Potato Chips vs French Fries

By | December 13, 2019

Potatoes are one of the most frequently used ingredients for snacks. Both potato chips and French fries are very much loved throughout the world. However, there has been some debate about which is better. The answer certainly depends on some personal preferences, but here you can learn more about some differences between potato chips vs French fries.

In this article, we will discuss about:
– The background history behind potato chips and French fries,
– The cooking methods of potato chips and French fries,
– The distinctive features of each snack,
– The nutritional values of potato chips vs French fries, and
– Which snack that is generally healthier.


Some of the best things are invented by accidents. This is probably the case with potato chips. Most people believe that potato chips were first invented by George Crum in the year of 1853. One of his customers didn’t enjoy his thick-cut French fried potatoes, and wanted thinner ones. See also: Popcorn White vs Yellow.

George Crum got angry after he couldn’t please the customer, so he sliced the potatoes to the thinnest chips possible. The fried potato chips were too crisp and thin to skewer with a fork. Surprisingly, the crisp potato chips received good praise, and quickly became a popular dish.

French fries are older. They are apparently invented by either the Belgians or the French. The origin is not much known. However, according to Wikipedia, the term “French fries” became popular after the former president Thomas Jefferson asked for “potatoes, served in the French manner” in a White House dinner in 1802.

Cooking Methods

Actually, potato chips and French fries are cooked in a similar manner, which is by frying. However, potato chips are typically thin and crisp. They are made by slicing potatoes in thin, fine chips. After the frying process, these thin chips become crisp. But note that British potato chips are unique with thicker slices. Potato chips are also sold as snacks in nitrogen-filled bags in stores.

On the other hand, potatoes for French fries are typically cut into long sticks of varying lengths and thicknesses. They are also fried, but the thicker sticks may remain soft and tender.

However, French fries in America are quite diverse. The French fries may come in many forms and varieties, such as waffle, curly, and crinkle cut. At times, these French fries may look like potato chips, but they aren’t. Technically, they aren’t thin and crisp enough to be called potato chips.


Potato chips generally have higher calories, carbs, and fats than French fries of a similar amount. In a 100g serving of potato chips, there are approximately 547 calories with 49.74 grams carbs, 37.47 grams fat, and 6.56 grams protein.

On the other hand, a 100g serving of French fries ‘only’ has 274 calories, 35.71 grams carbs, 14.08 grams fat, and 3.49 grams protein. So, French fries make a relatively healthier choice if you need to limit your calorie intake. Then again, the calorie level is French fries is also quite high, so don’t eat it too much if you want to lose weight.

Potato Chips vs French Fries

Potato ChipsFrench Fries
- Invented by George Crum in 1853- First invented by either the Belgians or the French a long time ago
- The potatoes are sliced into thinner chips- The potatoes are cut into thick and long sticks, or other shapes
- Crisp texture- The thick part may have soft and tender texture
- Very high calories- Lower calories


Potato chips are thin and crisp. They have higher calories and carbs. French fries come in thicker slices, and some slices may be soft and tender. It is a relatively healthier choice due to having lower calories and carbs.

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