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

    • Rachel Dolezal struggles after racial identity scandal

      SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A white civil rights leader, fired because she led others to believe she was black, said she struggles to make a living these days because she was portrayed as a fraud.

      Associated Press
    • Donald and Melania Trump No Longer Sleep in the Same Room

      The couple reportedly "never spend the night together."

      Marie Claire
    • Carrie Underwood Works Out with New Gym Buddy: Her Son!

      Carrie Underwood Work Outs with New Gym Buddy: Her Son!

      People
    • London Mayor Sadiq Khan dismisses Trump Jr.’s Twitter jab following attack

      London Mayor Sadiq Khan declined to respond to an insult from U.S. President Trump’s son hours after a terrorist attack at the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday. “You have to be kidding me?!” Trump Jr. wrote. Trump Jr. mischaracterized Khan’s statements as if he had said that terrorism is an inevitable consequence of living in a big city and that nothing could be done.

      Yahoo News
    • Lioness attempts to attack tourists but leap falls way short; video

      As a vehicle carrying tourists made its way past a lion enclosure in the Serengeti Safari section of the Estrella Biopark in Montemorelos, Mexico, a lioness went into a crouching position as if stalking the visitors. Then it decided to attack, which was a horrible idea by Elsa the lioness, as footage captured by tourist Jan Adrian Diaz proves: The lioness obviously overestimated its leaping ability as it fell into the large moat that surrounds the enclosure and keeps tourists safe for instances such as these. Elsa wasn’t even close to reaching the other side of the trench. The male lion, meanwhile, remained lying in its position, no doubt unimpressed by the lioness’ antics. A park spokesperson

      GrindTV.com q
    • Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Teases a Big Jaime-Cersei-Brienne Development

      In an interview with The Daily Beast , Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays kingslaying sister-schtupper Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones , gave a telling non-answer when the reporter presented him with a popular fan theory. The theory? That Jaime will fulfill a prophecy by killing his sister Cersei ( ... Read More > Other Links From TVGuide.com Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Lena Headey Gwendoline Christie This article, Game of Thrones ' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Teases a Big Jaime-Cersei-Brienne Development, originally appeared on TVGuide.com.

      TV Guide q
    • 13 Photos That Prove Malia Obama Is Slowly Morphing Into Michelle

      It's a scary moment when you look down at your outfit only to realize, wait — wait a minute — you're dressed just like your mom. But if said mom happens to be Michelle Obama, fashion icon to women everywhere, it's not such a raw deal. In fact, that's something her daughter Malia should truly take as a compliment, as comparisons between the two ladies have flooded the Internet. And after browsing through pics of the 18-year-old ourselves, it's increasingly obvious: Michelle's chic and ladylike fashion sense has definitely rubbed off on the eldest Obama child. Take a look at how many times Malia proved she got it from her mama, and hope that these two start sharing clothes sometime in the near

      PopSugar q
    • Man adopts 18-year-old dog: ‘I couldn't let her spend 1 more night in the shelter’

      At the age of 18, at the end of February, Julep the dog found herself in an animal shelter instead of at home. Julep's person — who'd loved her very much, for a very long time — had just died. Family was unable to take care of the white-faced dog. Julep was one of the oldest, "if not the oldest," dog who'd ever come through, Alix John Tolley, spokesperson for Washington, D.C.'s Humane Rescue Alliance, said in an email. "She’s lived a long and happy life." The shelter put out word about Julep on Facebook. They said Julep was looking for "a fresh start," and "doesn't need much, just a couch to sleep on and a human to love." The message reached Wayne Lerch, who was heartbroken because his beloved

      TODAY.com q
    • Scary Mommy Founder Jill Smokler: 'My Husband Is Gay'

      Fifteen years ago, when Jeff Smokler first began questioning his sexuality, "the first person I told was my wife," he says. For Jill Smokler, who by the...

      People
    • Harper's Bazaar
    • 'Rehab Addict' Nicole Curtis sued by city of Minneapolis

      "Rehab Addict" Nicole Curtis is facing a lawsuit from the city of Minneapolis over a home she purchased from the government in 2013 for just $2. And the HGTV star is firing back against the city.  According to the lawsuit obtained by Consumerist, Curtis' firm Detroit Designs purchased the home in a north Minneapolis neighborhood under several conditions, including completing "minimum improvements" on the home, maintaining the required insurance and paying property taxes within 12 months of purchase. The city alleges in its suit, filed in January, that Curtis "failed to redevelop the property," failed to "substantially complete minimum improvements," "failed to pay real estate taxes" and "failed

      Fox News q
    • 'Not OK': Heather Watson and Dominika Cibulkova question Maria Sharapova's 'easy' return from 15-month doping ban

      Heather Watson and Dominika Cibulkova have expressed their unhappiness after Maria Sharapova was handed a wild card paving the way for the return of the Russian tennis star after serving a 15-month ban for doping. The 29-year-old's ban will end effectively two days after the 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix kick-starts on 24 April. Sharapova's return to next month's tournament in Stuttgart was confirmed by the Women Tennis Association (WTA).

      International Business Times
    • 'You're a disgrace': Donald Trump Jr slammed for criticising Sadiq Khan only hours after London attack

      The son of U.S. President Donald Trump has been slammed as a ‘disgrace’ after he appeared to criticise London mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter, only hours after a terror attack at the Houses of Parliament left four people dead – including a police officer.

      Yahoo News UK
    • I Can’t Stop Stealing My Coworkers’ Style

      This is a confession as much as it is a compliment. I pride myself on being someone with a “personal style” — a look that’s relatively cohesive and leads other people to tell me things like “Those shoes are so you” or “That’s such a Tiffany outfit.” Defining my personal aesthetic each season is important to me, so much so that I go to the extreme of making an outfit mood board every time the weather changes. ...

      Racked
    • CEO creates ‘Snowflake Test’ to weed out job applicants

      The Silent Partner Marketing CEO Kyle Reyes on why he created the ‘Snowflake Test.’

      Fox Business Videos
    • The US Navy has a severe 'missile gap' with China and Russia — here's how it can beat them anyway

      The US wields the world's biggest, most powerful Navy, but recent developments in China and Russia's missile inventory severely threaten the surface fleet with superior range and often velocity. For years, the Navy has focused on a concept called "distributed lethality," which calls for arming even the Navy's smallest ships with powerful weapons that can hit targets hundreds of miles out.

      Business Insider UK
    • 12 Ways You Absolutely Should Be Roasting Asparagus (13 photos)

      Baked asparagus=new favorite side dish . Plus, get our best grilled asparagus recipes and even more ideas for cooking asparagus ! From Delish

      Delish
    • People
    • A deleted text message from vengeful gangster may get Aaron Hernandez off hook for double murder

      The text message was sent way back on July 5, 2013. Perhaps because its sender, Alexander Bradley, realized it held unwanted power, like the capability of impacting his immunity deal in an Aaron Hernandez double murder trial, let alone rocking the entire case altogether. In a plea deal, Bradley, however, gave authorities full access to his phone, including deleted and otherwise privileged communication with his lawyer.

      Yahoo Sports