These Are the Best Pretzels You Can Buy, According to Our Test Kitchen

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Looking for the best pretzels to snack on? Our Test Kitchen pros tried the most popular brands. Just three got our stamp of approval.

Tkp PretzelsTMB Studio

There are plenty of crunchy, salty snacks out there, but only one is versatile enough to go from dunking into Dijon dip to being dipped in chocolate and showered with sprinkles: pretzels!

While these snacks are always in stock in our Test Kitchen pantry, they aren’t a food we think twice about as we add one of the big-name brands to our cart. So are those really the best pretzels for dipping, dunking or scattering over recipes?

What We Looked for in Store-Bought Pretzels

To find the best pretzels on the market, our Test Kitchen team stocked up on the most popular brands and sampled them in a blind test. Every pretzel was judged according to these three categories:

  • Crunch: Store-bought pretzels should have a satisfying crunch. Stale or overly crisp pretzels won’t make the cut.
  • Salt: While we love a good, salty pretzel, there is such thing as too much. The perfect pretzel should have a spot-on balance.
  • Flavor: In all tests, flavor is king. We want all our snacks and ingredients to taste great.

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Pretzel Brands

After munching on these samples, only three options earned the title of Test Kitchen-Preferred.

Best Pretzels for Crunch: Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels

Tkp Preferred Snyders PretzelsVia target.com

Do you love to load up your pretzels with beer dip or hummus? Then you need a crunchy pretzel that can withstand scooping and taste great doing it: Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels.

These snacks are “the gold standard” according to a few testers. These Snyder’s twists are the perfect deep amber hue with spot-on salt distribution and a picture-perfect look (ideal for chocolate-covered pretzels).

Biting into these glossy pretzels, our team got crunch, flavor and a satisfying snap. What more could you ask for?

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Best Super-Thin Pretzels: Rold Gold Tiny Twists

Rold Gold PretzelsVia Target.com

There’s something incredibly satisfying about a thin, delicate pretzel that you can crunch on handful after handful. For our Test Kitchen tasters, that perfect thin pretzel comes in the form of Rold Gold Tiny Twists.

These dainty pretzels are crispy and almost airy with a terrific snap as you take a bite. With a good level and distribution of salt, these pretzels are perfect for eating on their own.

However, thanks to the texture and thin ropes, these pretzels would also be easy to crush up for a pretzel crust (like for this Easy Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie) or topping a dish with a salty pretzel crumble (check it out on our top-rated Pineapple Pretzel Fluff).

No matter how you use these pretzels, they’re a winner in the eyes of our Test Kitchen pros.

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Best Gluten-Free Pretzels: Quinn Sea Salt Pretzel Twists

Quinn PretzelsVia Amazon.com

Need proof that Quinn Sea Salt Pretzel Twists are worth adding to your cart? Our Test Kitchen gobbled up every bit of their samples.

Made with sorghum and rice flour, Quinn pretzels have an exceptionally crunchy texture that was unique among the samples. Some testers found these pretzels too crunchy, but the overall verdict was that they were satisfyingly snappy.

Flavor-wise, these pretzels weren’t quite traditional (which makes sense because they’re gluten-free), but they tasted delicious. Testers compared these snacks to a pretzel-breadstick hybrid—a hybrid that was absolutely addicting.

Despite the slightly atypical (but tasty) flavor, these pretzels still ranked highly in our pros’ books and we’d recommend them for gluten-free folks and their gluten-eating pals.

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How to Use up a Bag of Pretzels

Strawberry Pretzel PieTaste of Home

Once you’ve got a bag of our Test Kitchen-Preferred pretzels in hand, the options for devouring the contents are near limitless. On their own, pretzels make a great snack or dipper, especially when dunked in one of our favorite dip recipes

And don’t forget that you can use pretzels as an ingredient. These crispy snacks are the foundation for our favorite Strawberry Pretzel Dessert and all its tasty variations like Pretzel Strawberry Bark and Strawberry Pretzel Pie (that’s the beauty shown in the photo above). You can even crunch up a few handfuls of pretzels to stir into cookies or sprinkle over dessert bars.

For more ideas, check out these recipes that use up a bag of pretzels.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.