Peppercorn Ranch vs Ranch

Ranch dressing is a popular condiment of the western world used to perfect a variety of cuisines such as salads and pasta. 

The Peppercorn ranch happens to be one among the many different types of ranch dressings that exist out there. 

Both the traditional and peppercorn ranch dressings have a common base flavor that delivers creaminess with a suppressed tartness, however, they differ in their overall flavor due the addition of one extra ingredient in the peppercorn variety. 

This article compares the two condiments side by side (using a table) in order to discover how they differ in taste and ingredients.

A Table Comparing Peppercorn Ranch And Ranch

s/nEntryPeppercorn RanchRegular Ranch
1IngredientsMayonnaise, Buttermilk, Sour Cream, Dried Herbs, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Crushed Black PeppercornMayonnaise, Buttermilk, Sour Cream, Dried Herbs, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder.
2TasteTastes similar to regular ranch but has a hint of peppercorn spice at the end. Tastes creamy and citrusy. 
3TextureCan vary from slightly gritty to smooth depending on how finely the peppercorns are ground.Smooth.
4VariationsBlack Peppercorn, Variation of different Peppercorns, Black peppercorn Cheesy.Peppercorn, Garlic, Avocado etc.
5FormsPaste, Dry-Mix, Seasoning Mix.Paste, Dry-Mix, Seasoning Mix.

Peppercorn Ranch vs Regular Ranch:

Ingredients & Makeup

Regular Ranch Dressing

The Regular Ranch dressing is a staple condiment of the United States used in a variety of ways from dipping sauce to salad dressing and everything in between. 

Regular ranch dressing is a simple concoction of fat based ingredients like cream and mayonnaise mixed with flavorful and healthy herbs, alliums and also spices. 

Together, they birth a new dimension of taste characterised by three distinct yet complementary flavors: creaminess, tartness and herbaceousness. 

The texture of the product is also creamy and semi-think which makes it great for applications such as topping, dip sauce and salad dressing. 

In store bought ranch dressing, additional ingredients can be added to ensure the quality of the product is preserved during storage, as well as to affect its color, taste and smell. 

These ingredients include preservatives, stabilisers, pH adjusters, colorants and natural or artificial flavoring which can be derived from a variety of sources including plants and animals.

Peppercorn ranch

The peppercorn ranch is no different from the regular ranch in its make up. Afterall, it’s just another type of ranch dressing. 

The only thing that really sets the two apart is the incorporation of black crushed peppercorns into the classic ranch dressing recipe.

With black peppercorns added, you still get the same creaminess and tartness, but with a slight peppery undernote during and after tasting.

Some people really can’t even tell the difference between peppercorn ranch dressing and regular ranch dressing due to how small of a quantity the peppercorn is typically, but it could as well be the specific brand they tasted or their lack of sensitive taste buds. 

There are a lot more brands in the market that add a lot of peppercorns to their ranch dressing for a more pronounced heat, or even use a combination of different varieties of peppercorns alongside the black peppercorn to deliver a kick of spice to the after taste. 

Some can even add extra ingredients that naturally have heat in them such as hot sauce or chilis, but it’s usually indicated in the labelling.

Like regular ranch too, store bought peppercorn ranch contains preservatives and other ingredients to help extend its shelf life and improve smell, taste and appearance. 

How Do They Compare In Terms Of Taste?

Both Peppercorn and Regular ranch dressing are delicious when used as dips and salad dressings. 

The moderate heat of the peppercorn ranch makes it not too overwhelming to the buds and therefore a great accompaniment for your favourite chicken or pasta recipe. 

The extra crunch you get in some brands (die to the added peppercorns) makes the experience even more worthwhile. 

For the regular ranch, it’s everything you get in the peppercorn variety — without the heat, the crunch and the extra thickness: but you won’t even notice that.

Bonus video: If you’re wondering what different types of ranch dressings taste like, wonder no more because someone has done the messy job for you! Watch the video below. 

How Do They Look?

In general, store bought peppercorn ranch and the classic ranch dressing both look similar: having a cream colored base with sprinkles of herb color all over the place. 

If you’re making them at home however, it’s very easy to alter the color by the addition of ingredients that have color compounds in them such as avocados or even by using natural or artificial colorants. 

What Are the Different Forms And Varieties?

Both peppercorn ranch and regular ranch do come in varieties (surprise twist: one of the varieties of the classic ranch dressing is actually the peppercorn ranch itself). 

Peppercorn ranch does come in cheese and cheeseless varieties having either low to moderate heat to it. 

The cheeses commonly used include Parmesan, Asiag and Roman and in some brands like Wish-Bone, you can have a blend of two or more of them.

As for the regular ranch dressing, it comes in different flavor extensions such as peppercorn, avocado, garlic, honey mustard and buffalo (among many others).

With regards to forms, the most common is the pasty version sold in containers which comes in different sizes and depending on brand, can be shelf stable or require refrigeration after opening. 

However, you can also find dry-mix of both types of ranch dressings which can be reconstituted back into the pasty form with the addition of cream and mayonnaise, typically by following the recipe imprinted on the labelling.

Another form of the ranch dressing is seasoning which is meant to be used in the same manner as a bottle of seasoning. 

Can You Substitute Peppercorn Ranch for Regular Ranch?

Absolutely, peppercorn ranch can be substituted for regular ranch and vice versa. What you need to bear at the back of your mind however, is that the former has a bit of heat to it, and if that’s not something you’d like in the food where you’re making the substitution, then it’s best to stick with the regular ranch dressing. 

Where Can You Buy Them?

Both ranch dressings are available in the condiment section of supermarkets, grocery stores and even online from retailers such as Amazon, Target, Safeway, Kroger and Walmart. 

Popular brands that offer both classic and peppercorn ranch dressings include: Marie’s, Kroger, Hidden Valley and Wish-Bone. 

Specialty stores such as Trader Joe’s also sell their own house-brand Ranch dressing which you can find in their stores or via online retailers like Amazon. 

How Much Do They Cost?

Ranch dressings come in various bottle sizes, forms, varieties and brands, all of which contribute to the price of the product. 

Some brands of ranch dressing offer products that are more expensive than others due to the costs of ingredients they used as well as the expensive nature of their production method. 

Others on the otherhand, offer various bottle sizes with different price points to cater for the needs of a wide range of audience. 

Take the instance of peppercorn ranch. If it’s made with high quality peppercorns such as black peppercorns (or even with a combination of various peppercorns), it would definitely be more costly than a version made with cheaply processed black peppers and ingredients. 

Additionally, black peppers aren’t that cheap of a spice compared to other spices and herbs, and the fact that the peppercorn ranch made with them is marketed as a “specialty product” can also drive up their cost in some markets. 

If a comparison must be made for the prices of both types of ranch dressing, then it could be said that on average, peppercorn ranch dressing is only slightly more expensive than the regular ranch dressing: we’re talking about a few cents or a dollar more. 

For instance, a 16 ounce bottle of regular ranch dressing can cost between $2 – $5 whereas the peppercorn variety costs between $3 – $7 due to the added ingredient. 

If you’re lucky on promotions and discounts, you can walk away with a bottle of ranch dressing at even lesser costs than that.

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