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Pickle juice source?

Does anyone sell just pickle juice?

I heard about brining chicken in pickle juice. Now I have to try it.

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  1. I am not aware of anyone just selling pickle juice. At best it's just vinegar and water as kosher salt. Why not just make your own?

    7 Replies
    1. re: ericthered

      I thought the same thing. If you want to get fancy, you can throw in some pickling spice or even dill seed. If you do the latter, I'd heat it up a bit to give the spices a chance to infuse the brine.

      If you want a good brine to emulate, all the ones used by Hill Country Homestyle (sold at the downtown farmers market) are a great goal to shoot for. My husband and I are both huge fans.

      1. re: ericthered

        re: make my own

        Do you mean, make the pickle juice without the pickles having been there?

        Or, pickle some pickles and use the juice.

        1. re: sweet100s

          Yes because pickle juice is just basically a brine. I'm also not sure if the pickles wouldn't impart a weird taste to the chicken. As an experiment you could purchase a couple of jars of Clausens (which is my favorite) strain out the peppercorns and garlic and just use the liquid. Let us know how it works if you decide to try it.

          1. re: ericthered

            I would think adding dill would make chicken taste funny but pickle juice (water, salt, vinegar) shouldn't be any weirder than a regular brine. Supposedly Chik-Fil-A used pickle juice to brine their chicken to keep it juicy.

            1. re: verily

              Yes, I recall (prior to boycott) that their chicken sandwich chicken tastes of pickles, but not their chicken nuggets.

              1. re: foiegras

                I'd imagine that's because the sandwich has pickles on it while the nuggets don't?

                1. re: knightro98

                  I'm talking about the taste of the chicken itself.

      2. You can get a 2qt jar of Vlassic pickles for $4 on sale somewhere any given day in Austin. Otherwise, find a friend that works at a fast food restaurant and ask them for the dregs from the 5 gallon pails.

        Did you just read about that in rec.food.cooking? Somebody posted that yesterday as a supposed clone for Chick-FIl-A's chicken. Didn't sound right to me, but <shrug>.


        3 Replies
        1. re: sqwertz

          Thanks sqwertz and verily and eric.

          Saw this online, either here or huffington post. They didn't quote the chain, just that "an unnamed chain uses pickle juice to brine chicken."

          I love the idea of it. I love the results of brineing though I barely have the patience for it . First you have to make the brine, THEN you have to make sure it's < 40 degrees, THEN you can brine the chicken or the turkey, then it takes up a lot of space in the fridge. Etc... But making the brine is an essential first step in grilling a whole turkey breast that must be started on Day 1 of the 2 days it takes to make my favorite Turkey Ranch sandwich on HEB's yummy Ciabatta.

          I'll check out Costco for Clausens. Thought I'd try it on a small batch of chicken thighs and a couple breasts for chicken salad. Planning an oven cook to reduce variables. I might leave 1 thigh and breast un-brined to see if I can really taste the difference.

          1. re: sqwertz

            It is really really good, and tastes just like Chickfila's and uses pickle juice, I use this website's clone:

            Which is why I'm here, I wanna make it again, but I already have a open jar and a half of pickles so I didn't wanna buy more pickles I'm probably not gonna eat.

            1. re: freespaz

              That's the most unusual cooking website I've ever seen...

              But interesting.

              Recipes look good.

          2. There's flavor from the cukes in the pickle juice. If I were going to try to make pickle juice - and I have considered it because I love it as a brine for cooked white beans that I then use as a cold side, or in tossed salads - I would grate a cuke or slice paper-thin, then boil it with the vinegar, mustard seed, dill, etc. Let it steep till cool, then strain.

            1. Bob's pickle juice is the juice of squeezed pickles - meant to be used for making cocktails like a "pickle-tini" or bloody mary.

              You can buy it from pickleaddicts.com or do a google search to find it.

              Personally, I think it would be cheaper and easier to just buy a large thing of pickles and use the juice.

              1. I assume this is from a cooking video by (Austin's own) Hilah Cooking that went viral after the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy. Here is the video and recipe: http://hilahcooking.com/chick-fil-a-c...

                Note she just uses the juice from a Vlasic bottle. Another awesome use for pickle juice is a bloody mary - check Central Market for the amazing bloody mary mix from McClure's Pickles.

                1. HEB @ Spicewood Springs didn't have Clausens. Will try another location.

                  I'd guess after emptying the pickle jar I should refill it with ...
                  pickle brine. I can't imagine a pickle would be happy unless it were swimming in brine.


                  And to keep this Austin related, all this talk about pickles made me need one.

                  I love the pickles from Noble Pig. Missed their closing time and had to settle for Jimmy John's pickle quartered with my favorite sandwich of theirs - a beach club (their turkey, avocado, etc.) on their ultra-soft and tasty wheat bread.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sweet100s

                    HEB has begun carying a new brand of pickle that is quite tasty. It's Labeled Farmer's Garden and it's made by Vlasik. Quite good brine.

                    1. re: ericthered

                      they look really good, with cloves of garlic and some giardinera-like red peppers etc.
                      and they come in different styles, too. i need to try some.

                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                        they are good! have had the garlic chips, the bread and butter....and just finished a jar of the spears. kinda wish they'd do a jar of just carrots and garlic

                  2. Thumbs up on pickle juice as a pork chop brine. Used pickle juice to marinade (brine?) pork chops.

                    It definitely did the job of a "brine". They stayed extra moist while cooking to done. No one tasted a significantly different flavor.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sweet100s

                      This just seems odd to me. I would think the vinegar would toughen the pork and the sourness wouldn't just evaporate. But I save the juice from the Framers Garden pickles (nyeh) to brine a chicken breast tomorrow and will report back :-)

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        Definitely didn't toughen them. Even re-heated today (to just beyond warm) they were still squishy.

                    2. If your grocery has barrel pickles at the deli, ask if they'll sell you some of the pickle juice.

                      On occasion, I have asked the deli clerk at my regular grocery if I could purchase pickle juice. I've always been given a quart at no charge.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: sweet100s

                          In Russian cooking it is a classic ingredient in solyanka mysnaya (salyanka, selyanka..get into your own fights over this one) but is properly made with old fashioned brined pickles without vinegar added. My first thought was Central Market as a source, a place I practically camp out when visiting there. But I remember hearing that there was a Russian grocery of sorts some years ago. If it is still around , check with them. If I can't make my own pickles, when I need the rassol (the brine) I use a good refrigerated cucumber pickle. Any decent slavic cookbook will give you lots of ideas. Russians use the rassol from sauerkraut for hangovers.

                          1. re: sweet100s

                            Cold Borsht. Also, I find it a refreshing beverage on a hot, humid day when everything tastes too sweet, too bland, too......

                        2. Spec's in RR has a 32 or 40 oz bottle of bright green "pickle juice" for use as a cocktail mixer. I bought it for a party for picklebacks. It definitely tastes as you'd expect, but there's a little something in there that makes it feel like it's not "real" pickle juice. Maybe it's because it's a super bright green liquid, or maybe because there aren't any pickles in it.

                          Does the job for picklebacks, though

                          1. Central Market has a pickle bar. Presumably you could package just the juice if that's what you want.

                            1. chicken marinated in dill pickle juice is fantastic. just can't find dill pickle juice by itself.