Clone Your Favorite Store-Bought Pickles For Under A Dollar

Picture of Clone Your Favorite Store-Bought Pickles For Under A Dollar
by Leif Starbuck

Eat a lot of store-bought pickles? Read on to find out how, by reusing the pickle brine, you can "clone" your favorite brand of pickles at the cost of around 75 cents a jar.

This recipe makes one jar of pickles. You'll need:
   1 ''used" jar of pickles with brine reserved
   1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
   1 Tbsp table or kosher salt
   1 cucumber
   2 cloves garlic (optional)
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Step 1: Reserve your pickle juice.

Picture of Reserve your pickle juice.
My favorite brand of store-bought pickles is Claussen. The juice is almost good enough to drink -- an option I gave into on a couple occasions when pouring it down the drain just didn't seem right. So, for this tutorial, reserve as much as possible, as there's a lot of flavor still in there after the pickles are gone.

Step 2: Add salt, distilled vinegar, and optional herbs/spices.

Picture of Add salt, distilled vinegar, and optional herbs/spices.
To the existing pickle brine I added one tablespoon each of salt and distilled vinegar -- ingredients that are part of the original brine but had no doubt been absorbed (and eaten) in the factory pickles themselves.

I also added some fresh chopped garlic, which is optional. You could also try adding chili peppers, onions, fresh dill, mustard seed, or maybe even brown sugar. But when cloning, don't splice too many genomes, you could end up with a monster that wheezes "kill me" every thirty seconds.

When that's done, seal the jar and shake it like a Polaroid picture. Make sure all the salt has dissolved into the brine, instead of sitting uselessly at the bottom.

Step 3: Add cucumber.

Picture of Add cucumber.
One cucumber cost me all of 59 cents, and one was all it took for a regular-sized jar. Start by washing the cucumber. Slice it into coins, or try your hand at making spears. I prefer to slice at about a quarter-inch cut, so that the pickles take less time to brine and sit easily on sandwiches.

TabiC2 months ago
I use the left over pickle juice as a salad dressing- add oil and parsley for an awesome oil and vinegar dressing.
TFS Jake6 months ago

I just did this. I can't stand the suspense!

jesucka873 years ago
This looks good. I've used brine for tartar sauce.
You are a genius! I have but one recommendation: use official "Pickling Salt" instead of 'seasoning salt'. It's very cheap and you can get it year round at your local Walmart.
jjewels1194 years ago
I've done this without adding anything to the existing pickle juice, and it still turns out pretty good. I'll have to give this a try.
ladylissa4 years ago
i enjoy a sip of pickle juice from time to time and it's great!
vandal11385 years ago
You know, I've had the same thoughts as i'm dumping the brin down the sink..... 1st thought: These pickles are so good i should drink this... 2nd thought: Could i make more pickles with this and would they be as good? 3rd thought: Drinking this was a bad idea....