I can count to potato and do some science while im at it, the greatest chip formula ever…EVER!!!
I’ve been playing with making my own potato chips for a week or two now and I started reading up on different ways to prepare “the perfect potato chip”. I got alittle tired of reading every article out there claiming that their technique was the new hottness so I just crumbled and said f*!k it, I’m just doing this myself.
If you don’t care about any of this then feel free to scroll to the bottom for the final verdict + recipe of how to make the best chips you’ve ever had.
This is all I got for you today.
Personally I like my chips crunchy, not burnt, but I love a nice satisfying crunch when I bite into it. I don’t like those home-made chips where it tastes…not mushy…just…not cooked all the way. Crispyness, a uber scientific word I just invented that can be used to describe both how good I look when I’m leaving for the night and a foods level of crunch, is created through hot oil replacing air inside the chip. Thats why you see all the bubbles when you fry stuff, oil is saturating, air is being replaced.
So in order to chase down the elusive crunch I got to work on several techniques and a nerdy spreadsheet.
I would be trying to make potato chips at two different thicknesses, and prepared 3 different ways. A total of 18 different combinations of potato chip. The preparations would include baking, frying, and microwaving. They would also include slicing the potato and just putting it in, washing the potato with some water, and boiling the potato for 2-3 minutes in a vinegar/water solution.
The idea being that starches in the potato are released when you wash them, and even more starches would be released if you boiled + vinegar’d them. So I really wanted to see how important it was to not only get rid of starches, but also to what level I needed to get rid of them.
So I got to work.
Sliced the potato’s into the two thicknesses I wanted to experiment with. Kinda thick and paper thin. (1/8th and 1/16th)
I put slices into water to wash them, you can see the water get cloudy immediately and starches get pulled out.
Put a solution of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar into a pot and allowed another set of sliced potato to boil in it for 3 minutes.
Then I got to the assembly line.
6 chips for the microwave
6 chips for the oven @ 400 degrees
6 chips for the hot oil.
I will spare you the “in progress” shots and just show you the final judging board
I kinda messed up on the thin-cut baked chips, they burnt so easy.
So now for my findings.
The Bad – Fresh cut potato completely failed when fried or baked, and was tolerable when microwaved. It was soggy in the middle and started to take on a burnt flavor even though it wasn’t really done. It takes 2 minutes to quickly wash some potatos, there is no reason to not do it. Baked chips suck all around, I know someone is going to come here and scream “but Dave they are healthier” and “but Dave I’ve seen someone make them good”. I don’t know what to tell you, i’ve tried them, they suck, they take too long.
Verdict: Wash yo’ chips, frying and microwaving are the only authorized forms of creating chips.
The Meh – The fried chips were ok. I found the washed with water ones to still either have a tiny bit of soggyness or they had a tiny bit of burnt flavor…it was really hard to get them to balance. The vinegar boiled ones turned out pretty decent, they were extremely greasy though.
The hands down, not even close winner – The microwave. Yes, I said it…the microwave smashed all its competitors and it wasn’t even really a competition. It was so lopsided that I didn’t even bother finishing the other chips, I just got to work on making a batch of fresh chips using the microwave.
Vinegar boiled, microwaved potato chips are better than your potato chip. I want to show you something that these chips accomplished that no other form of chip had managed to pull off…they puffed. Seriously, I was so mind = blown that they actually puffed up and had air pockets to add to the crunch. An added benefit of the air-puff, they no longer stuck to the plate.
Now then lets get to work and actually post a recipe on how to recreate them.
Complicated I know.
Slice up your potatoes into rounds.
Boil them in a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar for 3 minutes.
Give them a rinse to cool them off and stop the cooking process.
Pat them dry and place them in a ziplock bag.
Add about a tablespoon of oil, and give them a good violent shake to get them all coated.
Arrange them on a plate, I like to use parchment paper, it helps with sticking to the plate. Sprinkle alittle salt on the chips.
Throw them in the microwave, you’re going to want to put them in for 8-11 minutes. The only downside of the microwave is that it can cook different chips at different speeds. Once 8 minutes goes by you’re going to want to kind of keep an eye on them and as they start browning, start pulling them out.
Finished chips look like this.
Put them in a bowl or whatever and go to town.
I can already hear the stampede of purists coming to yell at me for blaspheming against baking OR frying. The facts are that microwaving uses less oil than frying, is easier to clean up, is less greasy, is simpler, and tastes better than either of the two options as well.
It wins on every level, there is no competition, the microwave is king.