Homemade Potato Chips – The Best Ever

 

Once Upon A Time

Pringles Potato Chips

In the days of old – at least as they relate to me – as much as I loved potato chips – I was held hostage to all the brand name manufacturers that produced their own exclusive versions of this wonderful snack.  Nowadays, you can buy them cooked any which way you can think of – flavored with garlic or sour cream or BBQ or ranch or plain or something else.

But wouldn’t it be great to just make your own potato chips – and, have them taste better and last longer than the store bought versions?

I thought so, too!

Thus, I began my quest for the perfect homemade potato chips.

 

Trial And Error – Was The Catchphrase Of The Day

Hamilton Beach deep fryer

My first attempt was by slicing the potatoes with my Ninja food processor.  The slices came out too thick and the thickness wasn’t very consistent, either.  I guess my Ninja does have one limitation – but this is the only one I’ve discovered thus far.

Then, I tried to deep fry those thick spud slices in my Hamilton Beach deep fryer.  They came out looking and tasting more like steak fries – and they were pretty oily – literally oozing with oil – even though I let them drain on paper towels.

I quickly came to the realization that my trusty little HB deep fryer was best utilized for making my famous chicken wings.

But, that’s another story…

green mandoline slicer

Next I oven baked them – drizzled with a little olive oil.  Same results.  Steak fries again.  This time they were kinda dry – but, I still had that oily taste and feeling in my mouth – if you know what I mean.

Tackling the thickness issue was the first hurdle.  I needed to get these potatoes – “potato chip thin” – consistently – before I tried any type of cooking – to create the perfect potato chip.  So, I put the food processor back on the shelf and got out my green mandoline slicer.

 

Whatta Difference!Benriner Mandoline Slicer,

With the mandoline slicer, I was carving off paper thin slices and doing it the same – every time.  Marty’s got a newer version of the same slicer – but, I still like my old trusty green one.  It has seen quite a few “potato chip making” occasions.

Both of these slicers have Japanese stainless steel blades that stay sharp F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

 

Now – How To Cook These Bad Boys?

I already tried deep frying – and that didn’t work.  Drowning them in all that extra oil wasn’t going to make for healthy or tasty potato chips.  Don’t forget the extra calories from all that oil…

Been through the baking fiasco, too – and, all I got were very dry chips that also tasted a bit oily.  Plus, this technique also added its own share of “too many calories” – even though the amount of oil was less than deep frying – it was still there.

No – I had to come up with a new method.  One that created a guilt free – but immensely pleasurable “potato chip snacking experience.”

Light bulb!  How about the microwave?  I haven’t tried that yet!

But, how long do I need to microwave these spud slices?  And, how am I going to keep them from sticking?Pam non-stick cooking spray

Hmmmmmmmm…

I got it!   Pam!

No, Marty, Pam is not an ex-girlfriend.

Pam is a zero calorie, non-stick cooking spray.

 

Now, I’m On A Roll

OXO 21081 Good Grips Y PeelerBPA-free polycarbonate cutting board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got out my trusty vegetable peeler – the one with the great ergonomic handle and the built-in potato eye gouger – and I skinned some potatoes.

Enter my favorite green mandoline slicer – from stage left – to systematically produce the necessary consistently thin slices of spuds.  Those tator slices were piled high on my favorite BPA-free polycarbonate cutting board.

Mandoline sliced potatoes on plates ready for microwave.

Plate coated with Pam with potato slices.Next, I took out a stack of dinner plates, lightly coated each plate entirely with Pam, and placed those thin potato slices on the plates – being careful to leave a little space between each one.

Through trial and error, I discovered that it takes a plate of thin, raw potato slices about 3 minutes – give or take a few seconds – for the microwave to produce nice golden brown potato chips.  I guess it depends a lot on how powerful the microwave is – so, before you stick to my 3 minute rule, you may want to calibrate your own cooking time to produce the right consistency of chips.

I layer a few paper towels in one of my large Rubbermaid food containers and add the finished potato chips as they come out of my two hOmeLab microwaves

Rubbermaid food containershOmeLab microwave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightly salted homemade potato chips by Jim, the Lifelong Gardener.HINT:  Using two microwaves instead of one will get you through this process in half the time.  But, that’s an easy assumption to make, huh?

Add a little salt – and / or garlic – and / or powdered sour cream – and presto change-o – I now have the best potato chips that no amount of money could buy.

Plus, I didn’t have to go through all those additional steps by marinating the potatoes – in salt water – or in some other liquid-y mixture.  I just sliced them up, slapped them on a Pam coated plate, and zapped them in a microwave.  Simple – and to the point!

 

Is There A Potato Variety That’s Best For Making Chips?

My favorites can be purchased from any supermarket – but, I choose spuds I can grow myself – from Stargazer Perennials.

Stargazer Perennials' Yukon Gold seed potatoesStargazer Perennials' Red Pontiac seed potatoes

Stargazer Perennials' Burbank Russet seed potatoes

My taste buds tell me that Yukon Gold potatoes rank highest in my chip making endeavors.  They have best potato chip flavor and, the most appealing golden-brown color.

Red potatoes are my second choice –not far behind the Yukon Golds.

But, even the everyday – used in every way – Burbank Russet potatoes work just fine.  Just as long as they haven’t started sprouting yet.

HINT:  The key is – don’t use old potatoes.  Try to use the freshest spuds you can find.  Once they start getting soft and wrinkly, it’s time to farm them out for soups, stews, casseroles, some other potato-laden creation.

You get the picture.

 

Homemade Potato Chips – An Added Advantage

Do you know how those potato chips from the manufacturer get soggy, stale, and limp – after a few days?

Well, my homemade chips – kept on paper towels in my Rubbermaid container – with a lid – stay crisp and crunchy down to the last few chip crumbs.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Can it get any better than this?  Pardon me, if I don’t think so!

Do you have a preferred way to make your own homemade potato chips?  I’d like to hear it!  Leave a comment or email – and tell me your story.

 

Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com

10 thoughts on “Homemade Potato Chips – The Best Ever

  1. Sujandar Mahesan Reply

    That is absolutely correct. Homemade potato chips are the best. But for me the problem is I did not know how to make them. So I only used to have it when someone else made it for me. But after reading this article now I can make them myself and now I don’t have to depend on anyone else. Thank you so much.

    • Jim Reply

      You’re welcome, Sujandar.  Here’s to many pleasant homemade potato chip eating experiences!

      Jim

  2. Eugen Reply

    Hi Jim,

    Your article made me hungry :). Great recipes although, I cannot agree that the blade on the slicer can be sharp forever. This is simply impossible as any material has its own lifespan. But I mean maybe if you use it few times a month, then its likely that the plastic form will crack earlier than blade.

    Cheers,

    Eugen

    • Jim Reply

      Well, Eugen, maybe it just seems like f-o-r-e-v-e-r since the green mandoline slicer that I use for making potato chips is still as sharp as when it was new – and it is over 20 years old!  By the way, the plastic hasn’t cracked, either – it is still hangin’ in there.

      Jim

  3. Chris Reply

    Okay, homemade potato chips – I’m in!!!!

    This will make a nice change for the heart-destroying Kettle Chips I have a huge addiction for! I suppose when you make them yourself you can pick and choose what health angle you want to take with them – make them a much healthier alternative for you! 

    You say your version stays crispy for longer than the bought versions – how long in total did they stay fresh for (days)?

    • Jim Reply

      Hey there, Chris!

      I used to be a Kettle Chips junkie, too – until I discovered a healthier, homemade way to consistently make my favorite snack chips!

      I keep my chips on a paper towel inside a Rubbermaid container – as shown in the post.  And, I’ve had them for a month – or more – and, to this day, I’ve not had a stale one yet.  Maybe I’m just lucky!

      Jim

  4. Calvin Reply

    Hi Jim,

    It’s funny that I would read your post after getting my latest blood work results yesterday in the mail.  The doctor says I have elevated LDL levels..not dangerous..but just ELEVATED.  And then in the same paragraph he said my HDL ( good cholesterol ) is “quite favorable” ( whatever that means ).

    Anyway, I love potato chips and anytime I’m in a restaurant that serves homemade chips I’m sure to get them.  I like them a little burned and crispy.  I learned a lot from your post.  One thing I learned is I didn’t know you could buy spuds on Amazon.  I like the way you told your story about how you make potato chips.  Who would have thought you could create chips in a microwave.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Calvin,

      I have to say that you can’t get potato chips much healthier than making them yourself – as I’ve shown in this post.  And, microwaving them with a zero calorie Pam is the only way to go.

      The potato links I gave are for seedling potatoes that you can grow yourself.  Those are what you would buy on Amazon.

      Jim

  5. Lok Which Reply

    I can’t wait to try this. I hardly believe one can make potato chips easily with these steps. Using garlic to garnish it would be a nice try I think. I will invite my fiancé over next weekend to try this since I know it’s gonna be more fun with her help so I don’t make something that isn’t palatable. Lol

    • Jim Reply

      I normally have my wife, Marty, supervising me in the kitchen to make sure I don’t mess something up.  So, I know the feeling – since I’m “kitchen illiterate.”

      🙂

      Jim

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