Why You Should Always Save Your Leftover Pickle Juice

Homemade Pickles in Jar
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There are very few things on earth as satisfying as a perfectly preserved pickle. Whether it's adorning a burger or your favorite sandwich or enjoying it all on its own, pickles really are one of man's greatest inventions. But, after you've polished off that jar of dills, gherkins, or bread and butters you're usually left with a jar full of pickle juice. What to do with it? Before you throw out that vinegary substance read on because there's plenty of things to do with leftover pickle juice.

For cocktails

Looking to make the perfect martini? That leftover pickle jar will do the trick.

"I like to use pickle brine in place of olive brine in a dirty martini," Micah LeMon, author of The Imbible and bar manager of The Alley Light in Charlottesville, Virginia, shared with Garden&Gun. "Take two ounces of gin or vodka and mix with half an ounce of dry Vermouth and a splash of pickle brine, about three-fourths of an ounce. The pickle brine brings an acidity and tartness as well as a savory quality to the cocktail, which helps balance out the strong spirits."

For cleaning your house

If your grill is looking a little dingy, pickle juice may be the thing you've been looking for. According to One Good Thing, pickle juice can help lift off those charred on crusty bits of food thanks to the acidic powers of vinegar. All you need to do is let the pickle juice soak for a few minutes then wipe away the grime.

For the garden

Are pesky weeds popping up left and right in your otherwise lovely garden? Instead of reaching for weed killers, try spraying a bit of pickle juice on them instead. The salt and vinegar in the juice will kill the weeds by changing the pH levels in the soil. But, be careful, because too much juice can be a bad thing.

"The secret is in the application and the dilution of the pickle juice," Garden Know How explained. "Pickle juice will vary in the amount of ingredients from manufacturer to manufacturer. To protect the plant, the safe thing to do is dilute the juice – use 1 part juice to 20 or even more parts water. Also, never apply the solution directly to the plant foliage, for that matter, not to the root zone either."

For spicing up your next meal

Sure, you know pickles are great in just about everything, but did you know the juice is delicious too? Next time you want to change up your recipes try using pickle juice as a meat tenderizer. Bon Appetit recommended specifically using it to marinade for pork chops or steak. And for a side dish add a good dose of the juice to boiling water for boiled potatoes, which will give them a healthy zest.

WATCH: Make Jesse Houston's Pickled Shrimp

For canning more vegetables

Hey, the juice was good enough for pickles, so it's good enough for other pickled foods too. As Bon Appetit noted, the juice is excellent for brining hard-boiled eggs, onions, garlic, and soft vegetables like artichokes. Of course, if you want, you could always go crazy and make more pickles with it using cucumbers. For the best results, Cooks.com suggested bringing the juice to a boil and pouring it over cucumbers that had been salted and left to drain for 1 hour. All you need to do is put them in the fridge for 24 hours and voila, more pickles for you. Just don't forget to save us a batch.

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