Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just the 7 Best Spicy Chips?

The best spicy chips have more of a cult following than John Waters films, the music of the Grateful Dead, and Scientology combined.

People are obsessed with the spicy, crunchy snack and almost every single chip company is creating their own line of hot chips to keep up with the craze. Recipes featuring hot chips have gone viral on social media and all types of hot chip products can now be found on the market, like Cheetos “Flamin’ Hot” Mac ‘n Cheese. During our research, we discovered that there are approximately billions of types of hot chips. I, along with my Sporked coworkers and Good Mythical Morning writer Kalyn French (@kamasemicolon), tried as many as we could get our hands so we could tell you which taste delicious and which taste like you’re eating a big handful of chemicals. We owe a special thanks to chocolate milk for helping us get through this extra spicy taste test.

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Best Hot Chips: Takis Fuego

Best of the Best

Takis Fuego

Could you trust a list of hot chips that didn’t rank Takis Feugo in its #1 spot? To be honest, I don’t think I could. Takis are the hot chip. The undeniable citrus twang, the perfect level of heat, and the ideal amount of crunch: What’s not to love? They’re perfect on their own or dipped into queso or stuffed into a cream cheese-filled jalapeño pepper (thank you, TikTok). Almost every chip company has attempted a knock-off version of Takis and nothing can compare to the original.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Spicy Cheese Puff: Herr's Carolina Reaper Cheese Curls

Best Cheesy

Herr’s Carolina Reaper Cheese Curls

If you like your hot chips cheesy, you simply must get your hands on these Herr’s Carolina Reaper Cheese Curls. I completely underestimated them and was not prepared for the absolutely massive punch of heat they provided. Unlike a certain popular spicy cheese puff brand whose name I won’t mention, these have a completely authentic pepper heat. There is no chemically, factory-manufactured taste (which is my biggest frustration with hot chips in general). Plus, these are nice if you like a softer snack that isn’t as intensely crunchy, like Takis.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Hot Chips: Doritos Tapatio

Best Collab

Doritos Tapatio

I expected the Tapatio Doritos to be a slightly spicier version of the classic nacho cheese Doritos. I thought, at best, these would have a generic hot sauce flavor. Boy, was I wrong! These Doritos aren’t just flavorful, they taste exactly like Tapatio. Not Cholula, not Tabasco—Tapatio. Much like their namesake hot sauce, they have a gentle heat, strong spice, and zippy twang. These were my favorite hot chips we tried and I plan to add these to my weekly grocery list.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Lime Flavored Hot Chips: Paqui Fiery Chile Limon

Best Lime

Paqui Fiery Chile Limón

Paqui’s Fiery Chile Limon Spicy Tortilla Chips weren’t exactly what I was expecting. There are two different words in the name that imply that they are spicy and they are absolutely not. Normally, something like this would bother me—the promise of spice when there is none to be found. What kept me coming back for chip after chip after chip, however, was the incredible lime flavor. Not only was it potent, it tasted like real lime and not citric acid. If tang is you game, grab a bag of these.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Mild Hot Chips: Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime

Best Mild

Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime

If you know anything about potato chips, you know that Kettle Brand chips are unparalleled when it comes to crunch. And an additional advantage these chips have is that they are crinkle-cut so flavor dust gets trapped in each and every ridge. Those factors already rank it high in my book. This specific flavor brought not only a warm heat and citrusy zip, but also had the light fruity sweetness of a fresh habanero pepper.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Jalapeno Hot Chips: Herr's Jalapeno Popper Flavored Cheese Curls

Most Unexpected

Herr’s Jalapeño Popper Flavored Cheese Curls

I love a jalapeño popper, so I did not have high hopes for the Herr’s Jalapeno Popper Cheese Curls. How could a bagged cheese curl ever live up to a deep-fried, cheese-filled, piping hot, real life jalapeño popper? The answer is, it can’t. No chip could ever be as good as the food it’s based on. These do get pretty dang close, though. The jalapeño flavor is present, they’re thoroughly cheesy, and there’s a nice crunch that’s reminiscent of the real deal!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Sam’s Club

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Very Spicy Hot Chips: Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper

Hottest

Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper

You can’t have a list of hot chips without featuring an insanely hot, almost inedible chip and the Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper chipsvwere the hottest ones we tried. While these chips lack nuanced flavor, they do bring the heat. These chips caused coughing, sweating, and statements like, “They’re not that hot,” made through tears. If you’re looking for a chip that packs heat and only heat, these are for you!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

Film your own taste test at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

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  • Give Utz Red Hot chips the recognition they deserve!

    Reply
  • I agree with the Takis. They’re pretty good. Also congrats on the websiteee I think it’ll come in handy to a lot of people especially ones who love cooking and going grocery shopping for the best! And last but not least have a great spring break😂

    Reply
  • Trader Joe’s version of Taki’s is 11/10

    Reply
  • Could you try Blairs’ Death Rain Chips? I used to love those as a kid but I can’t find them anywhere anymore. Would love to know how they match up to these.

    Reply
  • I respectfully disagree. The best spicy chip is Lay’s kettle-cooked Flamin Hot! It is so good and so addicting I would get two bags at a time and eat them in my sleep! Unfortunately I think they’re limited times because I can’t find them right now but I really hope they bring them back!😋💕

    Reply
    • Big Lays fan here. Jordan is not. WHAT ELSE IS JORDAN WRONG ABOUT

      Reply
  • How bout those blue Takis?

    Reply
    • There is more lime on the blue taki and it is genuinely addicting.

      Reply
  • My vote for Best Lime would’ve been Cheetos Flamin Hot Limon Crunchy

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    • yup. agreed

      Reply
  • If there had been a Best Spicy Sweet I would’ve chosen Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili 💯🌶️

    Reply
    • I second this.

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  • So many other chips that you should also try, however my all time favorites are Barcels Habanero Kettle Chips, who happen to also make Takis, their Fuego Kettle Chips are really good as well

    Reply
  • I can personally say that the Paqui ghost pepper chips are CRAZY HOT. I went numb in my arms and legs downing a bag.

    Reply
  • Tapatio’s Doritos are my all-time favorite Dorito flavor… seriously! But I just don’t think they taste like Tapatio sauce. I love both the Dorito and the Sauce as two unique flavors.

    Reply
    • same here, partner

      Reply
  • Y’all are trippin, DORITOS® DINAMITA® Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips are NUMBER 1 BABY.
    Trader Joes Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips should also be in the conversation.
    And the fact that you don’t even have CHEETOS® Crunchy FLAMIN’ HOT® Limón Cheese Flavored Snacks is a travesty.

    I’m honestly hurt. Do better.

    Reply
    • Amen Brother! Besides the Trader Joes because we have Takis

      Reply
  • My new favorite spicy chips are the Flaming Hot Cool Ranch Doritos.

    Reply
  • I remember confidently that Tim’s Mango Habanero chip was one that the guys highly recommended if not chose as the winner and since it’s also my all time favorite chip it was a bummer to see it excluded from this list! Give Tim’s chips the love they deserve!!

    Reply
  • Also IDK if Ya’ll had Doritos Flamas but, I think they need to be put into consideration

    Reply
  • I respectfully disagree with the Takis, only because of the off putting lime flavour. It contradicts the heat and just tastes gross, in my opinion. Flaming hot Doritos has a better flavour.

    Reply
  • I respectfully disagree with the Takis, only because of the off putting lime flavour. It contradicts the heat and just tastes gross, in my opinion. Flaming hot Doritos has a better flavour.

    Reply
  • so why don’t we talk about Hot Cheetos?

    Reply
  • Route 11 Mama Zuma’s are the best. You are missing out

    Reply
  • Chesters flaming hot fries are the best for me. So addicting and not so hard like the others mentioned.

    Reply
    • A personal fave of mine.

      Reply
  • Ooh… we have all kinds of spicy chips here in South Korea I bet you didn’t taste test. Some of them would really knock your socks offbwith their yum

    Reply