We’ve all been there. You open a jar of pickles, eat the pickles, and are left with a jar of leftover pickle juice. Now, what do you do with it? First, you need to check that the juice is still good. If it’s been more than 2 months since you opened the jar, or if it has an off smell, then it’s best to toss it. Also, check for mold. If the juice is still good, then you have a jar of deliciousness that can be used in all sorts of ways!
Here are 14 surprising uses for leftover pickle juice:
Quench Your Thirst
The first use for pickle juice is the most obvious – you can drink it! It may not sound appealing, but it’s actually quite refreshing. Toss in some ice cubes and dilute with water if desired to hydrate with this low-calorie beverage.
There are several potential health benefits of drinking pickle juice (1):
- Rich in probiotics: Pickle juice contains live and active cultures, which may be beneficial for gut health.
- Soothes an upset stomach: If you’re feeling nauseous or have indigestion, some people say that the acids in pickle juice can help to settle your stomach.
- Recovery drink: The electrolytes in pickle juice can help you to recover after a workout by replacing those you lost through sweat.
- Ease a hangover: Pickle juice has been claimed to ease hangovers. The electrolytes can help to rehydrate you, and some say the vinegar can help to settle your stomach. Plus, hydrating is key to getting through a hangover.
- Contains disease-fighting antioxidants: The antioxidants leftover from the cucumbers in pickle juice work to fight free radicals, which can damage cells and may lead to disease.
- Help blood sugar regulation: the vinegar in pickle juice might be helpful for regulating blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Reduce muscle cramps: The electrolytes in pickle juice may help to reduce muscle cramps.
That said, there are some side effects to drinking pickle juice, such as (2):
- An increase in sodium: Too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, or if you have high blood pressure, it’s best to steer clear of pickle juice.
- An increase in stomach acid: The vinegar in pickle juice can add acid to the stomach environment. If you have GERD or another condition that causes heartburn, drinking pickle juice could make your symptoms worse.
Add Some Flavor To Your Cooking
If you’re looking to add some flavor to your cooking, then pickle juice is a great way to do it! Here are some ideas:
One of the most common uses for pickle juice is as a meat tenderizer. The vinegar and salt work together to break down the tough fibers in meat, making it more tender and flavorful. Simply soak your meat in pickle juice for a few hours (or even overnight) before cooking.
Make A Flavorful Marinade
You can also use pickle juice to make a delicious and tangy marinade. Simply combine pickle juice with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings. Let your meat soak in the marinade for a few hours before cooking.
Flavor Rice Or Quinoa
Pickle juice can also be used to flavor rice or quinoa. Simply cook the rice or quinoa according to package instructions, then stir in some pickle juice before serving.
Pickle juice is also a great way to flavor potatoes. You can either cook the potatoes in water with a splash of pickle juice, or add pickle juice to mashed potatoes.
Make A Tasty Salad Dressing
One of the most popular uses for pickle juice is as a salad dressing. The vinegar and salt work together to create a delicious and tangy dressing. Simply combine pickle juice with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings.
Read More: Pickle Juice For Weight Loss: Fact Or Fad?
Use It As A Brine
Pickle juice can also be used as a brine. A brine is a solution of salt and water that is used to flavor or preserve food. You can use pickle juice to brine meat, poultry, or fish. Brined meats are more flavorful and tender.
Pickle Your Own Veggies
Another use for pickle juice is to pickle your own vegetables. You can pickle just about any vegetable, including cucumbers, carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic. The process is simple – just soak the veggies in pickle juice for a few days.
Make A Cocktail
Pickle juice can also be used to make cocktails. The most popular pickle juice cocktail is a twist on the Dirty Martini. To make a pickle juice dirty martini, combine pickle juice, gin, and vermouth. You can also use pickle juice to make a Bloody Mary. Combine pickle juice, vodka, and tomato juice.
Make Pickleback Shots
Pickleback shots are a popular bar drink. They are made by combining pickle juice and whiskey. You can make your own pickleback shots at home by combining pickle juice and your favorite whiskey.
Use It As A Natural Cleaner
Pickle juice can also be used as a natural cleaner. The vinegar in pickle juice is great for cleaning countertops, floors, and appliances. You can also use pickle juice to clean brass and copper.
Feed Your Plants
Pickle juice is also a great way to feed your plants. The vinegar in pickle juice can help to acidify the soil, which is beneficial for certain plants. Simply pour pickle juice on the soil around your plants.
Get Rid Of Rust
If you have rust on your tools or other metal objects, you can remove it with pickle juice. The acid in pickle juice will eat away at the rust, leaving your tools looking like new.
Clean Your Grill
Pickle juice is also a great way to clean your grill. The vinegar in pickle juice will help break down the grease and grime on your grill, making it easier to clean. Simply pour pickle juice on your grill and scrub with a brush.
After cooking meat or vegetables, there will often be bits of food stuck to the pan. These bits of food are called “fond”. You can deglaze a pan with pickle juice to dissolve the fond and add flavor to your dish.
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Make A Natural Fly Trap
Pickle juice can also be used to make a natural fly trap. The vinegar in pickle juice will attract flies, and the salty pickle juice will kill them. Simply pour pickle juice into a bowl and set it out where there are flies.
Extend Life Of Cut Flowers
Pickle juice can also be used to extend the life of cut flowers. Simply add pickle juice to the water in your vase. The vinegar in pickle juice will help to preserve the flowers.
How To Ensure Your Pickle Juice Is Food Safe
When using pickle juice, it is important to make sure that the juice is food safe. Commercially-produced pickle juice is typically safe to consume. However, if you are making your own pickle juice, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that the juice is safe.
Use Fresh Pickles
When making your own pickle juice, it is important to use fresh pickles. Do not use pickles that have been sitting in the refrigerator for more than a few days. The longer pickles sit in the fridge, the more bacteria they will collect.
Use Distilled Vinegar
When making your own pickle juice, it is important to use distilled vinegar. Distilled vinegar has been pasteurized, which means that it is free of bacteria.
Boil The Pickles
When making your own pickle juice, it is important to boil the pickles before adding them to the vinegar. This will kill any bacteria that may be on the surface of the pickles.
Boil The Vinegar
After adding the pickles to the vinegar, it is important to boil the vinegar. This will kill any bacteria that may be present in the vinegar.
Store In A Clean, Sterile Container
After boiling the pickle juice, it is important to store it in a clean, sterile container. This will prevent bacteria from contaminating the juice.
Ensure The Vinegar Has A pH Of 2.5 Or Lower
The acid in vinegar is what prevents bacteria from growing. It is important to ensure that the vinegar has a pH of 2.5 or lower. This can be adjusted if necessary by adding a bit of lemon juice to the vinegar.
Ensure The Vinegar Covers The Pickles
It is important to ensure that the vinegar covers the pickles. This will prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the pickles.
Seal The Container
After adding the pickles and vinegar to the container, it is important to seal the container completely. This prevents oxygen from entering the container, which can cause bacteria to grow.
Check For Signs Of Spoilage
Even when stored properly, pickle juice can spoil. It is important to check for signs of spoilage before consuming pickle juice. These signs include mold, off-odors, and cloudiness. If you see any of these signs, it is best to discard the pickle juice.
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The Bottom Line
Pickle juice is a versatile liquid with many uses. It can be used to make pickles, as a marinade, or even as a cleaning solution. However, it is important to ensure that the pickle juice is food safe before consuming it. When in doubt, it is best to discard the pickle juice.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 6 Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice (2020, clevelandclinic.org)
- What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice? (2022, medicinenet.com)