REVIEW: Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Bag

I feel comfortable sharing something rather controversial with you all: I can’t stand Cheetos, crunchy or puffed. (Feel free to express your outrage in the comments.)

As the tastebuds of my peers developed to handle Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, I was envious that there wasn’t a Flamin’ Hot food for me to call my own. Luckily Frito-Lay began to add the seasoning to other munchies, and I could finally join my friends in doling out some bright red high fives. The newest snack to stain my fingers is the Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Lebron

The bag says the flavor is by LeBron James and it features a large photo of him and some inspirational words that tie into Ruffles’ “Own Your Ridges” campaign. I’m not sure if the flavor was LeBron’s idea or if he just supports Ruffles Flamin’ Hotting its cheddar and sour cream potato chip, but with the popularity of Flamin’ Hot snack foods in Los Angeles, a partnership with the Lakers star makes perfect sense.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Inside Bag

In the bag, the chips smelled very similar to the regular Cheddar & Sour Cream but with an added vinegary tang. They had that same richly colored Flamin’ Hot powder that coats other chips and puffs, and it was a generous covering that made the not hot version seem under-dusted by comparison.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Red Not Red

True to the name, these tasted like a Flamin’ Hot version of the Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles. Cheese and sour cream have long been standard accompaniments for spicy foods, and the pairing made just as much sense on these chips. The Flamin’ Hot powder felt comfortably at home with the cheddar and sour cream dust, but also switched things up a bit. Unlike the regular Cheddar & Sour Cream, which is very cheese flavor-forward, the acidic coating on the Flamin’ Hot version really brought out the sour cream, which was a welcome change for this fan of sour ‘n’ spicy foods. Additionally, Ruffles are robust chips and really hold their own when given the Flamin’ Hot treatment. I loved the substantial crunch and full potato taste of the chip underneath all that zesty seasoning.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Red

Like other Flamin’ Hot snacks I’ve tried, the spice level disarmed me by being minimal at first but then building after a serving or two. Even then, these chips never noticeably burned my mouth or stomach, and I only realized they were getting to me once my nose started to run. Others may wish these Ruffles were more picante, but I feel like they had the right amount of heat to allow one to eat them by the handful without a night of heartburn.

On that note, it seems I almost finished the entire bag as I wrote this review. Bright red high five to whoever can tell me the best way to get Flamin’ Hot Cheetle out of a laptop keyboard.

Purchased Price: $3.49 (on sale, originally $4.79)
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams/about 13 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos

Flamin Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Bag

Look out! Chester Cheetah and his mischievous buddy Sparky are unleashing their wild sides again, this time blasting fiery clouds of spicy, neon red Cheetle all over poor, unsuspecting Cool Ranch Doritos. What exactly is fueling this fire? Did the folks at Frito-Lay accidentally make way too much Hot dust and the solution to this abundance is to dump it on everything?

Okay, I’m a little biased. I enjoy spicy foods but just can’t get behind Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. It isn’t that they’re too hot, but I find whatever the hot stuff is detracts from my enjoyment of the classic Cheetos taste. I acknowledge that I’m in the minority here because Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have a fierce and loyal following, and Frito-Lay knows it. It’s no accident that they’re sprinkling this seasoning on every product they make. More red dye 40 means more sales. Hot is popular and it’s my own fault I’ve never warmed to the concept.

Flamin Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Compare

With probable disappointment in mind, I still couldn’t help but pick up the familiar blue Cool Ranch bag, now featuring its corny triangle engulfed in flames. A peek inside revealed the expected aggressively red powder, and I figured I knew what I was in for. Some of the chips are liberally coated, but others seem almost like regular Cool Ranch Doritos that were spared the dousing of hell pollen.

Flamin Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Closeup

I ate one. Then three more. These chips still taste like Cool Ranch! In fact, Cool Ranch is the first thing I taste and continue to taste, even if my fingers are bright red. I have to eat several of them before the heat starts creeping in, and when it does make its presence known, it doesn’t overwhelm. It’s a pleasant pepper heat, and the ranch flavor never takes a back seat to it. I actually like these. I like them a lot.

Flamin Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Plated

How hot are they? I’m not sure I’d call them Flamin’ because I have to eat a lot of these before I even begin to feel the need to reach for a cooling beverage, and they certainly aren’t so hot that I ever need to take a break from eating them. My almost empty bag can attest to that. I think a pretty perfect balance has been struck here. These taste like the chips everyone already loves but pack just slightly more of a punch. I can’t say that I prefer them to regular Cool Ranch Doritos, but I can embrace them in a way I’ve never been able to with Flamin’ Hot editions before.

Now that this door has been opened, does it mean I should finally make that box of Flamin’ Hot mac and cheese that’s been sitting in my cupboard for a year and a half? If I do, you can be sure I’m going to pour these Dorito crumbs on top.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9 1/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams – about 12 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew

Flamin Hot Mtn Dew Can

Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew is not very spicy, which I don’t know if I should be disappointed about or thankful for.

When it was first announced, I had images of a hellish dark red beverage with a flavor and heat similar to Flamin’ Hot Limon Doritos. I thought it would be more of a gag drink, like Jones Soda Company’s Thanksgiving dinner-flavored sodas, most Lester’s Fixins varieties, or any Zevia soda. But it’s not a jokey drink. It’s surprisingly a drinkable drink.

Flamin Hot Mtn Dew Warning

Despite what the can says, it’s nowhere near what would be considered Flamin’ Hot in terms of flavor or spiciness. So caution is not necessary. You won’t need milk or a regular Mountain Dew to douse the fire in your mouth caused by this Dew. There’s a slight heat, but most of it is in the form of a back of the throat burn. There’s also some tingling in my mouth long after the red carbonated liquid has gone down my esophagus, but overall I’d consider it a low-level spiciness.

Flamin Hot Mtn Dew Red

As for the non-Flamin’ Hot flavor, it’s a slightly toned down regular Mountain Dew with a little something else. At times, I taste citrus, but Mtn Dew Code Red comes to mind with other sips. With its fruity flavor and mild spiciness, Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew is, um, okay tasting and better than I thought it would be, but not I’m yearning for more. So if you send me a Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew tasting party invitation because you were able to buy a pack online, I’d politely decline.

Oh, about purchasing this, if you’re so inclined to do so. It was available on the Mtn Dew website in limited quantities in 6-packs which sold out within several hours. Mtn Dew may sell it again. It may not. But if you don’t want to wait around to find out, you can get cans via eBay, which is where I got this one. Although, expect to pay a premium for them. I paid $14 with free shipping for a can, which is more than the price of a 6-pack ($12) when one could purchase it from the Mtn Dew online store.

I wouldn’t drink Flamin’ Hot Mtn Dew again. But it’s unique and drinkable enough that it’s something any Dew fan should try once.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 70 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 58 grams of sugar, 58 grams of added sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 72 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos

Xxtra Flamin Hot Nacho Doritos Bag

What are Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos?

Once you go hot, you can only go up. After the successful sting of 2019’s Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos, Frito-Lay has unleashed the only logical progression, just one “X” away from forbidden adult entertainment: Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos.

How are they?

These chips are instantly and unabashedly HOT.

Ya know how when you’re eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the first 3-4 are just tasty and cheesy with a little spicy zing, and then all of a sudden your mouth is tingling? There’s none of that here. The heat is immediate, one chip in.

Xxtra Flamin Hot Nacho Doritos Closeup

As usual, the chips vary from SO RED to mostly red, and the seasoning level (can we call this cheetle since it originated with Chester, or is it deetle?) will ultimately determine your tongue’s fate, but even the lesser seasoned ones pack a punch.

It’s hard to describe the specific heat as anything other than “Flamin’ Hot,” but since you’re on this website, you probably have an idea of what that tastes like. It’s just kicked up on the hot chili and toned down on the cooling cheesy. The signature Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor takes a major backseat to the flames, just barely poking its head through the fire. Surprisingly the nacho aroma from the bag is pretty strong, but the taste gets swept away when eating.

Anything else you need to know?

Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Doritos not only bring instant heat, the fire lingers too. When I eat 3-5 in a row, the burn stacks in a way that causes my saliva to thicken up and pool as a defense mechanism against a potential runny nose and/or explosion. If you’re sensitive to heat, I’d steer clear away from these. Even if you aren’t, I’d have some milk or peanut butter on hand if you want to indulge in more than a serving.


I like heat. I like Doritos. And these chips delivered on their promise, but they might be a little too hot. Not that they’re too spicy to eat, but I think I prefer the 2019 version without the two X’s when it comes to scratching that Nacho Cheese Doritos itch. Growing up, I loved the Spicier Nacho variety, and there’s no denying those aren’t actually hot at all, but these Doritos are a bit too fiery for repeated snacking.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 chips, 28g) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot Limon Potato Chips

Lay s Kettle Cooked Flamin Hot Limon Potato Chips Bag

What are Lay’s Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot Limón?

The newest item to get the Flamin’ Hot Limón treatment, these thicker than your average chip are dusted with that special blend of intense spices and a hint of lime. Lay’s released a plain Flamin’ Hot version of the kettle chips last year.

How is it?

While it had been a while since I tried anything “Flamin’ Hot” branded, these were enticing enough that I had to try them. The addition of the lime flavor as well as kettle chips seemed interesting and would hopefully add some layers to the Flamin’ Hot spice other than just “hot.”

Lay s Kettle Cooked Flamin Hot Limon Potato Chips Inside Bag

I opened the bag expecting an overpowering smell of chili powder, but was greeted with that earthy kettle chip smell instead. The bright red chips warned me to not underestimate them. Its spicy chili flavor hits first and hard, but then is complemented by the citrusy lime. It’s almost like a tequila shot in a chip from the way the lime comes in at the end to mellow everything. The satisfying crunch from the kettle chip makes it an all around delicious snack.

Anything else you need to know?

Lay s Kettle Cooked Flamin Hot Limon Potato Chips Closeup

Because of the spicy flavoring, these are more of a casual grazing chip for me versus my normal style of pouring a “portion” three or four times. The flavor is great, but my tolerance for spice sits somewhere between Franks Red Hot and Huy Fong brand Sriracha. After two handfuls, good as they may be, I had to give my mouth a break.


Flamin’ Hot purists may not care much for the addition of the lime, but I think it makes the flavor profile much more rounded and enjoyable for the casual Flamin’ Hot consumer. I also imagine paired with a corn elote dip, these would be a major hit.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Winn-Dixie
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 18 chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.