Can You Reuse Pickle Brine? 12 Creative Ways How
Published on October 4, 2021
By Elizabeth Brownfield
The brine that’s left over at the end of a jar of pickles is a secret flavor bomb you didn’t even know you had. In fact, there are so many ways to repurpose this super versatile mix of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Rather than tossing it when the pickles are all gone, consider giving pickle brine a second life, adding flavor and acidity to everything from deviled eggs to dressings.
Can you reuse pickle brine?
A lot of people are curious about this, and the answer is absolutely. Pickle brine doesn’t last forever, but so long as it isn’t cloudy, you’re fine to use it. However, a few things to note: when swapping pickle brine for vinegar in dishes like potato salad or vinaigrettes, keep in mind that it’s not an even 1-to-1 ratio. Since brine is essentially watered-down vinegar, you may have to make some adjustments to get the level of tartness you would if using it straight. (And don’t forget that the brine already contains salt too, so it’s best to give recipes a try before seasoning them.)
Of course, you can always simply reuse pickle brine to make quick pickles: this just means tossing a fresh batch of cukes, beets, green beans, peppers, green tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, or hard-boiled eggs into the pre-existing brine. However, please note that these will need to remain refrigerated and should be eaten within two weeks — they will not be shelf-stable.
Here are some creative ways to reimagine the magic liquid at the bottom of the pickle jar and amp up the flavor of some of your favorite recipes.
1. Steam fish, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, replacing some of the steaming water with pickle brine.
2. Give hummus or white bean spread the pickle treatment by adding a bit of brine and fresh dill to the mix.
3. Add a puckery punch to Bloody Marys and Micheladas with the addition of pickle brine.
4. Tenderize meat like chicken, pork, or beef in a pickle brine marinade.
5. Use brine in place of vinegar in salad dressings.
6. Splash some brine into seltzer or sparkling water for a tart, refreshing drink.
7. Add some brine to gazpacho and other soups that could use an extra zing.
8. Replace some of the cooking water when boiling potatoes or other veggies with pickle brine.
9. Give hearty salads — tuna, chicken, egg, potato, or pasta — a little extra oomph with a dash of brine.
10. Swap pickle brine for standard vinegar in the dressing for recipes like cucumber salad and slaws.
11. Replace vinegar in homemade barbecue or hot sauces with brine.
12. Cut some calories by replacing half the mayo in deviled eggs with pickle brine. Note: this will also make the filling thinner, but definitely tastier.