We Tried 6 Brands of Chocolate Chips and These Are the Only Ones We'll Use From Now On

Consider these chocolate chips your go-to baking staple.

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chocolate chip taste test with ribbon
Photo: Jessica Furniss

You may have strolled the baking aisle casually glancing at the bags of chocolate chips and snagged the ones on sale without much thought. Aren't they all pretty much the same anyway?

No, they aren't. You deserve the best cookies instead of the usual chocolate chip off the old block.

To help you make the most scrumptious chocolate chip cookies, we tried six different brands of chocolate chips, and the results of our taste test might surprise you.

To find out which chocolate chips give you the best bang for your buck, we tried six of the top brands available in stores and online. We used each kind of chocolate chip to make chocolate chip cookies and kept the recipe the same except for switching out the chips. We tested semi-sweet chips only, so this review doesn't include specialty flavors like milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

Before you bake another batch, check out our rankings of store-bought chocolate chips.

Best Chocolate Chips at a Glance:

Best Chocolate Chips Overall: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Runner-Up: Great Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Most Polarizing Chocolate Chips: Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Morsels
Best Allergen-Free Chocolate Chips: Toll House Allergen-Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Best Vegan Chocolate Chips: Gefen Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

What We Looked for When Ranking Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips have been a staple in American baking since the creation of the first chocolate chip cookies in 1937. A chef at the Toll House Inn named Ruth Graves Wakefield added chunks of Nestlé chocolate bars to her cookie recipe. Originally, Nestlé sold baking chocolate bars that came with a tool for home cooks to chop the bars into chunks to be used in baking. But by 1941, the chocolate chip morsels we know and love today were being sold in stores.

Today, a variety of brands offer their own version of the classic chocolate chip. To find the best one, we had to set ground rules for how we measured what was good and what could be skipped.

Taste: When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, the chips are the star of the show, so they need to taste just right. We took into account how each morsel tastes on its own before baking, and then how it tasted once baked into a cookie. Were the morsels bitter? Creamy? Buttery? Spicy? Smooth? What was the sweetness level? Was there an artificial taste, or were there solidly authentic cocoa and cocoa butter flavors?

Texture: Were the morsels chalky, sticky, or smooth when uncooked? Do they melt in your hands? How well did the morsels hold up when baked? Did they keep their flavor or taste burned? Did the chips get nice and melty?

How We Tested Each Chocolate Chip

The taste test was done in one day with two participants. Each brand of chocolate chip was tasted uncooked, and my partner and I both noted the texture and flavor. Then I used the standard Toll House cookie recipe for one batch of chocolate chip cookies with all ingredients but the chips. I evenly divided the dough and baked 8 cookies with each brand of chocolate chip. The cookies were all scooped using the same mini baking scooper, baked on the same sheet pan, and at the same temperature to avoid any variables in baking that could affect the quality and taste.

*Note: After each batch of cookies were placed onto the cookie sheet they were chilled for 30 minutes. I always chill cookies, even if it's not part of the recipe.

Best Overall: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Premium Chocolate Chips

ghiradelli semisweet

We were in total agreement that this chip was the winner. Uncooked, these chips have the flavor and texture of an expensive chocolate bar. In the cookie, they were gooey and buttery, and maintained the perfect balance of sweet and bitter. They are definitely a premium chip at $3.49 per bag, but are worth it in our opinion.

Buy it: $3.50; Walmart

Runner-Up: Great Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

great value semi-sweet

Coming in at a close second were the Great Value chips. Uncooked they had a fairly complex flavor with hints of bright fruit and a soft texture that melts in your hand. In the cookies, they were beautifully gooey with my partner describing them as "velvety, melty goodness." He was surprised that a store brand performed so much better than other popular brands. And at under $2 a bag, they're a great budget option, too.

Buy it: $1.28, Walmart

Most Polarizing Chocolate Chips: Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

nestle semisweet morsels

There is no doubt that this is the classic chip for chocolate chip cookies. We all grew up seeing the cozy, sentimental Toll House commercials that left us feeling warm and happy inside. So I was surprised to see how different my perspective was on this chip from my partner's. I did a little research online, and it seems that everyone feels very strongly about this chocolate chip: You either love it, or you hate it.

Uncooked they have a strong nutty flavor. I like nut milks, while my partner does not, so he wasn't a fan. When baked into the cookies, they were gooey, but not as melty as the Ghirardelli chips. They have a complex flavor profile that's buttery and spicy with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Again, I loved this combo, but my partner did not. Overall, I have to give these chips high praise for complexity and nostalgia, but be mindful if you're cooking for a crowd with divergent tastes.

Buy it: $2.69; Target

Best Allergen-Free Chocolate Chips: Toll House Allergen-Free Chocolate Chips

toll house alleren free

We were pleasantly surprised by the texture and flavor of this allergen-free chip. These chocolate chips are free from all major allergens. Uncooked they had a dense texture and a bright flavor with a hint of blueberry. They dispersed really well in cookies giving each bite the same amount of chocolate. While they didn't achieve the gooey, melty texture of the others, they were soft to the bite and nicely sweetened. If you like a sweeter chip, this is the one for you.

Buy it: $4.18; Walmart

Best Vegan Chocolate Chips: Gefen Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

gefen real chocolate chips

Similarly to the Toll House allergen-free chocolate chip, these chips are free of most major allergens including dairy or animal products –– and they're about half the price! When eaten uncooked they're very sweet and crunchy. When baked into the cookies they maintain their shape and have a nice bitter dark chocolate flavor.

Buy it: $2.74; Walmart


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