Taste test: Best potato chips

Epicurious

Chip taste test

Potato chip taste test (Photo: Werner Blessing)

Epicurious crunched their way through 12 different brands to find the best potato chips.

Potato chips are a great snack all year round. But when the warm weather hits, there's nothing like these salty snacks when you're hanging out by the pool or entertaining at a backyard barbecue. Portable, delicious, and more than a little addictive, potato chips come in countless variations from brands big and small—but how do you know which chip to choose?

We searched far and wide for the perfect classic potato chip, tasting contenders from all across the country. The goal: to find that crunchy, golden slice of potato that would satisfy our salty cravings and keep our sandwiches company.

This task was anything but small potatoes. With plenty of crispy contenders to sample, we focused on the gold standard: classic plain potato chips. Some crumbled under the pressure and turned out to be fried spuds that were duds. But we found a few standout brands with the crunch, saltiness, and depth of flavor to make the list of our favorite potato chips.

(See also: Supermarket standoff: Best canned chili)


View photo

.
Trader Joe's Ode to the Classic Potato Chip
Best Potato Chips
Trader Joe's Ode to the Classic Potato Chip ($1.99 for 9 ounces)

Pros: Many tasters enjoyed the moderate saltiness of Trader Joe's chips. "The salt is prominent without being overpowering," commented one judge. Others liked the light and crisp texture. One judge noted, "The chips are nice and thin but still very crunchy."

Cons: Some tasters felt the chips were a little on the pale side.



Jays Original Potato Chips
First Runner-Up
Jays Original Potato Chips ($2.90 for 9 ounces)

Pros: The tasting panel liked the crunchiness of Jays' chips, a Midwestern favorite. "They stay crisp well beyond the first bite," stated one judge. The potato-forward flavor of the chips was especially popular.

Cons: The chips were all very flat and even but lacked certain textural characteristics the tasters craved. One judge noted, "Nice texture, nice curve, but air bubbles would be nice."



Charles Chips
Second Runner-Up
Charles Chips ($4.25 for 9 ounces)

Pros:
All the judges liked the very even golden coloring of Charles Chips, a throwback brand that has made a recent comeback, and the fact that the chips were intact. One taster stated, "I love that the chips are so big and round—not too many broken pieces."

Cons: Some testers felt the chips were too starchy. For example, one judge noted that the chips had "a tender crispiness, but they get a little sticky while chewing."


The Other Contenders

The natural look and hearty crunch of Wachusett potato chips pleased the judges, though this brand lacked the longed-for salty sensation. Utz chips were a hit with the tasters for their natural flavor but were ruled to be a little bland. Other big-name brands like Lay's, Utz, Herr's, and Wise were all quite tasty but were criticized for being salted with too heavy a hand. Left at the bottom were Grippo's chips, dark and oily yet somehow oddly addictive.


Additional Taste Test Details

All 12 types of potato chips evaluated are available in supermarkets or online. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Trader Joe's, Jays, Charles Chips, Wachusett, Utz, Herr's, Lay's, Wise, Better Made, Uncle Ray's, Tim's, and Grippo's.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 12 brands of classic plain potato chips. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).



*Prices and availability subject to change.


More from Epicurious:

Indulgent, Delicious Breakfasts

Taste Test: 3 Addictive Peanut Butters

Your New Favorite Chicken Recipe

*Yahoo! Shopping was not compensated by any brands listed within this article.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Chiefs fans were so sad after playoff loss they left their grills in the parking lot

      Arrowhead Stadium became a hellscape. .@AbbyClopton10 It wasn't! If you look closely in this pic you'll actually see two grills and half a bottle of Jack. Look, they up and left their grills and everything.

      SB Nation q
    • “Dancing with the Stars” Peta Murgatroyd posted pictures of herself in a bra and underwear to remind us that post-baby body expectations are totally unrealistic

      The “post-baby body” obsession has, unfortunately, seemingly taken over our culture. Instead of marveling at the fact that women bring forth life from…

      Hello Giggles
    • Texas teacher who had sex almost daily with 13-year-old student gets 10 years in prison

      A former Texas middle-school teacher who was impregnated by a 13-year-old student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Alexandria Vera, 25, was facing up to 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in November. She admitted to police that a relationship that started with Instagram messages between her and the boy blossomed into a romance — one that the boy’s family approved of. A judge in the 209th District Court in Houston said during Vera’s sentencing hearing on Friday that he does not believe the former English teacher is a danger to children or a classic pedophile, the Houston Chronicle reported. But Judge Michael McSpadden said he wants to send

      Washington Post q
    • ‘Fame Can Change Things’: Aaron Rodgers’ Family Opens Up About Their Rift

      NFL star Aaron Rodgers’ father Ed Rodgers has opened up in a new interview with The New York Times about his family’s strained relationship with the Green Bay Packers quarterback. “With all the craziness that comes along with the media and the show, it would have been much harder to do it not living together,” Jordan said of moving in together.

      People
    • Blac Chyna Hits the Town With Rob Kardashian in a Revealing Jumpsuit: Pics!

      The pair had a fun evening out in New York City.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Troopers say man tried to hide license plate to get through tolls

      Now you see it, now you don't! A gutsy driver was pulled over after trying to block his plate while going through a toll plaza, on Wednesday, Fox 35 reports. He used a device that rolls a black sheet across his license plate with the push of a button.  It even had the Florida Highway Patrol doing a double-take. “We've seen people hang out the back of cars to put their hand over it, we've seen motorcycles take different routes through the express lanes to avoid the camera, people intentionally cover their tags, semi trucks block their tags,” says Sgt. Kim Montes with the FHP. Obviously, if the toll camera can't see your tag, the state can’t send you the bill. Troopers say Joshua Concepcion West

      Fox News q
    • 'Fresh Off the Boat' Author Eddie Huang Responds to Steve Harvey's "Upsetting" Jokes About Asian Men

      "The one joke that still hurts, the sore spot that even my closest friends will press, the one stereotype that I still mistakenly believe at the most inopportune bedroom moments ... is that women don't want Asian men," he writes in an essay for The New York Times. Fresh Off the Boat author Eddie Huang is calling Steve Harvey's recent jokes about Asian men dating women of another race "upsetting." In an essay published by The New York Times, the author, chef and host of Viceland's Huang's World responded to Harvey's recent segment on his talk show that found the host cracking jokes about obscure, absurdly specific advice books that included Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas and How to Date

      The Hollywood Reporter q
    • Georgia constituent pens open letter to Rep. John Lewis

      Woman shares her message on 'Fox & Friends'

      FOX News Videos
    • Ciara Posts Family Picture After Cheeky Move From Ex Future

      Singer Ciara just clapped back at her ex, Future, after the latter showed up during her husband Russell Wilson's game.

      International Business Times
    • The Latest: Trump promises health insurance for all

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

      Associated Press
    • China claimed its troops can reach New Delhi in 48 hours and everyone cracked the same joke

      Over the weekend, Indian Twitter found amusement in the not-so-amusing.  After China TV reported that Chinese troops would take only 48 hours to reach New Delhi in case of a war, Indians got chatty — and catty — about it. SEE ALSO: China is about to kick America's butt in renewable energy It all began when The International Spectator picked up the news.  And Indians spoke of the roadblocks, literally, en route to Delhi.  Some were funny anyway. And the rest were concerned. Rightly so.  And "realistic" we have to be. No one wants a war right? BONUS: Trump's 5-year-old granddaughter Arabella is huge in China

      Mashable q
    • ‘DWTS' Pro Peta Murgatroyd Opens Up About Post-Baby Body

      Peta Murgatroyd doesn't mind the weight gain if it meant bringing Shai into the world.

      International Business Times
    • Last Night’s Look: Love It or Leave It? 1/16/2017 (13 photos)

      See the best red carpet looks from this week

      People
    • Parents’ Night Out! Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian Make Joint Club Appearance in the Big Apple

      Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian turned their first official outing as a duo — since becoming parents — into a date night in New York City. Kardashian, 29, went for a more casual look, pairing white sneakers with a comfy black ensemble. Chyna also documented the night out on Snapchat, playing with different filters as upbeat music played.

      People
    • 'This is just the beginning for the Cowboys' - Rodgers

      Aaron Rodgers expects to see plenty more from the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.

      Omnisport
    • Chargers admit mistake, drop new LA logo after criticism

      The Chargers have dropped their new LA logo, which bore an uncanny resemblance to that of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      Omnisport
    • Bryan Tanaka says it 'f*****g sucks' as Mariah Carey and James Packer get 'touchy feely' on TV show

      Bryan Tanaka received a "big reality check" as he spotted his girlfriend Mariah Carey and her former fiancé James Packer hitting it off on Sunday's episode of Mariah's World. According to E!News, Tanaka said it ''f*****g sucks'' after he spotted the former couple get ''touchy feely''. Australian business tycoon Packer appeared on the show to watch Carey's performance.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Sea Shepherd finds Japanese ship 'with slaughtered whale'

      A Japanese ship has been caught with a slaughtered whale in the Antarctic in defiance of an international court decision against Tokyo's hunts, activist group Sea Shepherd said Sunday. The conservationist organisation -- whose two vessels departed Australia last month for the Southern Ocean to disrupt the hunt -- said it spotted the Nisshin Maru in the Australian whale sanctuary around the nation's Antarctic territory. Sea Shepherd released photographs of a dead minke whale on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, a factory ship, adding that the vessel's crew covered the carcass with a tarp when its helicopter approached.

      AFP
    • Michelle Beadle Thinks Someone Needs To Say 'Enough Is Enough' And Knock Grayson Allen Out

      ESPN SportsNation host Michelle Beadle is calling for someone to knock Grayson Allen out? It’s no secret that Duke’s Grayson Allen is probably the most hated college basketball player in America right now. According to Michelle Beadle of ESPN someone needs to do something about this and knock the Blue Devils’ guard out.

      UPROXX
    • Martin Luther King Jr. (42 photos)

      Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 15, 1929. King was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader who practiced peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience to protest racial inequality. In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year, he and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition to poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam." King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tenn., while planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., for the Poor People’s Campaign. Riots broke out in cities around the U.S. in response to King's death. (AP) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.

      Yahoo News Photo Staff