Best Dill Pickles: They’re a Big Dill

There are two types of people: pickle people and non-pickle people. There is no pickle neutrality. I am a pickle person. I have been my whole life. The tangier, zestier, and more dill-forward, the better. 

While everyone has slightly different preferences when it comes to pickles, we could all agree that good pickles meet certain criteria when it comes to flavor, taste, and juiciness. Dill pickles should have a strong presence of dill (obviously), along with some other complementary flavors like garlic, peppercorns, and/or chilies. They should be crunchy and never mushy. Lastly, they need to be super juicy—he kind of juicy where you have to suck in the juice while you bite the pickle so the juice doesn’t get all over your clothes. If a dill pickle can fulfill all those requirements, it’s a good pickle.

To help find the best dill pickles possible, the Sporked team joined by Greg Johnson, director of short form content at Mythical and self-proclaimed pickle enthusiast, gathered around a long table filled with pickle jars to taste some of the top brands on the market. Here are the pickles we found to be absolutely dill-icious.

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Grillo's Pickles Classic Dill Spears

Best Overall

Grillo’s Pickles Classic Dill Spears

Grillo’s Pickles are elite pickles. If you are a pickle person, you already knew that. But, for those who didn’t, this is your heads up. You can tell that they’re next level as soon as you peer through the clear container. Big chunks of garlic and whole sprigs of dill swim around each perfectly placed green (not neon) pickle spear. They give you a sour vinegar kick while maintaining a light cucumbery flavor and classic cucumbery crunch. Plus, the cartoon pickle on the container is cool as hell.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

OH SNAP! Dilly Bites

Best Snacking Pickle

OH SNAP! Dilly Bites

These are what I would categorize as a “snacking pickle.” You don’t make tuna salad with them. You don’t put them on a charcuterie board. You definitely don’t put them on a burger. A snacking pickle exists solely to be fished out of the jar with your bare hands and eaten over the sink as a midday treat. OH SNAP! Dilly Bites are snacking pickles minus the mess! They are small pickle chips that come in a bag and are surrounded by almost no liquid. They’re salty, dilly, and completely drip-free. If you are specifically looking for pickles to eat while you drive, these are perfect.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Signature Select Zesty Dill Pickle Spears

Best Zesty

Signature Select Zesty Dill Pickle Spears

Thank you, Albertsons, for the wonder that is the Signature Select Zesty Dill Pickle Spears. They pack so much crunch and flavor for so little money. These would definitely make a tasty little snack, but I really think these would also be the perfect companion to a homemade tuna melt. One bite of the fatty, rich sandwich followed by one bite of this zesty, spiced pickle would be a symphony of flavors for the mouth.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Albertsons

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Great Value Whole Kosher Dill Pickles

Best Whole Pickle

Great Value Whole Kosher Dill Pickles

I love a small, whole pickle. Like, a pickle the size of a pinkie finger. Something about the size makes the texture totally different than a pickle spear or chip. It has a crunchier crunch and the Great Value Whole Dill Pickles are no exception. Their flavor is specifically pickle. It’s not dill. It’s not garlic or peppercorns or even vinegar. It’s all the ingredients coming together to make a unique store-bought pickle taste that I love. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but holding a pickle this tiny feels very cute.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

Best Crunch

Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

The Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Spears scream diner to me. I can see myself, pleasantly tipsy, squeezed into a booth at 1 a.m., searching the table for any uneaten pickle spears my friends neglected to consume. I would shout, “Are you going to eat that?” over and over again until I finally got their attention and they agreed to hand over the spear. They’re mild in flavor, extremely crunchy, and make the ideal pairing for a cheeseburger. These do, however, lose a few sporks because the jar is extremely full and the brine spills everywhere when you open it. I’m not trying to have a massive cleanup job when I just want one pickle!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Albertsons

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Bubbies Baby Kosher Dill Pickles

Best for Tuna Salad

Bubbies Baby Kosher Dill Pickles

I was slapped in the face by salt when I took my first bite of Bubbies Baby Kosher Dill Pickles. At first, I thought, “These are too much.” But after a few more bites, I was hooked. My mouth puckers just thinking about these. They might be a little too potent for most people to eat alone, but they would be sensational mixed into a tuna, egg, or potato salad. The brininess cuts through and compliments the creaminess of any mayo-based salad.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Dill Pickle Spears

Best for Dill Haters

Trader Joe’s Dill Pickle Spears

Greg sang the praises of these pickles before we even started our taste test and I can see why. The Trader Joe’s Dill Pickle Spears feel like a little mix of everything: They’re salty, fresh, and even a little sweet. If you typically prefer bread and butter pickles, these are a great way to work yourself into the world of dill. The mellow flavor also makes it easy for a pickle lover to eat a ton of them, which Greg does.

Credit: Ryan Martin

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • Can you try Wickles Pickles and add them to your list?

    Reply
    • i second this recommendation!! if wickles pickles are available anywhere near y’all, you gotta give ’em a go

      Reply
  • We have stocked the Oh Snap! pickles in our cooler at the OTC Bookstore sold well. We now have Suckerpunch pickles! https://suckerpunchgourmet.com/collections/pickle-pouches These are shelf-stable, unlike the Oh Snap! brand.

    Reply
  • I’m surprised Oh Snap! made it so far! Big agree w/PJ, this tier list is great but Wickles Pickles are my favorite!

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    • Yes, another vote for Wickles!

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  • Rating Claussen below Great Value is a hate crime.

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    • Agreed! Claussen pickle juice is great in a Bloody Mary too. My dad taught me that and I’ve been doing it for years!

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    • I’m sorry but GV had a better crunch!

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    • Amen!

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  • Oh man, I wish I could get ahold of those Zesty pickles! My fave is usually Vlasic Zesty, but they’re weirdly hard to find.

    Reply
  • Ba-Tampte Garlic Dills will knock you out of your shoes – yummy. I let their Half-Sour pickles sit in the back of the fridge until they become Full-Sour.

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    • I’ve never even heard of these! We have to try them!

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    • Second this. The best pickles in America are located in the Kosher section of grocery stores-always wonderful.

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  • Actually… I love how “ Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Spears” are over flowing with brine! It’s half of the best damn part! They better not hold back after this half backed review. Bump them up baby! Add points for brine… it’s a pickle! Left over brine is great for marinades! Duh

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  • I make rugs I could make one for that spot on the wall 👀👀

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  • A few sports off of Claussen because they give you more bang for your buck? Use a fork or go in carefully, I’ve never once spilled juice out of their jars. Bad assessment.

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    • I don’t know if I’d consider a few tablespoons of pickle juice getting “more bang for your buck.” Plus, packaging and design is something we take into account. This is the only brand that had this problem so they rank lower than the others.

      Reply
  • Old Milwaukee Kosher Dills available in the upper midwest. if you know, you know.

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  • Respectfully-Bubbies are the holy grail of pickles and relegating them to tuna salad is a travesty. Out of all the brands you tried and as far as I can tell, they are the only pickles that are made using actual fermentation and not vinegar (which, in my mind is a big, big plus). Grillo’s are fantastic as well, but comparing them to Bubbies is like comparing apples to Cadillacs-it’s an entirely different thing altogether.

    Reply
  • Is…Mt. Olive not good? It’s the only ones I’ll eat, but also I’m super picky lol.

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  • It kind of bothers me vlassic pickles weren’t part of the test at all. Considering they are such a huge American staple.

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    • You’d be surprised what doesn’t hold up when you taste a bunch of things back to back!

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    • Vlasic = yucky

      Reply
      • *pharrell

  • Would love a follow up with best pairings. Chicago Dog, Sandwich, Sub Sandwich, etc.

    Reply
  • You should try wickles(dirty dill) they are a spicy pickle and they are magical.

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  • Your selection of pickles is very regional. I live within 30 miles of 2 pickle canning facilities that are not on your radar. Aunt Janes and Valasic. The other thing is that you have narrowed the scope to just dill and had a kosher dill but not a Polish dill (different taste) Italian dill, but there is also sweet pickles, bread and butter, gherkins, to name a few I can even get dill pickle potato chips.!
    You should get a more national sampling

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    • This is a dill specific taste test. We’ll be doing taste tests of other kinds of pickles in the future!

      Reply
  • There is no contest without Mt. Olive.

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    • …because mt.olive would lose

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  • I’m 29, pickles have been my favorite food for as long as I can remember. Ranking Claussen that low? What? I’m devastated! I’ve never tried the Grillo’s. They have just start popping up in our grocery stores in the last year or two. By then I was tired of being disappointed in new brands so I just stick with ole faithful (Claussen). I will have to pick some up next time I’m at the store and try them. Oh Snap is just an average pickle. I dislike the Great Value brand pickles. I’ve also never tried Signature Select, if there if a place that sells that brand in the Midwest I’m not aware of it.
    As for the spilling of the brine, maybe it’s because I’ve been buying Claussen for so long that it’s a muscle memory thing but I never spill the the brine. I love having the excess, it’s good for marinades, mixing into dipping sauces, Bloody Mary’s. When I saw this was a ranking, my first thought was, “Great! If they know their pickles I know I can trust their ranking of other products that I need recommendations.”

    Reply
  • If you ever get a chance try Bestmaid pickles. So many varieties and they’re all good and affordable. Also best pickle product could be a category and I would throw bobs pickle potion #9 in there

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  • We have a shelf in my fridge dedicated to pickles. I bought Grillo’s Pickles Classic Dill Chips because of the recommendation here and had to throw the entire jar out. The flavor was okay, but there was 0 crunch. It was like biting a piece of bread. I was so disappointed because I have heard other pickle people mention this brand before.

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  • I consider myself a pickle connoisseur and Old Milwaukee dills are my favorite small whole pickle. Claussen are my favorite spears. My favorite chips are Heifetz, which I’ve only ever found at Menards of all places.

    Reply
    • Oh, I also forgot favorite deli pickle, which is Freestone Kosher!

      Reply