Sunday, March 6, 2016

Only After So Many . . . Lay's Korean Barbecue Potato Chips Eventually Reach Their Flavor!

The Good: Some of the chips are flavorful, Interesting flavor (eventually)!
The Bad: Not overly healthy, Takes several chips before the flavor pops, Seems somewhat pricy for the size . . .
The Basics: Lay’s Korean Barbecue potato chips are instantly underwhelming, but build to a flavor that is peppery, sweet and intriguing for those who have the patience to wait for them to peak!

These days when I look at snacks for around the house, it is pretty easy; my wife is on a Keytogenic Diet, so I get to pick my own snacks without having to consider her tastes usually. However, when she expresses interest in something, I invariably have to consider whether or not I can eat up what she leaves if the snack is one that is higher in carbs. So, when she squealed seeing the new Lay’s Korean Barbecue potato chips, I was a little worried that I would have a big bag of potato chips to eat up so she couldn't ruin her diet. Fortunately, the ideal way to eat the Korean Barbecue potato chips is to gorge on them, so when I had to remove temptation from the cupboard for my wife, it was actually pretty easy for me to eat up the half-bag of these chips.

I cannot think of a food that I have tried and/or reviewed that has the peculiar problem that the Korean Barbecue Lay’s potato chips have. These chips start out oddly minimal in flavor - regardless of where in the bag one grabs the chip from - but as one consumes more of them, the flavor begins to pop. I checked on multiple occasions - it's not like I have a tongue coated in something that it takes a few chips to break through! - and discovered this odd phenomenon. It's like the flavor salts have to build up to explode, eventually with the sweet, peppery flavor the name promises.


Korean Barbecue Lay’s, are a potato chip made from one of the world’s dominant salty snack producers, Frito-Lay. The Korean Barbecue Lay’s chips feature a pretty liberal coating of greasy flavor salt on all of the potato chips in the bag. So, it's not like I have randomly picked the lesser-flavored chips each time out of the bag when I've started consuming them!

Korean Barbecue Lay’s come in a 7.75 oz. bag and are being considered online to replace Lay's Honey Barbecue chips. At a regular price in the $3.29 range, they are pretty much the standard price for these types of snacks, but for some reason these seem a little more expensive, probably because of how many one has to consume to get the full flavor from them.

Ease Of Preparation

Lay’s Korean Barbecue are simple to consume; all you need do it open the bag and remove the potato chips from it! There is no trick to eating Korean Barbecue Lay’s; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.


Korean Barbecue Lay’s potato chips smell vaguely of tomato when the bag is first opened. The aroma from these chips is remarkably subtle, which foreshadows a very mild flavor. The foreshadowing, however, is accurate.

In the mouth, the Korean Barbecue Lay’s potato chips are very sweet. The flavor is much like honey barbecue sauce, but the potato chip flavor continues to dominate the palate. The interesting thing about the Korean Barbecue chips is that their flavor actually seems to be cumulative. After three chips, the honey and barbecue sauce flavors actually started to take over the flavor of the simple, salty potato chips. The result is a chip that actually reaches its flavor potential six or seven chips in (at which point, I swear there become hints of Teriyaki in the mix!) and for those who actually follow things like the recommended serving size, this is hugely unfortunate.

The Korean Barbecue Lay’s have a sweet and greasy aftertaste, which fades to a generic potato flavor for about three minutes after the last chip is consumed.


Korean Barbecue Lay’s are a fairly natural snack, with, surprisingly, none of the ingredients being unrecognizable! The primary ingredients are potatoes, vegetable oil, and Korean Barbecue Seasoning. This has a shelf life of only a few months, so it is not the ideal salty snack to stock up on.

Each 1 oz., 15 chip, serving of Lay’s Korean Barbecue has 150 calories, ninety of which come from fat. There is a single gram of dietary fiber. While there are only 10 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, the Korean Barbecue Lay’s potato chips have 140 mg of sodium, which represents 6% of one's RDA of sodium. There is a smattering of Potassium, Iron and Vitamin C, but no other vitamins or minerals. This is not a health snack. There is a dietary note that the Korean Barbecue includes milk, soy and wheat ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant or gluten free, at the very least.


Kept in their bag, Korean Barbecue Lay’s will remain fresh for only a few months – the bag I bought just over a week ago had an expiration date of April 19 – so this is not an ideal flavor to stock up on. Once the bag is opened, it must be resealed, lest they get stale. I've not had to deal with issues of freshness for my Lay’s potato chips because usually once they are opened, I consume them fairly fast!

Cleanup is simple as well. Korean Barbecue Lay’s are a dry food, but because they are salty, greasy, and easily broken, they will require one to wash their hands afterward and should be wiped up to clean up. The yellow salt powder and black pepper on the chips will stain, especially lighter colors, so consult a fabric guide to clean the remnants out of any fabrics they get on.


Korean Barbecue Lay’s are good, after a fashion, and as one who likes flavorful things that pop right away, it's too far to go to get to the interesting, esoteric flavor.

For other Frito-Lay snacks, check out my reviews of:
Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips
Lays Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips
Tostitos Hint Of Lime chips


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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