Can You Use Cucumbers in Pickle Juice?

Video can you put cucumbers in pickle juice

You may think that reusing pickle juice is an extreme way to reduce food waste, but let me tell you something: it’s not just about saving the juice! Pickling is an excellent way to give wilted veggies a second chance at a delicious life instead of throwing them away. So, by saving the pickle juice, you’re also saving the veggies!

Is it Safe to Reuse Pickle Juice?

Reuse Pickle Juice

Yes, it is safe to reuse pickle juice, but only if you use it to make what’s known as “refrigerator pickles.” This type of pickling is not actually preserving the vegetables. They aren’t vacuum-sealed and only stay fresh for about two months when stored in the refrigerator.

Why Can’t You Make Preserved Pickles?

Pickle juice, or pickle brine, is a scientific process. Recipes use carefully tested ratios of vinegar to salt to ensure that whatever vegetable or fruit you’re using gets properly preserved. The first vegetable or fruit that goes into the brine absorbs some of that vinegar and salt, making it delicious. However, once used, the brine no longer has the right ratio for safe pickling, so it’s not suitable for long-term canning.

How Do Refrigerator Pickles Work?

Kimchi using Pickle Juice

To make refrigerator pickles, start with clean, fresh veggies. Cucumbers are an excellent choice, but you can also use green beans, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, turnips, beets, or shredded cabbage.

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The preparation method depends on the type of vegetable you’re using. For cucumbers, they tend to have a lot of water, so you might want to salt the cucumber slices first, wait a few minutes, and then pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove some moisture.

Harder vegetables like cauliflower or root vegetables are best sliced very thin or blanched first. Blanching means dunking them in boiling water for a few minutes and then quickly transferring them to cold water to stop the cooking process.

For green or yellow beans, it’s a matter of personal preference. Leave them as they are for a satisfying crunch or blanch them for a softer texture. The same goes for shredded cabbage. You can blanch it first for more tender cabbage or keep it fresh for a satisfying crunch.

Some people pour the pickle juice directly over the veggies, while others prefer to boil the pickle brine first. If you choose to boil the brine, pour it – still hot – over the veggies as it seems to absorb into them a little faster.

Once you’ve combined your veggies and brine, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They are usually ready to eat within 24 hours.

What Can You Use Refrigerator Pickles For?

You can use refrigerator pickles for anything! They can jazz up a salad, add flavor as sandwich toppings, serve as yummy snacks, or even be used as garnish for drinks.

What Should You Watch Out For?

Remember, refrigerator pickles are not fully preserved pickles. They typically last for about two months when properly stored in the fridge in a sealed container, such as a lidded jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. As long as the brine remains clear, they are good to eat. However, if the brine starts to look murky, it could indicate bacterial growth, and it’s time to toss them out.

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How Many Times Can You Reuse Pickle Juice?

To be on the safe side, we wouldn’t recommend reusing pickle juice more than once, although some say you can safely reuse it two or three times. Again, keep an eye on the clarity of the brine for any changes.

And here’s a bonus tip! Refrigerator pickles aren’t the only use for pickle juice. You can also use it to flavor dips, salad dressings, or even as a marinade!

If you want to learn more about Family Cuisine, check out their website here.

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