While hot sauce is nothing new (we’ve been dousing our eggs, sandwiches, mac and cheese, and almost everything else with it for years), it feels like the culinary world is hot sauced obsessed in recent years. And we’re not just talking about a tad bit o’ heat. We’re talking about a trend of ridiculously hot, make-sure-you-have-milk ready, mouth-burning, day-ruining hot chips, crackers, mac and cheese, chicken, soda… the list is long.
While we don’t know where it at all began, we can likely thank the wide range of “Flamin’ Hot” chips for getting everyone obsessed with over-the-top, out-of-bounds hot-hot heat. Meanwhile, Hot Ones, hosted by Sean Evans, has amplified the idea of adding a little spice to your food by turning it into a sort of masochist challenge. So a Hot Ones chip was probably inevitable.
Recently, Pringles collaborated with Hot Ones to create limited-edition chips called Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones. The flavors are Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones The Classic Hot Sauce (only available at Circle K starting in July), Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones Los Calientes Rojo (only available at Walmart starting in June), and Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones Los Calientes Verde (available at retailers nationwide starting in June).
We got cans of all three flavors in advance of their release. Keep reading to see how they all stack up and find out which ones are worth trying and which ones aren’t.
The Flavors Ranked From Least to Most Hot:
3) Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones The Classic Hot Sauce
This flavor is described as a “timeless hot sauce flavor with an extra peppery kick that will keep snackers coming back for more.” We couldn’t agree more. When the can was cracked open, the smell was of classic, vinegar-based hot sauce. It was very reminiscent of a plate of hot, slathered, spicy chicken wings. Eating one continued this trend. It was fairly nostalgic in that way.
Covered in bright red powder, this chip doesn’t seem to be hot at first, but the heat builds. Behind the heat are slight notes of vinegar, cayenne pepper, a pleasing salty flavor, and a nice, unexpected tang that hits you in the back of your taste buds. Not as hot as expected, but we can imagine eating a whole can would leave your mouth on fire. In the hierarchy of the three, this is definitely the beginner flavor. It’s hot but not “call in sick to work”-hot like the other two.
2) Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones Los Calientes Verde
This iteration of spicy Pringles is described as a “punchy, smoky blend of serrano and habanero chiles, sweet fruit and tart tomatillo packed in one, crispy bite.” We think their description is perfect, but the nose was heavily dominated by habaneros and nothing else. That’s not such a bad thing as we love these ridiculously spicy peppers.
While the Classic Hot Sauce and Caliente Rojo flavors are covered in red dust, this one is a vibrant green. The flavor is surprisingly smoky with tart tomatillo flavor, spicy habanero, and serrano peppers. It has a nice mix of smoke, tart tomatillo, and spicy peppers. It might be the most well-rounded of the three. There’s a lot more heat than the Classic Hot Sauce Flavor but not remotely as much Caliente Rojo. If you’re working your way up in the heat index, this is step two.
1) Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones Los Calientes Rojo
These crisps are described as having the “perfect balance of sweet applewood-smoked red jalapeños and tangy habanero for a fiery blaze in every bite.” We aren’t positive we agree with their sentiment as the nose smells remarkably like barbecue-flavored chips. There might be a little pepper in there too, but it’s dominated by a fake-smelling barbecue sauce aroma.
Just like the Classic Hot Sauce-flavored crisps, these bad boys are covered in red dust. Slight smoky, salty, and with a healthy, potent kick of jalapenos and habaneros — these are a lot hotter than the classic hot sauce flavor. It only took one chip for me to start looking around for the glass of milk I had on standby. These are definitely not for novice hot sauce fans. Be prepared for a fairy numb tongue when you’re done.
The Bottom Line:
With the connection to Hot Ones, we expected all three of these flavors to be uncomfortably hot. But it makes sense that there would be a gradual climb in heat. There are three levels of heat perfectly suited for every level of spicy food fans. While they differ in heat, each is flavorful and memorable.
If they weren’t just available for a limited time, we’d make every one of these a permanent addition to our snacking arsenal.