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
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!
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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.)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.)