How to Make the Perfect Potato Chip Slideshow
March 14, 2013
Keep It Thin
The most important part about a potato chip, and one reason why it became such a popular hit in 1853, was because it was thin and crisp. To get the perfect consistency, it’s recommended to slice your potato 1/8 of an inch thick. This can easily be done using a mandoline, but if you don’t have one on hand, there’s never a bad time to polish up on your knife skills.
This is where we go back to all of that sugar talk. The best way to get rid of a potato’s residual sugar and wash off its starch is to give it a nice cold water bath. Soaking the potatoes in cold water while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe is also a great way to prevent them from oxidizing, which is another type of browning that can occur with a potato.
Dry Them Out
One of the most prized features of a potato chip is its taste of oil every time you sink your teeth into one, Arnold tells us. The science behind a perfect chip is a potato rid of all of its water, so that it can absorb the oil instead. Before you even start to fry them, make sure to dry them out as much as possible. The best way to do this is to lay them out in one layer on a kitchen towel and roll it up to squeeze out the excess moisture.
Take It Slow
The best piece of advice Arnold gave us is to gradually bring your oil up to temperature — with the potato slices in it. He adds his potato slices to the oil when it’s at a cool 200 degrees, and then brings the oil up to frying temperature (350 degrees) to let them fry. The reason behind this is because by frying the potatoes at a low temperature, you’re essentially boiling the potato slices and allowing the water to exit so the oil can enter.
Drain Them Well
A little grease is nice and all, but once your potato chips reach the desired shade of brown, remove them using a slotted spoon and drain them in a bowl lined with paper towels. Season them immediately, and make sure to give them a few tosses to make sure the salt is evenly distributed.
Barbecue Potato Chips
Salt not enough? You can season your potato chips with whatever spices you’d like. To create a barbecue potato chip, we made a basic barbecue blend using paprika, onion powder, sugar, ground mustard, cayenne, and chili powder.
Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips
How do you make a potato chip taste like sour cream and onion? The best way to do it is using sour cream’s dry counterpart: powdered buttermilk. That, combined with onion powder, Parmesan cheese, and some fresh chives, and you’ve got yourself a pretty rustic and homemade sour cream and onion potato chip.
The Perfect Potato Chip
So now you’ve learned the basics behind making the perfect potato chip and you can be well on your way to mastering any store-bought variety you crave. It’s not difficult to create the perfect chip, you just have to respect the science behind it.