If you're like us, you understand that pickles are a way of life. The obsession around these cucumbers with a kick (which can actually be very good for you, by the way) has resulted in pickle juice soda, bread, soup, chips and more. It's pickle mania, and we're gleefully along for the ride.
Still, the pickle aisle at the grocery store, brimming with different brands, sizes and cuts, can be downright overwhelming. How's a pickle lover supposed to choose a favorite?
Luckily, we were willing to do the delicious decision-making for you. So we taste-tested some of the most popular pickle brands we could find at the supermarket. To narrow down the field of pickle possibilities, we limited this taste test to dills only (although they varied slightly in size and shape). Ranking on the crunch factor, acidity and seasoning of each one, we painstakingly found our winners. And believe us: We were happy to bear this burden.
Our Top Picks
With a perfect combination of tender crunch and mild acidity, Mt. Olive went home with the gold. Our editors unanimously chose these classic baby dills as their favorite, noting the fresh, salty and slightly sweet taste accompanied by a great crunchy bite. Although well seasoned, the pickles still had a hint of light cucumber flavor, making them perfect to eat all on their own.
② Vlasic Snack'mms Kosher Dill, $3.50
These bite-sized favorites held their own, offering the crunchiest bite of all the options we tried. Because of their small size, editors described them as the prime snacking pickle, perfect for cheese boards and appetizer spreads. They had a bit more of an acidic and garlicky flavor than Mt. Olive, offering slightly less sweetness, but all in all packed a great punch.
③ B&G Whole Dill Pickles, $4
Although editors described the look of these pickles as overly yellow and slightly clunky in size, the taste of B&G pickles earned them a place in the top. Like the others, they were pleasantly acidic but palatable enough to eat on their own. Mild, salty, crunchy and pleasantly funky, these dills are a great grocery store go-to.
Our editors were surprised to find that this artisanal pickle did not rise to the top in our blind taste test, even though some editors distinctly loved McClure's unique taste. Tasters described the texture as juicy, but too soft, with a particularly tough outer cucumber skin. Liberally seasoned and with a strong garlicky kick, these pickles are definitely in a league of their own, but at over $9 a jar, they may not be worth the price.
We found most of the brands for our taste-test at Stop & Shop and decided to add the store's own brand into the mix. Although editors liked their snackable size and notably "peppy" taste, the texture of these pickles proved a little too soft for our taste. Still, they were some of the more affordable pickles of the bunch and are definitely workable in a pinch.
Ultimately, Heinz dills fell to the bottom of our list, because of their overly pungent flavor. These acidic, concentrated bites pack a flavor punch suitable for true pickle fanatics only. The soft, soaked texture wasn't ideal either. If you're a person who enjoys drinking pickle juice on the regular, these strong dills might be perfect for you. For us, though, Heinz will always be about the ketchup.