It was a weird request. My friend Mary Ann asked if she could borrow some pickle juice. Huh? Who keeps pickle juice?
The purpose of pickle juice is to keep the pickles fresh and flavorful. And when the pickles are gone, out goes the juice, right? That practice that makes Mary Ann cringe.
Here’s the deal: Mary Ann is famous for her potato salad. She makes ten pounds at a time and it disappears faster than homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. Her secret (which she confides to only a chosen few*) is sweet pickle juice. Not pickles, not relish—only the juice. And lots of it.
So, I wondered if there might be other uses for the briny stuff? A quick search of the multiple thousands of tips readers have sent to me over the years plus research online came up amazingly positive!
Really, I had no idea that pickle juice had so many health benefits or could be used in so many ways in the kitchen.
In the Kitchen
Most marinades to tenderize meat contain the key ingredients of vinegar and salt. Adding things like garlic, salt, pepper—even a bit of sugar improves the flavor and end result. Bingo! Those are common ingredients in pickle juice—either sweet or dill.
Use it to tenderize and flavor pork or beef—especially if you’re dealing with a particularly tough cut.
Sweet pickled chops
Arrange four pork chops in a shallow pan and sprinkle with salt. Place a slice of onion and a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each. Pour 1/2 cup sweet pickle juice around chops. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 F. Oh, my goodness—you won’t believe how tender and delicious! Yum! Read more