours before you make french fries, etc. out of them.
  • Pickle liquid mixed in with mayonnaise can give a new twist to your favorite potato salad recipe.


pickle juice

Other Food Enhancers:

  • Liven up store-bought barbecue sauce by adding pickle juice to taste by the tablespoonful.
  • Try adding pickle juice to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
  • Marinate soft white cheese in it.
  • Mixed with a little beef broth it makes a great broth for Korean style cold noodles.
  • If you are a juicer, add a bit of brine to your vegetable juice.
  • Elevate boring hummus to something more spicy with a few dashes of the salty brine.
  • Use pickle juice to perk up boring poached fish! You will never go back.
  • Throw some pickle juice into your meatloaf mix along with all the other condiments in it!
  • Try making pickled watermelon rind. Take off the skin, and then drop the pieces into some pickle juice.
  • Make your own Utah Fry Sauce!


pickle juice

Pickle Bread
Make “Jewish Deli Bread.” Use brine as the liquid portion of your bread. It also makes a great soaking agent.



pickle juice

Pickle Soup
Combine pickle brine, heavy cream, and diced pickles. Serve with a pickle slice for garnish. Surprisingly delicious!


pickle juice

Photo from Amy Bayliss

Pickle Popsicles
Pour some of the salty brine into pop molds, paper cups, or ice-cube trays and make your own savory summer snack.


pickle juice

Pickle Snow Cones
In Texas, pickle juice is a popular flavoring to pour over shaved ice. hmmmmmmm.


pickle juice

Sour Libations

  • Put some pucker into your Bloody Mary with a tablespoon of pickle juice.
  • Bartenders claim pickle juice (referred to as a “pickleback shot”) is the perfect complement to whiskey, instantly soothing the taste buds and aftershock of a rough liquor.
  • Stir 1/8 cup dill pickle liquid into 12 ounces of your favorite beer and garnish with a pickle spear or baby dill. Even better with a “red beer” using tomato juice or a V-8 type.
  • Pickle juice is also a known folk remedy for hangovers. It replenishes your depleted sodium levels and helps to assist in rehydration.


pickle juice

Cleaning Agent
Make blackened copper pans sparkle by cleaning them with pickle juice. It also works well as a grill cleaner, making those charred bits much easier to scrape off.


pickle juice

In The Garden

  • The high vinegar and salt content of pickle juice makes it a great weed killer. Dump it on dandelions, thistle, pretty much any weeds that crop up around your home. Bonus, it’s pet-friendly!
  • Some plants, such as hydrangeas and rhododendrons, need an acidic soil in order to thrive. Pickle juice will help acidify the soil. Pour the juice into the soil around the plants, or pour into a compost pile. Pouring it directly on the plants could damage them. Add to the soil around acid-loving plants at least once per season.


pickle juice

In The Medicine Cabinet

  • Post-Workout Drink - In a 2010 study, pickle juice halted post-workout muscle cramps in 85 seconds. It is an effective way to replace lost electrolytes and sodium which can cause serious cramping and dehydration.
  • PMS Remedy - For those same reasons above, pickle juice is a helpful remedy for menstrual pain and cramping.
  • Heartburn Cure - When heartburn strikes, try taking a few sips of pickle juice. Like apple cider vinegar, the juice helps balance the pH in the stomach, calming acid reflux. If heartburn comes back after a while, try drinking a little more.
  • Laxative - Drink a glass of pickle juice as an all natural laxative.
  • Upset Stomach - Treat tummy troubles with pickle juice. It helps by aiding the digestive process. Save some pickle juice in a small container for “medicinal” purposes. You will be happy you did.
  • Hiccup Stopper - Many people claim that the number-one cure for hiccups is a small glass of pickle juice. Given how well it seems to works on everything else, I am inclined to believe it!


pickle juice



Have I left anything out?? What do YOU do with your leftover pickle juice?

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  1. Angela says

    Slowly sip a little pickle juice when you have a sore throat caused by sinus drainage. The vinegar cuts through the “yuck” to help clean your throat the same way cleaning your kitchen counter with vinegar works. Repeat as necessary. Sipping vinegar can also help prevent sicknesses you may have been recently exposed to since vinegar also kills bacteria.

  2. says

    I love this post, ever since I was a little girl I have been drinking pickle juice. Much to the chagrin of those around me, I was often told it was not good for me, well I see I was ahead of my time (I am in my forties) I will have to pass this on :-) Thank you Jillee, great read!!!!

    P.S. I have also made great dip with it by mixing it in with cream cheese and diced up pickles, great in a pinch to serve dip.

  3. Lynn says

    I’ve been pickling eggs for years! The large pickle jars will hold a dozen medium eggs nicely – don’t know about a dozen larger ones. I’ve always gone the safe route with the smaller ones. I almost hate to divulge my favorite use of pickle juice. It’s the secret ingredient in my chili (which I make with shredded, pressure-cooked top round rather than ground beef). I also make a Savory Slaw, which my family vastly prefers over traditional sweet Cole Slaw. The sauce is made from half mayo, half sour cream, and the vinegar is replaced with dill pickle juice. Add in finely minced bell pepper, celery, dill weed and chopped tomatoes. Salt & pepper to taste. Now folks, I’m talking about “real” dill pickle juice. None of that kosher or bread ‘n’ butter stuff here. Do you know about the remedy for a candy craving? Munch on a dill pickle! It erases that craving. I could go on and on about dill pickles, but I’ll give you a break :)

    • Carrol says

      Sorry, but I think you may be confused about Kosher pickles. Kosher pickles are as “real ” as any others. They happen to be my favorites. By the way, Kosher is a process involving cleanliness, & that means not just any pickle is Kosher.

  4. Mary says

    I use my pickle juice to make a simple chip dip. I use sour crean, dill weed, and thin it out with pickle juice. Reminds me of sour cream and onion flavor chips you buy only not as salty.

    I will have to try it for the ‘yuck’ in my throat. It will bw awesome to get rid of that…

  5. Tanya says

    This makes me a little sad that I used the bushel of cucumber I had to make relishes and didn’t can any pickles this year. Oh well, maybe someone will have a bumper crop I can get my hands on!

  6. says

    I like all these ideas except for the pickles popscicles- YOWZER- mega salt. Thank you for all the ideas. I often have extra brine for my home canned pickles so you gave me lots of ideas for that. I need to try the chicken marinade real soon.

  7. Ada Lovelace says

    I’ve always kept my leftover pickle juice. My husband doesn’t like pickles, so to get my pickle fix, I’ve used it in many of the ways you’ve suggested. He’s always frowned when I’ve poured it on the mashed potatoes in my plate. I’m so happy to know that there are other pickle juice lovers like me.

  8. donna says

    I pour leftover pickle juice into the crock pot over corned beef. Once done, serve on jewish rye or sourdough with thousand island, or spicy mustard, and saurkraut with a crispy pickle, and chips.

  9. Sue says

    I have always used pickle juice in my potato salad. People always rave about my potato salad. But I throw the rest of the juice away. Thanks for the extra ways to use it. One summer at vacation bible school we had pickle popsicles for the kids. Most of them loved it.

  10. Jude1 says

    WOW!…I am so glad I signed up for your daily tips…I love pickle juice, but often just “pour it down the drain” as you wrote above. Never again! Now I have to wait until the pickles are gone! Guess I’ll be eating more pickles than usual! THX Jillee!!! (can’t wait to see tomorrow’s!!!)

  11. Vivian says

    Years ago when I worked in a fastfood place they would use the pickle juice to mop the floors in the kitchen area. They had a lot. I find that my floors are really dirty,I have a husband in a wheelchair who tracks in everything. I use it to clean them up. They are tile not hard wood, and it works like a charm.

  12. Lisa W says

    My mom always saved her pickle juice and would make pickled brussel sprouts. Boil until still firm, cool, put in pickle jar with juice and cool. You could also do it with cauliflower and broccoli. Awesome.

  13. pearl purdy says

    I’ve always used pickle juice for various things in the kitchen and very seldom tossed any. Years ago I had a recipe for BBQ ribs (from my M-I-L) that called for sweet pickle juice; best BBQ ever. Cannot find that recipe; it’s been missing for years; can someone help me out?

  14. cty says

    You can make foot bath from it. The vinegar & salt ratio seems to be perfect for softening dry, cracked feet. I heard folks use it for plantar warts & minor fungi as well–but I think a Apple Cider Vinegar soak would be better.

    • Angie says

      That was going to be my comment as well! I love Pickle-tinis :)

      I use sweet pickle juice in lots of things such as potato, egg, or tuna salad, homemade BBQ sauce, and deviled eggs.

      I’ve never thought to use sour pickle juice for much more than drinking it. That’s gonna change!

    • says

      as a former dental hygienist, i urge you – DO NOT brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after ingesting anything with a high acidity level.

      the softened enamel created from the high acid in your mouth will be brushed away causing erosion of the enamel. this can create permanent damage if your are doing it on a regular basis. (the main point being if you are doing this on a regular basis.)

  15. Lauren says

    My husband once had a roommate that used pickle juice as a “chaser” when he drank moonshine.

    We tried to stop him or at least shame him into trying something else, but it was his go-to. 0_o

  16. Stephanie W says

    I love carrot medalions soaked in pickle juice. My mom said she had one craving when she was pregnant with me, PICKLE JUICE! I’m wondering now if it was to soothe her stomach. She had a lot of heartburn and my nonna told her that the baby would have a lot of hair and to drink a little pickle juice before bed. I did have a full head of dark silky hair. Those wives tales stick around for a reason. :)

  17. Yanet says

    I’ve always used it in my potato salad and people *love* my potato salad if I say so myself. ;)
    Especially great when you run out of pickles but still want that pickle flavor in your potato salad. I will definitely be trying some of these other suggestions. As always, a great post. Thanks!

  18. Jackie says

    Wow!! Thanks for all the ideas, I knew there had to be many other ways to use leftover pickle juice. One question, how much pickle juice do you use to marinate a whole cut-up chicken? Also, if it seems a little too strong, you mentioned to add a little milk, how much milk?


    • says

      You would just need enough pickle juice to cover the chicken. Marinades aren’t really an exact science ;) The amount of milk would vary with the amount of pickle juice you use. It would probably just be some trial and error to figure out how much you like to use.

  19. Donna says

    I like to pour boiling hot pickle juice over fresh jalapenos, let set till it cools off. Refrigerate and enjoy :)
    Another goody is: boiling jalapeno juice and pouring over pickles or sliced cucumbers and purple onions, let cool and refrigerate.
    AND sometimes I just drink it out of the pickle jar, cuz I love pickles and the juice! Lolol
    PS I live alone


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