If you’re a big fan of pickles, whether in sandwiches or just as snacks, then chances are you’ve poured away your fair share of pickle juice over the years. But you needn’t let it go to waste. Yes, there are all sorts of ingenious things you can do with the liquid, from spicing up your favorite cuisine to using it for a variety of home remedies.
20. Relieve an upset stomach
If you’ve ever experienced stomach pain, you’ve probably heard that vinegar can be a good homemade cure. It’s no surprise, then, that pickle juice can be equally effective – after all, vinegar is one of its main ingredients. Yep, downing a glass might just help balance out your stomach’s acidity.
19. Treat a hangover
Feeling a little rough around the edges after a night of drinking? There are all sorts of supposed hangover cures, but one that’s favored by Polish people in particular is pickle juice. It’s full of potassium, which is depleted by alcohol, and the sourness will kill off any remaining boozy taste in your mouth.
18. Replenish electrolytes
We’ve all had that workout session that’s so intense, even water can’t rehydrate you fully. That’s because you lose electrolytes including sodium and potassium when you sweat. And extended workouts – especially in warmer climates – can accelerate that loss, making it harder to recover. Pickle juice, however, contains both those electrolytes, so can bring you back up to speed much faster.
17. Reduce heartburn
Sure, there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies for heartburn – but acid reflux can strike at the most inconvenient times, so you might end up having to use whatever you have to hand. And if that includes pickle juice, you’re all set: just take a spoonful. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
16. Treat sunburn
You can use pickle juice as a vinegar substitute in all sorts of applications, including to treat sunburn. That’s according to Sarah Rae Smith, who wrote for Kitchn in 2010 that the juice provided “immediate relief” when applied directly to the burn. So, no worries if you forget the sunscreen – as long as you have pickle juice to hand.
15. Keep ice off your sidewalk
Next time it snows, don’t reach for the salt: instead, head for your leftover pickle juice. It will melt ice on your sidewalk pretty swiftly, and you can even use it to stop ice and snow from bonding with the ground if you lay it down preventatively. It’s also better for the environment compared to salt, as it releases less chloride.
14. Kill weeds
As natural weed-killers go, pickle juice can be pretty effective. In fact, it can almost be too effective – so you might want to dilute it first, at a ratio of about 5 percent juice to 95 percent water. Otherwise, you could end up drying out the soil thanks to the juice’s high salt content, resulting in brown patches in your lawn.
13. Make more pickles
Rather than buying a fresh jar of pickles every time, you can simply reuse the juice from one jar with fresh vegetables. Just slice up whatever vegetable you prefer and pop it in the jar of juice. Then, return the jar to the fridge and leave it for around 72 hours.
12. Whip up some cocktails
There are plenty of cocktail recipes out there that incorporate pickle juice. Take the “pickletini,” for instance, which combines vodka, vermouth and pickle juice for a martini with a very particular twist. Or there’s the modern classic “pickleback,” in which you first drink some whiskey and then immediately throw back a pickle juice chaser.
11. Get rid of bad breath
Whether you like the taste or not, pickle juice can be a one-way ticket to better breath. That’s thanks to the antibacterial effects of vinegar and dill, which will combat any bad bacteria lingering in your mouth. If you’re suffering from particularly noxious morning breath, then, take a swig.
10. Reduce muscle cramps
Once again, pickle juice’s vinegar content comes to the rescue. Yes, if you’re cramping hard after an intense workout, try downing even just a few mouthfuls of pickle brine. A 2010 study found that it’s even more effective than water, as it can block nerves that cause cramp. And, of course, it’s far more palatable than actually drinking vinegar…
9. Stop hiccups
When it comes to hiccups, we’ve tried every “remedy” under the sun – from swallowing a few times to drinking out of the wrong side of a cup. But, apparently, there’s a much simpler solution that might just do the trick. You guessed it – drinking just an ounce of pickle juice could be the key to a hiccup-free life.
8. Clean copper pots and pans
Not every ingenious use for pickle juice involves consuming it. Indeed, it’s also great as a household cleaner, namely for sprucing up copper utensils. While it’s probably not the first thing that springs to mind, it really does work – they’ll look good as new in no time.
7. Soothe a sore throat
Gargling warm salt water isn’t the most fun experience in the world, even if it is does help to get rid of a sore throat. Fortunately, pickle juice can offer the same benefits, just with a more palatable flavor. Indeed, gargling a small cup’s worth will allow its salt and vinegar content to work wonders.
6. Tenderize meat
If you’ve never tried tenderizing your steak in pickle juice, you might just want to give it a go. Frank’s Pickled Peppers, for instance, recommends marinating your meat overnight. Then, place it on to a grill, and during cooking turn the steak over, brushing it with the leftover pickle juice each time.
5. Add it to BBQ sauce
Store-bought BBQ sauce is fine for the most part, but it really struggles to rival homemade sauces. Fortunately, you can fast-track your way to the best of both worlds with pickle juice. Simply take a store-bought bottle and then add spoonfuls of the juice until you’re happy with the taste.
4. Poach fish
Fish poached in pickle juice sounds like an overwhelming clash of strong flavors, but it really works. Just boil the juice in a pan, then add the fish for a few minutes and wait for it to begin to flake. Season to taste, and dig in. Honestly, you won’t know what you’re missing until you give it a try.
3. Roast it with veggies
There are plenty of other culinary applications for pickle juice – many of which probably won’t have even crossed your mind. After all, it doesn’t seem like the most obvious thing to, say, drizzle over a pan of roasting vegetables. And yet, it works. Just try it out if you don’t believe us.
2. Boil potatoes in it
Boiling anything can be a surefire route to bland cuisine. If you’d rather take a trip to flavor town, though, try adding some pickle juice when you’re boiling potatoes. And you can even apply it after they’re cooked, for an alternative dressing in a potato salad.
1. Marinate cheese
Only have mild cheeses in your fridge, but fancy something with a little more kick? Try whipping up a tasty marinade using olive oil, fresh herbs, black pepper, garlic and, of course, pickle juice. Combine it with a soft white cheese for the best results, then let it marinate for a while.