Taste Test: Dill Pickles

When you're cruising the grocery store and need a quick jar, which brands should you look for? We tried 11 nationally available brands of jarred dill pickles to find the most picklicious.

The Contenders

We stuck to the widely available, grocery-store-bought dill pickles. None of the fancy, small-batch (albeit tasty) pickles from the local farmers' market or boutiquey food market (we'll have to save those for another tasting!).

The Criteria

When shopping, we looked for the largest format available for each dill pickle variety. That meant we bought whole pickles whenever available, but if they weren't, we purchased the following in this order: spears, stacker slices, and chips.

The ideal dill pickle has a crisp, snappy texture, not soggy or mushy, with a balanced salty, briny, dilly flavor. It shouldn't taste like a raw cuke but it also shouldn't be so overwhelmingly spice-loaded or such a vinegarbomb that you can't taste anything else.

The Results

#1. Boar's Head (6.79)

On the garlic spectrum, these kosher dill spears are pretty garlicky. "But in a good way!" agreed tasters. It's a pickle that's flavorful enough to eat on its own, or alongside a deli sandwich or hot dog. An anytime pickle. Not soggy or limp; very crisp and fresh. Doesn't taste like it's been sitting at the bottom of a grocery store aisle forever.

#2. Ba Tampte (5.93)

These spears have a mildly sour flavor, not the vinegarbomb that others were. "Very natural, like they're fresh from a deli barrel," said one taster. Garlicky, a touch sweet, and not processed-tasting. They could be a bit crunchier. Some bites were a bit floppy. But the flavor is fresh with an easygoing amount of sourness.

#3. Woodstock Farms (5.83)

This organic brand uses organic cukes that sit in organic distilled vinegar with organic garlic, organic dillweed oil, and organic spices. So if you're looking for an organic pickle, we can recommend you this one. It's spiced, salty, tart, and not soggy. All wins when you're scoring pickles! The fleshy part in the middle is a bit soft but the outside skin stays crisp. Very dilly and garlicky; a little too pungent for some tasters.

#4. Vlasic (5.67)
#5. Whole Foods 365 (5.43)
#6. Trader Joe's (5.17)
#7. Target (5.0)
#8. Mt. Olive (4.67)
#9. Heinz (4.33)
#10. B&G (4.17)
#11. Claussen (3.89)