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We wanted to find a a product that we work well cooked in recipes, that we could also drink straight from the bottle.
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What You Need To Know
Bright-tasting tomato juice can be a powerful plus in cooking, and we wanted to keep a good multipurpose bottle on hand. After tasting three brands, we preferred “clean,” “sweet” fruit flavor derived from the fewest, simplest ingredients. “Tinny,” “sour” flavors—and, in one case, too much salt—stood out when we sampled them straight up, but these differences were less apparent in the cooked sauce, where they were masked by garlic, onions, and spices. Tasters also preferred drinking juice that had some body but wasn’t pulpy.
All of the juices were acceptable, but there was just one brand we liked for drinking and in cooking.
Everything We Tested
“Sweet, bright, and flavorful,” was the consensus. “Actually tastes like a ripe tomato,” said tasters, who enjoyed this juice’s “thick, but not too thick” body both straight up and cooked into sauce.
Recommended with reservations
This “bold,” “tangy” juice possessed a “smooth” consistency. Some tasters noted “tinny,” overly salty flavors when it was sampled plain—not surprisingly, it had the highest sodium level of the lineup—though these flaws were less noticeable when it was cooked in sauce.
Tasted plain, this last-place finisher came across as “gritty,” “grainy,” and “thick” like marinara, not to mention overly tart from the addition of lemon juice. It fared better in the meatball sauce, where some tasters deemed it “bright.”
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.