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When I was still in school, I worked in a potato chip factory. I quickly learned that chips off the line were much better than those from a bag. The fresh chips completely spoiled me. Bagged chips tasted stale.
So, here are three secrets to make your own chips, much better than from a bag:
Secret #1: Serve them fresh. Cool them completely before storing them in a bag and eat them within five days. While they’re still warm; that’s better.
Secret #2: Cut them thin. Use a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, use a potato peeler.
Secret #3: Use flavored salt to make flavored potato chips.
And yes, this technique works for sweet potato chips.
Here’s how to do it:
Heat the oil in your deep fryer to 360 degrees. Fry them in small quantities until they start to turn a golden color, and remove them from the pan with a slotted scoop or other tool. Drain them on paper towels and then move them to a rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with a little salt, flavored salt, or seasoning and salt. They will be delightful—much better than potato chips out of a bag.
Pick good quality russet potatoes. Wash them and cut out any bad spots.
Cut them into 1/8-inch thick slices. You can do so with a knife; it’s a lot easier to get uniform slices that will cook uniformly with a mandolin or with the attachment to your mixer.
Heat the oil to 350 to 375 degrees. You can do so on the stovetop or with a thermostatically controlled deep fryer. If you are frying on the stovetop, use a deep pan and a candy thermometer, and watch your work. If your oil becomes too hot it can burst into flames.
Cook a small amount of potato chips at a time. If you cook too many, the potatoes will drop the temperature of the oil too far. Oil that is not hot enough will make your potato chips soggy.
Cook the potato chips until they are a light, golden color and begin to float and then remove the chips to a paper towel to absorb grease.
BBQ Potato Chips
Use smoke-flavored salt. It won’t take much; smoke-flavored salt packs a punch. You can also try other BBQ seasonings or your favorite hamburger seasoning.
Roasted Garlic Potato Chips
Use Roasted Garlic flavored salt. Season to taste.
Vermont Maple Potato Chips
Use maple-flavored salt. Season to taste. Sweet salt is not as potent as smoked salt. Consider mixing smoked salt with maple-flavored salt. By the way, maple-flavored sweet potato chips are outstanding.
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho. He loves to help people bake and shares his vast collection of cooking and baking knowledge on his blog as well as in his e-books and magazines. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.