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January 13, 2020 | by Brian Duryea | @BatDigest

The Best Sunflower Seeds

After testing, here are the The Best Sunflower Seeds our players and parents found.

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By Brian January 13, 2020 6:46 pm

Best Sunflower Seeds Best Sunflower Seeds

Spitz Cracked Pepper

Spitz Cracked Pepper were, far and away, the best sunflower seeds.

556 Amazon Reviews
Best Runner Up Seeds Best Runner Up Seeds

Bigs Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Our users liked the black pepper taste on their seeds as the flavor hit both the 1st and 2nd in our list.

449 Amazon Reviews
Best Classic Sunflower Seeds Best Classic Sunflower Seeds

David Jumbo Original

The original, original seed was 3rd place. Those who want the classic taste of sunflower seeds won't go wrong with David original.

449 Amazon Reviews

Update January 13, 2020: We’ve added Chinook Seedery to our list at number 9 but kept the Spitz Black Pepper as the #1 spot for the best sunflower seeds. Many smaller vendors are trying to break into the seed space, but the big boys (Bigs, Spitz, David) still rule the dance. Since Black Pepper Spitz always gets plenty of great reviews and is widely available, we keep them at our top spot.

Comparison Chart

Best Sunflower Seeds Best Runner Up Seeds Best Classic Sunflower Seeds Best Bacon Seeds Best Spicy Seeds Best Ranch Flavor Seeds Best Sweet Sunflower Seeds Best BBQ Sunflower Seeds Best Seeds You Don't Know
Spitz Bigs David Bigs Spitz David Bigs Spitz Chinook
Cracked Pepper Sea Salt & Black Pepper Jumbo Original Sizzlin Bacon Spicy Jumbo Ranch Kettle Roast BBQ Parmesan & Pepper
$3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
5/5 5/5 5/5 4.8/5 4.3/5 4.0/5 4/5 4/5 5/5
Flavor, Pepper Salt & Pepper Perfection Classic, Salty Bacon, Bacon, Bacon Spicy, Chili Ranch, You Can Find Them Everywhere Sweet, Highly Rated BBQ, Smokey Unique, Great Blend, GMO

The Best Sunflower Seeds

After thousands of votes and several personal taste tests, we think the Spitz Cracked Pepper the best sunflower seed. We captured over 100,000 head to head votes in a pick ’em type functionality. We found that Spitz Cracked Pepper to win more than any other on the list. That said, Bigs Pepper and Sea Salt was a legitimate second with the classic and original tasting David Originals in 3rd place.

In truth, there are plenty of fantastic sunflower seeds out there. But, we think our list is as legit and defend-able as any.

Best Sunflower Seeds
Best Sunflower Seeds

1. Best Sunflower Seeds

Cracked Pepper

Details Rating: 5/5 | Features: Flavor, Pepper | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • Highest Rated
  • Cheap
  • Insatiable
Reasons to Avoid
  • Will eventually ruin your cheek
  • Once you pop, you can’t stop

Wins: 1287 Losses: 1282 Total: 2569

Without surprise, we think, Spitz Cracked pepper ruled the day. We discovered these seeds 10 years ago and our life has never been the same since. These are our personal go too seeds whenever the options is available. A few people even combine this one and a BBQ flavor to get a nice steak taste.

Best Runner Up Seeds
Best Runner Up Seeds

2. Best Runner Up Seeds

Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Details Rating: 5/5 | Features: Salt & Pepper Perfection | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • You like Salt and Pepper Taste
  • You don’t like the overpowering pepper taste of Spitz Cracked Pepper
Reasons to Avoid
  • You like the classic taste of only Salt
  • You like another flavor
  • You can’t find them

Wins: 1293 Losses: 1269 Total: 2562

Both #1 and #2 in the list contain a black pepper taste. It is, clearly, a winning combination of flavors and well worth your try. We prefer the Spitz Cracked Pepper to these Bigs Sea Salt and Black Pepper. But, to each, his own. These are old school style seeds still making the top 3 of best sunflower seeds.

Best Classic Sunflower Seeds
Best Classic Sunflower Seeds

3. Best Classic Sunflower Seeds

Jumbo Original

Details Rating: 5/5 | Features: Classic, Salty | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • Classic, Perfect
  • The Expected Taste of Seeds
Reasons to Avoid

They are good, but just not as good as Cracked Pepper

Wins: 1272 Losses: 1253 Total: 2525

The original, original sunflower seeds (and what most of us grew up on) are the David seeds. We never called these seeds original because, at the time, these were the only type. The idea of putting flavors in seeds is a somewhat new phenomenon. It is good to see the old school make the top three best sunflower seeds.

Best Bacon Seeds
Best Bacon Seeds

4. Best Bacon Seeds

Sizzlin Bacon

Details Rating: 4.8/5 | Features: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • It Tastes like Bacon
  • Bacon
  • They do this really unique thing with Pork in the taste buds.
Reasons to Avoid
  • You’re from a different planet and don’t like Bacon
  • You don’t like non stop flavor of bacon.

Users liked this the 4th most; we have never tried them.

Wins: 1242 Losses: 1226 Total: 2468

We've never tried the Bigs Sizzling Bacon, but our readers love them enough to give it a worthy top #4 finish in the best-tasting sunflower seeds department. These are on our shortlist to try find and this year.

Best Spicy Seeds
Best Spicy Seeds

5. Best Spicy Seeds


Details Rating: 4.3/5 | Features: Spicy, Chili | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • You Like Spicy Seeds
Reasons to Avoid
  • You Don’t Like Spicy Seeds

Are you looking for a little burn? Spitz Spicy Seeds ranked out as our highest across the board. Some don't like the spice on their seeds; that's why it fell to 5th place. But, in the end, 5th place is a legit landing spot for the Best Spicy Seeds.

Best Ranch Flavor Seeds
Best Ranch Flavor Seeds

6. Best Ranch Flavor Seeds

Jumbo Ranch

Details Rating: 4.0/5 | Features: Ranch, You Can Find Them Everywhere | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • They are Everywhere
  • Most Popular
  • You like Ranch Flavored Seeds
Reasons to Avoid
  • You Don’t Like Ranch Flavor

At a reasonable #6 on our list of best sunflower seeds are the David Jumbo Ranch seeds

Wins: 1326 Losses: 1322 Total: 2648

The first real derivation from the original flavor was Ranch. When they first arrived on the scene, folks went crazy over a flavored sunflower seed. Ranch flavor is a good fit. Although not our cup of tea, we can appreciate that others like them. David's Ranch are as good as ranch-flavored seeds get.

Best Sweet Sunflower Seeds
Best Sweet Sunflower Seeds

7. Best Sweet Sunflower Seeds

Kettle Roast

Details Rating: 4/5 | Features: Sweet, Highly Rated | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • Perfect blend of sweet and salt
  • You like a much milder, addicting seed
Reasons to Avoid
  • You don’t like sweet seeds
  • You like Black Pepper Seeds

Never tried these, but on our shortlist, if we can ever find them. Readers voted it #7---and considering they are usually hard to notice; they might be the best sunflower seeds on the list.

Wins: 1168 Losses: 1163 Total: 2331

The only other seed flavor on this list of best seeds we have never had the chance to taste. Giants make a Kettle Roasted flavor. These, based on user comments, appear to be sweet and taste like, well, kettle roasted popcorn. Intriguing enough for us to seek this out this year and try a few.

Best BBQ Sunflower Seeds
Best BBQ Sunflower Seeds

8. Best BBQ Sunflower Seeds


Details Rating: 4/5 | Features: BBQ, Smokey | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • You Like BBQ Seeds
  • You Want a Seed That Doesn’t Ruin your Cheek
Reasons to Avoid

You want a salty, sweet or black pepper type taste on your seeds

Another classic taste, we think. Combine these with #1 Cracked Pepper for a Filet Mignon sort of flavor.

Wins: 1311 Losses: 1295 Total: 2606

Smoky BBQ from Spitz is a solid alternative when Cracked Pepper just isn't giving you the same buzz it used to. We love combining our bag of Spitz BBQ into our Cracked Pepper back to create a nice steak flavor. It's a good off-speed approach when straight fastballs of cracked pepper get out of whack.

Best Seeds You Don't Know
Best Seeds You Don't Know

9. Best Seeds You Don't Know

Parmesan & Pepper

Details Rating: 5/5 | Features: Unique, Great Blend, GMO | Price: $3
Reasons to Buy
  • Unique
  • Fantastic Parmesan and Pepper Taste
Reasons to Avoid
  • Hard to Find
  • They are not Spitz Black Pepper

Most have never heard of these. But, honestly, a bag of parmesan & pepper Chinooks are fantastic.

Not officially in our taste testing voting (since these are not widely available), we came across the Parmesan & Pepper Chinook seeds a few years back and fell in love. These are found online and in some major chains like Whole Foods. Well worth a trip out of your way to finding a bag, or two, of these. (We review the entire line of these seeds here individually)

In the weirdest video we have ever made, we did a taste test and box opening video of Chinook Seeds.


Jeff Decker says:

I recently found Wild Dutchman which have much less salt and therefore don’t leave my mouth sore.
I love their Cheddar Dill. I’d rank them at the top.

Chase Jackson says:

Na the best kind is big´s taco supreme seeds. They are so good.

Jason Zwink says:

My favorite seeds that I’ve tried so far (and I’ve tried a lot) is Giant’s KC Style BBQ. If you ever tried Jim Beam’s BBQ when it was around, this is quite similar to their original recipe where the flavor is seems baked in.

Anonymous says:

chinook has the best seed, not close.

Keith says:

Chinook has slowly taken over my top spot. The Hatch Green Chile provide me a touch of home (New Mexico). The Parmesan & Pepper (#9) are really good. They don’t tear my mouth up like some of the other brands. BiGS Tapatio Chile & Lime are still a very close second after being bumped from my top spot by the Green Chile Chinooks.

Michael Giblock says:

Great choice getting BIGS, cms. Most people agree that dill pickly is their best flavor, what’d you think of the ones you got?

cms says:

Lately I’ve become very interested in sunflower seeds because in here, Korea, we don’t really eat them for snack unlike China or many other countries. I’ve been wondering what they taste like so I decided to order some of them on online (by using a freight forwarder). I searched every brand and flavor to find the best ones and your “Best Sunflower Seeds” and “Chinook Seedery review” was very helpful. I ordered bunch of them from Chinook Seedery and BIGS. Can’t wait for them to arrive! Thank you.

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