Snack Showdown: Why Kettle Chips Are the Champion Chip
Few snacks are as iconic as the mighty potato chip. Today, you have lots of options: ridged chips, regular chips, kettle chips, potato crisps, and more. Of these options, kettle chips are actually the oldest and most traditional. These chips are beloved for their crunch, but how do they compare to today’s regular potato chips? In the battle of kettle vs regular chips, there’s a lot to consider when making your choice.
Kettle vs Regular Chips
Kettle chips are made the same way that the very first potato chips were. They are made from thinly sliced potatoes fried in a kettle or vat of hot oil. This submersion process does several things for the flavor of the chip. Each time a new batch of potatoes are added, the temperature of the oil drops and the potatoes take slightly longer to cook. This means that the starch is able to absorb more moisture and dissolve, resulting in a thick, crunchy chip with a richer flavor.
Regular chips are made with a process called continuous fry. This process involves the potatoes being fried on a conveyor belt which continuously moves through hot oil kept at a steady temperature. These chips take less time to cook, making them lighter and crispier than kettle chips.
Are Kettle Chips Healthier?
Not always - kettle chips and regular chips are both made of potatoes fried in oil. Any nutritional difference comes from the type of oil used and flavorings added to the chip. However, while potato chips might not be good for you, some chips are worse for you than others. Chips made with all-natural ingredients are going to have fewer negative health impacts. Look for chips that avoid artificial flavorings and preservatives. You can also look for chips made with heart-healthy, nutrient-dense oils like avocado and coconut oil.
The nutritional value of potato chips varies based on what is added to the chips during the cooking process. Some chips are loaded with artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives. Others are produced with minimal artificial ingredients, which lets the natural taste of the potato come through. This keeps saturated fat and sodium levels as low as possible.
Are Kettle Chips Gluten Free?
Potatoes don’t have any gluten in them. Thus, by nature, kettle chips are gluten-free. However, there’s always a chance of cross-contamination in any chip production facility. Additionally, some flavorings may have gluten in them. These include malt vinegar and anything containing wheat starch.
Kettle chips come in many varieties and flavors. If you have a favorite regular potato chip flavor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find that same flavor in a kettle chip. Due to their longer cooking process, kettle chips usually have a more intense flavor than regular chips.
Jackson’s Sweet Potato Chips come in four varieties: Unsalted, Sea Salt, Carolina BBQ, and Spicy Tomatillo. Each of these flavors is fresh and delicious, but more importantly, they’re safe for families with gluten sensitivities. Compared to some mass-market options, everything we use in our chips is gluten-free.
Acrylamide and Potato Chips
One additional health concern that people have about potato chips is exposure to acrylamide. Acrylamide can form when starchy foods like potatoes are baked, roasted, or fried at high temperatures. Acrylamide is a carcinogen, but not when you eat it.
There is no link between cancer and dietary acrylamide. The risk of acrylamide comes when you are exposed to it for years during heavy industrial processes. In other words, you don’t need to worry about it and you can continue to enjoy potato chips!
The Benefits of Avocado and Coconut Oil
The type of oil a chip is fried in makes a huge health difference. Most commercially produced chips are fried in corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil. These oils are cheap and easy to produce. They don't have a heavy flavor and work great for big batches of chips.
However, other oils like avocado and coconut, make a world of difference when it comes to the nutrition of chips. Avocado oil is beneficial for blood pressure, blood cholesterol, inflammation, and digestion. It contains antioxidants and can enhance the absorption of important nutrients. Coconut oil can improve your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and is also an important source of antioxidants. It’s a good source of energy for your brain, too!
About Sweet Potato Chips
Another important chip consideration isn’t just kettle vs regular chips, but potato vs sweet potato chips. At Jackson’s Chips, we only use sweet potatoes for our chips. Why? We like them more, and they’re better for you! Sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes and are packed with nutrients.
When you compare sweet potatoes to regular potatoes, you’ll notice that sweet potatoes have more fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They’re an amazing source of vitamin A as well as beta-carotene.
Jackson’s Cooking Process
At Jackson’s Chips, we want to make the tastiest and best chips possible. For us, this means sourcing heirloom sweet potatoes and frying them in clean, heart-healthy oil. We kettle cook all of our chips at low heat, which allows our clean oils to maintain their nutritional value. Lower heat also cooks the potatoes through to give them a uniform crunch without leaving them full of oil. Our cooking process means that you are able to get the full benefits of sweet potatoes and oil without losing nutrients to heat or overprocessing.
We believe that our small-batch chips are the most amazing snacks you can eat. Our chips can be found online or in many national retailers. This includes Costco, Sam’s Club, and many more. Look for our products in a store near you and see for yourself where you stand in the battle of kettle vs. regular chips.