Can you reuse like Mt. Olive pickle juice to make your own pickles? I have no idea so sorry if this is funny or stupid.
It's not a dumb question at all. There are lots of forum members here who share a philosophy of minimal waste.
You could "re-cycle" the pickle juice with fresh or blanched veggies - cucumber slices, cauliflower, carrots, etc. This would be a refrigerated pickle, not a canned one.
Some people also use the juice to pickle hard-boiled eggs.
I don't use mine to re-pickle but I do add it to rye bread, potato salad, a number of other recipes.
Here's a link that comes from the Mt. Olive site with a list of ways to use leftover pickle juice.
I hope this helps!
Here is a link that might be useful: Using Pickle Juice
WOw very nice link, Thank you. Does anyone have a recipe for pickles that taste like Mt. Olive. My 6 year old loves these pickles and if I could make them it would save me a fortune. lol
Here's another use for left over pickle juice-I soak a sponge in it, and use it to clean my copper pans. Sometimes you have to add a little more salt to the wet pan, but it works pretty good.
Try pickled onions -
My favorite is to slice onions very thin, soak overnight in commercial pickle juice in the fridge - serve on cheese burgers or chopped for hot dogs. Nice additions.
I popped new cucumbers into juice left from commercially canned sweet pickles but I'm too afraid to try them.
They have been refrigerated, but.....just not sure.
I did it originally because my daughter really likes the commercially canned ones, but I haven't been able to duplicate them (recipe anyone???).
Has anyone tried this? Did it work?
Bejay very good idea on the onions. and to clean cooper pots. Wow i would have never thought of that.
Deanna, that what i wanted to do. But I wasnt sure either. My family loves that sour dill. I will have to google to see if i can find something like it. Any ideas anyone?
I've never tasted Mt. Olive pickles (have never seen the brand here) so I can't help on that one. Check the label and see what it says about ingredients. That may provide some clues for a comparable recipe.
As far as the leftover pickle syrup is concerned, I would think you could take a conventional refrigerated (not processed) pickle recipe, follow the instructions for preparing and brining the cucumbers, reheat the pickle juice and use it in lieu of the spice/vinegar mixture called for. This is just a guess. There shouldn't be a safety issue as the cucumbers are refrigerated. You have more latitude with that kind of recipe. I think the only way you'd know whether you like the results is to do it with a single jar.
My guess is it'd be a milder pickle and its life might be a bit shorter.
Because these commercailly made brines have added preservatives, and usually only work once, when the product is first canned or jarred, its not advisable to reuse a brine. Another reason is that most items that are pickled in a vinegar/salt brine are releasing water and other 'chemicals', while they cure. If you reuse these brines, they are not usually as full flavored as fresh made, as well as not having the necessary acid or salt levels. Sour dill pickles are just plain dill seed, dill weed, garlic, salt and all vinegar, with no water added. I still like to add a dash of alum to my regular sour pickles, as it gives a bit of 'pucker' to the cukes. If you want a stronger flavored dill, use a mix from Ball or Mrs. Wages, as both have some nice dill flavor that goes beyond the amount you would see in a regular recipe. I like added seed heads to mine, as well as dill weed sprigs.
Ken, you are missing the point of how ultra easy it is to drop vegies into a jar once you eat the last pickle. Yes, you could combine some ingredients, but you don't get the same taste, and it would require work and new ingredients (reduce/reuse/recycle). I do it to spread around the lovely Claussen Pickle flavor. I have tried to make pickles, they are never that good.
I didn't know other people did this, too, but I have been putting stuff into pickle juice for many years. My favorite is cauliflower lumps. I find it best to cut the stems of the florets a little to absorb more of the flavor. I also do it with cucumber slices and mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms in half to get the flavor in faster. The cauliflower lasts a long time, but the mushrooms decline in quality after a few days.
Sauerkraut juice, dare I admit this, I drink it sometimes. I hope admitting this doesn't mean I can never run for president . . .
That Claussen recipe is quite simple. They use dill, and garlic mostly, and its just water, salt, and a dash of sugar and vinegar. I make a big batch of refrigerator pickles every year. The ones I did this past summer, I added a couple of whole peppercorns to the brine. Even these 3-4 whole peppercorns added a hint of heat to the pickles. Because the veggies that are in a brine, exude odd stuff while taking in water, salt, and flavor, they also give off stuff too, I don't like to resue a brine, unless its something for preserving fresh ginger in a sherry wine brine, or something that doesn't see odd tastes added. It might be extra easy to reuse a brine, but the flavor isn't going to be the same. Brines are cheap and easy to make, so I start fresh most of the time.
I found this Clausen recipe. I don't know if it's safe but it couldn't be much simpler. Maybe someone with expertise will chime in.
Clausen Kosher Dill Pickles
2 dill flowers
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 1/4 lbs. (8-10) pickling cucumbers
6 long sprigs fresh dill
1 Tbsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
Put dill flower and garlic in bottom of mason jar; add the cukes, put sprigs of
dill in center of cukes, add salt, vinegar, and fill jar with boiled water that
is now cool to within 1/8th of top. Put on seal and ring, shake to dissolve
salt, set upside down on counter away from sunlight and heat. Let sit 4-5 days
flipping the jar either upright or upside down each day. Let sit upright 2 more
days then refrigerate. Lasts about 6 months.
led, my grandma reused pickle juice all the time, she'd drop cauliflower, green beans, whatever into it. She also put eggs into the pickled beet juice and made pickled eggs.
If you like the flavor of fresh vegetable in your bottled pickl juice, put 'em in there, and refrigerate, but I wouldn't reuse that brine for canning.
Thanks for all the suggestions. And i am going to try that recipe. I will let you all know how it turns out. And i am going to drop something in my pickle jar tonight. I remember as a kid sitting with a full glass of pickle juice. yummmyyy I also remember sucking on lemons too. pucker.....
That 1 tablesoon of salt in the Claussen recipe doesn't seem enough. Vinegar should be only a couple of tablepoons to stop further curing of the cukes, but the salt should be pickling type, not kosher (measures very differently!). I usually do the tasting of the brine and get to a salt level where the brine actually tastes almost sweet and 'mouth watering'. Too little salt, it tastes salty, too much salt and its bitter. After a few water and salt mixtures, you should be able to taste it to tell if its OK or not. That recipe seems to make only about 2 quarts at best, but the salt level is going to be very low because a tablespoon of kosher salt is only equivilent to about half a tablespoon of regular fine pickling salt.
It is not considered safe to reuse pickle brine, even if you keep it refrigerated. The brine has been diluted with the cucumbers that were in there, plus they have introduced bacteria into the brine.
The only thing it is suggested that you use it for is to add to salad dressings or potato salad, etc. for flavor. Then, eat the food within 2-3 days.
Thanks, at least we agree on this topic..
Linda Lou, we all count on you for the latest in safety data. I appreciate it, as I am sure everyone else does. But this is another one of those things that seem quite ridiculous, like many of the 'how long to keep food' guidelines. I can keep an open jar of Claussen pickles in my frig for 2 months, BUT if we eat them all in a week and add some other vegies, that is immediately unsafe?!?
How does my cauliflower in commercial pickle juice magically become unsafe, whereas the cauliflower sitting by itself in the vegie drawer is safe, and the original pickles in the jar are safe? That really doesn't make any sense. I am not using the pickle juice to preserve or can my food, I am using it to add flavor to it. I will certainly go on doing so. Jars of pickles are the only thing in my fridge that has never gone moldy! Even sauerkraut can go bad if you forget about it for a long time.
My problem with canning my own Claussen-like pickles is mainly that I never get enough of a crop of small pickles, plus the actual Claussen pickles are available at any time of year and it is so easy to just drop stuff into the jar.
I think what you are doing is just fine. I've been doing it for years. I only re-use the brine once and only to flavor as you suggest. If I followed all the food safety rules to a T as LL suggests I'd have no imune system. At least that's my view on the matter. I appreciate LL's input as well. She provides tons of VERY valuable information unbeknownst to me... but sometimes you have to let common sense be your guide.
So we come back to my own theory. Get all the information from reliable sources (thank you, Linda Lou, that's you), weigh the possible risks against the benefits and make your own decision. Whether I take that advice or not, I certainly appreciate having it available to me.
Speaking of pickles, Linda Lou, I'm definitely going to have to make more of those sweet pickles of yours, the ones that sit for 10 days. My favorite sandwich has become a fish fillet on a homemade roll, with a smear of mayo and slices of those pickles. Yum.
Linda Lou is indiating that the brines are unsafe to reuse, because they are not chemically the same after a single process by the commercial company. The rate at which fresh vegetables spoil has nothing to do with a 'preservative' like a brine. As I pointed out before, when a brine has had vegetables pickled in it, these vegetables give off water, and other chemicals that leech back into the brine. These 'spent' brines are now unsafe to use as a stable long term preservative, but are probably OK to use for a short term of refrigeration (a few weeks). I would NEVER reuse a brine that was slated to be home canned. My meat brines usually turn red once a meat is cured, indicating that the meats have given off juices. I do know that vegetable brines also change color, get cloudy, and lose acidicity, once they are aged a while. For those who reuse a brine, its important to note that the taste of the added product that has been in these reused brines, will not rival the original, or more spices, salt, and vinegar are needed. Making a fresh brine from scratch is about the cheapest thing you can do to preserve vegetables for a long term of storage..
I'm wondering about reusing the brine from refrigerator pickles that only have vinegar, salt, and sugar added, to make more refrigerator pickles. It's my first batch and they taste really good, but seem to be losing the crispness a little. I guess after reading the above I might reuse it once to see how the flavor is affected.
My refrigerator ones have no added sugar. As mentioned, cucumbers tend to leech out some chemicals (a clear jelly goo, probably with pectin) from the tiny bumps along the sides. Because its so easy to make a new brine and the ingredients are fresh, it makes no sense to reuse it after maybe one single addition of a few more cukes. After that, the brine becomes unstable and can go bad faster. If you have added vinegar, this will also affect how well the added cukes will absorb the old brine.
Brine is cheap.
My feelings exactly. As to an all vinegar based brine, however, it can get a bit expensive. I have used over 15 gallons of white distilled vinegar so far this canning season and we still have a few more weeks to go before the cukes are stopping.
Anyone ever try green tomatoes in the leftover claussen's juice? Does it come out like a pickled tomato? --- I always liked the ones that I would get at a restaurant near my (childhood) house, they were very much like a raw green tomato (very firm) but with the pickle flavor... I wondered wheather I might be able to replicate them by these means?
I welcome everyone's thoughts.
Yes, you can easily make a pickled whole green tomato. Claussen also makes such a pickle using small green tomatoes. They are usually placed in a salt brine with garlic and dill added. This slightly ferments for a few days at room temperature after being placed in jars. Then, about 3-5 days, you add a small amount of white vinegar to stop fermentation. This kind of pickle must be refrigerated after that, as its not safe enough to can due to the density. Additionally, each tomato should have its stem area cored and removed prior to pickling. The pickled tomatoes will be ready to eat in about a month or two.
so just to review... quarter the green tomatoes, cut out the stems, drop into reused claussen's pickle juice and wait (a few days)?
Thanks for the help.
Suggest that you start with a fresh made brine. The tomatoes can also be halfed if they are small enough to fit in the jars. When things are pickled in a brine, they exude enzymes and juices that dilute the brine. Reusing a Claussen brine might not give you what you expect, only because the brine does many things to the tomatoes, and once its 'spent' it will not give off much more favorable flavor.
Actually I cut up some green tomatoes and dropped them into a Claussen pickle juice/brine last month. When frost is coming, you have to be creative with those green tomatoes! Although they aren't as strongly flavored as the original Claussen pickles, they are sure an improvement over eating green tomatoes on their own. They are still quite firm. Yes, we could go and use all new ingredients, but then we wouldn't be reusing that divine Claussen pickle juice, now would we? I use almost every jar of Claussen pickles once more for my own vegies. Reduce reuse recycle, that's me. Find me one person who was injured reusing their pickle juice . . . I don't mean for canning, just for sitting in the frig and giving a nice flavor.
When I have two jars (and I often buy them 2 at a time on sale) I sometimes pour out a little of the juice and combine all the particulate matter (garlic and various pickling spices) with as much juice as fits into the jar with the cauliflower or whatever. That way you are condensing the spices a bit to give a flavor more like the original Claussen pickles, which I obviously love.
I know Annie grows her own beef, do the rest of you folks eat only non-growth-hormone-laced beef? Because as I suspected long ago, the stuff is poisoning people in the U.S. I imagine that is a much greater threat than old pickle juice. Funny the USDA doesn't say anything about it, maybe it has to do with politics and the beef industry?
Marcia, long time beef avoider
When I make a brine, like Claussen, its fairly easy if you know when to stop adding salt or water. This is a point when the two will give off a somewhat 'confusing' sweet taste, which seems to make the mouth water. This level is where I feel that the brine is salted correctly. For spices, you can make sure of a bit of bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, and whatever else you see listed on the Claussen jars. I believe they even add a little sugar. Once the vegetable has sit in it at room temperature for about 3-4 days, you add a small amount of white vinegar to stabilize the brine and stop any further fermentation. Then its refrigerated. The last time I had a true Claussen was years ago, and I find mine a bit nicer tasting due to the additional herbs I add. Even for that, if you like the Claussen salt brine, try to duplicate its flavor 'sensation'. If you can match the salt water ratio, and compare it with the Claussen, you just need to experiment and try adding the spices you are tasting. Yes, its OK to reuse a brine for the short term in the fridge, but after a couple of months, the contents can spoil or get moldy due to the new veggies and old used, spent, brine. I bet that someone has a recipe post for a true Claussen brine with the proper spices added.
The tomatoes with the re-used claussen's juice are great! I highly recommend trying them. I, too, had some green ones left on the vine with frost coming.
Good luck! Thanks all for the advice.
Make your own Claussen Pickle juice with this recipe
Here is a link that might be useful: Recipegoldmine
It isn't pickle juice that I reuse but the vinegar solution from the Anaheims I canned. I used a variety of spices, onion and garlic so once that solution became infused with the heat and flavor of the peppers, it turned into one hot and flavorful concoction. It will add zest to your oil and vinegar salad dressing. Just use the leftover solution instead of fresh vinegar. It is perfect for pickling eggs and if you use it instead of fresh vinegar for a three-bean salad, your taste buds will do you homage.
So I can make that Clausen Kosher Dill Pickles recipe above and in the posted link, with the cooled water, and let it sit on the counter for nearly a week before putting in the fridge, and it is safe??? Man, that would be awesome, I would be such a hero with DH.
The Claussen recipe usually call for lots of pickling salt. Its the salt that helps to prevent spoilage as well as cure the cukes. The use of a small amount of vinegar will help stablize the brine after the few days at room temps. These pickles MUST be refrigerated once they are cured. I have a few still left from last summer, still in the fridge. I will not be growing cukes this year, but have a ton of mammouth dill growing everywhere, that came from seeds from last years plants, that came from the year before. Guess its now 'naturalized' here.. That recipe link mentions putting the vinegar in at the same time as the salt, which may not help to get the cukes to cure properly. Also, a tablespoon of Kosher salt in 1.5 quarts of water isn't nearly enough for a true brine cured pickle.
I suggest that you look at a few other posts about a Claussen taste pickle. With my half sours, I sometimes use part of a Ball dill pickle mix, as it contains the salt and a lot of dill flavor without all the seeds and weed. I do add fresh dill seed heads and dill weed leaves, as well as plenty of garlic. Originally, I made my brines by just a tasting method that I learned from my Polish grandmother. I add the salt to the water in stages, until its almost sweet tasting, and my mouth waters. Too little salt and its just salty tasting, too much and its bitter. You can 'play with' the amount of salt vs. water until you get to the right point, then just add the trimmed ends cukes, dill and cut up garlic cloves.
I love Mrs Kleins Hot Pickled Cauliflower but my supermarket no longer carries it. If I can locate a jar can I reuse the liquid and perhaps add hot peppers to make my own?
Again, these commerically prepared brines are not suitable for reuse. In fact, the commercially made pickle juices are sometimes different from what the final jars are filled with. You can recreate a hot brine by adding various hot peppers chopped into small bits, and add it to salt and vinegar. Cauliflower pickles quite well, and I even add it to sweet mixed pickles, along with small onions, cuke chunks, and some sweet red pepper pieces. The sweet red pepper pieces are from dried chopped peppers, and rehydrate quite well. I even used it in a batch of mustard pickles. Suspect that the brand is no longer made, as a web search didn't bring up any hits on Mrs. Kleins products.
No, do not reuse it. It has been diluted from the first batch and also contaminated by the food in the jar and also just opening and reclosing the jar.
Start fresh and use a recipe that is close to it.
You could use the brine within a few days in things like pasta salad, though, just to use it up.
Mrs. Klein's hot pickles were far and away the best pickles I've ever tasted. They took down their website a few months ago, around when I thinking about contacting them because my grocer stopped carrying their products. I would kill to get their pickles again, or even a recipe that matches them.
I just bought a jar of Mrs Klein's Hot Pickled Cauliflower at a Food City in Tucson, AZ. Moderately hot but much too salty for my taste (and blood pressure). They (and the jar label) are already gone - will try to stop at the market again soon and see if I can get some address information. You might also check with Food City or their parent company, Bashas' Supermarkets .
My local quickiemart has a few of Mrs. Klein's hot and oak barrel pickles in every week. I had one a few months ago and will confess.... this is, without a doubt, the greatest tasting pickle I've ever had. I like the hot pickles, but I'm hooked on the Oak Barrel version. They come in individual plastic bags and it seems the guy never has enough. Turns out, there's a Mrs. Klein's pickle freak in my area that also buys them up according to the guy behind the counter. He's recently started ordering 3 times the amount of them simply because they're going almost as fast as he can order them.
Why didn't they catch on BEFORE the web site went down. I've been looking for any information on these. When he's out - I wanna know where to get more if I'm having an oak barrel pickle craving! LOL
PS - I live in San Diego, CA
Wonder if this would work, admit use it to flavor some dressing.
I use Claussen pickle juice all the time for my pickles.
If you wish to make pickles like claussen:
You must use distilled water, Distilled white vinegar, kosher salt, soak in alum at least a day in advance and NEVER ever allow pickles to get warm.
Vinegar is a preservative, if you keep pickles in the fridge, you don't need to can them, just handle with tongues.
Add sugar to balance PH, too acidic will turn pickles to mush!
fresh garlic cloves, juniper berries, peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander, chili peppers, dill seed and dill weed, last but not least, a carrot!
Here is a link that might be useful: Crispy pickles
Old thread, I know, but I'm following it with great interest.
"The brine has been diluted with the cucumbers that were in there..."
Just wanted to say that this is correct, and that the biggest dilution involved is the salt content. The whole process of brining is made possible by the fact that salt attracts water, effectively 'dehydrating' the fresh water out of the cukes, while simultaneously re-hydrating them, as the fresh water contained in the cukes is drawn out and exchanged with the salt solution from the outside. This process continues until equilibrium is achieved, which means your brine is most certainly diluted.
I do reuse commercial pickle juice (I know, unsafe, bacteria, your head will fall off, yada yada - it's my choice, I don't care, and I will continue to do so as I have done for many years) - but I add a rounded teaspoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon or two of distilled white vinegar (per jar) back into the solution beforehand. Works like a charm.