Strange But Good: 9 Ways to Eat Pickles

July 20, 2015

A pickle every day, in every way.


Some might argue that there's a time and a place for a pickle—specifically on or next to a sandwich, in the summer, or maybe, if one's feeling daring, wrapped in waxed paper and chomped into directly from the barrel. But for every person who believes that pickles are best restricted to condiment status, there is a pickle fiend passionately campaigning for pickles and their brine to be eaten often and everywhere. We asked pickle-loving Hotliners for their ideas—here's how they do it.

  1. Drink the brine straight. Follow with some water or, if it's happy hour, mix it with a shot of bourbon for a pickleback. MTMitchell's husband swears that gargling with brine helps a sore throat.
  2. Use it to make zingy Bloody Marys and martinis.
  3. Make tiny pickle sandwiches with potato chips.
  4. Chop them up into a big pickle salad. Try it with a variety of pickled vegetables, or stick to cukes.
  5. Pair them with peanut butter. Really. Layer pickle slices on a peanut butter sandwich or, as Garlic Fiend suggested, mix the juice with peanut butter and spread it on apple slices. Go all the way with a pickle round on top.
  6. Marinate chicken in leftover pickle brine.
  7. Or freeze the brine into pickle pops like our editor Amanda.
  8. Use pickles and their brine in salad dressing. Not just for green salads. Add the chopped pickles and/or brine to egg salads, potato salads, and deviled eggs.
  9. Reuse leftover brine to make more pickles when all is said and done. Pickle everything, from blueberries to lettuce.

Photo by James Ransom

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What is your favorite way to eat pickles and their brine? Share your ideas in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


David B. March 7, 2021
Full pickle laid across a fresh piece of rye bread, accompanied with generous application of yellow ballpark mustard, or hot if that's your preference. That's it.
Mic drop!!!
ForeverYng67 August 4, 2020
From rainy day snacking, to cocktail party Hors d’oeuvres, you have to pair PICKLES & CASHEW NUTS💚 Any nuts 🥜 will do! Crunchy and Delicious . Be prepared for a party in your mouth.
Leo D. June 3, 2019
PICKLE BOY LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!
FoodieDawn July 22, 2015
Definitely use pickle brine for Bloody Marys, but also in tuna salad.
Kevin F. July 21, 2015
Love a shot of brine after a shot of Irish whiskey - a true pickleback!
AntoniaJames July 20, 2015
* Also delicious in any fish-based salad, e.g., tuna salad or salmon salad.

* When making potato salad, splash hot sliced just-cooked potatoes with the brine instead of vinegar. The potatoes soak it right up.

* Perfect for stirring into many cold soups.

* Carrots are particularly good quick-pickled in kosher dill brine.