Pickle juice is surprisingly versatile. Seriously. It’s used as an ingredient in cocktails and deviled eggs, and can be an excellent whiskey chaser. It’s also thought to offer many health benefits, such as helping with nausea, muscle cramps, and constipation. Pickle juice marinade is another approach to experiment with.
The approach can be as simple as allowing your meat to sit in pickle juice for a while before you cook it like normal. However, some recipes add extra ingredients or steps to make the entire meal more exciting.
Most recipes on this list don’t just focus on the marinade. Instead, they give you all the steps for preparing a whole meal. That’s partly because the steps will be influenced by the food you’re trying to prepare.
Besides, pickle juice is an incredibly simple marinade. You’ll quickly be able to use it without any recipe, which is simply fantastic. Plus, you can buy pickle juice or make your own. Both approaches will work well with these marinades.
P.S. To spice things up, why not try these recipes with jalapeno infused pickle juice?
Pickle Brine Oven Fried Chicken
Kristen // The Endless Meal
This recipe comes from Kristen at theendlessmeal.com and it’s a fantastic place to begin. As the name suggests, you’re using pickle juice as part of the brine to create oven baked chicken. This meal should be much healthier than fried chicken, while the pickle brine provides plenty of flavor.
Kristen also provides interesting details about using her recipe, like how long the chicken should be marinated for and what you can serve with it. You can even freeze the brined chicken, as long as you haven’t cooked it first.
Dill Pickle Chicken Wings
Kevin // Kevin Is Cooking
Here’s another chicken recipe. This one comes from keviniscooking.com and focuses on chicken wings. These wings would be exceptional party snacks, especially if you want something a little unusual.
The recipe involves a few steps, including two different oven placements for the wings. These steps can be a bit frustrating, especially if you’re cooking multiple batches of wings. Still… it’s worth following the recipe precisely as written, as you’ll end up with some incredibly delicious and crispy wings.
Kevin’s recipe focuses on cooking chicken on wire racks, but he provides other options in case you don’t have a suitable rack. While you lose a little crispiness with these alternatives, the wings should end up amazing regardless.
Pickle Juice Brined Pork Chops
This recipe from leitesculinaria.com moves away from chicken entirely. It offers a marinade that you can use with pork chops instead.
This is a fantastic idea, as pork chops go really well with pickle juice. Don’t believe me? Try the recipe for yourself. It could quickly become a new favorite.
This is also one of the simplest pickle juice marinade recipes on the list – as you’re literally just using pickle juice. Of course, you could easily add in a few spices for extra flavor if you want to.
Keto Pickle Brine Chicken
Lindsey // Little Pine Kitchen
Doesn’t this chicken look amazing? The recipe comes from Lindsey at thelittlepine.com and gives you a completely keto-friendly meal. It’s another incredibly simple recipe, but don’t let that stop you.
I’m not kidding. The combination of pickle juice and chicken turns out amazingly well. The recipe also includes a delicious sauce that complements the pickles and chicken flavoring, giving you an even more exceptional meal.
Air Fryer Pickle Juice Chicken
This recipe follows a different style, as you’re cooking the chicken in an air fryer rather than the oven. Air fryers use circulating hot air to provide the taste and texture of fried food with just a fraction of the oil.
You can fry pretty much any cut of chicken this way, including chicken thighs, chicken wings, and chicken drumsticks. The main difference is how long you cook each cut, but most air fryers provide all the details you need.
Irina mentions that the marinating time can vary. She suggests leaving the chicken in the pickle juice for at least four hours, although longer marinating times are even better. You can find all the details you need over at dailyyum.com.
Pickle Brine Pork Chops With Liquid Gold Sauce
Here’s a second recipe that focuses on pork chops. It comes from the site fountainavenuekitchen.com and features an exceptional liquid gold sauce. Honestly, the sauce is what makes this recipe stand out, as it looks amazing and should perfectly complement the brined pork.
The notes and tips section for the recipe also highlights the impacts of the specific pickle juice you choose. After all, the flavor profile of pickle juice can vary dramatically. You may even find some spicy ones and others with a sweet-sour flavor balance instead.
Pickle-Brined Grilled Chicken
Here’s another fun recipe to try. This one comes from spicysouthernkitchen.com and uses a slightly more complex marinade. What I love here is that there’s a hint of spice to the recipe. This works well with the flavor of pickle juice, creating an even more well-balanced meal.
Christin also provides details about what you can serve with the chicken, allowing you to make a full meal in no time.
Pickle Fried Chicken
This recipe takes a slightly different approach than our previous examples, as it includes buttermilk and a variety of spices, rather than just focusing on pickle juice.
Another cool thing is that you’re actually frying the chicken (rather than baking it or using an air fryer). While fried foods aren’t particularly healthy, they are delicious. Besides, we all deserve a treat now and then.
While you’re at it, why not serve the chicken in a bun with pickles, just like in the image? The flavors and textures would come together beautifully, giving you a fantastic casual meal. If that doesn’t appeal, no worries, the chicken would taste delicious alongside mashed potatoes and vegetables too.
All the details can be found at thecookful.com. While you’re at it, why not check out some of the other amazing recipes on the site?
Pickle Brined Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are a fantastic party hit. So, why not make a pickle brined version? This time the recipe comes from macheesmo.com and also gives you a spice mix to use with the wings.
Spices are an important part of the recipe, as the chicken only takes on a little flavor from the pickle brine. The wings simply wouldn’t be very exciting if there wasn’t a spice mix as well.
Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
This recipe comes from alldayidreamaboutfood.com and it’s another one that uses a dry spice rub for extra flavor. The rub is a mild one, so it provides plenty of flavor without much heat.
Carolyn also includes a section of extra tips for making the pork chops, including the size of chop you need, some other options for seasoning, and how long you should grill the chops for.
The first reason is flavor. Pickle juice provides a subtle tang to your chicken, making it much more interesting than normal. This is a useful effect, as chicken can get a bit boring after a while.
Still, the flavor boost isn’t the only reason to use pickle juice – or even the most important one. The juice also helps to keep your chicken moist and tender. Gone are the days of dry and tasteless chicken.
Pickle juice is also one of the easiest marinades you’ll ever find. You might notice this when reading the recipes featured above, as many of them just use pickle juice. There are no extra marinade ingredients.
What could be simpler than that?
Finally, pickle juice has all the qualities of a fantastic marinade and is readily available. Many of us already have extra pickle juice lying around because we enjoy pickles so much. Why not take advantage of the juice, rather than letting it go to waste?
Most pickle juice marinade recipes use chicken or pork as the meat of choice, perhaps because these types of meat don’t have strong flavors. However, these aren’t your only option.
You’ll occasionally see pickle juice used for other meats too, like steak. Jess Pryles has one interesting recipe for grilled skirt steak that follows this approach, while Dan-O’s seasoning has a recipe for filet mignon bites.
Those recipes follow similar styles as the ones featured in the list. You could even try using pickle juice with other meats and meals. The results might surprise you.
Longer isn’t always better. Marinating your meat for too long risks messing with the texture of your meat and creating a subpar meal. When you’re using pickle brine, there’s also the risk that you end up making the meat far too salty.
Exactly how long you need varies depending on the type of meat and its thickness. But, a couple of hours is often more than enough to impart the flavor and tenderness you’re looking for, without any negative effects.
Thin cuts of meat and chicken wings can be marinated for even shorter periods, like half an hour or an hour. This is perfect if you’re in a hurry.
Overnight marinades can work well if you’re prepping ahead of time. This provides a decent length of time for the marinade to work its way into the meat, but you’re not overdoing it.
It’s best not to go beyond an 8-hour overnight marinade unless the recipe specifically calls for it. Some recipes on this list do suggest marinating chicken for 24 hours or more, but those are exceptions and have been tested for the longer marinating time.