The Simply Recipes team got together this summer to find the best brand of potato chips you can buy. We are superfans after all. Beyond snacking, we sprinkle potato chips on tuna casseroles, bake them in cookies, and dip them in chocolate. Could you even call a picnic or a potluck a get-together without a giant bag of potato chips? We think not! Plus, a sandwich would never taste complete without a handful of chips on the side.
So we filled our water bottles to the brim and gathered in the office to blindly compare 11 brands of potato chips. Here are our favorites and ones we wouldn’t buy again.
This Is the Ideal Potato Chip
Each of the editors has their go-to brand of potato chips, and taste is subjective—not everyone shares the same option. However, when each of us described the ideal potato chips, we agreed: thin, so crispy you can hear the crrrrunch between your teeth without hurting your gums, golden brown, salty, but not too salty. They should have a burst of potato flavor. They should not be greasy or have an oily aftertaste.
The best potato chips offer the perfect balance of texture, flavor, and saltiness. They should make you reach for just one more again and again. With this definition as our guide, we set off on our blind taste test.
The 11 Brands of Potato Chips We Blindly Tasted
There are seemingly a jillion options when it comes to potato chips—classic, flavored, ruffled, etc. For this taste test, we narrowed it down to the classics: simply salted, fried (regular or kettle), and with no added flavors.
Here are the 11 brands of potato chips we blindly tasted and compared to find our favorites.
- 365 by Whole Foods Market Sea Salt Kettle Chip
- LAY’S Classic Potato Chips
- 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Sea Salt Potato Chips
- DEEP RIVER Snacks Original Sea Salt
- “Dirty” Deli Style Potato Chips Sea Salted
- Trader Joe’s Classic Potato Chip
- Trader Joe’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
- Kettle Brand Sea Salt Chips
- Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
- Wise Golden Original Potato Chips
- Boulder Canyon Thin & Crispy Classic Sea Salt
The Sad Chip No One Liked: “Dirty” Deli Style
The name “Dirty” is a nod to the fact that the potatoes are not peeled before being sliced and kettle-fried. The consensus among the editors is that “Dirty” Deli Style Potato Chips have the texture of cardboard. After one bite, associate social director Brooke Schuldt said, “Whatever oil they use is bad. This is a big NO for me.” Art director Sarah Crowder agreed that the chips have a “rancid oil flavor” and are “not salty at all” as she tossed her half-eaten chip into a garbage bin.
For Those Who Like Big Crunch: DEEP RIVER Snacks
DEEP RIVER are the potato chips you avoid eating around friends with misophonia. The brand claims the chips are made with “thickly sliced potatoes” and we could tell. Every single taster noted that these are very crunchy and we could hear it around the room. The only tiny flaw is that they aren’t salty enough.
Tastes the Most Homemade (In a Good Way): Kettle Brand Sea Salt Chips
Kettle Brand chips were a surprise winner for me. My family typically buys Trader Joe’s Classic potato chips, and from now on we’re adding Kettle chips to our snack drawer. The chips “taste like potato skin” and “have nice potato flavor like they were homemade,” shared the editors. Brooke said, “I think moms would serve this to their kids,” and as a mom, I would agree. These chips do look and taste like they were homemade, in a good way—they don’t taste or look overly processed.
The Perfect Potato Chips: Trader Joe’s Classic Potato Chip
If you’re looking for potato chips that hit all the marks, reach for Trader Joe’s Classic Potato Chips. They have great potato flavor, just the right amount of salt, and the perfect crunch,
“I’m certain these are the LAY’S,” guessed news and features intern Abby Rose Notarnicola, a nod to the comfort and nostalgia she felt when eating these. Brooke gave them a glowing review: “These are light, salty but not too salty, crispy, but not too crunchy. I would consider these the perfect sandwich chip.” Sarah added, “These are what I think of as the classic potato chip. I love how they dissolve in my mouth.”