Sunday, March 30, 2014

Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade usually tastes better than store-bought. Potato chips are no exception. Homemade potato chips have a wonderful potato flavor and can be salted to your specific tastes. 

We serve up homemade chips throughout the summer months when we're using the grill for burgers and dogs but they're so easy to make that we have them often the rest of the year as well with subs and sandwiches.

All you need to make these homemade potato chips are potatoes, salt and hot oil. That's it. You can even leave out the salt if you want...or get creative and use seasoning salt, garlic salt, pepper, or add a dash of get the picture.

Can you bake them? I' m sure you could, but I haven't tried. I make so so many, I'm not sure I have enough baking sheets or oven space to cook them all anyway.

This is not an exact science. There are many ways to make a potato chip. I've explained below how I make mine.

To make your Homemade Potato Chips:

  • Use at least one large (not jumbo) russet potato per person. I usually go through about 6 to 8 potatoes for my family of four...but we do eat a lot of these chips. And if there are any leftovers, well, that's a good thing (see below). I've also successfully used Yukon Gold and red potatoes when I had some that needed to be used up.
  • Scrub the potatoes clean. No need to peel them.
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I use vegetable oil and a deep fryer for this. You can use a dutch oven or a deep skillet. You can use canola oil or lard or even peanut oil. The deeper your oil is, the more you can fry at once. Whatever you use to fry your potatoes, use caution!
  • Slice potatoes thinly. The easiest way is to use a mandolin that slices the potatoes approximately 1/16 - 1/8  inch thick (really thin). I have another mandolin that can slice only as thin as 1/4 inch or so and those chips where not nearly as crispy.
  • Place sliced potatoes into hot oil and stir occasionally.  If you are using a deep fryer as I do, You can probably fry a whole potato worth of slices at a time. However, the more potatoes you cram into your oil, the longer it will take to cook them all. Some recipes I've seen call for placing the sliced potatoes into ice water for a period of time before cooking. I've tried it before and it didn't seem to make a difference in the finished product (maybe because I'm slicing mine so thinly). I simply slice the potatoes right into the fryer.
  • Remove potato slices from hot oil when they turn a golden brown. 
  • Drain on cooling rack with layers of paper towels below.
  • Salt while hot, if desired. Or shake on any number of seasonings at this point.
We serve these up with blue cheese dressing (just cause that's what we like) but I think a more popular choice might be a homemade ranch dressing or ketchup. The "Pickles" don't dip them in anything.

These are best served immediately but I have kept piles of chips in a low oven for awhile to keep them warm. I have also had great success in refrigerating the rare leftover chips. They still remained crispy until the next day when the "Pickles" would pack them into their lunches or we microwaved them (about 20-30 seconds) to snack on during a movie.

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