What Makes Grandma Utz Potato Chips Taste Better

A top-tier chip, Grandma Utz harkens back to a time when snacks were fried differently.

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My name’s Danny Palumbo, and I’m from Pennsylvania—home of Herr’s, Utz, Snyder’s, Wise, Middleswarth, Martin’s, Gibble’s, and many more. In short, this is where chips live, baby. And although I no longer live in the Keystone State, I still have a profound admiration for all things potato chips. That’s why I’m going to be reviewing some of the best the country has to offer. Welcome to Chip Country.


Utz, and its factory located in Hanover, Pennsylvania, are titans of the potato chip industry—the company owns the iconic brands Zapp’s, Dirty’s, Boulder Canyon, Tim’s, Hawaiian, Snyder of Berlin, and many more. But Utz itself has dozens of awesome chip flavors, and it all started with the original: Grandma Utz’s Kettle-Style Potato Chips.

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Grandma Utz potato chips are old school. They’re thick-cut, crunchy, salty, and deliciously fatty—because they’re cooked in lard, not oil. As a result, they have a wonderful savory flavor beyond that of the mass-market brands. Each bite of these kettle-style chips explodes with fat, filling your mouth with a deep, oleaginous taste while still retaining a rough, crunchy texture. In short, they’re packed with fat without being greasy.

There is actual potato flavor here, too. Unlike a classic Lay’s potato chip, these chips taste earthy and reminiscent of the actual root vegetables from which they’re made. Each chip has a refreshingly non-uniform shape, and some even come with the skin on. Grandma Utz has all the qualities of a small-batch potato chip. Impressive for a company making $1.8 billion in revenue.

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The taste of a Grandma Utz is as old school as it gets, and it’s decidedly not for everyone. The bold flavor of lard harkens back to classic McDonald’s french fries and Ohio’s antiquated yet delicious lard-fried Barberton chicken. These might not be for your average snacker, but lard does pack a uniquely beefy flavor that, when combined with a proper amount of salt, excites my palate in a way that few snacks do these days.

It’s hard to beat potato chips like Grandma Utz. You don’t see a whole lot of chips fried in lard anymore (though many are done this way in Pennsylvania), so there’s something about Grandma Utz that feels like a treat. These are special, both in flavor and execution. Quality potatoes, perfect seasoning, and a wonderful, flavorful cooking method: Grandma Utz is a brand of potato chips that everybody needs to try at least once. It’s one of the greatest of all time.