Homemade Potato Chips

June 30, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Makes 1 large bowlful
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

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Homemade Potato Chips
  • Homemade Potato Chips
  • 3 Russet potatoes
  • 1 liter safflower oil
  • Sea salt or Baked Potato Chip Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 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. Homemade Potato Chips
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. Baked Potato Chip Seasoning
  2. Place all the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix to combine. Store in an airtight container.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • walkie74
  • linda.quick.94
  • Michael Hoffman
    Michael Hoffman
  • Lara
  • MenCanCook
Lara Ferroni is a former tech geek turned food geek who spends her days exploring the food culture of the Pacific Northwest. As a writer and photographer, you might spy her digging through bargain bins for the perfect prop, or dreaming up delicious new ways to use teff, or eating and drinking her way through Portland's vibrant food culture. Her photos have been featured in websites and magazines such as Epicurious and Edible Communities, as well as over 10 cookbooks, including her own, Doughnuts (Sasquatch Books) and Real Snacks: Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without all the Junk (Sasquatch Books), as well as a food photography how-to book, Food Photography: Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting & Shooting (Pixiq). You can find more of her tasty photos and recipes on her blogs, and

52 Reviews

walkie74 January 7, 2014
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!
linda.quick.94 December 30, 2012
Book is now in my Amazon shopping cart. Really like the vegan/gluten alternatives. Thanks.
Juljul12 December 30, 2012
Giant carries powdered buttermilk. I buy it in Delaware.
Flyingfish December 30, 2012
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
Redheaven August 21, 2012
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.
Lara August 22, 2012
Sure - also, you could use smoked salt (instead of bacon) and onion powder. Still very tasty!
Redheaven August 23, 2012
Thank you! I'm heading to the store today, and I pre-ordered your book on Amazon. I can't wait to receive it! :)
Flyingfish August 20, 2012
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.
Lara August 20, 2012
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.


Flyingfish August 22, 2012
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.
MenCanCook December 30, 2012
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...
MenCanCook December 30, 2012
You can check out saco at
Flyingfish December 30, 2012
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
COOKING C. August 20, 2012
Lara August 20, 2012
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.
eaty August 20, 2012
HOW MANY CALORIES DO THESES CHIPS HAVE.. l bought a microwave potato chip maker l don't need should ty it!!
BrownButter August 20, 2012
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.
pam S. August 20, 2012
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?).
Lara August 20, 2012
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.
Flyingfish August 22, 2012
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
Flyingfish August 22, 2012
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
texasblu August 20, 2012
can you substitue sweet potatoes in this recipe or is there a different process for them?
wendilee1956 August 20, 2012
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!
Lara August 20, 2012
You can use sweet potatoes but they won't crisp as much as russets.
MintChocolateChip August 20, 2012
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.
Lara August 20, 2012
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.

MintChocolateChip August 19, 2012
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.
rabbit August 19, 2012
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
Mihindu August 19, 2012
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?
Lara August 20, 2012
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.
philomel August 19, 2012
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.
lisamcd August 19, 2012
I just made them but I had to cook them longer in the microwave than suggested. I seasoned while cooking too. Surprisingly crispy!
shary August 19, 2012
Please e-mail this potatoe chip recipe to [email protected]

Cant wait to try it!
Flyingfish December 30, 2012
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.
Michael H. August 19, 2012
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.
Tmont August 19, 2012
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?
Lara August 20, 2012
Yes any oil spray is fine.
Cil P. August 19, 2012
Sounds great. I just tried Sweet potato chips and they were delish. Can't wait to make my own.