I’m so mad at myself. I figured out how to make homemade potato chips in such an easy, head-smackingly simple way, I’m going to make them all the time and gain a million pounds. It all started when I thought about the shallow-frying technique I used to make pita chips and tortilla chips; why wouldn’t that work for potato chips? Turns out it does, better than expected. If I wanted to, I could have a plateful of homemade chips in front of you in 15 minutes. Warning: this is a dangerous thing to know how to do. You’ll never stop wanting to do it.
There are only two tools necessary for homemade potato chips, and they’re tools you should have around anyway: a mandoline slicer and a thermometer.
I have the cheapest, crappiest mandoline slicer in the world. I think it was $15, but I don’t even remember where I bought it. It barely gets the job done, but it gets the job done. Here’s the job: take a baking potato (Russet Idaho) and drag it across your slicer so it makes circles. Those will be your chips.
The thinner you make them, the crispier they’ll be and the quicker they’ll fry, but even if you accidentally make a few thick ones, those are good too. The width is up to you. (And also, if you have a few imperfect circles, don’t worry. Those taste good when fried, as do most things.)
Put your potato circles in cold water:
Then get a wide skillet and pour in about an inch of oil. That’s all you’ll need, which is why this technique is so wonderful. You don’t waste a lot of oil and your risk of the oil bubbling over (the biggest danger, when frying) is minimal. Turn up the heat and place a probe thermometer or a frying thermometer in there to monitor the temperature: you’re gunning for 375.
Oh: have a rack on a baking sheet ready to go to drain the potato chips after frying. As the oil gets closer to the right temperature, pat your potato circles very dry with paper towels:
Then carefully lower them in.
That’s really all there is to it. Now you just wait for them to darken; it takes a few minutes. You can use a spider tool to flip them upside down every minute or so, but the main part is just waiting. Here’s what they look like as they darken:
Still white in spots, so let them go until they’re uniformly brown:
That looks about right. Now lift them out with your spider tool and immediately sprinkle with lots of salt.
Voila: homemade potato chips. It was really that easy.
Continue to fry in batches until you have all of the chips you want to eat. Then, if you want to be really decadent, make a dipping sauce with mayonnaise, some liquid from your sweet and spicy pickled peppers, and smoked paprika. It’s a snack fit for a king: