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 25 creative tricks to recycle that juice into something wonderful and useful.
1. Make Cocktails
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.
2. Soothe Sunburns
Soothe your sunburn skin with pickle juice, says the fine folks over at The Kitchen. 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.
3. Poach Fish with It
There are 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.
4. Clean Copper Pans
Ah, the copper pan: pristine and whimsical in its appearance, but a pain of a pan to clean.
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 clean your blackened copper pans, like many food industry insiders have done for years. And while you’re at it, clean your lucky pennies, too.
5. Add to BBQ Sauce
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.
6. Boil Potatoes in It
Making simple boiled potatoes can easily turn into Snoresville Central. Add a hefty splash of pickle juice to your pot while boiling to jazz up the flavors.
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.
7. Roast with Veggies
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.
8. Tenderize Meat
The acidity in pickle juice makes it the perfect meat tenderizer, similar to how kiwis tenderize meat. Try it on your steak, stat.