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Artisanal Cream Cheese
We mail-ordered three artisanal cream cheeses to see if they could beat our supermarket favorite.
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What You Need To Know
While artisanal cream cheese won’t be putting big national brands out of business anytime soon, we wondered if a small-batch, handmade approach to this everyday supermarket staple could take it to the next level. To find out, we mail-ordered three cheeses, from Vermont, Michigan, and Virginia.
To focus on flavor, we sampled the cheeses plain. Tasters gave top marks to the most comple...
Everything We Tested
Made at a creamery founded by the Ann Arbor delicatessen of the same name, this cheese won top marks for being supercreamy and smooth, with “impressive depth of flavor.” The saltiest cheese in the lineup, it also boasted “floral” and “herbal” notes, with hints of “lavender” and “radish.”
We found this cream cheese from a Virginia farm to be “moist” and “light,” with a “very smooth, pleasant texture.” Its tangy, “lemony” brightness reminded tasters of sour cream and crème fraîche. They also noted appealing “earthy undertones” when the cream cheese was sampled on its own. These flavors were harder to detect when the cream cheese was spread on a bagel.
The least like supermarket cream cheese, this Vermont offering had a drier, more crumbly texture that tasters likened to fresh goat cheese. While some tasters found this “off-putting,” others described it as “enjoyable.” This cream cheese’s flavor was the most “subtle” of the lineup. Though still “tangy” and “tart,” it was the “buttery” and “milky” notes of dairy and “fresh cream” that stood out most to tasters.
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Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.