Hot Funyuns (History, Pictures & Commercials)

If you have ever eaten regular Funyuns, you might not realize that there are alternate flavors of this onion—ring inspired snack. Hot Funyuns are a really popular additional flavor of this strange but satisfying snack. If you love spicy food and you love onion rings, then these might be the right snack for you!

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Spicy snacks exist in a variety of categories, but the Funyuns version might be the most unique in some ways. Funyuns are already a really odd snack, despite how good they are. Taking a strange little snack and making it spicy might not seem like a good idea, but Hot Funyuns prove that you can make most snacks spicy, and they will be great.

Hot Funyuns

Hot Funyuns History

Funyuns in their original form are a cornmeal and maize product that is made in the shape of an onion ring. These are crunchy little snacks that are sort of like an onion ring crossed with a chip. The original version of the snack has been around since 1969, and they were meant to replicate an onion ring only in chip form.

Today these products are sold all over the world, and they have a following that is loyal and supportive. The opinions about this snack are very strong, and people seem either to love them or hate them without many opinions in the middle. Perhaps the texture is what turns some people off, or maybe onion rings are not popular enough to create a loyal snack following among most people.

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay company makes these treats in all of their various flavors. They are also sold under a different brand name in Brazil, where they are called “Cebolitos”. The name for these little crunchy and salty rings was originally coined by Jim Albright at the University of North Texas. At the time the product was being dreamed up, the thought was to name the “OnYums”. This name had actually been taken by another product, and today there is a Dollar Tree snack that is sold under this name. Hence, the change to Funyuns.

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When the Funyuns product was first under development, it belonged to Rudolph Foods. Everyone involved in creating them was leaning into the idea of space-age food that was so popular at the time. There were many products that were made with the idea that they could be sent to space, and this was just another of these efforts.

Flamin’ Hot Funyuns hit the market in 2007. This is a flavor variety that is also offered for Cheetos. Surprisingly, the buttermilk and onion flavoring of the Funyun pairs well with the spicy nature of the added flavoring. This is probably one of the more popular incarnations of the Funyun lineup, as people who love spicy food are everywhere.

Flamin’ Hot Funyuns get mixed reviews from people. The Cheetos version of this flavor is probably overall much more popular, and many people believe that the oil in the Cheetos is the main difference n flavor. Funyuns are really dry, so you will be getting less punch from the flavor dusted over the top of the product.

Hot Funyuns Logo

Strange Rumors About Hot Funyuns

Rather like the Bernstein Bears debate, there are people who swear that the product used to be called “Funions” and that there has been a conspiracy to hide this from the public. This is not at all true, but many people will still tell you about a rumor that they heard that Funyuns changed the spelling of their brand name and did not tell anyone.

No one can explain why anyone would have kept this a secret, but that is just how conspiracy theories seem to work. You cannot prove that the name was ever anything else, but people love controversy and share the rumor around to others anyway.

Hot Funyuns Packaging

The packaging for original Funyuns used to have a clear window that showed the snacks in the bag through it. Frito Lay later changed the bag to just show an image of the products on the bag without the clear space in the actual bags. The overall color and presentation of the logo have remained mostly the same ever since the product was released.

The original version is sold with a yellow bag and green lettering. The Hot flavor version is the same bag but with the Flamin’ Hot logo under the Funyuns logo and a picture of the distinctively orangey-red product rather than the traditional yellow onion ring product. The Flaimin’ Hot logo is the same for all Frito-Lay products that are made with this flavor option, so everything from Fritos to Cheetos uses the same logo for this flavor.

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Hot Funyuns Ingredients

From the HEB entry:

  • Enriched cornmeal (cornmeal, ferrous sulfate, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Vegetable oil (corn, canola, or/or sunflower oil)
  • Salt
  • Less than 2% of the following, cornflour, buttermilk, sugar, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract
  • Cheddar cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes)
  • Artificial color (red 40 lake, yellow 6 lake)
  • Citric acid
  • Whey
  • Onion powder
  • Maltodextrin (made from corn)
  • Lactose
  • Garlic powder
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Skim milk
  • Sodium diacetate
  • Gum Arabic
  • Onion extracts

Hot Funyuns Nutrition

Serving Size:13 pieces (28g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 63
Calories 130
Total Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 300mg13%
Total Carbohydrates 17g6%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g2%
Sugars 0.5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Varieties of Funyuns

Flamin’ Hot and original are not the only options that you have to enjoy Funyuns. There are other flavors of this unique snack as well. In some countries, there are flavors that are not sold in the US as well.

  • Original (1969-present)
  • Wasabi (2001-2002)
  • Flamin’ Hot(2007- present)
  • Chili & Limon (2014-2018)
  • Steakhouse Onion (2015-2018)

There is also a shrimp flavor that is sold in Japan during the spring. The Wasabi version might technically count as part of the Hot Funyuns category, but it was a very short-lived product. Wasabi is a specific kind of spicy and many people did not feel that it paired well with the overall texture and original base flavor of the Funyun.

Other Uses for Hot Funyuns

There are various recipes that use Funyuns as part of their ingredients these days. You can make green bean casserole with Funyuns on it instead of onion straws, and there are other creative recipes that use these strange oniony snacks in place of other ingredients. No one is stopping you from using the spicy version for your green bean casserole if you want, but that might make for a pretty interesting Thanksgiving dish!

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If you love strange and creative cooking, you can readily find many recipes out there that use all the various flavors of Funyuns to make unique and hopefully delicious dishes. The taste profile might not be for everyone, but for people who love Funyuns, it is likely that almost anything made with them will be delightful and exciting.

The nice thing about this snack in other recipes is that it is likely a lot better for you than many other similar products on the market. The absence of oils and other flavor additives in things like Doritos make this a reasonable snack choice if you are trying to save some calories and avoid unhealthy ingredients. Despite the strange texture of this snack, the recipe of this snack is mostly made up of recognizable ingredients. Cornmeal being the main ingredient ensures that this snack will not be overly unhealthy when compared to other things that you could be snacking on or cooking with.

How Are Hot Funyuns Made?

If you have seen and experienced the strange texture of a Funyun, you might wonder how they are made. Frito-Lay says that they make the Funyun dough, and then they are heated in an extrusion machine. The dough is then forced into a chamber with lower atmospheric pressure, which makes the puffed texture of the end product. It also causes the round and ring-like shape of the treat.

Once this part of the creation process is completed, the Funyuns are baked with a puff-cooking technique. This leads to the slightly odd, slightly crunchy, sort of fried-food-like texture of this treat. There is nothing else on the market quite like a Funyun, and this unique creation process likely is mostly why the end product is so remarkably strange and yet delicious.

This is a snack that benefits from being made without oil and with limited flavoring additives. This is not a vegan-safe food, however. There is buttermilk in the flavoring process for all the flavors of this snack which prevents it from being vegan safe. Funyuns are gluten-free, however, which is great for those who struggle to find snacks that meet this qualifier.

Pictures of Hot Funyun

Hot Funyun Commercials

When this product was first launched, the original version of the product was advertised with a unique version of Susan Christie’s song, “I Love Onions”. The products were also heavily featured in Breaking Bad, where they were the favored snack of Jesse Pinkman. They also made appearances in How I Met Your Mother, and they were included in some episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

A video about how this product is made:

A regular Funyuns ad:

A taste test for Hot Funyuns:

Another regular Funyuns ad:

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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