The Ultimate Ranking Of Boar's Head Deli Meats

Boar's Head deli case
Boar's Head deli case - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Deli meat is a staple in many households. Beyond the basic sandwich, deli meats can be converted into a host of different recipes, ranging from pizzas and salads to pastas and appetizers. The key to making use of it is purchasing high-quality meat. That's where Boar's Head comes in. This family-owned company has been producing the finest quality delicatessen products since it was founded in 1905. The brand also prides itself on using whole-muscle beef, pork, and poultry, and obtaining its seasonings from around the world.

Visit grocery store deli counters carrying Boar's Head products, and you will find a dizzying array of different meats to choose from. I obtained as many of these as I could get my hands on, including varieties such as ham, turkey, salami, and prosciutto. I sampled them, using my highly-tuned sensory skills, to assess the aroma, texture, taste, and overall quality of each. Once I did, these were ranked from least to most favorite, using a methodology I outlined at the end of this article. Read on to discover which Boar's Head deli meat reigns supreme.

Read more: The 18 Unhealthiest Store-Bought Sliced Breads You Can Buy

34. No Salt Added Turkey Breast

No salt turkey breast
No salt turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The No Salt Added Turkey Breast is oven-roasted to mimic the flavor of a traditional Thanksgiving classic. While it did remind me of Thanksgiving, it was reminiscent of the more ill-fated turkeys I have consumed, where the bird was under-seasoned and over-cooked.

The texture of the turkey breast was dry and difficult to swallow. Its taste was bland, lacking any supplementary seasoning to offset the absence of salt. For this reason, it ranked last.

33. 46% Lower Sodium Turkey Breast

Low sodium turkey breast
Low sodium turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

While the 46% Lower Sodium Turkey Breast ranked next to last on this list, it was not because it was made with less salt. In fact, this turkey was shockingly salty, so much so that it almost overpowered the flavor of the meat itself.

Where this turkey really suffered was in its texture, which was very fragile, hard to separate, and stringy. It was also somewhat chewy, having a less-than-stellar mouthfeel.

32. FireSmith Flame Grilled Chicken Breast

Firesmith grilled chicken breast
Firesmith grilled chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The FireSmith Flame Grilled Chicken Breast may have won the award for best Meat Entrée of 2024 in a survey conducted by Kantar, but I do not share those sentiments. I was underwhelmed by this product.

Its texture was delicate and spongy. Its aroma was pleasant, but its flavor was overtly smoky -- in an almost artificial way. This chicken is also very salty. I love grilled meat, but this did not appeal to me.

31. Seasoned Filet Of Roast Beef - Cap-Off Top Round

Seasoned roast beef
Seasoned roast beef - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The lowest-ranking beef product on this list was the Seasoned Filet of Roast Beef - Cap-Off Top Round. I found this roast beef to be very bland. It also had an odd aftertaste, which was not particularly pleasant.

That said, there was no overt sliminess that would indicate the deli meat has spoiled. In fact, its texture was rather dry and slightly chewy, betraying the promise of the soft, buttery texture that was advertised.

30. Bologna (Pork & Beef)

Bologna - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The next meat on this ranking was the classic pork and beef Bologna. I am not generally a fan of bologna. It usually has a rubbery texture that I dislike and an overly-processed, artificial flavor.

As bologna goes, this is among the better ones I have tried. Its flavor was notably more refined than the stuff I grew up eating in sandwiches, but it still had that quintessential texture I don't care for.

29. Ovengold Roasted Turkey Breast

Ovengold roasted turkey breast
Ovengold roasted turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

As turkey goes, the Ovengold Roasted Turkey Breast was fine. But that's about it. This turkey had a milk aroma that was pleasant but unexciting.

Its texture was on the chewy side, which gave it a less appealing mouthfeel. The flavor was somewhat salty, but otherwise plain. If a basic turkey is your jam, this is acceptable, but there are plenty of others I'd prefer.

28. Canadian Style Uncured Bacon

Canadian style uncured bacon
Canadian style uncured bacon - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Now we are beginning to get into the nuanced section of this ranking. This Canadian Style Uncured Bacon was good, but I have certainly eaten better. It had that distinctively chewy texture that makes Canadian bacon the preferred meat for a classic eggs Benedict recipe.

Its flavor was mild, lacking a hint of salt. Where the taste really felt underwhelming was in the smoke department, which is why it landed where it did.

27. Bold Ichiban Teriyaki Style Chicken Breast

Teriyaki style chicken breast
Teriyaki style chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

I didn't love the Bold Ichiban Teriyaki Style Chicken Breast. Its aroma is subtle, with notes of soy and brown sugar poking through. Its flavor is similarly understated. For my palate, I wanted more of that advertised boldness.

My biggest issue was the texture, which was fragile and hard to handle. It practically disintegrated as I tried to pull the slices apart, making it more suitable for a baked mac and cheese than a sandwich.

26. Pickle & Pepper Loaf

Pickle and pepper loaf
Pickle and pepper loaf - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

As previously noted, I am not a huge bologna fan, but this Pickle & Pepper Loaf was reminiscent of those Old World flavors I grew up eating, catapulting it up this list. Where it stood above regular bologna was in its texture, which was smoother and not rubbery.

Its flavor was exactly as advertised; sweet and sour. The pickle and vinegar were dominant, but the delicate pimentos shone through in the aftertaste.

25. Tavern Ham

Tavern ham
Tavern ham - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Tavern Ham is precisely what it claims to be, a classic, smoked ham — nothing more, nothing less. It has that distinctive, snappy rind, and a texture that is firm but not chewy.

Its taste is smoky, salty, and -- for lack of a better word -- hammy. It is well-balanced, without any frills. This is simple but not boring. For a deli ham that you can use in many recipes, this one fits the bill.

24. London Broil Top Round Roast Beef

London Broil roast beef
London Broil roast beef - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The London Broil Top Round Roast Beef was the better of the two roast beefs I tried. This meat had a notable beefy aroma that the other lacked.

It was also far more tender, but still held together well. Its flavor was markedly better seasoned, with an appropriate amount of salt and assertive garlic and onion notes coming through. This would be a great deli meat to pop into a slow-cooker and turn into a luscious, warm sandwich.

23. Garlic Bologna

Garlic bologna
Garlic bologna - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Though similar in texture, the Garlic Bologna stood out in notable ways that gave it more nuance than the classic bologna. It was rife with garlic, though saltier than the regular version.

This bologna may be a step above the traditional hot dog-adjacent iteration, but it could still use some help in the sandwich department. There are plenty of ways to upgrade it, including adding caramelized onions and topping it with a fried egg.

22. SmokeMaster Beechwood Smoked Black Forest Ham

Smoked black forest ham
Smoked black forest ham - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Considering that this Black Forest Ham is smoked in imported German beechwood, I was somewhat disappointed at the lack of aroma that could be discerned when you first took a sniff. I anticipated a smoky nose that would linger as you bit into it, but didn't quite find this.

The flavor is similarly subtle, though pleasant. The texture was slightly drier and chewier than others, perhaps a by-product of the smoking process. Though good, this ham missed that assertive smokiness I craved.

21. Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast

Rotisserie seasoned chicken breast
Rotisserie seasoned chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast was kind of what you might expect if you have ever purchased one. Where it performed strongly was its taste, which was slightly salty though well-seasoned.

Where things fell apart was the texture. One of the things I enjoy about a rotisserie chicken is its moist yet firm flesh, which makes it ideal for converting into numerous dishes. But this meat, on the other hand, was almost tacky. It stuck to the roof of your mouth and dissolved.

20. Bold Chipotle Chicken Breast

Chipotle chicken breast
Chipotle chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Bold Chipotle Chicken Breast is inspired by the Mexican spice markets of the Baja peninsula. I was expecting in-your-face heat and flavor, from the aroma to the taste.

Its texture, like most of the chicken sampled, was delicate and crumbly. The flavor had hints of spice if you happened to bite into the rind, but this heat did not permeate into the breast meat itself, leaving it somewhat bland and underwhelming.

19. Bold BourbonRidge Uncured Smoked Ham

BourbonRidge uncured smoked ham
BourbonRidge uncured smoked ham - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Inspired by the proud bourbon trails of the bluegrass state of Kentucky, the Bold BourbonRidge Uncured Smoked Ham is distinctive in flavor. Though it lacks a unique aroma, its flavor is infused with rich, sweet notes of refined bourbon.

What was missing from this ham was some smoke, which was notably absent. I also felt that the texture was drier and chewier than others.

18. Blazing Buffalo Style Roasted Chicken Breast

Buffalo style chicken breast
Buffalo style chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Blazing Buffalo Style Roasted Chicken Breast is inspired by the wing recipe we have all come to know and love. The breast is coated with cayenne pepper, vinegar, and other spices, eliciting that characteristic wing flavor and heat.

Like the chipotle chicken, the flavor doesn't permeate into the breast meat. Unless you get a bite of the rind, you miss that spice. This chicken also has a fragile texture, making it difficult to slice and serve.

17. Beef Salami

Beef salami
Beef salami - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

This Beef Salami --crafted in the traditional Italian style -- promises bold, savory flavors. It delivers on that, with the beefiness shining through. Though it is adequately seasoned, I could have used more spice to balance out the meatiness.

The texture of this salami is firm but not hard. It does have that distinctive gristly mouthfeel characteristic of some salami varieties. This is not a deal breaker, but it's something I tend to be less fond of.

16. Uncured Prosciutto Piccolo

Prosciutto - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Prosciutto Piccolo is a domestic varietal made in the Italian style. There is a lot to love about this prosciutto, beginning with its velvety texture -- which lacks the stringiness of many inferior makers of this kind of dry-cured meat.

Its aroma is quite pleasant, with a flavor to match. Though more subtle than its Italian counterparts, this is a home run as domestic varieties go. It would beautifully accompany any well-designed charcuterie board.

15. Maple Glazed Honey Coat Turkey Breast

Maple honey turkey breast
Maple honey turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

We are getting into the final stretch of Boar's Head deli meats, and making it more difficult to rank some of these. Made with 100% pure maple syrup and golden honey, this slow-roasted turkey breast has a delightful texture that is firm, but not stringy.

If I had one critique, it would be that the honey stood out more than the maple syrup. The sweetness was beautifully tempered with just a hint of salt.

14. Mesquite Wood Smoked Turkey Breast

Mesquite smoked turkey breast
Mesquite smoked turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Mesquite Wood Smoked Turkey Breast is exactly what it says it is. Distinct smokiness shines through, with a hint of sweetness and balanced salt for a turkey that would be suitable for any sandwich or recipe.

Its texture is tender and easy to slice, something that was lacking in many of the poultry deli meats. While there is nothing wrong with this turkey, it also isn't special compared with the top-ranking meats.

13. Cajun Style Smoked Turkey Breast

Cajun smoked turkey breast
Cajun smoked turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

This Cajun Style Smoked Turkey Breast promises flavors that are bigger than Mardi Gras. While that may be hyperbolic, it does deliver heat, sweetness, and savoriness, with notes of garlic, paprika, and chili pepper shining through.

Unlike some of the other flavored turkey breasts, the seasoning on this one permeates beyond the rind, making it a standout. Its texture is a bit precious, but this is easily overshadowed by the flavor.

12. Hard Salami

Hard salami
Hard salami - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

As a classic Hard Salami, the flavor and texture of this deli meat cannot be beat. It has that distinctive sausage texture that is not overly gristly and meaty aroma.

The flavor is milder than other salami, but still notable -- reminiscent of authentic Italian varieties. It is not as salty as some salami can be and is well-balanced. This would be an ideal addition to a festive charcuterie tower loaded with cheese, olives, and more.

11. Bold PitCraft Slow Smoked Turkey Breast

PitCraft smoked turkey breast
PitCraft smoked turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Bold PitCraft Slow Smoked Turkey Breast is seasoned with a mixture of brown sugar, paprika, and Mexican chilis. It then spends time smoking over mesquite wood, for an authentic barbecue taste that is perfectly executed.

The flavors are well balanced, with the smoke and heat shining through. Its texture is tender and juicy, making this a great option for those wanting something that is just a bit more distinctive for a sandwich.

10. Pastrami Seasoned Turkey Breast

Pastrami seasoned turkey breast
Pastrami seasoned turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Nothing speaks to the heart of a Jew with New York roots like the flavor of authentic delicatessen pastrami. But, pastrami can be notoriously fatty, and is not necessarily the healthiest option for daily consumption.

This turkey breast has all the flavor of real pastrami, with far less saturated fat. Its texture is juicy, with distinctive coriander, mustard, and peppercorn notes shining through. As a bonus, this pastrami is less salty than its beefy cousin.

9. Uncured Peppered Salame

Uncured peppered salame
Uncured peppered salame - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The Uncured Peppered Salame is a delight. This dry-cured, naturally-aged, and hand-rolled delicacy blends pork with wine and Italian seasoning before being encased in coarse black pepper.

The result is a texture that is firm but not dry, with no obvious fatty globules. Its flavor is spectacular, with intense, spicy, peppery back notes permeating your tongue. While there is salt, it's well-balanced with the other spices. This is the Cadillac of salami.

8. Sweet Slice Boneless Smoked Uncured Ham

Sweet slice smoked ham
Sweet slice smoked ham - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Inspired by the holidays, the Sweet Slice Boneless Smoked Uncured Ham is an homage to the bone-in classic you would find adorning the dinner table at any Christmas or Easter dinner. The texture is delicate and not stringy.

The flavor is a no-frills delight. Seasonings are well-balanced, but not bold, with just a hint of smokiness shining through, and a delicate sweetness lingering. Though not very unique, this is a solid ham.

7. Cracked Pepper Mill Smoked Turkey Breast

Cracked pepper smoked turkey
Cracked pepper smoked turkey - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

This is the smoked turkey breast for freshly cracked pepper lovers. It has the added bonus of a hint of paprika for color and flavor, giving it a kick that will wake you up. There is also an adequate amount of smoky flavor to provide complexity and savoriness.

The texture of this turkey is firm but not chewy. This would be the ideal turkey to cut into thick slices and turn into a creamy, zesty salad.

6. Sandwich Style Pepperoni

Sandwich style pepperoni
Sandwich style pepperoni - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Nobody is as surprised to see the Sandwich Style Pepperoni land as high in this ranking as me. While I enjoy an occasional pepperoni pizza, it is not typically my favorite meat. I find it overly salty and a little dry. This deli meat is the exception to that rule.

This pepperoni -- though a tad greasy -- has a lovely texture that is more reminiscent of salami. Its flavor is intense, with heat and peppercorns, but not especially salty.

5. Bold Blackened Turkey Breast

Blackened turkey breast
Blackened turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

This Bold Blackened Turkey Breast represents truth in advertising. It is both bold and blackened, with jerk-like seasonings reminiscent of Louisiana Bayou-style cooking.

The aromas are intense with smokiness. Its texture is punctuated by a snappy rind, but it's tender with a nice bite. The flavor is spicy, but it's not overkill. The smoke carries through in every slice from the inside out. This turkey would be dynamite in a white chili recipe.

4. Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast

Lemon pepper chicken breast
Lemon pepper chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Nearly breaking into the top three of this ranking was the Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast. One feature of this chicken that I appreciated was its firmer texture, which didn't dissolve as I attempted to separate the slices.

Where this chicken really exceeded expectations was in the flavor department. The lemon and peppercorns were distinctive, yet neither was overwhelming. They were well tempered by the garlic, parsley, and a hint of salt.

3. EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast

Oven roasted chicken breast
Oven roasted chicken breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

You know that a deli meat has achieved its desired goals when your assessment of its flavor is precisely what is written in the description. The EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast did exactly that. This chicken tasted like it had just been removed from a soup pot. It was loaded with the aromatic flavors of a classic mirepoix.

The aroma is just like the perfect roast chicken. Its texture is utterly melt-in-your-mouth tender. This chicken deserves all the awards.

2. Bold Salsalito Turkey Breast

Salsalito turkey breast
Salsalito turkey breast - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

If you love intense, Southwestern flavors, the Bold Salsalito Turkey Breast is for you. Coated in jalapeños, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro, this turkey is a party in your mouth. The flavors are smoky and slightly salty, with a pleasantly spicy aftertaste.

Its texture is firm and meaty, but not dry. And, if you tend to eat with your nose first, the aroma of this turkey will seduce you immediately.

1. Brown Sugar & Spice Delight Off The Bone Ham

Brown sugar ham
Brown sugar ham - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The winner of the best deli meat was the Brown Sugar & Spice Delight Off the Bone Ham. I confess that ham is not my preferred deli meat. I often find it overly salty and chewy. This one broke the mold.

Its texture is tender, without an ounce of sinew. The sweet and savory flavors are well-balanced by the subtle smokiness of the applewood chips. A hint of sweet spice punctuates every bite, making this ham festive and habit-forming.

How We Ranked The Boar's Head Deli Meats

Assorted deli meats on platter
Assorted deli meats on platter - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

The deli meats for this ranking of Boar's Head products were all purchased at the same time and sliced to the same thickness for consistency. I sampled them over the course of three days so that I could adequately taste each one without overwhelming my taste buds. I tasted each type of meat at the same time, as-is, without bread or any other ingredients.

For each variety, I noted any particular distinctions based on aroma, texture, taste, or overall quality, paying attention to the flavor notes provided by Boar's Head. I then assigned each a score on a scale of one to 10 -- with 10 being the highest, and one being the lowest. From there, I was able to determine final rankings by cross-referencing the notes with the overall scores given.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.