15 Uses for Pickle Juice We Bet You Never Thought of Before

It’s hard to pass up a bread and butter pickle, which is probably why you’re no stranger to an empty pickle jar. Don’t destroy the evidence just yet though—there are myriad uses for pickle juice that will make you just as happy as the salty cukes themselves. Read on for 15 great ideas on what to do with that leftover brine.

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1. Brine Meat

Pickle juice has all the makings of a perfect brining liquid. Acidic and salty, it will tenderize and season any piece of meat it touches. Next time chicken or pork chops are on the menu, bathe those suckers in pickle juice for a few hours before you cook ‘em up and you’ll be in for a juicy, flavorful treat.

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2. Pickle Vegetables

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but also easy to overlook. Pickle juice doesn’t need to be repurposed—it can simply be reused. Yep, you can use that juice to pickle whatever your heart desires. (Hint: Pickled red onions are delicious on pretty much everything.)

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3. Add It To Salad Dressing

Give those lackluster salad greens a flavor boost by adding a dash of pickle juice to the dressing; the stuff has the same tangy quality as vinegar, but a lot more personality.

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4. De-grime The Grill

It isn’t the first time you’ve heard us compare pickle juice to vinegar, and it won’t be the last. Much like vinegar, pickle juice has impressive cleaning power. Case in point: A scrub-down with this briny liquid will remove charred bits of food and grease from your grill in a jiffy.

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5. Wash Down Whiskey

A pickleback (i.e., a shot of pickle juice as a chaser) will make the well whiskey at your local bar far more palatable, if not downright delicious. Indeed, pickle juice helps even the harshest booze go down easy—and with bourbon and rye, it’s a match made in heaven.

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6. Kill Weeds

Got unwanted growth in your garden? No problem. Due to its high acidity and salt content, pickle juice will kill weeds as well as any store-bought product...without any sketchy chemicals. Just douse the intruder and watch it meet its demise.

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7. Put It In Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of several heavy, mayo-based salads that benefit tremendously from a splash of acid, aka pickle juice. (Chicken salad and macaroni salad are among the others.) A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it—but a tablespoon or so will make your potato salad sing.

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8. Clean—or Age—copper

Here’s the dill deal: When soaked in vinegar and salt, copper items come out looking sparkly and new. But if you want to age or patina your copper, you can actually leave the pickle juice on the item and let it dry to turn the copper blue-green. Find out more about how to use pickle juice on your copper items here.

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9. Use It For Deviled Eggs

Pickle juice can be used to give a flavor boost to a great many things, so it should come as no surprise that if you add a little bit of it when you’re whipping yolks for deviled eggs, the end result will be divine.

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10. Add It To Cocktails

You don’t have to be throwing back shots to enjoy a little pickle juice with your liquor—just empty the liquid from a pickle jar into an ice cube tray and use the frozen cubes next time you’re in the mood for a Bloody Mary, dirty martini or whiskey sour (to name a few).

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11. Deglaze A Pan With It

Whenever you’re cooking meat, pickle juice will help you make the most of that delicious fond in the bottom of the pan—just a splash will have an instant deglazing effect.

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12. Marinate Soft Cheese

Fresh mozzarella marinated with pickle juice and red peppers makes a fine addition to any cheese plate.

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13. Reserve It For Sandwiches

Who needs pickles when you have pickle juice? Sprinkle a little on your hamburger or hoagie and you’ll be happy.

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14. Boil Potatoes With It

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Pickle juice and potatoes are a winning combination. Add a generous amount to the water before boiling potatoes and you’ll see what we mean.

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15. Drink It Straight

A glass of pickle juice is not for the faint of heart, but fans of the stuff say that it’s invigorating and refreshing all on its own.

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Emma Singer

Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...
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