Coarse-Grain Mustard

Published July 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

Coarse-grain mustard is considered by many a must for grilled sausage or a ham sandwich. Which one should you buy?

Overview:

Mustard aficionados argue that the coarse-grained condiment improves any ham sandwich or grilled sausage—unless you pick the wrong jar. The fate of our lunch at stake, we sampled 11 brands.

Tasters appreciated spiciness, tanginess, and the pleasant pop of seeds. They disliked mustards with superfluous ingredients such as xanthan gum, artificial flavors, and garlic and onion powders. But the more noteworthy factor turned out to be salt. Mustards with a meager quantity ranked low, while the winners contained roughly twice as much of this flavor amplifier. Our co-winners—a familiar "nasal-clearing" product and a newer, "poppier" product—make good pantry staples.

Mustard aficionados argue that the coarse-grained condiment improves any ham sandwich or grilled sausage—unless you pick the wrong jar. The fate of our lunch at stake, we sampled 11 brands.

Tasters appreciated spiciness, tanginess, and the pleasant pop of seeds. They disliked mustards with superfluous ingredients such as xanthan gum, artificial flavors, and garlic and onion powders. But the more noteworthy factor turned out to be salt. Mustards with a meager quantity ranked low, while the winners contained roughly twice as much of this flavor amplifier. Our co-winners—a familiar "nasal-clearing" product and a newer, "poppier" product—make good pantry staples.

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  • Product Tested

    Price*

  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard

    Tasters noted this "classic," "moderately coarse" mustard with "wasabi-like heat" went particularly well with grilled sausage.

    $3.79 for 8 oz.

  • Recommended

    Woeber’s Reserve Whole Grain Dijon Mustard

    “Pleasant popping” seeds in a “smooth, creamy” “ballpark mustard” base made this “pickled-flavored” condiment seem “caviar-like” to many.

    $1.79 for 4.25 oz.

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Pommery Moutarde de Meaux

    With the highest salt level (135 mg. per teaspoon)—and a sky-high price tag—this quintessential crock didn’t fare better. Tasters found this mustard “mushy” and “metallic-tasting” and noted that its “chewy” seeds had “papery skins.” “It’s more like salt and vinegar spread,” wrote one.

    $19.99 for 9 oz.

  • Not Recommended

    Plochman’s Premium Natural Stone Ground Mustard

    With the additions of garlic and onion powder as well as horseradish, not to mention the lowest salt content (40 mg. per teaspoon), this mustard seemed “pasty and too sour” to some, while just “nothing special” to others.

    $2.99 for 9 oz.

  • Not Recommended

    Inglehoffer Original Stone Ground Mustard

    “Like rotten jam—a spoiled, fruity mess,” complained one taster. Others concurred with criticisms as lacerating as “funky,” “tastes like sulfur,” and “I wish I hadn’t.”

    $3.19 for 10 oz.

  • Not Recommended

    Raye’s Old World Gourmet Mustard

    Very light seasoning (45 mg. salt per teaspoon) may be one reason this bottom-ranking sample tasted “overwhelmingly “bitter,” “soapy and carbonated,” and like egg yolk.

    $4.99 for 9 oz.

*PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE
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