The Simple Hack To Make Fresh Pickles Without Prep Work

jar of pickles
jar of pickles - Merc67/Getty Images

Nothing quite hits like a good pickle -- enjoyed on its own, as a must-have side to a burger, or sliced on a sandwich. We're all officially pickle-obsessed, with the average American consuming a whopping 9 pounds of pickles per year, according to the USDA, and a steady stream of new pickle products on the market from pickle beer to pickle potato chips.

Making pickles at home is an easy, totally doable way -- even for the total novice to DIY food preservation -- to ensure your salty, briny cravings are always met. While the basic recipe for pickles is easy as is, there's a crafty hack for making homemade pickles that makes things so simple, that you'll never look at a nearly empty pickle jar the same way again. Next time you've grabbed the last spear out of your jar, whether they're the dill, spicy, or bread and butter variety, don't toss that liquid. You can reuse that perfectly flavored brine to make your next batch by simply replenishing with fresh sliced cucumbers.

A true pickle juice lover already knows -- you never toss that precious brine. But if sipping pickle juice straight or using it in cocktails, dressings, or marinades isn't your cup of tea, this hack is one convincing reason to never toss it down the drain. Not only is this method economical and zero-waste, but it also results in a perfectly flavored batch of new pickles with nearly zero effort.

Read more: 10 Produce Storage Mistakes To Avoid

Reusing Pickle Juice Makes An Easy, Economical New Batch

pickle on a fork
pickle on a fork - Kajakiki/Getty Images

Any type of DIY preservation can seem daunting, so we're all for a hack that takes away the guesswork and complexity from a recipe. While this workaround is far simpler than many methods such as canning pickles, you still want to make sure you're doing things by the book to ensure total food safety, first and foremost. Before you reuse the brine, double-check that it's in good condition. Look out for any discoloration, murkiness, or of course mold, and toss if any is present.

Once you confirm your brine is suitable, wash and slice up your favorite type of cukes -- the Kirby variety is ideal for pickling -- and add to the leftover juice. If the liquid level is looking low, add a splash of vinegar which will also increase the acidity. Replace the lid and stick the jar back in the fridge, ensuring it is airtight, and within 24 hours you'll have crunchy, tangy, delicious new pickles ready to enjoy.

Keep the jar stored in the fridge and enjoy within a month for maximum freshness. Just keep an eye out for any cloudiness in the brine, or if the pickles start to lose their crunch -- both indicators they're past the prime. Pickle lovers know though, it's not using up a jar that's the challenge -- it's making it last.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.