Homemade Potato Chips

By • June 30, 2012 • 52 Comments

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Author Notes: It wasn’t until I was working on Real Snacks, a cookbook about making my favorite junk food at home, that it occurred to me that I could make my own potato chips. Of course, no junk food cookbook could be complete without them, but my first few attempts were pretty sad... dark brown on the edges and still soggy in the middle. Luckily, perseverance won out, and now I wonder how I ever thought they were hard.

The key to the perfectly crispy chip is the mandolin. You need to get the potatoes really, really thin, so unless you have the knife skills of a ninja, the mandolin is the way to go. You don’t need a fancy one... a simple $20 slicer works great. Just make sure you get one with a guard, and don’t worry that you can’t use that last little chunk at the end of each potato... just set it aside for soup, and save your fingertips!

If frying isn’t your thing, you’ll love the microwavable version of this recipe, which makes a small batch of super crisp chips in about 2 minutes.

These chips are great with a sprinkle of sea salt, but even better with the homemade “Baked Potato” seasoning mix, which makes these chips taste like Tato Skins.

I like Russet potatoes best for frying, but this method also works great for sweet potatoes, yams and lotus root.
Lara

Makes 1 large bowlful

Homemade Potato Chips

  • 3 Russet potatoes
  • 1 liter safflower oil
  • Sea salt or Baked Potato Chip Seasoning (recipe follows)
  1. Slice the potatoes into very, very thin rounds with a porcelain slicer or mandolin (always use the guard!). I use a 1.3mm setting. Place the slices in a large bowl. Cover with cold water, swish and then drain.
  2. Place the slices in a single layer on a towel, and then gently roll it up to lightly dry them. Keep the slices rolled up in the towel as you cook off batches to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.
  3. To fry the chips, heat a pot of safflower or canola oil to 350F (180C), and fry the dried chips in small batches. Be careful not to overfill the pot, or your chips will stick together and have soggy spots. Fry for just a minute or two, using a chopstick to flip each chip once, until they are a light golden brown and the oil bubbling calms. If there is still frantic bubbling going on, there is still moisture in the chips, and they will be soggy. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon, and place on a wire rack to drain.
  4. To microwave your chips instead, spray the chips with an oil baking spray and place in a single layer on a microwave safe plate (sprayed with a bit more baking spray) or on a microwave bacon dish. Cook on full power for about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how many chips fit on the plate. You’ll likely need to do this in many small batches. Be careful when you remove the plate because it will be very hot.
  5. Toss your crisp chips into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt or your seasoning, swirling and flipping to coat. These chips are best eaten the day you make them, but will keep for a day or two in an airtight container.

Baked Potato Chip Seasoning

  • 1/4 cup powdered buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard (such as Coleman's)
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crisply fried bacon, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix to combine. Store in an airtight container.
  2. Note: Powered buttermilk should be easy to find in your grocer's specialty grains section. Bob's Red Mill makes a version that is 100% buttermilk with no added preservatives and it tastes great.
Jump to Comments (52)

Comments (52) Questions (3)

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12 months ago walkie74

my ancient microwave is taking 6 minutes at a time to cook the chips, but they are still tasty! I'm bringing this to my class party!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago linda.quick.94

Book is now in my Amazon shopping cart. Really like the vegan/gluten alternatives. Thanks.

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almost 2 years ago Juljul12

Giant carries powdered buttermilk. I buy it in Delaware.

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almost 2 years ago Flyingfish

Neither of the stores here just south of Baltimore do. I finally found a cultured product in the Shop Rite here. It's a sacco product. If I don't like it I'll try to find the Bob's Red Mill brand on line and see if it's better

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over 2 years ago Redheaven

I was wondering whether dried chives and Baco' Bits would be okay in the seasoning? I'd like to make it vegetarian and I am also concerned about the shelf-life with fresh chives even though I know they taste better.

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over 2 years ago Lara

Sure - also, you could use smoked salt (instead of bacon) and onion powder. Still very tasty!

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over 2 years ago Redheaven

Thank you! I'm heading to the store today, and I pre-ordered your book on Amazon. I can't wait to receive it! :)

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over 2 years ago Flyingfish

I have a few large chain stores to work with in the Baltimore area. Some are locally owned some are national. No one seems to know nor care what powdered buttermilk is. Where else can I buy it? It was first mentioned on America's Test Kitchens some months ago.

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over 2 years ago Lara

I've found it at most of my local grocery stores, but then I do live in Portland... it's usually in the section with the alternative flours... the kind I buy is Bob's Red Mill. Whole Foods should definitely have it. You can also order it online, on Amazon (and probably other places as well).

You could also probably sub in other dry milk powder, but I don't think it would have quite the same tang to it.

Lara

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over 2 years ago Flyingfish

Thanks. evidently there is a big difference between the two coasts and the deep South. I can't buy winter wheat flour in Baltimore either. From what I can tell powdered buttermilk is derived from real buttermilk while buttermilk sold in most markets are cultured products. I appreciate you help.
Mark

Doug

almost 2 years ago MenCanCook

The brand I use [on the Outer Banks of NC] is saco cultured Buttermilk Blend... Comes in a 12 oz. package and equivalent to 3.75 qts. of liquid buttermilk. Works like a champ for both cooking and baking. Hope this helps...

Doug

almost 2 years ago MenCanCook

Mark,
You can check out saco at www.sacofoods.com

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almost 2 years ago Flyingfish

Thanks. Shop Rite just opened a store here and they assure me they carry it.If they don't I'll certainly check out Saco Foods. I appreciate the feed back

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over 2 years ago COOKING CRAZY

I WANT TO KNOW THE SPECIFIC BRAND NAME OF PORCELAIN SLICER OR MANDOLIN. BECAUSE I NEVER SEE THIS KIND OF VERY THIN SLICE. I WANT TO BUY THAT.

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over 2 years ago Lara

I use the Kyocera® Adjustable Mandoline from Sur La Table (I think it's on Amazon too). The adjustable part is important, so you can use it for a variety of cuts. It costs about $25.

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over 2 years ago eaty

HOW MANY CALORIES DO THESES CHIPS HAVE.. l bought a microwave potato chip maker l don't need OIL...you should ty it!!

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over 2 years ago BrownButter

Lara, can't wait to try this recipe. I have been making home made potato chips for years. The easiest, least expensive way to get the potatoes sliced very thin is to just use a potato peeler.

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over 2 years ago pam sienk

Any substitute for the cooking spray? Just read in the NY Times that the PAM brand contains butane and 2 other questionable ingredients (where is the FDA on this one?).

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over 2 years ago Lara

I use an organic canola oil or olive oil spray. You can make your own with an atomizer and just add your own oil. You do just want a very fine mist of oil though for these or they may be greasy.

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over 2 years ago Flyingfish

I think you'll find that butane is the or part of the spray propellant. Butane is a flammable gas. I use it instead of propane where I can't chance it's accumulation below the flame. Natural gas and propane are heavier than air and will sink while butane is lighter than air and wont accumulate in say the bilge of a boat or ship. It is also used in cigarette lighters, Bic, and "gas matches", etc. I hope this helped. You didn't mention the other two questionable ingredients so I can't comment

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over 2 years ago Flyingfish

I think you'll find that butane is the or part of the spray propellant. Butane is a flammable gas. I use it instead of propane where I can't chance it's accumulation below the flame. Natural gas and propane are heavier than air and will sink while butane is lighter than air and wont accumulate in say the bilge of a boat or ship. It is also used in cigarette lighters, Bic, and "gas matches", etc. I hope this helped. You didn't mention the other two questionable ingredients so I can't comment

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over 2 years ago texasblu

can you substitue sweet potatoes in this recipe or is there a different process for them?

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over 2 years ago wendilee1956

She mentioned sweet potatoes as an alternative but didn't suggest if there is an alternative to the "Baked Potato" seasoning. Definitely a good question. I love sweet potatoes too!

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over 2 years ago Lara

You can use sweet potatoes but they won't crisp as much as russets.

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over 2 years ago MintChocolateChip

I'd like to know if that white powdery substance on the chips on the Yahoo! page is powered buttermilk since sea salt is a granular substance like larger sugar crystals. I'm not sure where to check your website for answers to questions but I'll dig around. Thanks. P.S. I already asked you this question and had you email me the answer but when I saw that you didn't answer me in text and it contained blocked images, I changed my mind about opening it.

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over 2 years ago Lara

The powder is the buttermilk mixture that is tossed onto the chips after they are cooked. The salt I use for these is fine sea salt.

Lara

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over 2 years ago MintChocolateChip

The pictures attached to the story on Yahoo!'s page, showed a white powder spread on the cooked chips. Since your recipe only mentioned (from Yahoo!), sea salt, and the "Baked Potato Seasoning", I have to assume that the picture is showing the latter, since sea salt is granular and powered buttermilk looks just like what is in the picture. But in case I'm wrong and that is some extremely FINE powdered sea salt, I'd like to know what brand and where to find it. Thanks.

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over 2 years ago rabbit

OMG! I just had a large sweet potato fries from the B-King. now I can make CHIPS. in 2 minutes. . Right in time for snacks after for my GRAND children. Thanks

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over 2 years ago Mihindu

Just like making potato chips in the microwave do you think you could make the outer surface of a Chinese roll without the stuffing, like a pancake which is crispy? How to do it?

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over 2 years ago Lara

Sorry, unfortunately this isn't something I've tried, so I don't know if it would work. I think you'd need more oil for the wrapper to crisp.

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over 2 years ago philomel

You can salt the potato chips very evenly and to the saltiness you desire by soaking them in brine, drying them and cooking them. You can sweeten sweet potato chips by soaking them in sugar water but be careful because sugar burns quite quickly.

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over 2 years ago lisamcd

I just made them but I had to cook them longer in the microwave than suggested. I seasoned while cooking too. Surprisingly crispy!

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almost 2 years ago Flyingfish

shary:
If you're reading it you already have it so there is no need to e mail it. You can copy and paste the article to your word processing program, give it a name and save it.

Onionavatar

over 2 years ago Michael Hoffman

Michael is an engineer at Food52

Hey, all. There are some great questions being asked here!

I see we have some new users here; welcome! If you want the Food52 community to put its brains together for you, scroll up and click the the "Questions" tab and ask your question there.

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over 2 years ago Tmont

I'm not much of a cook or baker so I need clarification on the "oil baking spray." I looked this up and found Pam Baking Spray that contains flour. Do we really need to use the baking spray or is regular oil spray sufficient?

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over 2 years ago Lara

Yes any oil spray is fine.

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over 2 years ago Cil Peterson

Sounds great. I just tried Sweet potato chips and they were delish. Can't wait to make my own.

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over 2 years ago bdpnlady

Can these chips be baked in the oven rather than fried or microwaved?

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over 2 years ago Lara

I've had better results microwaving than baking. The chips crisp without burning. In the oven it's hard to get evenly crisp chips.

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over 2 years ago Sajada

I can't wait to try this either, I just have one question to ask, how is this recipie--baked??

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over 2 years ago Gdvr

How are the Home Potato Chips baked, and what are the instructions for this?

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over 2 years ago Lara

I recommend microwaving rather than baking. The chips will be crisper.

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over 2 years ago Lara

I recommend microwaving rather than baking. The chips will be crisper.

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over 2 years ago grayce

can not wait to try this..wonderful idea and method offers two ways micro and deep fry..
i am loving this especially with yams and i will try with parsnips..maybe some beets, with fetta cheese dip..this will be my go to

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over 2 years ago Michaelene Keegan

Can't wait to try this recipe. am stuck in bed with injury so no cooking right now but as soon as up & around will be trying these first thing.

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over 2 years ago tom salvo

how would you BBQ your homemade potato chips

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over 2 years ago Hot Mamma

I cant wait to try this recipe, it looks pretty easy. Hope it is. I'll let you all know what happens, if they come out good or bad!!

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over 2 years ago rables

I like the recipe, but, I have a question, What about using my dehydrator for fixing the chips, I made some sweet potato chips for my pet and it worked just a good. What do you think. Thanks.

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over 2 years ago Michael Hoffman

Michael is an engineer at Food52

Rables, Welcome to Food52! This is a great question I don't personally know the answer, but I bet if you asked it on the Food52 hotline you'd get a great answer.

http://www.food52.com/hotline...

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over 2 years ago Lara

I haven't tried it but I don't think you'd get the same crispness.

Lara