How to make... the Perfect Crisp Butty

Full on double-carb, beige-y brilliance...

By Manchester's Finest | 26 May 2020

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As a kid I would never have understood the impact that putting a handful of crisps in between two slices of bread would make on my adult life. I would just happily sit at our breakfast table in Oldham (a luxury in the area) and scoff down bowls and bowls of Spaghetti Hoops, never once wondering what else was out there.

As soon as I left for University though – everything changed. I think everyone remembers the first time they had a crisp butty – be it drunk at 3am, lazy on a Sunday or just too skint to buy some cheese – it’s a memorial experience nonetheless.

Now as a fully-fledged adult, approaching ‘old man’ status, I’ve decided to finally crack the whole Crisp Butty conundrum, a task designed to uncover the absolute correct set of ingredients and variables in which to make the best. It’s taken me all bloody day and I spent about £7 at the offy on crisps but I’ve finally got there. Here it is…

The Bread

Anyone who is using brown bread for a crisp butty has completely failed to understand the whole POINT of a crisp butty and is therefore totally disqualified.

Brown Bread is only acceptable when dipping in soup and… well, that’s it really. It’s all about the white bread; those pillowy squares of bleached goodness that are essential for toast, toasties, club sandwiches, bread and butter pudding, Melba toast and of course – the Crisp Butty.

I shouldn’t really have to say this but the best white bread for a crisp butty is Warburtons Toastie Loaf. There you go. It’s as easy as that. Sourdough is too hard and dry, Milk Loaf isn’t big enough, Ciabatta has too many holes and a French Stick will rip your gums to smithereens. Warbie’s Toastie all the way.

Sauces & Spreads

Sauces: No. Just. No. Spreads: Butter. Proper Butter. Salted. If anyone uses margarine out there – you don’t deserve a Crisp Butty. Or any pleasures in life.

The Crisps

Right – this is obviously going to be the most important part of a crisp butty so I picked the following crisps to try…

Walkers Ready Salted
McCoy’s Flame Grilled Steak
Doritos Tangy Cheese
Kettle Lightly Salted

So you’re probably wondering why there isn’t any Salt & Vinegar in there. Well, Salt & Vinegar is the most disgusting crisp in the world – so I’d rather eat my own brain than include them in this taste test. If you like ’em – good for you. I don’t though and if we’re all being honest with each other – they don’t work on a Crisp Butty and NEVER will.

Out of the crisps that I tried, the worst were easily the more ‘upmarket’ crisps – in other words the Kettle Chips and the McCoy’s.

Both were too hard, too crispy and too thick for a full five-star Crisp Butty experience and therefore should not be considered. The Kettle Chips, in particular, ripped my mouth to shreds – and I’m still in pain now. Bastards.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Wotsits were just too soft to be enjoyable. While eating they melted within seconds to create a bread-butter-maize paste that had the consistency and sticking power of concrete. If you’re ever stuck in an emergency and need to fill a crack, wound or gaping hole – this is the stuff.

Some random bloke I met in a boozer once, who I now consider to be an idiot, once told me that the secret to the best chip butty is Doritos and dip, and so I gave the Tangy Cheese ones a go with some Old El Paso Salsa.

It’s okay actually, but the Doritos are just a little too crunchy and dry to fully enjoy the whole experience. It’s not actually a proper Crisp Butty either is it – it’s more of a Mexican toastie thing. Next.

Right, Frazzles. I’d actually give this experience a solid 4/5 – if only for the fact that it’s like a post-apocalyptic bacon butty – one that tastes like bacon, looks a tiny bit like bacon, and is dead, dead crispy like bacon. That’s where the similarities clearly end though, and this isn’t the quest for the ‘Perfect Fake Bacon Butty’ so we will move on.

Down to the final two now and I won’t even bother mentioning the Quavers. We all know where this is going. The most perfect crisp for a Crisp Butty is, of course, the humble Walkers Ready Salted. The perfect crunch and delicate seasoning – this is the perfect choice every single time. And there’s no disputing the fact.

Finally, if you think you can be a bit different and get crinkled crisps, baked crisps, pop crisps, or even those little teddy bear crisps – don’t even bother. It won’t be worth your time.

Oh, and enjoy your crisp butty alongside a lovely cold pint of fizzy lager. Or a brew. ENJOY!