18 Popular Kettle Chip Flavors, Ranked From Worst To Best

There are plenty of potato chip brands out there, but not all of them are created equally. Some, like Lay's, will give you a light, crisp chip. Others, like Ruffles, are all about the texture. But if you're looking for the ultimate crunch, Kettle Brand is the way to go. These thick-cut chips offer maximum crunch, and because they often twist and turn in on themselves, you get a unique texture with every bite from a bag you take. If you ask us, these chips are some of the best on the market, and we wish we always had them on hand (though that's probably a bad idea).

But when it comes to Kettle chips, it's not all about the texture. This brand is also known for carrying a wide variety of flavors, and many of them are unbelievably good. Others aren't our favorites. But even the worst of the worst on this list are top-quality in so many ways — it all just comes down to your specific taste. We've created a ranking of Kettle chip flavors, starting with our least favorites and making our way down to the ones we love the best. Take a closer look, and you may have an easier time picking out the best chip flavor the next time you're looking for a salty snack.

18. Farmstand Ranch

Okay, we know this is going to make some people unhappy. But in our books, anything ranch-flavored is just kind of sad. There's the strange concoction of herbs, a creaminess so weird that it should frankly be illegal to pair with vegetables, and that unmistakable, zesty scent. That's just what you get when you choose the Farmstand Ranch flavor from Kettle Brand. We don't often say this, but there's just too much flavoring on these chips. It feels like they were trying really, really hard to get the ranch flavor across, and they succeeded, perhaps too well.

Of course, if you like ranch dressing, there's a good chance that these are going to be your new favorite chip flavor. We totally support that. But will we be picking the crumbs from the bottom of the bag when that bag in question was previously filled with Farmstand Ranch Kettle chips? No. This is one flavor we're going to pass up in favor of the more delicious options on our list.

17. Sour Cream and Onion

Here's another one that might be controversial: Sour Cream and Onion. It's not like Kettle was the first brand to come up with this flavor — pretty much every chip brand sells some iteration of this snack. But unfortunately, we don't like it any more when Kettle does it. The sour cream flavor is way, way too intense. It offers some acidity we like, but it goes overboard, making it difficult to eat two or three chips without completely overwhelming your taste buds.

The onion flavor, on the other hand, seems like it's barely there, merely a sad backup for the bolder sour cream notes. The end result is an unbalanced, unimpressive mess. These certainly aren't the worst sour cream and onion chips we've ever had, but that's a pretty low bar. If you're looking for the best that Kettle Brand has to offer, you're probably going to want to skip the sour cream and onion flavor completely.

16. New York Cheddar

We get what they were trying to do here. After all, chips are one of the most beloved snack foods. Combine that with cheese, another fan favorite, and you must be working with a hit. Right? Well, in the case of the New York Cheddar Kettle chips, we're afraid to say that they missed the mark. They're definitely not the worst of the bunch, but they're far from our favorites. Taste your first chip, and you may find the flavor interesting. You've probably never had anything like it, even if you've had other cheesy chips before. But after two or three bites, you'll realize that the cheese flavor is super overwhelming and that it covers up the taste of the chip completely.

Of course, you still have that signature Kettle crunch you love, but that's really the best thing about these chips. The powdery cheese flavoring just cannot hold its own. The only instance that we  would make an exception for New York Cheddar is if they were added to a sandwich. In this case, these chips would probably go really well on a burger. Otherwise, though, you might want to check out the other flavors before settling for this one.

15. Backyard Barbecue

When it comes to snacks, we fall hard for a sweet and salty flavor combo. Who doesn't love the mixing and mingling of two very different flavors into something that's undeniably delicious? And when you pick up a bag of Backyard Barbecue Kettle chips, you may think that's just what you're getting. Admittedly, these chips are both salty and sweet, so if that's what you're hungry for, then you may want to check them out. But if you're looking for the best flavor of the bunch — or even the best barbecue-inspired flavor of the bunch — you're looking in the wrong place.

Basically, when you choose this flavor, you're going to get an elevated version of a Lay's barbecue chip. Yes, this kind is better than the Lay's variety, but that one is boring to begin with. The only real advantage here is the superior texture and crunch. The flavoring is just not that interesting. These chips aren't bad, but we certainly wouldn't go out of our way to grab a bag.

14. Unsalted

We're actually surprised that Kettle's Unsalted chips made it this far in the ranking, ahead of several other flavors on the lineup. The truth is, the unsalted chips aren't amazing. Isn't half the joy of eating chips in the salt itself? But considering that Kettle really works its magic when it comes to texture, it makes sense that the Unsalted chips would end up higher on our list than you may have expected. You're not going to sacrifice any of the crunch you usually get from Kettle when you choose these chips — you just don't get quite as much flavor. However, that does allow you to enjoy the taste of the actual potato more, which is also something to appreciate.

If you want to enjoy these chips as much as possible, we recommend dipping them in something like guacamole or spinach artichoke dip, as that's when they'll really shine. But even eating them straight out of the bag isn't going to leave you feeling disappointed.

13. Honey Dijon

Here's another sweet and savory mix. While the Honey Dijon flavor is also far from one of our favorites, we do think it's better than the Backyard Barbecue flavor for sure. What we really like the most about this flavor is the fact that you can actually pick up on the Dijon mustard flavoring. Dijon has a strong flavor profile, and we weren't expecting it to come across so well in this recipe, but we were pleasantly surprised. It tastes bold with a touch of spice that shines through all that salt. So, you may be wondering why it didn't rank higher on our list.

Well, for us, it all comes down to the honey. Instead of these chips offering just a subtle touch of honey, you instead have to contend with a rather intense sweetness that totally throws the Dijon off balance. It just feels like the flavors don't play together as well as they could. However, if you don't mind a sweeter flavor on your chips, then you may not mind the Honey Dijon. We could take it or leave it, but we'd probably choose most of the other options above this one.

12. Bourbon BBQ

You already know that we aren't huge fans of the Backyard Barbecue flavor, so you may assume that we just don't like BBQ flavors in general. That's not necessarily true. While there are better options available (we'll get to that later), we have to admit that the Bourbon BBQ isn't a bad option if you're looking for a savory, intensely flavored bag of chips. This one has a richness and a depth of flavor that you won't find with the Backyard Barbecue flavor, and we're absolutely here for it. You can taste a hint of bourbon in the seasoning, which makes us want to pair these chips with something else intense and hearty, like some jerky.

If you like chips that are heavy on the barbecue flavor, then these are probably just what you're looking for. However, for those of us who prefer something on the lighter side, this flavor may not be right for you. We definitely fall into the latter category, so we won't be buying a bag of these anytime soon. But we're glad that Kettle makes a little something for everyone.

11. Less Fat Sea Salt

Trying to eat healthier? Then a bag of chips may not seem like the ideal snack. There are the carbs to contend with, of course, but a lot of the time, what makes a bag of chips so high in calories is the fact that those carbs are doused in fat. This adds to that crunch you love and is part of what makes chips so addictive. However, it's not something you always want to be eating on a regular basis if you're looking after your health. The solution? Less Fat Sea Salt Kettle chips.

Now, would we class this product as a health food? Not exactly. But we do appreciate Kettle's efforts to make something that isn't quite as bad for us as traditional chips are. Surprisingly, the flavor doesn't suffer too much from the exclusion of some of that fat. While they're a little less rich, they still have that crunchiness you've come to expect from Kettle products. And since they're still plenty salty, you get to curb that snack craving without ingesting quite so much fat. If you're watching your fat intake or just want to make sure your stomach doesn't hurt tomorrow, this is a flavor worth considering.

10. Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime

We have to admit, we don't like the Krinkle Cut Kettle chips as much as we like the originals. The Krinkle variety don't have those lovely folds that add to the crunch factor, so you're getting a much less interesting chip texture and shape. However, this line of chips does come in some incredible flavors, which means none of them ended up near the bottom of the list. Our least favorite of the bunch is the Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime. And while it may be our least favorite Krinkle variety, we still think it's actually really, really good. The habanero flavor is strong enough that you get plenty of kick to every bite, but they're definitely not too spicy for the average chip consumer.

The only aspect of these chips that we dislike apart from their status as Krinkle Cuts is the lime. The lime flavoring is strong — perhaps too strong, considering that it can at times overpower the habanero. While we don't like the amount of citrus that appears in this recipe, we still wouldn't have a problem killing this bag in a few days' time.

9. Krinkle Cut Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

Sometimes, you have to keep things simple, and that's why the Krinkle Cut Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Kettle chips have earned this spot in our ranking. The vast majority of chips are salty, and Kettle clearly knows what it's doing there. But the black pepper really takes these basic chips to a whole new level. It's a simple addition that you'll see plenty of other brands doing, but we think that Kettle gets the salt to pepper ratio just perfect. The result is a chip that pretty much everyone is going to like, regardless of their flavor preferences.

The only downside to this flavor is the fact that it's only offered in a Krinkle Cut form. Again, we don't like this texture as much, as it doesn't highlight the unique qualities of eat chip like the original variety does. Until we convince Kettle to offer Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper in original form, we'll have to do with this variety — not such a bad sacrifice, if you ask us.

8. Parmesan Garlic

Do you crave cheesy but don't want to have to stick to the New York Cheddar? Don't worry, Kettle has just what you're looking for. It's their Parmesan Garlic chips, and this is exactly the kind of cheesy chip we're looking for. While the cheese flavoring in the New York Cheddar is overwhelming and too intense for the delicate potato crisp it clings to, you don't have the same problem with the Parmesan Garlic variety. The Parmesan flavoring is nice and light — it's more of a lightly creamy umami note than it is overtly cheesy.

But it shouldn't be surprising that the real magic all comes down to the garlic. These chips are not for the faint of heart who don't absolutely love garlic. It's strong, it's intense, and it might give you bad breath after you finish the bag, but we still think it's worth it. While this isn't our absolute favorite flavor (we aren't huge fans of cheesy chips in general), it's one of the more creative options in Kettle's lineup, and we love switching it up and buying a bag of these sometimes.

7. Krinkle Cut Truffle & Sea Salt

Not everyone is in on the truffle trend — we get it. But just because these chips don't have actual fresh truffles shaved on top of them (actually, that's a good idea if you're reading this, Kettle) doesn't mean that you shouldn't give this snack a try. The Krinkle Cut Truffle & Sea Salt chips are something out of the ordinary, and they pack a ton of flavor. While many of the flavors on this list feature sharp, acidic notes, that's not what you're going to get with these chips. Instead, you're met with an earthiness that's not often found in packaged snacks. No, the truffle flavor isn't as complex as you what you would expect from a real truffle, but that's not the point. We love the richness of this flavor. Add in the sea salt, and you have an unusual but adventurous treat.

Again, the only thing that would make these chips better is if they were available in the original Kettle form. However, we like the flavor so much that we won't hold that detail against the company — we'd eat these chips either way!

6. Sea Salt & Vinegar

It's hard to beat the classics, which is why the Sea Salt & Vinegar flavor is one of our top choices. We know that not everyone likes this combo, so it's totally fine to skip it if it's not something that makes you happy. But for us, it's hard to beat a good sea salt and vinegar combo. The acidity and the salt play off of each other really well, creating an absolutely addictive snack that we'll want to keep coming back to no matter the situation. Just be warned: Kettle's Sea Salt & Vinegar is pretty intense. If you don't already like this combo, then this may not be the choice for you. However, we love it, and we're going to guess that most salt and vinegar lovers are going to go wild for it too.

What sets this brand apart from others in the sea salt and vinegar arena? Not surprisingly, it all comes down to the crunch. That intense crunchiness goes perfectly with such a bold flavor, which is why Kettle is one of our favorite chip brands on the market.

5. Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle

There are two snacks that rise above the rest when it comes to texture. Of course, chips take the main stage. Crisp, crunchy, and salty, it's clear why so many people love them so much. But the other crunchy specimen we're referring to is often overlooked in favor of more glamorous or well-marketed snacks: pickles. The best pickles have an irresistible crunchiness to them. Combined with the acidity of their brine, that texture is what makes them such a fantastic choice when you're looking for a lot of flavor and impact in a small package. So, it just makes sense that Kettle would do the hard work of combining these two snacks together into something that embodies the best of both: Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle chips.

Wow, these things are great. Despite their unfortunate presentation in a Krinkle Cut variety instead of original, the flavor here is near perfect. They really seemed to capture the flavor of a dill pickle well, but it's not so overwhelming that you're going to be puckering after every bite. If there's one flavor you should absolutely try from the Krinkle Cut line, it has to be the Dill Pickle.

4. Sea Salt

Kettle is kind enough to provide us with plenty of different chip flavors so we can always have something new and never have to succumb to the boredom of an average chip. But they don't have to do anything fancy to get us to fall in love with their products. In fact, they could have made the Sea Salt flavor and called it a day because these chips are some of the best we've ever had. Simple and classic, this flavor is all about delivering top quality instead of focusing on concocting new and unique flavors.

There's plenty of salt in this recipe, but unlike some other popular chips on the market, it never gets too salty. Additionally, the Kettle's signature crunch shines in this format — it doesn't have to compete with any other loud sensations. While it may not be the newest, trendiest, or most unique flavor in the world, you just can't deny that plain old Sea Salt Kettle chips are one of the truest joys in this world.

3. Korean Barbecue

You already know by now that there are plenty of barbecue-flavored offerings from Kettle that you'll find in the chip aisle. But if you're truly looking for the best of the best, it all comes down to the Korean Barbecue flavor. Kettle describes the flavor as a mixture of "plum, garlic, and hoisin." Are you intrigued yet? Because we certainly are. You're definitely going to get a touch of sweetness from that plum, which is an impressive tasting note for a potato chip. The garlic comes through nice and strong, though it isn't as intense as what you might expect if you've already tried the Garlic Parmesan. And the hoisin adds some extra umami flavor that really pulls everything all together.

We haven't seen Korean Barbecue-flavored chips on the market before, so we were really excited to try this one. We're happy to discover that our instincts were right, and this is absolutely one of Kettle's best offerings. You should definitely give it a try, especially if you love Korean barbecue just as much as we do.

2. Jalapeño

Looking for something that's on the spicy side? All you have to do is reach for a bag of Kettle's Jalapeño chips, and you'll instantly have a new favorite snack. We were surprised at how spicy these are. While they shouldn't be too much for most people, they will certainly impress those who are used to somewhat bland snack offerings. The heat is an important part of the flavor profile, but that's not all it has to offer. It really does taste like you're eating something flavored with jalapeños — you can even taste the "greenness" of the pepper. It's an impressive feat to add this complex of a flavor to a chip, but it seems that Kettle has done it.

These are quite salty, probably to keep up with the spice level. Luckily, that salt is just what you want with this flavor. It all comes together exceptionally well, which is why Jalapeño is our second-favorite flavor of the bunch.

1. Pepperoncini

Most Kettle chip flavors are incredible, and they each offer something unique. But if you're curious about the absolute best of the best, then you have to turn to a bag of Pepperoncini Kettle chips. We know, we know — they're not right for everyone, especially if you're the kind of person who doesn't like very, very tangy snacks. However, if you do, we don't think there's a better bag of chips on the market. It's difficult to underscore just how much these chips taste like pepperoncini. The flavor is super intense. We still can't believe how they managed to capture the intense acidity of this pepper, and we're here for it.

These are chips that could go well with anything, but honestly, we'd be fine eating them on their own, digging into the bag until they're totally gone. There's only one reason you should avoid these chips, and that's if you don't want to eat the entire bag in one sitting. Now you've been warned.