Snack Review and Giveaway: Michael Season’s Kettle Cooked Chips

Michael Season’s has been dishing out healthy, all natural snacks for a few years now, but only recently has the company expanded into the realm of the kettle chip. With five new flavors of kettle chips promising 40% less fat that the leading brand of “regular” kettle chips, Michael Season’s isn’t doing anything terribly new in snacking, but that doesn’t mean I’m not up to give ’em a try. Recently a rep from the company sent me over a bag of each new flavor to try. Don’t mind if I do!

Unsalted

I’ll start with my favorite flavor, which, ironically, is the chip without a flavor. I’ve had the privilege to eat an unsalted kettle chip right off the fryer at Route 11 once, and this chip was the closest to that experience I’ve come. Earthy, with a background sweetness and an intense crunch, it’s a chip that serious chip lovers can savor – and flavor and salt fans will hate. I loved it because it’s the kind of snack which makes you slow down a train your tastes, but be warned, the tasting was downhill from there.

Lightly Salted

Tough to say a lot about these. They carry a categorically strong crunch and little surface oil, while the salt tastes comparable to most major kettle chips in of the same flavor. The potato flavor is good, but I can’t distinguish these from any other kettle chip brand, other than a stronger than normal crunch. I guess it depends on your taste, but I’m ready to move onto the actual flavors.

Sea Salt and Balsamic

OK, by this time I’ve gotten the memo: 40% fat doesn’t mean 40% less crunch, apparently. The thickness and crunch of the chips is ideal for me, but may be too intense for some. The initial taste I get is slightly sweet – not fruity or tangy like balsamic, but muted and somewhat deeper. The “Balsamic Vinegar” is really almost a non-factor, and all I taste is a less puckering version of the ubiquitous “vinegar” taste many kettle chips have. It’s a solid chip though. Crunchy, not oily on the surface, with a hearty finish that is potato intense. The restrained salt use allows the potato to speak for itself, but these are not as flavorful as other “Balsamic” chips I’ve had in the past.

Honey BBQ

I couldn’t detect the “hint” of honey in these chips, and found the seasoning blend to lack typical barbecue sweetness and smokiness. Again, the potato was the dominant flavor of the chip – a plus – but if I’m buying a BBQ chip, I want it to taste “finger licking good.” I admire restrained seasoning on plain chips, but these had no flavor, and were among the least enjoyable BBQ flavored chips I’ve ever had.

Jalapeno

Like the Honey BBQ chips, these were under-seasoned. The Jalapeno flavor is moderate but admirable given the complexity of the spice, although it comes on the back-end and with little heat attached. I thought they could have used more salt, although the sweetness factor was just right. Again, good chip, weak seasoning, with little flavor of the “garlic and onion” the package claims.

Summary

Michael Season’s Kettle Chips are a good pick if you can find them on sale and you enjoy the taste and texture of sturdy, minimalistic chip. Personally, I favor kettle chips from several other makers (including Utz and Cape Cod), which also make reduced fat chips that are more flavorful and of comparable nutrition. I may not be crazy for the chips, but hey, they’re chips, and who doesn’t like free chips?

That’s right, I said FREE CHIPS. Michael Season’s wants to reward a loyal GrubGrade reader and snack food junkie with a box of their new  Kettle Cooked chips, and I’m more than happy to help them out. But I’m also curious, so here’s the deal: To be entered in our random drawing for the chips, leave a comment letting us know the single best potato chip you’ve ever had. For me, it’s easy: Utz’s Dark Russet!

59 comments on “Snack Review and Giveaway: Michael Season’s Kettle Cooked Chips

  1. Ryan says:

    I’m a huge fan of Michael Season’s… they are just hard to find. Not a chip, but my favorite Michael Season’s product… Hot Chili Pepper Cheese Curls.

    https://www.grubgrade.com/2009/06/10/snack-review-michael-seasons-feel-good-snacking-natural-gourmet-hot-chili-pepper-baked-cheese-curls/

  2. Von Berry says:

    The best chip I ever had was in Hawaii at a little store we stopped at for something to snack on. They were vinegar and salt flavored but I don’t remember the brand. The were gone in no time with the group I was with.

  3. Nick says:

    I agree with you on utz’s dark russet

  4. john says:

    i personally used to always hate salt and vinegar chips, but my sister who passed away loved em so now when i eat them i absolutely love em!

  5. I also have a hard time finding the Michael Season’s… they were all over when I lived in Boston but I don’t see them as much in the Midwest! “Best chip” I’ve ever had…? Gonna have to pull a throw back and say Dill Pickle chips from 3rd grade. 🙂

  6. Tyler M says:

    For me, I have two favorites, and both are BBQ. One of which is Herr’s BBQ chips and the other is Lay’s BBQ chips. I like Herr’s BBQ chips for the smokey flavor. They aren’t a sweet BBQ, but I love the flavor. For the sweet BBQ, I eat Lay’s Original BBQ. Both are great to me. Another chip I like that isn’t BBQ is Miss Vickie’s Jalepeno flavor. They have the right amount of kick without being too spicy and have great flavor.

  7. Jessica says:

    Best potato chips hands down are Red Hot Riplets. To bad they are only sold in St. Louis, MO.

  8. @graciHas says:

    I’ve never tried any of Michael Season’s chips but they sound pretty good. As for my favorite, I gotta go with the classic Lay’s Salt & Vinegar.

  9. Sarah says:

    Tim’s potato chips! especially their jalapeno ones!

  10. ChrisSh says:

    They probably aren’t as good as I remember, but when I was a kid I loved Ruffles The Works. I was pretty dang sad when I stopped seeing them at the store. 🙁

  11. SkippyMom says:

    Blackie’s House of Beef in Springfield VA used to serve homemade, seasoned chips. To.die.for. My husband part timed as a DJ on weekends and would bring me a handful home each night. HEAVEN! So good. Alas, it no longer exists. For store bought – a freshly opened bag of UTZ chips is still my favorite.

    I would really like to taste the unsalted version [you know me and salt Adam 🙂 ]

  12. Malika says:

    Barbecue baked lays! I don’t know why but I LOVE them!

  13. j says:

    honey mustard flavored chips! Man, I wish I could find them again.

  14. Quisicosa says:

    I once worked at a restaurant where the fry cook shaved some sweet potatoes and fried them up for us. Not only did he season them but sprinkled some tobasco sauce on them. I’ve never been able to duplicate them at home.

  15. Lindsey says:

    My favorite is the classic Dorritos Ranch flavor. Just the right amount of tang and spice!

  16. Chris says:

    gotta go with sour cream & cheddar ruffles

  17. sophia says:

    Terra Chip’s Exotic Vegetable chips! Uh…it’s not potato chips, but it’s my absolute favorite chips. 🙂

  18. Marky says:

    Detroit’s own Better Made,,,,,,,,,,omg.. Salty, crispy, slightly browned goodness… IF you get to Michigan..Try..!!!!!

  19. missouri says:

    Miss Vickie’s Salt and Vinegar. Wish they made them in a large bag.

  20. Bunny says:

    Poor Brothers chips are really good but they are hard to find. Miss Vickie’s Jalapeno chips are also good.

  21. Livlaugheat says:

    Zapps spicy creole tomato!

  22. Helldog says:

    Jay’s Hot Stuff. Not gourmet by any stretch, but I grew up eating those chips washed down with a 45 cent bottle of Faygo Peach.

  23. J.A. says:

    My favorite was Cape Cod Jalapeno and Cheddar…but they don’t make them anymore. Instead they have like a sweet and spicy flavor..I miss my chips.

  24. Stew says:

    The best potato chip I ever had is Utz Honey BBQ. They are light, crisp, and very well-seasoned. Best chip ever.

  25. Jordan says:

    When it comes to chips, nothing beats Moore’s BBQ Ripple Chips!

  26. matt in the hatt says:

    better maid hot bbq

  27. Rhiannon says:

    Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream chips.

    Only purchased in single serving sizes, because if not, the whole bag would be GONE.

  28. Bubbsy says:

    Better Made Rainbow Chips. (For the most part, you can only get these regionally close to the Better Made factory in Detroit.)

    They do a limited production run of these using potatoes with a higher sugar content, so they get dark and are given a slightly burnt taste.

    It’s like a bag of those delicious slightly burnt chips you sometimes find in a regular bag.

  29. Steve says:

    Craw-Tators

  30. Mark says:

    The best potato chip i’ve ever had has to be lays honey bbq…I’m not sure why such a major mass produced brand sticks out, but i’m addicted to those chips

  31. larry says:

    I’m with you..the Utz Russet is a great chip. A close second would be deep river rosemary and olive oil, kettle chips new york cheddar with herbs, herrs baby back rib chips..mmmm, well, apparently I don’t really have a favorite.

  32. Mikey says:

    Grippo’s BBQ chips! Nice and hot with plenty of seasoning. Amazing! May be too hot for some though

  33. Jessica wagg says:

    Sunchips garden salsa hands down!!!

  34. Christian says:

    I haven’t tried many different flavors of chips, but I love Lay’s Flamin’ Hot.

  35. Alison says:

    Kitchen Cooked potato chips – a central Illinois company.

  36. Deanna G. says:

    Sea salt & vinegar Pop Chips! 🙂

  37. Shannon says:

    My favorite chips in the world were Dirty Garlic and Herb chips. Please bring them back Dirty. Now it’s either Cape Cod or Miss Vickie’s Simply Salted.

  38. Adam says:

    I could sustain myself solely on Zapp’s Original.

  39. VanessaG says:

    The best chip I’ve ever had was good ol’ Doritos. 🙂 I’d love to win these chips. I’ve never had them and they sound yummy!

  40. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    My all-time favorite chips have to be Kruncher’s Jalapeno. They’re kettle-cooked, which are the only way to go. (They have a new Hot Wing variety that I really want to try but I haven’t found it anywhere yet.)

    I’d love to see how Michael Season’s Jalapeno chip stacks up against my favorite!

  41. Chris says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of BBQ Baked Lays and Regular Sun Chips. I recently had the Chili Cheese Loaded Ruffles and those were phenomenal.

  42. Manavee says:

    Any salt and vinegar chip is a’ight with me. I do like cape cod, but would certianly love to try something new.

  43. Austin says:

    Ms. vickies jalapeno chips or red hot riplets if i want something with a little more kick

  44. Jeff says:

    I like Ms. Vickies Jalapeno chips or Sterzing chips.

  45. Jonathan says:

    guacachips and salsitos. both so good

  46. Sethonious says:

    The best chip I ever had was one my mom made. She used to make corn dogs and potato chips from scratch on friday nights when I was a kid. Double fried and awesome.

  47. Grant says:

    Peppercorn Ranch Sun Chips. What. the Eff.

  48. christian says:

    i’d have to go with Walkers Salt and Malt Vinegar….u can only get them in the UK or online…but worth it…!!

  49. Opy says:

    I love cheddar and sour cream Ruffles! Definitely a guilty pleasure! XD

  50. Peter Forsberg says:

    Keep it simple with the utz original chips

  51. David Sattler says:

    I love Utz chips, and am fortunate enough to be in Maryland for easy Utz availability. However, the best chip I ever had was Granny Goose Hawaiian Kettle Style.

  52. lz says:

    Terra Kettles sea salt and pepper flavor, the only salt and pepper chips I have found so far that ONLY use salt and pepper as seasoning. Most other brands add garlic and other flavors which are not salt nor pepper. Terra has a unique crunch to their kettle chips as well.

  53. Rebecca says:

    Good ole barbecue lays have a special place in my heart…and my stomach.

  54. Susie D. says:

    Herr’s Baby Back Rib chips! And now I can’t find them! 🙁

    • Susie, you can order them from our website (www.herrs.com) or you can call 800-344-3777 and ask to speak to Marie Wilson and she can help you find them in your area.
      You can also follow us on Facebook and get answers to questions there as well.
      Thank you for supporting Herr Foods Inc!!!!!

  55. Nicki says:

    Best Chips Ever are…Dirty Potato Chips Salt & Pepper Flavor. So divine! Not too salty or peppery…a perfect combination!

  56. Marcella Wind says:

    Hello, It’s a rare find for a nice site such as this. I enjoyed it. Kudos to you. Have a very nice day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *