Pickle Brine Pork Chops or Chicken with Liquid Gold Sauce
Yield: as many as needed (see notes for ratios) -- Liquid Gold Sauce recipe yields 1/3+ cup (may double or triple as desired)
Crazy as it may seem, pickle juice components are that of a basic brine, and it will tenderize and flavor pork chops and chicken with no  “pickle-y” taste. Tangy with a hint of sweetness, the mayo-free mustard sauce adds great flavor to pork chops, chicken, and even salmon.


  • Pork chops, bone-in or boneless as desired
  • Chicken pieces (we cooked boneless, skinless; choose according to preference)
  • Dill pickle brine (could try horseradish, spicy, or garlic pickles)
  • Salt (optional) and pepper
  • Optional for serving: honey mustard sauce or Liquid Gold Sauce (recipe follows)

For the Liquid Gold Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (60g) yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 firmly packed tablespoon (15g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce (I like sriracha)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the Pork or Chicken: Place the pork chops and/or chicken pieces in a large zip-top bag, and pour in the pickle juice.Seal the bag, lay it flat on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any leaks), and refrigerate all day or overnight if possible. Try to remember to flip the bag several times.

    When ready to cook, drain off the marinade and discard. Sprinkle optional salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. (Brines vary in their level of saltiness; we enjoyed a light sprinkle of salt.)

    Grill over medium heat until the chops or chicken are just cooked through. Time will vary based on thickness of chop or breast, presence of bone, etc. Look for an internal temperature of 145° F for pork chops and 165° F for chicken. Be cautious not to overcook the meat or the tenderness provided by the extended steep in the pickle juice will be lost.  Allow the cooked meat to rest for several minutes before cutting, and then enjoy with spoonful of sauce, if desired.

    For the Liquid Gold Sauce: In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients, stirring for a minute or so to dissolve the brown sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce will keep for several weeks. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, feel free to add more brown sugar to taste.

Notes & Tips

  • After eating all the pickles from a 28-ounce jar of dill pickles, I measured 1 1/4 cups of brine.This amount was sufficient for 4 bone-in pork chops and 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Kim mentioned that she enjoys using the brine from horseradish pickles, and that garlic or spicy pickle juice would likely be delicious. As noted above, marinades with a high sugar content should be watched more closely when cooking, as they tend to burn more easily.
  • For those who don’t usually have pickles on hand but would still like to try this recipe, Kim also shared the clever idea of asking your local sandwich shop or deli for brine, as many places discard the brine once the pickles are gone.

More recipes at FountainAvenueKitchen.com