Sure, grabbing a bag of potato chips is pretty much expected almost every trip to the grocvery store, but if you take the time to look at the ingredient listed on a bag of typical potato chips, you would be amazed at the ingredients listed…and perhaps get home and be disappointed to find that the chips don’t even really taste all that good.
So since we are all trying to eat healthier and consume foods—foods that contain fewer ingredients that we can’t pronounce and have no clue what are—make your own chips instead.
The perfect homemade potato chips will be crunchy and just the right amount of seasoning.
Getting Ready to Make Your Potato Chips
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a paper bag close enough to the stove so that you can set the chips on it as they finish cooking.
Prepping the Potatoes
First wash your potatoes in order to get rid of any dirt, excess starch molecules, simple sugars, and enzymes that are released when you first slice into the potato..
Whether or not you peel them is up to you…Personally I’m too lazy and not too good with my knife skills…as shown by the scars on my hands…so I never peel my potatoes before making my chips.
Now thinly slice your potatoes into 1/8″ to 1/16″ thick slices. You can do this with a mandolin, a handheld slicer, a very sharp knife, or a food processor with a slicer attachment,
How you slice your potatoes affects how crunchy they end up being…not so thick that they are hard to eat or thin that they cook too fast and easily burn.
Be sure that the slices are all about the same size…otherwise some will cook faster than others, resulting in some burned chips intermingled with some basically raw chips.
Once you finish slicing your potatoes, Immediately place the slices in ice water. This helps to remove the starch and create crispy chips with those delicious air pockets.
Now drain the sliced potatoes and pat both sides completely dry, using a kitchen towel or paper towel. Make sure that you dry the potatoes as much as posible so that your potatoes will be as crispy as possible.
Once you have drained your potatoes, toss the sliced potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and perhaps other spices that you choose.
Cooking the Chips
Fill a large, heavy, deep-sided pot about halfway with oil. Clip a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pot.
Place the pot over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350°F on the thermometer.
Add the potato slices to the hot oil in batches…being careful not to overcrowd them.
Cook each batch of chips at 400 degrees until the bubbling completely stops before removing them from the pan and starting the next batch. Stir occasionally.
Keep an eye on the potatoes as they fry so that you can remove the crispy ones while waiting for the other ones to finish cooking….otherwise you will end up having any burned…or is it burnt…chips intermingled with raw potatoes.
You want to cook them until they are light golden brown. How long it will take to cook your chips will depend on how thin, or thick, your sliced them.
Remove the chips that seem to be cooked using a spider, strainer, or tongs…place them on a paper bag to drain.
Sprinkle the warm chips with more salt and any seasonings while they are still warm
Remove from heat. Add butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cayenne; mix with rubber spatula until potatoes are coated with thick, starchy paste, about 30 seconds
Flavoring Your Chips
Once your chips are finished cooking…and while they are still hot…you want to seasoned them as soon as they finish frying and are still hot is crucial. This will allow any residual oil to help the spices adhere to your chips.
Thanks to the salt in the soaking water, the chips are already somewhat seasoned right out of the fryer. I recommend you taste one plain, then add the seasoning mix to taste. You will probably not use all the seasoning.
Of course you want to put salt and pepper on them, but don’t limit yourself simply to salt and pepper. Be adventuresome.
Some other seasonings that can be used include…
ancho chile powder
fresh lime juice
ground nori (toasted black seaweed sheets used to roll sushi
Ranch dressing mix
salt and vinegar
toasted sesame seeds
Storing Your Potato Chips
Store your finished potato chips in an airtight container or plastic bag….and in a cool, dark area of the house—ideally at 50 to 65°F. Any warmth and humidity, will quickly make your potat chips either sprout or go bad.