All fried pickles listed on this site were tried on location.
A fried pickle should never be judged on a delivery or pickup order.
Obviously. But you would be surprised how many times this gets messed up. The batter should ALWAYS be seasoned. The pickle itself needs to have a powerful flavor too. The best fried pickles usually contain a pickle that isn’t from your typical deli. The taste of the sauce can sometimes fix this if it is a problem, but that is just covering up the fact that it is a bad fried pickle.
Bread to Pickle Ratio / Crispiness (0-5)
It is fried for a reason. For spears, not only should the outside have a crunch, but the pickle itself must have a crunch that goes along with it. For chips, the crunch is the outer shell. But it becomes very easy to under batter or over batter them.
Fried pickles cannot be too thin. This tends to happen when ordering chips. A thin pickle will easily become over-battered leaving not enough juice to balance it out.
The pickle must break cleanly / Structure (0-5)
A bite into a fried pickle should not result in the pickle sliding out from its shell. The bite must be a clean cut with no problems. If a pickle slides out, it was not properly dried before being put in the batter.
Bonus Points: Sauce ( 0-3 after final total is calculated)
While we don’t factor sauce into our rankings . . . if the sauce is out of the ordinary and a talking point, we may grant 1-3 points (rare). A good fried pickle should taste amazing without needing to dip it into something else. When you are at a fancy restaurant, do you ask the chef for A1 steak sauce for your filet mignon? If you do, then please leave this website by clicking here. Ranch is boring and completely masks everything that went into it the pickle itself. We recognize that it’s a preferred choice amongst most people, but we also recognize that most people are amateurs. A sauce based around horseradish, chipotle or sriracha is much better.