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

    • Things You Should Never Buy at Aldi

      Haven't shopped at an Aldi supermarket yet? After steadily expanding its footprint in the eastern part of the country over the past 40 years - the first U.S. store opened in Iowa in 1976 - Aldi is now adding locations in Southern California. There are few shelves, few employees and none of the amenities you've come to expect from the likes of Wegmans or Whole Foods.

      Kiplinger
    • One by one, 3 utility workers descended into a manhole. One by one, they died.

      When a utility worker in Key Largo, Fla., noticed that a section of a paved street was not settling properly, he decided to remove a manhole cover and descend into the earth. Moments later on Monday morning, the 15-foot-deep hole went silent. Sensing the man was trapped, a fellow utility worker climbed into the drainage hole to rescue him. When he, too, stopped responding, a third worker entered the same hole. All three men died, overcome by poisonous fumes underground, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. A Key Largo firefighter who made a desperate attempt to save the men also became unconscious within seconds. The firefighter, Leonardo Moreno, an eight-year veteran of the

      Washington Post q
    • Take a peek inside the most expensive home for sale in the US

      A 38,000-square-foot mansion in Bel Air, California, is poised to become the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. at $250 million.

      CNBC.com q 38 min ago
    • Ex-Amazon employee turned start-up CEO shares a surprising trick for getting ahead at work

      Manuel Medina noticed that high-level Amazon executives all shared a specific skill.

      CNBC.com q
    • Boeing has an updated F-18 in the works — here's how it's 'comparable' to the F-35

      President-elect Donald Trump caused a genuine uproar in the combat-aviation community when he...

      Business Insider
    • To be or not to be a first lady: Melinda Henneberger

      There are lots of ways to do the job. Or, as Melania Trump is showing, to not do it at all. After Donald Trump’s inauguration this week, his wife, Melania, will return home to their gilded penthouse in New York — leaving much of the work traditionally associated with the unpaid and often thankless role of first lady to her stepdaughter Ivanka. Of course, the full-time non-job of chief hostess and domestic diplomat has been evolving ever since Martha Washington held it. She complained in a letter to her niece that "I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else, there is certain bounds set for me which I must not depart from." Asked during a joint appearance with Laura Bush in Tanzania

      USA Today q
    • Toddler who died of brain injuries had ‘thug life’ written on his stomach, authorities say

      Eighteen-month-old Ares Baroz had been bleeding in his brain and had fractures on his skull, legs and shoulder area when he died the day before Thanksgiving, court records say. Last week, prosecutors revealed new information that they say could shed some light into the boy’s life at home. A picture found on his mother’s cellphone shows Ares with the words “thug life” scribbled in black Sharpie across his tiny stomach, Assistant District Attorney Susan Stinson told The Washington Post. A fake tattoo and the word “loco” can be seen on his forehead. It’s unclear when the pictures were taken or whether they were somehow connected to the boy’s injuries. But his mother, 27-year-old Miranda Rabago,

      Washington Post q
    • This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like

      As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

      Bloomberg q
    • Teen Abducted as a Newborn, in First Interview, Defends Alleged Kidnapper Who Raised Her

      ( function() {var func = function() {var iframe_form = document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-form-bbba73581ee368ad45b1eb1c509f4cea-587f827e3ecd7');var iframe = document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-bbba73581ee368ad45b1eb1c509f4cea-587f827e3ecd7');if ( iframe_form && iframe ) {iframe_form.submit();iframe.onload = function() {iframe.contentWindow.postMessage( {'msg_type': 'poll_size','frame_id': 'wpcom-iframe-bbba73581ee368ad45b1eb1c509f4cea-587f827e3ecd7'}, window.location.protocol + '//wpcomwidgets.com' );}}// Autosize iframevar funcSizeResponse = function( e ) {var origin = document. ...

      People
    • Amazon wins patent for Treasure Truck as it makes plans to expand beyond Seattle

      If you’re thinking about building a knockoff of Amazon’s Treasure Truck, the funky delivery vehicle for flash deals ranging from cameras to candy, consider yourself warned: The design is now patented. The patent was issued today, covering the ornamental design for the heavily modified Isuzu cab-over truck. The truck is typically stocked several times a month with one or two types of discounted goodies and makes deliveries to a few locations in the Seattle area. The Treasure Truck been compared to an ice cream truck for grownups: Amazon app users can get alerts about the deals on their smartphones, but once all… Read More

      GeekWire
    • Steve Harvey Confronts Seth Meyers About Those ‘SNL’ Impressions

      Steve Harvey Confronts Seth Meyers About Those ‘SNL’ Impressions

      Superfan TV
    • Largest Land Animal Ever: Massive Alligator In Florida Video Is Dinosaur Cousin

      A massive alligator walking through a nature reserve in central Florida has become a viral sensation after a video of the monster-like creature was uploaded to Facebook Sunday, according to local media reports. Florida resident Kim Joiner posted the video after she saw the animal at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County.  “I love Circle B. Nature at its best,” Joiner wrote in the Facebook the post. It has since been shared more than 18,000 times. Joiner described the animal in an interview with a local news station. "It looks like a dinosaur," News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth said. "Is that real?" News 6 anchor Kirstin O'Connor asked after watching the video. "Yes, it's real," Joiner said. She

      International Business Times q
    • Teacher Pregnant by Student Gets 10 Years in Jail

      Alexandria Vera, 24, pleaded guilty last year to aggravated sexual assault of a child and was hoping to avoid prison and just get probation.

      Cosmopolitan
    • Soulja Boy Dumps Floyd Mayweather As He Announces He's Fighting Chris Brown In March

      Soulja Boy is either really hurting for cash or he really hates Chris Brown with a burning passion. Big Draco just announced that his boxing match is no longer being promoted by Floyd Mayweather because they’re not moving quick enough to get the fight going. Soulja Boy took to Twitter and voiced his displeasure working with Money May while also revealing the big Soulja Boy vs. Chris Brown bout is going down this March.

      UPROXX
    • Rare photos of Betty White you've likely never seen (25 photos)

      Happy birthday, Betty White! Our favourite Golden Girl turns 95 on Jan. 17 — and she’s certainly come a long way. White officially holds the record for the longest TV career for any female entertainer. In honour of her birthday, click through the gallery to see some rare, vintage photos captured earlier in her career. Let us know what you think by tweeting @ YahooStyleCA!

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • Donald Trump reveals his 2020 campaign slogan ...

      Donald Trump hasn't even taken the oath of office yet for this first term but already is beginning to plot his re-election.

      CNBC
    • Why Shahs of Sunset’s Reza Farahan Begged Producers to Cut One Scene to Save His Life

      Reality TV is not often a matter of life and death, but in the case of Shahs of Sunset‘s Reza Farahan, there was one instance where he felt it was. Speaking at the NATPE Television conference in Miami, the real estate agent and Bravo star detailed an instance where he begged producers to cut a scene — and they complied. “Once I said something about Ayatollah Khomeini,” the real estate agent recalled of the moment.

      People
    • North Korea's Kim Jong Un Is So Fat He Might Have Hurt His Ankle Again

      Kim's leg injuries have been linked to obesity in the past and recent pictures show the Korean leader appears to have put on extra weight. 

      International Business Times
    • 10 Exercises That Will Take Inches From Your Waistline

      Looking to make some serious reductions to the inches on your waistline, and ultimately lose weight? These exercises will get you started.

      The Cheat Sheet q 24 min ago
    • How Long-Simmering Tensions Between Aaron Rodgers and His Brother Jordan Ended in a ‘Blow-Up’ Fight and a Family Torn Apart

      Like many brothers, Aaron and Jordan Rodgers have had a lifelong rivalry. “ have always been competitive, and they’re always trying to one-up each other,” says a source close to the Green Bay Packers quarterback. While competing on JoJo Fletcher‘s season of The Bachelorette, Jordan, 28, revealed that Aaron, 33, is estranged from the family.

      People