You probably think I’m crazy for even suggesting the idea of making potato chips at home. That’s okay, I am a little crazy. But hear me out because they’re truly easy to make and totally worth it.
Frying at home is one of those cooking techniques everyone assumes is so difficult. It is a bit messy, I’ll give you that and anytime you are dealing with hot oil you want to be extremely cautious. But it’s really not as hard as people think. In fact sometimes I wish it was harder so then I wouldn’t be tempted to fry as often as I do.
Tips for chip frying success:
- Use a thermometer. It’s important that the oil is the right temperature and remains in the correct range while frying. A thermometer helps to gauge how much you need to increase and decrease the heat in order to maintain the right temperature. I like to use a thermometer that has a probe so that I can check on the temperature without getting to close to the pot.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Adding too many potatoes to the hot oil will decrease the temperature and increase the risk for the oil bubbling over.
- Don’t add too much oil to the pot. Be sure there is at least 3 to 4 inches of clearance in the pot. The oil does tend to bubble up quite a bit and you want to be sure you leave adequate space for it to do so.
- Dry the potatoes. When oil and water meet there is a party and not necessarily one you want to be a part of. Lots of spurts and bubbles and chances for little burns. Not fun. So be sure to use plenty of paper towels and dry those potatoes.
- Reuse your oil. Unless you are frying fish you can use your oil at least three times. Let the oil cool completely in the pot then funnel it back into the container.
Homemade Potato Chips
From Date Night In
For frying I use a 7-quart cast-iron Dutch oven. Cast iron retains heat very well, and the wide shape of the Dutch oven provides easy access to the chips. I’m able to fry larger batches without overcrowding the pan and causing the heat to drop drastically.
- 1 large russet potato
- 4 cups / 950 ml canola or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Using a mandoline, cut the potato into paper- thin slices (about 1⁄16 inch thick) and let the potato slices soak in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.
You can also use a very sharp knife for this task if you are very careful and can slice the potato into very thin slices. Alternately a vegetable peeler would work as well although the final shape of the chip won’t look very traditional but they’d still be delicious.
Drain the potato slices. Spread the slices without overlapping on a triple layer of paper towels or a clean dish towel. Blot slices completely dry with another triple layer of paper towels or a clean dish towel.
Add the oil to a large saucepan. It should be about 2 to 3 inches deep in the pan, and you should have at least 3 inches to the top rim of the pan; oil tends to sputter up when hit with the potatoes.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 F.
Fry the potatoes in batches of 10 to 15 slices. Carefully move the chips around with a slotted spoon or spider so that they cook and color evenly. Continue to fry until they are golden all over and the bubbles have nearly calmed from their initial frenzy (this shows that the water in the potatoes has been cooked out), 2 to 3 minutes total.
Transfer the fried chips to paper towels to dry. Season with salt while the chips are warm so that it sticks to the chips. Bring the oil back to 350°F before adding the next batch.
Potato chips can be made and seasoned up to 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.