What Pickle Brand Has the Most Acidic Pickle?

Acidity is a key component in making pickles that has a great impact on taste and other things, but not all pickles are created equal.  We tested many popular store brands of refrigerator pickles to find out what brand packs the most acidic punch.

What pickle brand has the most acidic pickle?  Of the brands we tested, Mt. Olive has the most acidic pickle brine with a PH level of 3.39.  On the flip side, Farm Ridge Foods had the least acidic pickle brine with a PH level of 3.91. 

BrandRefrigerated in Store?PH Level
Mt. OliveNo3.39
Grillo’s PicklesYes3.45
Cleveland KitchenYes3.54
Dietz and WatsonYes3.61
Farm Ridge FoodsYes3.91
Store Bought Acidity Level Experiment Results

Acidity level makes an impact on the taste of the pickle, but also how it affects everything from your stomach to your teeth.  This experiment eye opening for us.  Let’s go into detail on how we conducted this experiment and why acidity level.  As a baseline, food below a PH of 4.6 is considered acidic.

The Pickle Brands Tested

Seven pickle brands were tested, picked for their popularity.  All pickles were purchased as dill spears to keep the experiment fair.  While each brand uses their own mix of spices, we wanted to keep the playing field as even as we could.  These are also the same pickle brands we used in our price per pickle experiment.  These brands are Mt. Olive, Vlasic, Grillo’s, Claussen, Cleveland Kitchen, Dietz and Watson, and Farm Ridge Foods.

Test Brands

Conducting the Experiment

In this experiment we used a Pyrex measuring cup, a Keweis PH tester, and an excel sheet to track our results.  Our steps are below so you can repeat this experiment at home.  You may use whatever PH meter you desire, there are many brands and different price points available for your specific needs. 

  1. Log each brand of pickles on the chart
  2. Note if each brand of pickles is kept in the refrigerated section of the store
  3. Note what type of pickle is being tested, all should be dill to make things as even as possible
  4. Turn on and calibrate (if needed) or clean PH meter
  5. Test PH of one brand of pickles
  6. Record PH of the brand of pickles that was tested on the chart
  7. Clean and reset PH meter to repeat PH measuring process for other pickle brands (go back to step 4)
Keweis PH Meter

Observations While Conducting the Experiment

We noticed that the most acidic pickles were the two brands that are not kept in the refrigerated section of the store.  This is why we noted it in our chart above.  Since vinegar acts as a preservative, this makes sense that there would a required increased level of acidity if there is not the aid of refrigeration to keep pickles preserved while they are on the shelf waiting to be purchased.  This is our best guess based on the data we collected since we have not spoken to the executives at Mt. Olive about the PH level of their pickle brine.

The color of brine did not correlate with the acidity level of the pickles.  Grillo’s has a much clearer brine than Mt. Olive but they tested close together.  Based on this we can conclude that there are other factors at play such as the spices used, the amount of heat applied, and more.

Why Is Acidity Important in Pickles?

The most widely discussed issue with acidic foods is their impact on your teeth.  Pickles have a much more acidity level than your mouth’s saliva.  This means a prolonged exposure to highly acidic, or low PH, foods can soften your teeth and make them vulnerable.

There are ways to reduce impact of pickles on your teeth, such as having some cheese with the and avoiding soda or other acidic drinks with your pickles to lower the total impact on your teeth.

Irritating the stomach is another concern in foods with a high acid content, like pickles.  It is advisable if your stomach is easily irritated to avoid pickles, such as folks with gastritis.  While fermented pickles are known to be good for gut health, acidity is a separate issue.  Most people can eat pickles without seeing any major issues, but if you observe stomach irritation you may need to slow down your intake.

While we can test store bought pickles, we encourage you to try making pickles yourself with different vinegars to find what acid level and taste you prefer.  Most brands use white vinegar but many home recipes call for apple cider vinegar.  There is a lot of variety out there to choose from.

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