This is how you know I'm becoming geriatric; I want to simplify something that's already simple. This is how you know I might be geriatric but I'm still me; the thing I want to simplify is homemade potato chips.
To make homemade potato chips you: 1.) slice potatoes 2.) deep fry them. Yet I was determined to make it simpler.
I first noticed something weird about me about 2 years ago. Then it happened again a few weeks ago and then yet again just yesterday.
I wanted to put on something more comfortable to run a few errands.
In all of these instances - I was wearing sweatpants and a tee shirt.
Where the f*&k do you go from there? Just a tee shirt? Day pajamas? A mumu?
Is it even legal to wear just a tee shirt to run errands?
I guess I'm mellowing, except for 95.723% of the time when I am snarly frantic.
I am currently on day 8 of The Christmas Pledge which means I've finished most of my gift list, a lot of my shopping and figured out and ordered all of my wrapping crap.
I've actually even skipped ahead on The Christmas Pledge by making and freezing the meal I'm going to serve on Christmas Eve. Which is ... individual turkey pot pies.
On the Menu
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Salad or some other green thing
- Homemade Potato Chips
- Risalamande (Danish rice pudding w/almonds and whipped cream)
I've made homemade potato chips before, most recently a couple of years ago. I couldn't remember if there were any special tricks I needed to know (aside from cut potatoes thinly and fry in oil). So I looked a few recipes/techniques up.
Making chips (crisps)
The most consistent thing stressed across all of the recipes was the importance of soaking the sliced potatoes for at least half an hour in cold water to remove the starch.
Some recipes called for a 2 hour soak and some said to soak in vinegar water for the ultimate crispiness.
All that potato chip research for Christmas Eve dinner had me obviously craving potato chips in a snarly frantic way.
So I compromised and made one batch the proper way, and another batch as quickly as as I could while operating a mandolin. The halfassedly way.
The ONLY way I could make homemade potato chips simpler was to eliminate soaking the potatoes for 30 minutes.
Table of Contents
Do you need to soak potatoes to make potato chips?
No, you don't. I discovered after doing multiple batches that as long as you slice your potatoes 3mm or less in thickness, there is zero reason to soak the potatoes. It doesn't improve them at all.
Here's how I did it.
I cut 3 different thicknesses of potato to see they all cooked up.
1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm slices.
I bought the mandolin you see here a few months ago. It's GREAT. It's very sharp, easy to use, has a dial gauge on the side so you can set it to specific thicknesses (by mm). Cuts straight and julienne.
Buy my mandolin on Amazon Canada here.
Buy my mandolin on Amazon US here.
I've had some really expensive bad mandolins. This one at $49 is the best one I've used so far.
I didn't soak the potato slices, instead I rinsed them in a bowl until the water ran clear.
I then drained the potatoes, shook them dry then rolled them in a reusable paper towel to dry.
Which oil to use for frying?
I keep my deep fryer filled with regular vegetable oil because vegetable oil has a high smoking point, is completely neutral tasting and you can leave it in the deep fryer without worrying that it will go rancid.
Replace the oil when you notice it looks dark and murky or starts to develop an off smell.
As soon as the potatoes are dry just put them in a deep fryer set to 300 - 365 F.
TIP: If I want to pack more into my deep fryer I remove the basket to gain a bit more space in the fryer.
FRY. See all those bubbles? It's a reaction of the oil as the water enters it.
As the water evaporates the frying bubbles decrease.
- When you fry chips you want to cook them until the oil is no longer bubbling. At all. If there is still bubbling that means there is still moisture in the potato.
If you take the chips out before all the moisture is gone they'll go soggy.
If you look and see all bubbling has stopped and you think it's because your oil has gone cold - it's hasn't. All the moisture from the food has just been removed.
- The thicker the potato slice, the lower the temperature should be. 1.5-2 mm slices will cook well at 350-365 F. 3mm and above will cook well from 300 - 350 F
- Store homemade potato chips in a paper bag during dry weather conditions.
- Store homemde potato chips in a plastic bag during humid weather conditions.
- Thinnest best for half-assed method.
Thicker slices will get you much flatter chips because they hold their shape better.
Thinner slices (these are the 1.5mm) will get you a lot more folded and bent chips. Which I happen to LOVE.
I ALSO LIKE MY CHIPS TO BE QUITE BROWN. But you don't have to. You can cook them to whatever degree of doneness you want as long as you remove all of the water from them.
So you guessed it. The medium thickness chips curled and bent a little bit. Not as little as the thicker ones and not as much as the thinner ones.
Can I have all the thick, flat chips in a pile please.
And all the thin folded, chips on the right please.
Yes. They're all gone. I gave Betty a little bag and ate the rest myself.
Then I took my sweatpants off.
Here's the actual printable recipe for these Halfassed Homemade Potato Chips.
- You can use any potato to make chips but a baking potato will get the best results.
- Reheat the chips by flashing. (Put them in your oven at the highest temperature for a minute or so. Watch them and the first moment you see them start to bubble or sizzle remove them from the oven.)
- Store the chips in a paper bag if the conditions in your house are dry, store the chips in a plastic bag if the conditions in your house are humid. Or just eat them immediately.
Yummy! Can't wait to give these a try. I'm a big fan of salt and vinegar chips. Any ideas on flavoring the chips other than salt and pepper?
Your mandolin looks pretty sturdy. I'm in need of a new one. What brand is that? Mine is plastic and just awful as are most mandolin I've owned.
An accident waiting to happen.....
Also...day pajamas sound great to me! I'm a big home body and I'm always dressed down. If I'm not comfy I'm not happy.
Hi Carrie Anne! I just got that mandolin a few months ago. It's WAY better than the very expensive one I've had for years. You can get it here. It's $49. ~ karen!
Thanks Karen! Bonus......they had a 40% coupon and I got it for $29.99!!!!!
You're the best! Have a great day! (Is it strange that every time I tell someone to have a "great" day, I hear Tony the tiger in my head??) Lol lol lol
Maybe its lack of sleep. 😂
Yikes. I clicked on that link and the price is $122.74!
HI Dave! I've updated the link. They must have it so the price automatically increases if a lot of people buy it?? ~ karen!
Oh just great..... it's 11:45 p.m. here in Chicago and now I'm STARVING for some home-made potato chips. lol I do have a fresh bag of store-bought Lays but I haven't made any of my mom's recipe for cream cheese dip, so that will have to wait too. Oh well, fortunately I just finished baking a pound of cinnamon-sugar pecans, so I won't really starve ner nuthin'. If that mandolin has the Karen seal of approval and good function, I do believe I shall have to splurge and get one. Thanks for the cooking tips.
It's a great mandolin Randy. I just got it a few months ago. Slices and 2 different juliennes. I'm weirdly craving a pound of cinnamon sugar now. ~ karen
I'll send you the super simple and super easy recipe in a separate e-mail.
Hello Karen, I'm writing to you from France and I can't wait to make myself some home made potato chips. My question is what oil are you using in your fryer? Have you tried pork lard? From all that I have been reading, it is the best choice for frying.
Love your posts and your humour!!
Hi Karen – I have a mandoline, and it scares me. Please tell me about your gloves.
Hi John! The glove is good! It actually came with the mandolin. It's resistant to cutting. :) ~ karen
Did you use the gloves that came with the mandolin?
Yup, you can see it in the photo where I'm slicing the potato. It works well. I haven't lost a fingerprint since getting it. ~ karen!
I have a fancy mandolin, but the one I use all the time is the old box thing that was my moms. It's prolly older than I am, but it is easy and fast. I also want to know what kind of oil you use.
Just out of curiosity, how would you do that in an air fryer?
You'll have to ask Betty. She's the one who uses an air fryer. I know she makes pita chips all the time and they turn out really crispy. ~ karen!
I may never make the chips, lol, but I've wanted a good, solid, yet cost-reasonable mandoline for years. The US Amazon link has the 40 percent off deal, whereas the Canadians will have to pay the full $49.99 or more (still a deal, really). Maybe there will be a holiday discount for y'all soon. Thanks SO MUCH for the mandoline tip and for the half-assery, Ms. Karen. I totally get the sweatpants thing. :-D
do love yr writing---- wish I knew who to thank for turning me on to to you...... oh, we all know what I meant
Mandolin gloves made me wonder if you know:
please: ?? I have small hands and seek gloves safe for 500+ degrees. Went to local welding store: a bust [shop locally when I can.] Have bought bbq gloves on-line. one set a wonderful blue w wh polkas, but good for more like 350. At 500, the three I have tried are good for a couple seconds. Can't find find actual kids welding gloves--- they must exist
I really am quite a turn on. I have no idea about a 500F glove I'm afraid! I would check pizza forums and places that sell wood burning pizza ovens. Mine gets to 1,000 degrees. I use a long handled pizza peel so I don't feel like I need to use a glove, but people who use short handled peels do wear them. ~ karen!
Well, I have a mandolin, but not a deep fryer. Can't I just use a pot with a lid?
Absolutely. Just make sure you use a thermometer to check the temp and you're good to go. Also, you can save the oil afterwards if it's vegetable oil. ~ karen!
The mandoline is $122.74 now - you got a great deal
HI Suzy, You're right! I hate when Amazon does that. But I found another link to it where it is $49. https://amzn.to/3hpv25Q. I've updated the post. Thanks for the heads up so I could attempt to outmaneuver Amazon, lol. ~ karen!
It’s back up to $105+change. It is sure tempting to make my own potato chips but I’ll just enjoy the fantasy for now! :-)
"Where the f*&k do you go from there? Just a tee shirt? Day pajamas? A mumu?"
Keep the pants and t-shirt, ditch the bra. That's assuming you generally wear one. If you already don't normally put one on except for "special occasions", I guess a muumuu or caftan is really your only option. And either of those have to look really strange in Canada in the Winter. If you can't feel good without some support, a sports bra might be a good thing to try because it doesn't have all the itchy parts.
And you're not even close to geriatric.
I get fresh tato chips at a local place that refers to itself as a "tap house." Well, anyway, I order the chips unsalted -- and they taste salty enough for me! This leads me to guess that they are soaking/holding the potato slices in salted water.
Have you tried soaking in salted water?
You can, that's a more advanced technique (i.e. takes more than the length of a commercial break). Mainly used to help release the starch but also makes the chips salty. :) ~ karen!
I only used it a couple times but I gave away my mandolin. It was one of those tools that gave off bad juju and scared me, just like a really good stainless steel carving knife I picked up at an estate sale once. Bad juju. I gave that away too. I don’t fool around with sharp tools that give off bad vibes, lol!
I use the side of a regular $6 box grater to slice - The thin-ness is perfect for my liking -and I never soak unless I'm making a large batch, then it's just so they don't turn brown. Drying well is key. I've begun to add jewelry and a light spritz of perfume to my stay at home (SAM!) ensemble and it makes all the difference, ha! Summers are all about kaftans, Love them!
Thank you for the mandolin recommendation. I have been wanting one for ages but overwhelmed by the choice. Also to note the Amazon US link was savy enough to actually take my to Amazon UK (where I am located). Also really reasonable priced at £18.97 (though I see it has gone up a few pounds since I bought it in November).
Now I just have to 'negotiate' letting a deep fat fryer in the house... Mr B. is worried (and I worry he is right) that it will make the whole house smell like a chip shop and the smell will linger. Is he right? - Sarah
Hi Sarah! My ex used to complain about that but I never noticed it. HOWEVER, now when I make chips I just put a baking sheet on the stove and place the fryer on that. Then I can turn the hood vent on and it sucks away all the smell. It works perfectly so you can let the Mr. know. :) ~ karen!