The Best Way to Make Crispy Homemade Potato Chips

Have you ever tried making potato chips at home?  The process is so easy and not only are they cheaper and healthier than the bagged store version, but the flavor can't be beat.  Continue reading for everything you need to know to make crispy homemade potato chips for a snack tonight.





Bowl of homemade chips and bowl of dip

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There are people who crave chocolate as a comfort food.  And there are those that enjoy something sugary like cake when they feel munchy.  But I am a salt girl all the way.  Nothing satisfies a craving for me like a handful of salty plain potato chips.  (Although any snack made with bacon comes in at a close second.)


In an effort to eat healthier and avoid so much junk food, I've been trying to stay away from buying chips at the store.  You can't indulge in what you don't have in the house, right?  But that desire for something salty does not disappear just because the chips aren't in the house, so I've been working on learning how to best make my own potato chips at home.



White bowl of potato chips and bowl of dip



Although they are still deep fried potatoes, homemade potato chips are healthier because they don't have all the preservatives and artificial additives to them.  Homemade potato chips are just potatoes and salt.  And you can control just how much salt you add to the chips or use none if that is what you prefer.


And quite frankly, I think the homemade chips are way tastier than the bagged versions you can pick up at the grocery store.  Plus, you don't end up with half a bag of chip pieces too tiny to eat because they have been crushed and banged around at the store and at home.


Homemade potato chips may take a few minutes to prepare, but they are well worth the bit of additional effort you have to invest.


These homemade potato chips are the perfect side to a freshly prepared sandwich or sit down in the evening with a handful while watching your favorite evening television shows.  Serve them up with dip or eat them plain.




HOW ARE POTATO CHIPS MADE AT HOME?



Making potato chips at home could not be any easier.  While they can be baked in the oven, prepared in an air fryer, or made in the microwave, I prefer to fry my potato chips in hot oil.  Either canola oil or vegetable oil will work fine.


To make the job easy and a bit more fool-proof, I choose to use a deep fryer to cook the potato chips.  The fryer will keep the temperature of your oil consistent and is easier to clean up than a pan full of hot oil.


If you do choose to fry your chips on the stove top, you'll need to add about 2 inches of oil to a deep, straight sided skillet or dutch oven and bring it to a temperature of about 350 degrees.  You can check the temperature of your oil with a deep fry thermometer.  You'll want to be sure that after each batch of finished chips that you allow the oil to heat back up to that desired temperature range.


When the potato slices are golden brown and slightly curled around the edges they should be removed from the oil with a slotted spoon or Chinese spider strainer.  They should be transferred to a baking sheet covered in absorbent paper towel to absorb any excess oil.  Then immediately season the chips with coarse salt or sea salt so that it sticks.



Potato chips drying on paper towel lined baking sheet with spider strainer.




IS THERE A SECRET TO GETTING PERFECTLY CRISP AND GOLDEN POTATO CHIPS?



  • The secret behind getting perfectly crisp and golden homemade potato chips lies in having potato slices that are thin and of uniform thickness.  While you can carefully do this with a knife, it is most precisely done using a handheld mandolin slicer on the thinnest setting.  You don't need an expensive version.  Just something with a sharp blade and guard to hold the potato as you slice it.  


Hand slicing potato chip slices with a mandolin



  • You'll want to soak the sliced potato in cold water for a brief time of about 5 minutes.  Soaking the potato removes some of the starch from the vegetable resulting in a crisper chip.    


Bowl of potato slices resting in water



  • Then you'll want to be sure to fully and completely dry off the potato slices with a clean cloth towel.  Drying the chips is really important as any moisture will keep the potato from frying properly resulting in soggy spots on your chips.  Lay the sliced potatoes out in a single layer on the cloth and then roll them up inside of the cloth for a few minutes.  I like to keep them rolled  as I fry the batches of chips and just unroll as many as I need.




WHAT ARE THE BEST POTATOES FOR MAKING CHIPS?



Russet potatoes are your best choice for frying.  They are generally a good size, uniform in shape, and stand up well to the heat of the oil.  You could also try frying sweet potatoes if you enjoy them!


I prefer to make potato chips with the skin on.  It's faster, easier, and there is so little skin on each thin slice that you'll barely notice it is there.  But if you prefer to peel your potatoes before making the recipe, go right ahead!




CAN HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS BE SEASONED WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN SALT?




Absolutely!  While salt is easy and makes for a delicious basic potato chip, when the fried potato slices come out of the oil you can easily season them with things like pepper or fajita seasoning.  And there are countless recipes out there to make sour cream and onion, bbq flavored, and salt and vinegar chips.  Just do a quick Google or Pinterest search to find the ingredient for the flavor of chips you desire.




CAN YOU STORE HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS ONCE THEY ARE MADE?



Homemade potato chips are best eaten straight out of the fryer or on the same day as they are made. But if you make too many or need to prepare them ahead of time, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.



Bowl of salty homemade potato chips and dip on marble countertop






HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS

Makes about 2 servings

PRINT RECIPE



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 average sized russet potato
  • Coarse salt or sea salt (optional)
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

HOW TO MAKE FRIED POTATO CHIPS AT HOME

  1.  Heat your oil either in an electric deep fryer or a pan on the stove to a temperature of about 350 degrees.
  2. Thoroughly scrub your potatoes.
  3. Thinly slice the potato into rounds of equal thickness using a mandolin.  You can also use a sharp knife.  You'll want to discard your first few slices as they will likely be too small or have too much of the skin intact to make a decent potato chip.  Also, you'll be left with a small chunk at the end that will not go through the slicer.  Either discard this piece or save it to add to some homemade soup.
  4. Cover the potato slices in cold water and soak them for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the potato slices and then lay them out in a single layer on a clean cloth towel.  Gently roll them up inside the towel to dry the slices completely.  
  6. When your oil has reached about 350, add a handful of the potato slices to the hot oil.  Work in small batches to prevent them from sticking together or having soggy spots when fried.  
  7. Fry approximately two to three minutes flipping occasionally to keep them from getting overdone.  Smaller slices will fry faster and may need to be removed sooner than larger slices.  
  8. When the potato chips are a light golden color and starting to curl around the edges they are done.  Also, the oil will have stopped bubbling if all the moisture has been removed from the chips.  Watch the potato slices closely because they will quickly go from not being done to being overly done.
  9. Remove the potato slices from the oil with a Chinese spider strainer or slotted spoon.  Lay the chips out in a single layer on a sheet of absorbent paper towel that is lining a sheet pan to absorb any excess oil.
  10. Immediately sprinkle with salt to desired taste.
  11. Repeat the process working with small batches with your remaining potato slices.


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White bowl of golden brown salty potato chips





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