Pickles come in all shapes, sizes, and names (gherkins in the UK, cornichons in France). There are even crazy flavors such as koolickles—dill pickles soaked in a mixture of Kool-Aid and brine, an American South favorite. Whatever sort of pickle tickles your fancy, you can count on one thing: there's always leftover juice once they've been eaten and enjoyed.
So, you can toss that pickle juice... or you can just dill with it. To help with the latter choice, here are 15 creative tricks to recycle that beautiful juice into something wonderful and useful.
Store-bought BBQ sauce can be enhanced in myriad ways. We like to add a dash of pickle juice to ours to balance that sweet, smokey tang out with a bit of salty, vinegar goodness.
Ah, the copper pan: pristine and whimsical in its appearance, but a pain of a pan to clean.
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That's where your jar of pickle juice unexpectedly saves the day and gives those pans an extra dose of sparkle: just wipe some on to clear your blackened copper pans, like many food industry insiders have done for years. And while you're at it, clean your lucky pennies, too.
There's a certain speed and ease that goes along with the French technique of poaching fish. We've found poaching in a light broth or even an olive oil to be intriguing, but pickle juice takes the art of poaching to an entirely new level.
Soothe your sunburn skin with pickle juice, says the fine folks over at The Kitchn. A dab of juice on a rag, blotted to your skin, is said to provide instant relief (and not smell overly pickle-y, either). It's like aloe vera, only saltier.
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Ever tried a pickletini? Olive brine/juice is replaced with pickle juice in this variation of a dirty martini (or, what the famous E.B. White once referred to as "the elixir of quietude.")
Fill your martini shaker with vodka or gin, pickle juice, a dash of vermouth, and a pickle spear as a garnish, and you've got yourself a beverage all pickle-lovers will buzz about.
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Rid your garden of weeds by pouring your leftover juice over them instead of down the disposal. The mixture of salt and vinegar will do the trick.
Vinegar can be replaced with pickle juice in just about any recipe for a more complex sour kick. One of our favorite ways to use it is in salad dressings—and ranch dressing, in particular. Ranch dressing on pizza, more specifically.
The acidity in pickle juice makes it the perfect meat tenderizer, similar to how kiwis tenderize meat. Try it on your steak, stat.
Give your roasted veggies a complete makeover by adding one simple thing... yes, you guessed it! Just drizzle your pickle juice over those babies before popping them in the oven.
On that note, you can also add them to your potatoes once boiled alongside some fresh dill for a fantastic addition to your potato salad.
Add some zing to your milder cheeses by marinating it in pickle juice. A soft white cheese and your juice, plus olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, and black pepper should do the (tasty) trick.
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You might put vinegar in your tartar sauce already to compliment those diced pickles or relish, but why not replace that vinegar and compliment those pickles further with pickle juice, instead?
Make your next batch of deviled eggs even more divine by adding pickle juice to the mayo and mustard mix. (We also suggest adding a splash of hot sauce, a sprinkle of paprika, and maybe some bacon bits to get your guests really gushing over your egg-cellent preparations.)
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Attention salmon-loving souls: you need to stop what you are doing, throw some salmon on the grill, and serve it with pickle butter. It's as simple and as life-changing as that. With a little bit of tang and the creamy mix of butter, the flavors of a flaky salmon will shine.
Many a hungover individual has sipped on a Bloody Mary to get the ol' hair of the dog and soothe themselves from their late Saturday night debauchery. Add a tablespoon of trusty pickle juice to your usual Bloody Mary mix for an epic taste... or replace the liquor with pickle juice completely for a tangy virgin cocktail.
These 15 various ways to use your leftover juice should keep you from getting stuck with your usual pickle of a dilemma—that jar of leftover brine, that is. With dill-icious hope for all things pickled, we wish you luck on your cucumber fermented future!
If you need more ideas, you can always pickle veggies with it, drink it after exercising, and even make dill pickle bread. Have any ideas we didn't add to this list? We'd love to hear your creative concoctions!
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