Various mustards in ramekins surrounded by ingredients to make sandwiches.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

I Tried 38 Different Bottles of Mustard — These Are the Ones I’ll Buy Again

published Jun 17, 2021
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One look at my fridge door and it’s abundantly clear that the mustard market is super competitive. With so many variations (spicy brown! Yellow! Dijon! Honey!), there are just far too many choices in the grocery store to get them straight. In order to determine which types should get a permanent spot in my refrigerator (for all of my sandwich-schmearing, nugget-dipping, and hotdog-drizzling needs), I set out to taste them all.

How I Tested the Mustards

Over the span of a week, I shopped for 38 bottles and jars, buying up all the options I could find in a few different grocery stores near me. Then I invited some buddies over for a blind taste test to pick our favorites in four main categories: spicy brown, yellow, Dijon, and honey. (For such a small seed, mustard is pretty multifaceted, huh?) We poured them into cupcake liners and tried them all plain. The winners were then tested with their intended vessels (sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.) I was relieved that we all were in agreement over our favorites. When you have a unanimous sounding board, the ranking comes easy! Let’s take a look.

Credit: Aliza Gans

The Best Spicy Brown Mustard: Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard

The spicy brown mustard I grew up eating on hot dogs and burgers reigned supreme. Spicy brown is a go-to because it’s bright with a rustic charm, thanks to its oh-so-slight coarseness. It’s subtle, but the bran in this iconic bottle lends a nutty flavor that complements the pop of the mustard. Gulden’s is the spicy brown mustard that I want multiple servings of.

Buy: Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, $3.49 for 24 ounces

Credit: Aliza Gans

The Best Yellow Mustard: Heinz Yellow Mustard

Would you look at that? Everyone’s favorite ketchup brand also pulls through for mustard. The bottle and cap are notably super user-friendly (think of that awkward moment when you’re trying to squeeze some out while holding a bun in the other hand). This one also has the cleanest, all-American ballpark flavor that you want in a yellow mustard. My testers also loved its super-vibrant hue (from plenty of turmeric) and rich texture.

Buy: Heinz Yellow Mustard, $9.39 for two eight-ounce bottles

Credit: Aliza Gans

The Best Dijon Mustard: Maille Traditional Dijon Originale Mustard

Dijon mustard is made by grinding whole brown or black mustard seeds, then adding vinegar, and (often) white wine. Too funky of a fermented grape flavor made certain Dijons taste skunky, but Maille managed to avoid that downfall. It also surpassed the others with its creamy, thick texture. (The recipe dates from 1747, so they must be doing something right!) The unmatched sharpness — a horseradish-like punch — of Maille makes a great match for red meat, is perfection in salad dressing, and tastes delightful straight from the spoon.

Buy: Maille Traditional Dijon Originale Mustard, $11.88 for 13.4 ounces

Credit: Aliza Gans

The Best Honey Mustard: Honeycup Uniquely Sharp Mustard

Believe it or not, our favorite honey mustard is actually made by a honey company! The jar is beautiful and the contents taste precious enough to warrant slapping a bow on the lid and giving it as a housewarming present. The texture of this honey mustard is sublime: It drizzles and glazes whatever you’re serving with a balance of sweet and sting. I want to go all Winnie the Pooh here and just carry a pot of it wherever I go. There are tons of uses for this, but I plan to put it on bagels with lox, use it as a dip for chicken tenders, and even ribbon this over roasted vegetables. I have never bought honey mustard because I always thought it was a waste of space (you can just mix honey and mustard, right?) but, trust me, this one’s worth it.

Buy: Honeycup Uniquely Sharp Mustard, $8.97 for 8 ounces

Did your favorite mustard make this list?