Americans consume more than 2.5 billion pounds of pickles annually. In fact, on average, 67 percent of American households eat pickles regularly, and the average American eats nine pounds of pickles every year. That's a lot of pickles! Kosher pickle brands are so delicious that it's easy to eat a whole jar (or more) quickly, leaving you with jars and jars of extra pickle juice. However, before you discard this tasty by-product, consider the many ways that you can use that juice to liven up your cooking.
How to use leftover pickle juice in your cooking
1. As a meat marinade. Add a delicious tart flavor to your grilled chicken, pork or other meat (without adding unnecessary calories) by soaking the meat in pickle juice, mixed with a little onion, garlic and herbs, for a few hours or overnight before you place the meat on the barbecue. The acid in the pickle juice acts as a tenderizer for the meat.
2. In salad dressings. Pickle juice can also be used to replace vinegar in salad dressing recipes. The juice is particularly tasty in oil- and vinegar-based dressings.
3. To pickle hard-boiled eggs. Is your family fond of pickled eggs, particularly around Easter time? If so, pickle juice is an easy (and free) base for making this delicacy. Simply pour the juice into a large jar filled with hard-boiled eggs and sliced, cooked red beets, and allow the mixture to set for a few days. The result is tangy and sweet.
4. As a companion to potatoes. Soaking potatoes in pickle juice before boiling them gives your potatoes a subtle, tart taste. You can also marinate the potatoes overnight before cutting them into french fries for an added zing, or you can add a little juice to your favorite potato salad recipe to spice it up a little bit.
5. To liven up a bloody mary. If you're a fan of that popular tomato-based cocktail, adding a little pickle juice can liven up your drink. Garnish the rim with a pickle slice...if you have any left.
Pickle juice may seem like something to discard in the trash or down the sink. However, instead of throwing away that old jar of pickle juice, consider using it as a marinade, to add zest to your salad dressing recipes, to make pickled eggs, to liven up your potatoes and to create the perfect, delicious bloody mary cocktail.