Potato Chips – Betcha can’t eat just one

If you are like me, you have been snacking a great deal more since the beginning of Covid. We have all been locked in our houses for various durations, and if when we are not locked down at home, there just are not as many social opportunities. So what do we all end up doing, that’s right, watching tv and snacking.

I don’t know about you, but potato chips have to be one of my all-time favourite snacks. And they are much easier to make than you think. But like everything I make (and I am hoping that you are making as well), it comes down to selecting the correct ingredients to make it the best you can. And with chips, that comes down using the correct type of potatoes.

In kitchens, we talk about starchy or mealy potatoes and about waxy potatoes. Growing in Newfoundland, I heard people talking about wet potatoes (waxy) and dry potatoes (mealy/starchy) potatoes. We use the different types for different potato dishes, and it comes down to this; as a general rule, the only time we use a waxy potato is when we are cooking them in some sort of liquid and want to make sure that they hold their shape. Think things like soups, stews, and casseroles, where its important that we don’t end up with a mushy mesh. For everything else, we want a starchy potato.

Waxy potatoes have a much higher sugar content, and are certainly no good for frying, since they tend to develop a lot of streaks and end up much darker in colour, almost burning or charring before properly cooking in the hot fat. A starchy potato is what we want, and in my opinion, the russet is the potato to grab. This is your classic baking potato, and that is what you want to look for when you are out there shopping; if it doesn’t say russet, make sure to at least get something that is labeled a baking potato.

1. Begin by scrubbing your potatoes clean. You can peel if you prefer, but I chose to leave the potato on mine.
2. Slice to your desired thickness. The chip will finish close to the same thickness as you slice them, so if you wish for a classic Hostess or Lays style chip go thin. Personally, I prefer a thicker chip that is more in the style of a extra-crunchy kettle cooked chip similar to the Miss Vickie’s.
3. Place the sliced potatoes into water as you are slicing them so that they do not get brown. Once you have all of your potatoes sliced, rinse really well under cold water.
4. After you have rinsed the potatoes, add white vinegar to the water at a of about 5-10% of the water. I just added a couple of good splashes to the water. We are not looking to flavour the chips, but the acid from the vinegar will help to keep the potato very white.
5. Drain potato slices well, and pat dry. You do not want to be adding a great deal of wet slices into your hot fat, which will cause a great deal of spattering and be dangerous.
6. Heat your fat to 300F. I used plain canola oil, though peanut and corn oil are also good options.
7. Add the slices in small batches. Make sure to stir around in the hot fat so that the slices do not stick to each other. Allow to cook until the colour and crispiness that you want has been achieved.
8. Drain well, and place in a bowl. Toss with a bit of salt or any other flavour you choose. Popcorn toppings are a great way to create salt & vinegar, BBQ, sour cream and onion, or any other flavour you want.


2 Replies to “Potato Chips – Betcha can’t eat just one”

  1. Yum! I’m going to try these for sure. It doesn’t sound too hard to make your own potato chips and I appreciate your detailed instruction. Yours look amazing.

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