Uses For Pickle Juice: 7 Unexpected Things You Can Do With Pickle Juice

Pickle Juice

Did you know that more than 67% of all American households eat pickles regularly? And that those same households purchase pickles every 53 days, on average? That means that every other month or so, the average household has to decide what to do with the pickle juice in the bottom of their empty pickle jar. Today I’m here to tell you to hang on to that juice! Because it turns out that there are actually a surprising amount of things you can do with your leftover pickle juice!

7 Surprising Uses For Pickle Juice

Pickle Juice

1. Vinegar Replacement

You can use pickle juice in almost any recipe that calls for vinegar. Try using it in salad dressings, soups, coleslaws, and more. Pickle juice adds an extra boost of flavor to anything you put it in!

Pickle Juice

2. Make More Pickled Food

Toss a handful of baby carrots or shredded carrots in there and let it sit in your fridge for a few days. The pickled carrots make a deliciously tangy snack!

Another option delicious option would be using thinly sliced red onions, plus a few sprigs of cilantro for an extra pop of flavor. These quick pickled onions would be perfect as a topping for salads, sandwiches, or tacos!

You can also put a few peeled hard-boiled eggs in pickle juice to make pickled eggs! (Again, just leave them in the fridge for a few days to let the pickle juice work its magic.)

Pickle Juice

3. Marinade & Meat Tenderizer

Salty, tangy pickle juice makes a great marinade for meat. You can also use it to tenderize tougher cuts! For a marinade that’s perfect for pork or steak, whisk together some pickle juice, minced garlic, pepper, and mustard. Brush the mixture on the pork or steak, then let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight. Grill or roast the meat for a tender and flavorful meal!

You can also use pickle juice to marinate chicken. Place your chicken in a ziplock bag and pour in some pickle juice. (Add a splash of milk too for a more toned-down pickle flavor.) Let the chicken marinate overnight, then grill to your liking.

You can also use pickle juice as a basting mixture while you grill. Just add some minced garlic and your favorite spices to some pickle juice, then spoon it over your meat as it cooks. Yum!

pickle juice

4. Health Drink

As strange as it sounds, there are plenty of good reasons to drink your leftover pickle juice! Here are just a few of the situations where drinking pickle juice could be helpful:

  • Post-Workout Drink – Drinking pickle juice after an intense workout can help prevent muscle cramps. It also contains electrolytes (even more than most sports drinks!) that can help you stay hydrated.
  • PMS Remedy – The sodium content of pickle juice can help prevent muscle cramps, and not just the kind you get after working out. You can drink pickle juice to help reduce PMS-related cramping too!
  • Heartburn Remedy – Take a few sips of pickle juice to help reduce heartburn.
  • Laxative – Drink a small glass of pickle juice to help gently ease constipation.
  • Upset Stomach – Drink a small glass of pickle juice to help with general “upset tummy” symptoms. It can help with digestion, which usually clears up low-grade stomach discomfort.
  • Hiccup Stopper – Some people swear by drinking pickle juice as a cure for hiccups. Give it a try the next time you have hiccups you can’t seem to shake!

Pickle Juice

5. Food Enhancer

Adding a splash of pickle juice is an easy way to enhance the flavor of many foods! Here are a few ways to use it:

  • Make your own Utah-style “fry sauce,” our favorite dipping sauce for french fries! (Get the recipe here.)
  • Liven up store-bought barbecue sauce by adding a tablespoon of pickle juice.
  • Add a splash to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
  • Marinate soft white cheese in pickle juice for a tangy twist.
  • Mix pickle juice with a little beef broth, and use the mixture as a broth for Korean-style cold noodles.
  • Add a splash of pickle juice to your fresh vegetable juice.
  • Elevate hummus with a few dashes of pickle juice.
  • Use pickle juice to perk up poached fish.
  • Add a splash to your meatloaf mixture when you add the other condiments.

Pickle Juice

6. Cleaning Agent

Make your tarnished copper pans sparkle by cleaning them with pickle juice! You can also use it to clean off your grill grates. Those charred, crusty bits are much easier to scrape off after you soaked them with a bit of pickle juice.

Pickle Juice

7. Garden Helper

Some plants like hydrangeas and rhododendrons thrive in acidic soil. You can add pickle juice to the soil around these plants to help increase its acidity. Avoid pouring it directly on your plants, which could cause damage. (Speaking of which, you can also use pickle juice as a weed killer! Just pour a bit on dandelions, thistles, and other weeds as a pet-friendly herbicide.)

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • I add thinly sliced cucumbers or radishes to my leftover pickle juice, but now I’m ready to try some of these great suggestions, too! I wonder if green olive juice would also work for these ideas? My concern with drinking the juice would be the high salt content.

  • I thinly slice a cucumber to add to my pickle juice. Next best thing to buying more pickles, and much cheaper:) I may try adding onions with the cucumber next time, sorta like Mom’s cucumbers and onions in vinegar. I will also try the hard boiled eggs. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Go organic and skip the polysorbate 80 and yellow #5. Both of those are bad for your health. I find organic pickles at Frys (Kroger on the East Coast) and they don’t have those horrible ingredients.

  • I’m excited to try these different ideas – especially the one about adding small matchsticks of other veg to “pickle” them. Bread and Butter is my VERY favorite pickle.

  • We use the pickle Juice as a (cheap) “green” alternative to de-ice our local roads & streets.

    Some states, like Minnesota, are experimenting with pickle brine. Yes, pickle brine, which works like regular saltwater. Similar to traditional rock salt, brine can melt ice at temperatures as low as -6°F (-21°C). And it beats salt in another respect: Prewetting with this substance prevents snow and ice from bonding with pavement, making the ice easier to chip off and remove.

    The use of brine also reduces the amount of chloride released into the environment by 14 to 29 percent.

  • Pickle juice is perfect for a burn, I leave a jar of it in fridge just in case. Soak your finger in it and it won’t leave a scar. Better than aloe.

  • I put canned sliced beets in a jar of saved pickle juice. They are really tasty this way…only way I can eat ’em! Good as a side or on a salad.
    Great post, Jillee! Thanks!

  • I just canned 25 quarts of garlic dill pickles. I always drink the juice. I just love it! While these are some great ideas, I will continue using pickle juice as a beverage!

  • Can’t forget picklebacks. I’m not a fan of pickles, but felt I had to chime in for all you drinkers out there.
    A pickleback is a type of shot wherein a shot of whiskey is chased by a shot of pickle brine; the term “pickleback” may also refer only to the shot of pickle brine itself. Alternatively, the shot of whiskey can be chased by a bite of a pickle. – Wikipedia

  • Oh, I had to chuckle at the idea of drinking it, because when I was a teen, my boyfriend drank the whole jar of pickle juice. The resulting gas he had was terrible. Beyond “clearing the room!” We just laughed about it, but wow! So go cautiously if you drink it.

  • I have used pickle juice as a steak marinade before and it is awesome! I love pickle juice and have memories of buying cups of it to drink in the basketball concession stand as a kid, when they would save the juice from this jars of giant pickles. Great ideas! We go through a lot of Claussen refrigerated dill pickles at our house and the juice is so good!

  • I haven’t had to use this. But, a lot people have pickle juice is great for leg cramps. They actually sell the pickle juice in small bottles these days. From what I’ve heard you just have to drink a small amount to calm the cramps. Some people swear by this remedy.

    • I drank pickle juice while running a Spartan race and it really does help with cramping and is strangely refreshing. Everyone around me was asking for me pickle juice.

  • I put the jar in the microwave (remove the lid) and heat it up; I then put a half/cup of baking soda into my drains and pour the heated pickle juice down the drain to clean the drain at minimal cost. I have used pickle juice to clean my shower heads by using a cleaned cottage cheese container to allow enough room to immerse the shower head; then I have also used it again to clean the drains! I have also used pickle juice to clean mirrors in an emergency… But I will be trying the good ideas that you have shared in this article, Thanks!

    • Susan, Jillee is merely sharing useful ideas with us. If they don’t apply to you, don’t make snarky comments, they’re not appreciated. Jillee, keep up the good work!

      • I am not making any unpleasant remarks and if you took it that way I am very sorry. I am a great fan of Jillee, I follow her constantly and even bought her book and hoping she will write another.
        We, my hubby is having very serious problems with health issues du to blood pressure issues.

    • Since you can make pickles at home without salt, I’m sure you can find them in the store also. The vinegar preserves the food, not the salt.

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