Jul 24 2014

What to do with Pickle Juice and Uses for Leftover Brine

What to do with pickle juice and leftover brine

What can you do with leftover pickle juice or any of the fermented brines that we’ve all come to have in abundance when you get into fermenting? I mean you don’t just pour it out do you?  Do you?!? This is something I quickly began to think about as soon as I had multiple jars of different types of pickles (cucumber, peppers, garlic) that was soon pickle-less and all brine.

There’s some benefits of pickle juice that you may not realize and I have to admit, I didn’t either until I started considering the options instead of pouring out that magical stuff.

Below is a long list that should give you some ideas on what to do with all of that flavorful pickle brine goodness.


That’s right! Why didn’t you think of it before? Once those pickles are gone from the brine, toss in some fresh ones, set it on the counter and pickle the new ones in the old brine.

Alcoholic Drinks: Bloody Mary or a Pickleback

For that typical vinegar-like flavor that a Bloody Mary requires, try using fresh pickle juice.

Another interesting idea for a drink is actually a popular shot called a “Pickleback” which is a whiskey shot followed by a chaser of pickle juice. Try it. (1 oz. whiskey, 1 oz pickle juice)

Pickleback shot

As a side note, you know after taking this picture, I had to try it. Whiskey doesn’t pour back into a bottle ya know.

Home Remedies with Pickle Juice

  • Hangover Cure – After the above, it’d be interesting to see a hangover cured by what helped get you the hangover in the first place. I haven’t actually tried this one, but the next time you happen to have a hangover, give it a try. It’s thought to replenish the sodium and mineral levels in the body that a hangover depletes.
  • Heartburn – Pickle juice has been used as a soothing agent for heartburn.
  • PMS – Pickle juice may lessen the affects of cramps in the same way that athletes use it for post-workout cramps.

Sports Drink

There are several athletes that use pickle juice for hydration because of the sodium and electrolytes that pickle juice can contain. If you’re pickling, I highly suggest using sea salt to get more of a mineral range than table salt. In the sports world, it’s also a known habit for athletes to drink pickle juice after a workout to reduce cramping. Give it a try!

Pickle Shots to your Health

Some people have a craving for pickle juice just for the taste, but think about all of those vitamins, minerals, and probiotics in that magical liquid? And of course I’m talking about homemade pickle juice and not the store-bought dead kind.

Why get rid of all of that nutrition? Have a sip or two occasionally and drink in all that flavor.

Boost the Flavor of your Recipes

Try adding more flavor to dishes like rice, fish, tempeh, tofu, hummus, or anything that calls for vinegar or needs more of a salty/tangy zing.

Bread Dough

Ever hear of Jewish deli bread? Try making a loaf using pickle juice. For real: Real NY Jewish Rye Bread Recipe

Potato Heaven

When boiling potatoes, add some pickle juice to the water to infuse a special something that people won’t be able to place but they’ll know it just tastes amazing! While you’re at it in potatoes, add it to potato salad for that tanginess that those recipes need.


Pickle juice is an acid so marinating a protein in pickle juice brine can flavor and tenderize it whether it’s meat, tofu, tempeh or whatever.

Pickle Popsicles

Just like the title says. Make some popsicles and make it pickled.

Poaching Fish

When poaching fish, try adding pickle brine to the poaching water to infuse some of that acid flavor.

Salad Dressings

Why use regular old distilled vinegar when you can leftover brine for your salad dressings?


Need some to add some sour to any sauces? Add a small amount to BBQ sauce or even creamy Alfredo type sauces. I’ve added pickle juice to a white bean puree and it was amazing over pasta.

Household Cleaner

Did you know that people in the restaurant industry sometimes use pickle juice to clean blackened copper pans? You can also try using this for your BBQ grill.


I’m putting this at the end of the list because since there are so many uses, it almost seems crazy just to pour it into your compost bin, but if


So like I said before. Don’t through out that old brine! It has more flavor than you know and probably more uses than we can even think of. Got another interesting one? Post it in the comments below!

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