Best Crackers: The 7 Saltiest, Tastiest, Best Crackers

I didn’t expect to have such strong opinions on crackers, but here we are. That’s the thing about Sporked taste tests: Sometimes everybody gets along and agrees on the rankings, and other times I’m pacing back and forth trying to figure out how the hell to rank a Triscuit when everyone around me keeps saying, “It tastes like hay, Danny.” 

What makes a good cracker, anyway? Well, to me, a good cracker means crunch, flavor, and heft. Crackers should be able to carry dip, cheese, meat, and condiments. The best crackers can do that and be crumbled up into a bowl of soup; they traverse meals and invite various applications. More than anything, though, good crackers should be so scrumptious that you want to eat them all on their own. We want crackers to be structurally sound and have a great baseline flavor. A good cracker is just good engineering. That’s why we invited Good Mythical Morning director Morgan Locke for this cracker taste test.

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Best of the Best

Ritz Original Crackers

Unanimous decision: Ritz is the king of crackers. If you need proof, just check out the number of brands attempting to imitate this classic cracker. Most of them fall short, though; nothing can replicate a salty, buttery, toasty, crunchy Ritz. A Ritz cracker can be eaten all on its own, and its signature flavor is only enhanced by whatever you top it with. A Ritz cracker’s closest companion is cheese, but as Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick pointed out, the salt factor in a Ritz cracker also does well with chocolate. “I want it with a s’more,” said editor-in-chief Justine Sterling. Put it on a casserole, use it to bread chicken—there’s a ton of possibilities here. That’s why Ritz is number one.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Crunch

Crunchmaster Multi-Grain 6-Seed Crackers

These are just crispy and crunchy and seedy and salty. Crunchmaster also might be my favorite name for a brand of anything, ever? I don’t want to be that guy who nicknames himself, but if everyone could start calling me Crunchmaster, that would be great. These are so crispy, and the nuttiness from the sesame comes through very well. This has more flavor than your average cracker, gang. And the crunch here is indeed so incredible, it’s almost…masterful? (I’ll stop). These would go well with dips like hummus if you’re looking for some extra texture. I fought to bring Crunchmaster home with me after the taste test.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Texture

Triscuits with Sea Salt

Triscuits are divisive for their fibrous, web-like texture, but, damn, it was a real pleasure to watch a skeptical Morgan completely change his tune during this tasting. “They’re much better than I thought they were,” he said, delighted and surprised. “You can taste more with the ridges, and there’s a good grain flavor.” When Triscuits are fresh, it’s hard to beat their coarse texture and unique bite. Like all great things, Triscuits aren’t purely healthy, as they contain a good amount of canola oil. And the salt comes through really well here, too. As the box loves to advertise, these are great for hors d’oeuvre. Top them with good cheese, pickles, and meat. For me, this is the go-to cracker with store-bought hummus. I unabashedly love Triscuits, and I do believe more people would change their mind like Morgan did if they gave them a fair shot.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Flavor

Chicken in a Biskit

Chicken in a Biskit is wild, ya’ll. I still don’t really know what’s going on here. The powdery flavor dust that permeates every inch of the cracker is almost certainly onion powder and MSG. And the cracker itself, defying everything we know and love about crackers, is a bit soft. Still, against all odds, it’s really good. It doesn’t pack the same crunch of Triscuits or Crunchmaster, but the savory flavor scores huge points here. You can’t do a whole lot with Chicken in a Biskit, but it immediately upgrades a salad or soup with its pronounced flavor. Think of it like a soft crouton. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering whether or not there’s actual chicken flavor in here, the answer is yes: Chicken in a Biskit advertises that it’s “made with cooked chicken for natural flavor.” Hey, don’t ask too many questions and just enjoy it, man.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Soup Cracker

Kellogg’s Club Crackers

Club crackers (formerly made by Keebler, now made by Kellogg’s) are rather plain, but that plainness is steady and reliable. They are synonymous with soup; those little packets of two Club crackers that a restaurant gives you with your bowl of clam chowder are iconic. Rhett & Link listed them third when they ranked soup crackers on Good Mythical More, and, quite frankly, I would put them below oyster crackers if we had ranked oyster crackers on this list. But I do find Club crackers to be a little better than Ritz for soup. Why? Well, while the flavor is similar, Kellogg’s Club crackers are less crumbly. They hold their shape in soup like a crouton or dumpling, while Ritz tends to be a little more crumb-like and less equipped to hold up to hot broth. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Pretzel

Kellogg’s Town House Pretzel FlipSides

FlipSides (another cracker formerly made by Keebler and now made by Kellogg’s) feel like what a 60-year-old marketing agent pitched to try to remain relevant in a room full of teenagers, but, lame name aside, these are really, really nice. The salty, pretzel-like cracker is thin and crunchy yet sturdy. These crackers won’t immediately snap in half if you choose to dip them into hummus. The pretzel side of the cracker has a toasty, oven-baked quality to it that we keep coming back to. FlipSides split the room, almost right down the middle, but they rank sixth here for their buttery cracker side, salty taste, and toasted pretzel flavor. Pair FlipSides with buffalo chicken dip, some Nutella, or just eat them plain. Sporked social media manager Mark Catangui loved them so much he took them home. I wanted them too, but, to be honest, I’m scared of Mark.

Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Plain

Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers

A plain Nabisco Premium cracker is a beautiful and salty form of sustenance. Its insistent blandness is actually quite stunning. When you’re sick, a saltine cracker is one of the few things you can hold down. They do well crunched up in a chicken noodle soup. They play well with peanut butter. Put a raw oyster on one with some cocktail sauce. And hey, when there’s nothing else to eat at home, have some saltine crackers to tide you over.

I have fond memories of my Mom spreading a thin layer of mayonnaise on saltines, then adding a small slice of Swiss cheese and a hot-and-sour pickle, and arranging them on a plate for us kids as a little snack. Saltines are crackers for the working-class everyman, and their plain flavor is actually the source of their strength. Premium Saltine crackers aren’t fancy, and therein lies food excellence. For a variety of reasons, you could argue this #7 is actually #1.

Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Cheese Cracker Off: Goldfish vs. Cheddar Bunnies

For this competition, I pitted the two animal-shaped cheese crackers closest to my heart against each other: Goldfish and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. While both crackers perform extremely well independently in terms of crunch and flavor, I set out to weigh their versatility.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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