The Definitive Ranking of Your Favorite Condiments from The Definitive Ranking of Your Favorite Condiments

The Definitive Ranking of Your Favorite Condiments

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The Definitive Ranking of Your Favorite Condiments

How do you top your burger? When you order fries, what do you dip them into?  What do you spread onto your turkey sandwich? Do you always keep a bottle of hot sauce in your purse in case of emergency? Condiments are a thing of surprisingly fierce devotion, and we asked you to vote for your favorites. 

Most Trusted Condiment Brands

The winner of our Most Trusted Brands poll was Heinz, with a full 29 percent of the vote. Coming in second place was Hellmann’s/ Best’s, with Huy Fong Foods (the largest sriracha company) coming in a distant third.

Photo Modified: Flickr / David Martyn Hunt / CC BY 4.0

#20 Marmite/ Vegemite

This salty, umami-rich spread is made with yeast extract, a byproduct of brewing, and is traditionally spread in a thin layer on buttered bread or paired with cheese in British and Kiwi/ Australian cuisine. 

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#19 Hoisin

This sweet and salty, dark and sticky sauce is popular in Chinese cuisine, and makes for a great meat glaze or dipping sauce. It’s traditionally served alongside Peking duck. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / Steven Depolo / CC BY 4.0

#18 Wasabi

The perennial companion to sushi (along with soy sauce and pickled ginger), traditional wasabi is a pungent member of the horseradish family, and it’s customarily freshly grated and placed between the rice and fish. Because it’s quite expensive and found only in specialty groceries and high-end sushi bars in the United States, most of the wasabi we see today is in fact a mixture of horseradish, mustard, starch, and green food coloring.

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#17 Gochujang

This pungent paste, one of Korea’s most popular condiments, is traditionally made with red chiles, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It adds an umami and sweet and spicy kick to anything it comes in contact with. It’s most commonly used in rice dishes like bibimbap, but you can also find it in soups, stews, and marinades. Plus, it goes great with a grilled steak. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / T.Tseng / CC BY 4.0

#16 Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is produced by fermenting fish with sea salt, and is strong and umami-rich. The amber-colored liquid is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, and is also a popular dipping sauce for chicken, pork, or shrimp. 

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#15 Steak Sauce

This sauce is dark brown and, obviously, primarily used on steaks; there are several brands, but A1 is the most well-known. It’s tart, sweet, and slightly peppery, and is made with tomatoes, vinegar, spices, and raisins. Heinz 57’s steak sauce has a more orange tint, and tastes more like a ketchup-mustard combo.

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#14 Chili Sauce

Many of the world’s most popular condiments are a variation on chile sauce; that is, a chile pepper-based condiment. “Chili sauce,” as it is most commonly known in America, is the one produced by Heinz. It’s tomato-based with vinegar, spices, sugar, and chile powder. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / mosespreciado / CC BY 4.0

#13 Teriyaki Sauce

This is the sweet and tangy sauce that’s served with dishes like chicken teriyaki, and it’s also a great marinade. Teriyaki sauce is an ideal condiment for just about any protein, from chicken or beef to duck or fish. 

#12 Pickle Relish

Found in varying shades of green, pickle relish is made by finely dicing pickled cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers and combining them with mustard, spices, and vinegar. It’s primarily used as a hot dog topping, especially on Chicago-style dogs. 

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#11 Mango Chutney

A wide variety of chutneys traditionally complement Indian cuisine, but mango chutney is the most popular in the U.S. It’s made by cooking down fresh green mangoes until they’re soft, then seasoning them with salt and spices including turmeric, mustard seed, cumin, and fennel. The end result is sweet, salty, and tangy, making it a good accompaniment for many Indian dishes, especially the spicy ones. 

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#10 Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is made by combining grated horseradish with sour cream or mayo, salt and pepper, and additional seasonings including mustard, vinegar, or lemon juice. It’s incredibly versatile, but is most commonly paired with roast beef, especially prime rib. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / Ross Catrow / CC BY-SA 4.0

#9 Basil Pesto

Basil pesto is extremely popular in Italy, especially in Genoa and the surrounding region of Liguria. While there are many different varieties of pesto (including a popular walnut-based one), basil pesto (also called pesto alla genovese) is the most common. It’s made by blending basil with crushed garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the sheep’s milk cheese fiore sardo, and it’s incredibly versatile. It can be stirred into pasta or it can replace garlic in garlic bread. It can also be used as a sandwich spread and makes for a great vegetable dip. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / jeffreyw / CC BY 4.0

#8 Salsa

In Latin America, there are thousands of varieties of salsa, but in the U.S. you’ll only find a handful of jarred salsas in the supermarket. Called prepared salsas, these are generally tomato based (although some green salsas are tomatillo-based), and are cooked with peppers, onions, vinegar, and spices. They’re available in varying degrees of spiciness, and are a tortilla chip’s best friend. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / erik forsberg / CC BY 4.0

#7 Sriracha

It’s strange to think that up until recently not many people outside of southeast Asia had even heard of sriracha, Today, it’s a go-to condiment. Thicker than hot sauce, it’s a blend of chile peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, and is incredibly versatile, topping everything from Asian dishes to pizza to sandwiches and burgers. Chain restaurants are getting in on the action as well, including Subway, White Castle, Burger King, and Applebee’s, who’ve all added dishes involving the sauce to their menus. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / Breville USA / CC BY 4.0

#6 Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce has many regional variations, including spicy vinegar-based sauces in North Carolina, mustard-based sauce in South Carolina, and white mayo-based sauces in Alabama, but the most popular barbecue sauce is the sweet, thick, tomato-based sauce popularized in Kansas City and commonly found in supermarkets. While it’s the perfect complement for barbecue (naturally), it also kicks up everything from chicken sandwiches to burgers and hot dogs. 

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#5 Hot Sauce

This thin, potent sauce is primarily made with chile peppers and vinegar, and as its name might imply, it’s spicy. They range from relatively mild (like Frank’s RedHot hot sauce) to face-meltingly spicy, and the most popular brands include Tabasco, Cholula, and Louisiana. Frank’s is the primary component of Buffalo wing sauce, and it’s good in a pinch to add a spicy kick to literally anything.

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#4 Soy Sauce

This popular East Asian sauce and condiment is made by fermenting soybeans with roasted grain and brine, and is one of the most versatile condiments in the world. On its own, it makes a great dip for sushi, dumplings, and vegetables, and it’s a great ingredient in marinades and other sauces.

Photo Modified: Flickr / snowpea&bokchoi / CC BY 4.0

#3 Ketchup

This sweet and tangy all-purpose condiment is made with tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar, and is a popular accompaniment for burgers, fries, and other fast foods. It received the fewest votes of the “big three,” with 69.

#2 Mustard

Made with mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, and innumerable other possible components, mustard has thousands of applications, and is the perfect topping for sandwiches, hot dogs, meats, cheeses, and sausages. It also serves as a perfect component of many sauces and salad dressings. It received 77 votes. 

Photo Modified: Flickr / Paul Stainhorp / CC BY-SA 4.0

#1 Mayonnaise

Leading the pack with 83 votes is mayo, the creamy, tangy emulsion of oil, egg, and vinegar or lemon juice. Inexpensive and also incredibly easy to make at home, it’s the ideal sandwich topper as well as the base of countless other sauces, including remoulade (when mixed with mustard), aioli (when mixed with garlic), tartar sauce (with pickle relish) and Thousand Island dressing (with ketchup). It’s also a great dip for fries, and many swear by it on their burger. 

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The Definitive Ranking of Your Favorite Condiments

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