Ranking store-bought pickles worst to best

It's safe to say that there are plenty of people out there who will claim that they just aren't pickle people. And in response to that we say, well, more pickles for us. There's just something so beautiful about that briny, bumpy exterior paired with the perfect crunch that makes pickles ideal for such a variety of dishes and so many occasions.

Pickles on your burger or chicken sandwich? Absolutely. How about pickles in your potato salad? Can't live without 'em. Pickles up the flavor ante of so many dishes, providing the ideal kick in a recipe or simply serving as a great snack.

But just as there are pickle lovers and pickle haters out there, it's also fair to say that no two brands of pickles are created equal. Heading to the grocery store and picking any jar of pickles off the shelf with no regard to size, shape, or brand name certainly won't yield delicious results every time. Luckily, we've done a bit of the legwork for you. To avoid any pickle-buying pitfalls, we've put together a list of store-bought pickle brands, ranked worst to best.

Simple Truth Organic Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

Kroger's Simple Truth Organic line offers an option for pickles made with organically grown ingredients. And while that sounds great, you can tell you're not in for a winner with these pickles just by looking at the jar. The color of these pickles is incredibly pale yellowish-green, which doesn't lend itself to an appetizing pickle.

There's a freshness to the brine when you open the jar, perhaps from the organic cukes selected to make these pickles. But organic doesn't always mean better. Biting into this pickle doesn't offer much. There's barely any crunch, and the interior side of the spear is mushy in texture. There's an incredible imbalance of sweet and salty with the flavor, leaving much to be desired. Sure, the addition of garlic adds a nice hint of flavor, but the vinegar is too over-powering to make these pickles even remotely enjoyable.

Boar's Head Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

This jar of kosher dills is unfortunately one of the most disappointing of them all. But the packaging certainly doesn't allude to that. Boar's Head is a prominent deli brand, offering delicious options for meats, cheeses, and even hummus. Of course, that familiar packaging would promise a delicious pickle option to accompany those other deli favorites, right? No, not so fast.

Typically found refrigerated in the deli area of a grocery store, this Boar's Head packaging is all talk. Once you crack into the fancy jar, you're simply left with regret.

Opening the jar, you're met with about seven pickles floating in a brine with peppercorn, carrots, and chunks of garlic. And while that seems entirely promising, that first bite leaves you hoping for more. There's certainly a decent crunch, but once you get into the flavor, you're left wishing for more tang. They definitely have a homestyle look and feel to them, but the flavor just misses the mark.

Vlasic Purely Pickles Kosher Dill Spears

Vlasic is certainly known as a one of the most classic pickle brands. But Vlasic decided to switch things up from their classic offerings and introduce its Purely Pickles deli-style line as another option. These pickles have no artificial flavors or preservatives, along with no artificial colors. And while all of that sounds great, these pickles don't quite live up to the same level of greatness.

Upon opening the jar, you're met with a nice, acidic aroma, but there's almost a hint of sweetness to it. Biting into the spear offers a nice crunch on the outside, but then you find yourself munching on a much softer, mushier interior as if the pickles were exposed for too long to the acidity in the brine.

It's a decent flavor, and it's a bit unique thanks to the use of sea salt, but the taste certainly isn't anything to write home about. Overall, these pickles are lackluster at best, with just a hint of crunch.

Kroger Zesty Hot Dill Pickle Zingers

A spicy pickle sounds like it could only be a good thing for those who love foods with a little kick, right? Trust us, we were just as excited as you, especially to find a unique offering from Kroger. But these zesty hot dill pickles might just have a little too much zing to them. 

The pickles are made with fresh cucumbers and vinegar just like other pickle counterparts. But what makes these hot pickles different is the addition of dehydrated red chili peppers.

Opening the jar, you'll find the little red peppers literally floating in the brine, and that gives such a promise of incredible flavor. But these zesty little things are taking spice to a whole new, uncomfortable level. You can't smell it by opening the jar, but once you bite into one of these pickles, it will definitely pack a punch. The crunch is incredible, but the heat is a bit unbalanced. If you're into crazy burning spice and acidity all at once, these pickles are the snackers for you. But otherwise, we say skip eating them on their own. Dicing these up and adding them to a potato salad would balance them out with the creaminess from the mayonnaise, but eaten any other way, they may be a bit too much of a kick for everyday enjoyment.

Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Wholes

Claussen pickles are always found in a refrigerated section in the grocery store, leading you to think these pickles must be filled with promise. Surely, they must be better than a cheaper, shelf-stable option, right? Well, not so fast. 

The juice is a nice light green hue, paired with mustard seed, dried red peppers, and dried garlic in the brine. They're a nicely colored pickled, without too much neon green coming through, giving off the appearance and feeling of freshness.

Biting into a Claussen pickle offers a great, lasting crunch throughout the entire bite. It's a wildly satisfying crunch, but we're not sure that makes up for their overpowering taste. These pickles are essentially a vinegar bomb, without much else going on with the flavor. The aftertaste is surprisingly delicious and balanced, but the actual bite into the pickle is all about acidity in an overwhelming way.

Famous Dave's Spicy Pickle Spears

If there's one thing Famous Dave's is, well, famous for, it's barbecue. And while ribs and brisket are certainly popular choices at this restaurant chain, it's the sandwiches and burgers topped with spicy pickles that really make pickle fans go wild.

There's just something so perfectly balanced about these signature spicy pickles made with peppers and onion. And it makes it even better that you can buy them at the store to enjoy at home.

This pickle is essentially a sweet bread and butter pickle but with a spicy kick. They're a nice, sweet pickle with spice coming through in the aftertaste, and they're not too overpowering for those who can't handle too much spice. It's definitely a different flavor than those who love a classic dill pickle, but it's a solid choice to pile high on top of a brisket sandwich or burger for extra flavor.

Vlasic Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

The difference in color from Vlasic's Purely Pickle Dill Spears and its regular Kosher Dill Spears is astonishing. Truly, Vlasic is offering up a basically neon-green color with these pickles. And while no artificial dyes are incorporated, the company apparently utilizes turmeric extract for color, which may have been a bit too heavy in the recipe.

Color aside, opening up this jar offers a nice, balanced aroma. It's not too acidic, not too sweet. Biting into these pickles offers a hint of crunch, which is Vlasic's claim to fame, but with this option, we certainly wouldn't agree that it's a "big crunch" as the label states.

The spears have a slight crunch on the exterior, but the interior of the spear is all too soft. The texture is a bit of a miss with these pickles, but the flavor is decent. It's well-balanced with a hint of vinegar and acidity, paired with a tiny bit of sweetness to round it out.

Walmart Great Value Whole Dill Pickles

It's not very often you find pickles without kosher dill listed on the label, but Walmart has pulled it off with their Great Value brand. But when it comes to the term kosher for pickles, we're not just referring to pickles that have been prepared in accordance with dietary guidelines and overseen by rabbis. We're talking about garlic.

Typically, a kosher dill pickle will incorporate additional flavoring agents such as garlic to pack a tasty punch. And these varieties of pickles are flooding shelves, most often with a mixture of garlic, dill, and other spices in the brine. Walmart's Great Value Dill Pickles meet that uncommon mark by utilizing only cucumber, water, vinegar, and dill extract to achieve their pickle flavor without the addition of garlic. And for people who don't love garlic, that's ideal.

While we're huge fans of kosher dill pickles, this option definitely still packs a flavorful punch. The crunch on the exterior of the pickle is great, paired with a well-balanced flavor throughout. We just can't hide the fact that we love pickles better when they come with a hint of garlicky goodness.

Farman's Genuine Dill Whole Pickles

Opening a jar of Farman's pickles, you'll find it jam-packed to the brim. And with how good these pickles are, that's definitely something to be thankful for. The Farman's brand certainly dishes up a pleasantly pickle-colored option, along with a nice bumpy exterior. And the crunch truly is incredible. This is perhaps of one of the crunchiest pickle options out there, and Farman's knows it. On the label, it even reads, "fresh packed for extra crunch." But where these pickles make up for in incredible crunch, they lack in incredible flavor. 

Don't get us wrong, the flavor is decent, with a hint of sweetness and great acidity. The vinegar to cucumber and garlic ratio is all very well-balanced for a delicious seasoning. We just simply wish there was more flavor going on here. It's almost like the producers knew they were on to a great, flavorful recipe but were too afraid to go overboard with it.

Kroger Whole Kosher Baby Dill Pickles

Opening a jar of Kroger's Whole Kosher Baby Dill Pickles is like being smacked in the face with vinegar. If you're not a fan of super-acidic pickles, this could definitely be a turn-off just by taking a whiff of the jar. But hear us out. If you give these perfectly bumpy little pickles a try, they might just end up surprising you.

There's a nice satisfying crunch when you bite into the pickle that lasts all the way through the experience. They're incredibly acidic and salty, as evidenced by the aroma coming from the brine when you pop open the jar, but that leads to a wildly tasty pickle. We wish the sodium content was slightly toned down on this pickle option, as the saltiness comes in a little bit strong, especially when paired with the acidity from the vinegar, but overall, it's still a great option for snacking. 

Mt. Olive Kosher Dills Pickles

Mt. Olive has been turning cucumbers into delicious dill pickles since 1926, so you better believe they know a thing or two. And we have to agree that their recipe certainly stands the test of time.

These are the crunchiest pickles you could ever dream of. The nutrition label lists calcium chloride, which is used as a firming agent, and with just one bite of a pickle from this jar, you can certainly tell it's working. That first crunchy bite is great, but throughout the entire chewing process, it's a whole delicious experience one crunch after another.

The acidity of these pickles is well-balanced with a hint of sweetness. They're nicely seasoned with just a bit of salt, and they're not overpowering with the vinegar flavor. They're definitely a well-balanced option to add to any dish or to keep crunching on as a snack all afternoon long.

Vlasic Kosher Dill Whole Pickles

This is the epitome of nostalgia when it comes to pickles. If you ever purchased a pickle from the concession stand at a high school football game or even from a roadside deli on a summer trip, chances are, this is the pickle you grew up with. And while that giant dill pickle served as the perfect snack in teenage years, it still holds on strong today for snacking or any other recipe addition.

Biting into a whole dill pickle is an experience in and of itself. It's not the same as spears by any means, and it's a slightly elevated experience compared to baby dills. There's an incredible crunch that comes from biting into a whole dill pickle from Vlasic, and quite frankly, it lives up to everything that little stork on the label has been claiming about being the crunchiest pickle for years.

The flavor is perfectly balanced with a tanginess that's unmatched. There isn't too much vinegar, there's a hint of sweetness, and it's overall just an all-around perfect pickle option.