Don't Believe This Myth About Kettle Chips

It's hard to beat the salty, satisfying mega-crunch of kettle chips. Whether you grab a bag of the sea salt variety, low salt, or any number of fancy kettle chip flavor options, they're all pretty addictive. So, when rumors started circulating about kettle chips possibly being healthier than regular potato chips, all bets were off. Because some brands cook kettle chips in small batches, they were promoted as "artisan" chips when they first became popular in the 1980s (via Eater). The issue is, smaller batches are not synonymous with being healthier. In fact, using the word "healthy" and "chips" together should not even be allowed.

You see, those smaller potato chip batches are also cooked longer, collecting oil that makes them crunchier and tastier (read: not healthier). Regular chips are cooked using a method called continuous fry, while kettle chips, specifically the Kettle Brand, use a method called batch cooking, according to Food & Wine. So, why do they use batch cooking, anyway?

What batch cooking does to kettle chips

According to the vice president of marketing for Snyder's Lance, the parent company of Kettle Brand Chips and Cape Cod Chips, Laura Merritt, in the continuous fry method, used for most regular chips, the potatoes move along a conveyor belt, being doused and fried with hot oil that remains at a consistent temperature. With batch cooking, Merritt says that a kettle is filled with hot oil, and cold potatoes are stirred into it. More potatoes continue to be added and stirred into the hot oil, causing the temperature to drop a little each time. This temperature change results in the imperfect shapes and mismatched colors found in kettle chips (via Food & Wine).

Though kettle chips may be cooked in small batches and look different, how do they stack up nutritionally when compared to regular chips? Pretty much the same, according to Merritt, who told Food & Wine, "All potato chips are pretty similar." So, stop worrying about the nutritional value of your chips, and just enjoy them the way they were always meant to be enjoyed, in a state of blissful ignorance.