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Refrigerator Pickles - Can the Brine Be Reused?

  • g

I have been making Spicy Dill Pickles (from Epicurious Web site) every summer since 1993. They are awesome. A friend asked if the brine could be reused - they are not processed pickles, and the brine is not cooked. Has anyone tried this or is it a good way to get botchulism?

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  1. Somewhere in the cobwebs of my brain I seem to recall expert picklers saying NOT to re-use the brine b/c you are more likely to get mushy pickles which, as we know, one has to throw out.

    I never have left over brine becuase I put it in meat selianka, the greatest undiscovered soup in the world (see any russian recipe book/web site).

    There is a fine book, "The Joy of PIckling" that can answer all your questions. I have a copy somewhere around here but damned if I can lay my hands on it just now. Maybe someone Out There has a copy to hand.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hazelhurst

      In the Washington, D. C. area the original Jerry's sub shop back in the 1950's and 1960's took crushed cherry peppers and mixed them with a small amount of pickle juice to make what, to this day, is the best hot sauce relish I have ever tasted for a sub. Today, Jerry's is a chain with over 100 stores. They use bottled relish that is nowhere near as good.

    2. m
      Morris Malken

      I have strained the pickling brine and added it, a tablespoon at a time, to potato salad to achieve a delicatessen-like flavor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Morris Malken

        My mom does that instead of vinegar. It makes a difference from what I can tell.

      2. Reuse it once to pickle hard boiled eggs. Let them pickle for a week before eating them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ironmom

          I did the same thing after eating a jar of Classens. I put the hard boiled eggs in the brine and put the jar back in the refrigerator. Then I forgot about them. It's been over 2 months now, they've been in the fridge the whole time. Should the still be O.K. to eat? Asked Kraft foods and they had no answer.

        2. I didn't realize it could be a bad thing to re-use the pickle liquid. I just finished a jar of Claussen pickles and was curious with one of the cucumbers from my back yard so I cut it up and put it in the jar for a week in the fridge. I ate them today and they tasted better than what was in the jar from the market! :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: tonicart

            toni, we may have been seperated at birth, as I do exactly the same with Claussen as well. I wash the cukes first as cut in 1/4 spears to get as much as I can in the jar.
            However, I found that a second batch in the brine just isn't the same...
            So I usually have a jar of true Claussen going concurrently with a jar of redux...

            I'm not a pickle expert, but I don't think Claussen are processed either, since they require refrigeration at all times, so it may be a parallel to the OPs Spicy Dill Pickles?

          2. put some of the brine in a bloody mary ( seriously!) it rocks