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How to Make Homemade Potato Chips

February 17, 2010 · 40 comments

Homemade potato chips

These homemade potato chips taste every bit as crunchy-licious as they look in this picture.  Thank you Jeanne for sharing your recipe!

Remember that the oil you use to fry in, and the temperature you cook in makes a BIG difference.

You can use a healthy cooking fat like beef tallow and eat fried foods guilt-free, or you can use the nasty vegetable oils and then worry what it could be doing to your body.  Thankfully those literally make me sick…as in…bent over in excruciating pain, so it’s a powerful motivator for me to avoid them whenever I might be at a restaurant and tempted by how good the fried food looks.  They’re rotten for all of us though, and even if vegetable oils don’t make you physically ill like they do me, no one should be ingesting them.  More about the benefits of beef tallowHealthy Beef Tallow for Guilt-Free Frying.  (Also find out where to buy tallow or how to render it yourself.)

You’ll also want to be careful not to go over the smoke point no matter what oil you’re using.  If you hit the smoke point, then all the benefits of your healthy oil will be lost and the cancer-causing free-radicals could take over.  At this kitchen gadgets post you can read about my new kitchen appliances that prevent the oil from going over the smoke point. It was just too tricky to keep it the right temp when cooking in a big pan on the stove.  I ended up throwing out some of my precious tallow after the last time we made fried food because the oil was smoking like crazy and I was all freaked out.

UPDATE: I just learned from Jenny about a way to ferment potatoes to reduce the formation of acrylamides! Just slice them and soak the night before with about 1/2 c. of whey or vegetable starter culture (see resources page) and enough filtered water to cover. The next day, drain and continue with recipe. Easy! It just takes thinking ahead a little.

Homemade Potato Chips Fried in Beef Tallow

  • IMG_0182Organic potatoes – Jeanne uses about one per person, but I used more than that for our family since we all love them.  Clean and cut off the bad spots.
  • Use a Mandolin to slice the potatoes so you can get thin, uniform chips.  Hopefully your mandolin works better than ours.  UPDATE:  I just realized one of my sponsors sells mandolins, Cultures for Health!  I’m going to get a new one!
  • Soak potatoes for a 1/2 hour in cold water, change the water and soak another 1/2 hour.  (Jeanne said this helps to lower the starch content in the potatoes, but I only had time for one soak.)
  • IMG_0184Dry well on kitchen towels.  Jeanne did each one individually, but I just laid them on this big cheesecloth, then laid another one over the top and patted it down.
  • In the meantime bring your cooking oil to 350*.
  • Fry potato chips in small batches, flip part-way through as needed and cook until desired color, just past golden brown.
  • IMG_0185Drain well and shake on sea salt.
  • Keep hot in a 325* oven until it’s time to serve.
  • Bring oil back up to 350* before cooking the next batch of potato chips.
  • Try shaking on some spices to make flavored potato chips!

We all went wild over these as you can imagine.  :)

IMG_0191

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  • { 37 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Michelle (Health Food Lover) February 17, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Yum they look great! I’m not sure if i’ve ever had beef tallow in my life (except of course IN beef). Then again certain donut shops here in oz do use it I beleive and some other fast food places. I’m not sure where I would get beef tallow but I reckon coconut oil would be a great substitute!

    Reply

    2 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE February 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

    YUMMY!

    Reply

    3 Cara @ Health Home and Happiness February 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

    How cool! I think we’d use more than one potato per person too ;)

    Reply

    4 Kate February 17, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Love it! I don’t have tallow yet so I used coconut oil (but plan to buy tallow soon). I need a mandolin slicer!

    Reply

    5 jenna of foodwithkidappeal February 17, 2010 at 9:51 am

    kelly, can you reuse the tallow once you’ve fried in it? i’m a southern girl from a farming family so fried okra, chicken fried steak, fried cornbread and well, fried everything is what i grew up on. but since we’ve made the switch to healthy oils i don’t fry as much because the amount of oil needed is cost prohibitive and i like you get freaky about oil reaching it’s smoke point. if you can reuse, how do you store it between uses, and what else do you use your tallow for.

    Reply

    6 Heather February 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Would coconut oil work instead of tallow?

    Reply

    7 Ellen@BodyEarth February 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Those chips look so good! I wish I hadn’t looked at the picture right before lunch — now nothing will compare :-) We’ll try making these.

    Reply

    8 Natural Health Goodies February 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I haven’t been a big fan of potato chips since I was a kid and didn’t know any better. :) But these sound great. I wonder would baking be an easier option to avoid going over the smoke point and perhaps using less oil? I too would be curious how coconut oil would work since I don’t have any beef tallow on hand.

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    9 Shannon February 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I use coconut oil with great success in all my frying (which isn’t that much) but I made chips last week with nutiva CO and they came out great. So, for those without tallow it’s probably good substitute. I put garlic and chipotle along with salt on mine when they were just out of the oil, delicious! I’ve also used a salad spinner for drying the slices with great success….I don’t have the counter space to lay them out on towels. Thanks Kelly!

    Reply

    10 Laurie N February 17, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Score! Real chips! Thanks for sharing, I’ve been thinking about giving these a try.

    Reply

    11 Sue E. February 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Darn; I had a mandolin for about 5 years and used it once. Guess I shouldn’t have just given it away to my out-of town sister-in-law!!

    Kelly, what are your comments to using coconut oil instead of the tallow?

    BTW, if you have any left, can you bring some to Bible Study Friday??!! :)

    Sue E.

    Reply

    12 KitchenKop February 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hey guys, I don’t know about deep frying in coconut oil. On the chart in the link above on smoke points it says that the temp for unrefined is 350*, and I deep fry between 350* and 375*. The refined coco oil might be good, though – that smoke point says 450* and it would go better with more foods since it has no flavor or smell. You could bake in the unrefined though, as long as you don’t set the temp for higher than 350*.

    What else to do with tallow?

    Ann Marie swears by the yummy pie crusts she makes with it, I’m making homemade donuts soon (!!), and here are more ideas: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/09/recipe-for-deep-fried-heaven.html

    John from USWM said this about reusing tallow:

    “How many times do you recommend that it can be safely reused?”

    I reuse mine 3-4 times, but don

    Reply

    13 bunkie February 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    i was wondering if baking would work too, like NHG mentioned?

    Reply

    14 Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life February 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    No fair, Kelly. I just bought potatoes and here you are tempting me to go off my milk diet. ;) Let me add this to the list of delicious real foods I want to eat in 22 days when I’m done. These look awesome, can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

    15 Hayli @ Superior Nut February 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m a kitchen experimenter so will definitely try this to keep it healthier AND save money. Thanks also for the recommendations on healthier oils! I too love fried foods (a little too much)!

    Reply

    16 Karen@Cook4Seasons February 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Can you fry these in a shallow skillet? I’m just afraid of the mess it will make – even with my splatter screen. I think I might try it with sweet potatoes and the coconut oil.

    Reply

    17 Raine Saunders February 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I have been wanting to make homemade potato chips, but just have not gotten around to them yet. I have been making home-made french fries though, in the oven with coconut oil and they are absolutely fantastic! I’ll be posting that recipe soon. It’s a big favorite here in our house. I do have tallow, but I’m saving it for recipes where tallow is really a necessary item because it’s expensive. Coconut oil can be expensive too, but the tallow costs more – I get mine from USWM.

    I also made home-made corn tortillas the other night with coconut oil too. They were delicious, but my husband said I should not have cooked them quite as long as I did – they came out sort of tough to chew. Has anyone made tortilla chips with healthy oil before, and if so, how long does it take to cook them so they are crispy but not too tough?

    Reply

    18 KitchenKop February 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Raine, I don’t know how long to cook the tortilla chips exactly, but Mmmm, they’re good. Just keep an eye on them and pull one out to test every so often to see if it’s as crispy as you like it.

    Karen, yes, you could, but we had a grease fire in our kitchen when I was a kid, so shallow pans to deep fry make me verrrrry nervous…

    Reply

    19 Paula Runyan February 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    We do this off and on, but, we like to use sweet potatos as a special treat.
    Shake on salt and pepper for some extra yummy!

    @ Kelly
    If you do want to try using a shallow pan, use cast iron, and keep another of the same size next to the stove. You can pop that over the pan if a fire were to ever occur. A cookie sheet works just as well.
    Using a lid does not work all that well, as they don’t have a handle to keep you from getting burned.

    Reply

    20 Raine Saunders February 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Here’s another question I wonder if anyone knows the answer to – if you are frying on the stove top, how do you know what temperatures the various settings are at? I’ve tried looking this up many times and cannot get a consistent answer. I don’t normally cook over medium for anything I prepare -except when I am bringing something to a boil and then turn down to simmer. And in my oven, I rarely go over 375. I have been making my coconut fries in the oven at about that temp, sometimes lower.

    Reply

    21 KitchenKop February 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Raine, you DON’T know, that’s the problem and the reason I bought fryers because those keep the temp just right and I don’t have to worry.

    Kelly

    Reply

    22 Jennifer Y. February 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I’m not a big chip person, but thanks for the great post!

    Reply

    23 Kate February 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Just in time! I was about to make a batch of vege (parsnip and golden beets) chips- I found some great ones at T. Joe’s but they use canola oil! :(
    question: I was going to bake mine w/ olive oil- do you have any thoughts on this? I want to make sure they are crispy enough….Thanks!

    Reply

    24 KitchenKop February 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Kate,
    As long as you’re getting enough animal fats otherwise I think that’s fine as long as you double check what the smoke point is (link above) for olive oil and don’t go over that. Sorry I don’t have time to go look that up right now…gotta run!
    Kelly

    Reply

    25 Dr.Susan Rubin February 19, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Hate to sound like a party pooper here, but what about acrylamides?
    I’m pretty sure that they are a result of cooking starch at high heat and / or pressure. They are found in chips, cereals etc.

    I’m all for the coconut oil or lard, its not about the fat.
    Just wondering if oven roasted potatoes might be lower in acrylamides than chips.

    Reply

    26 KitchenKop February 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Dr. Susan,

    It’s good that you brought this up! Apparently this applies for ANY starch cooked in ANY way except boiling (boiling is fine). Baking and roasting would have the same result, and especially when browning anything…just the way I like it, too, dang it!

    Here’s more I found:

    “Excessive cooked starches – This includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, breads, grains (such as rice, corn, peas, etc.), legumes, and any other starch that has been cooked. When high carbohydrate foods (especially starches) are cooked, acrylamides are formed. Acyralimdes are a very toxic cooked food by-product and well-known carcinogen. In fact, acrylamides are so toxic that the body must store them in adipose tissue (body fat), otherwise they would harm or kill cells and tissue, and most likely would result in cancer. So if you have hypertension because you are overweight, you better steer clear of cooked starches, or at least limit them and boil the ones you do eat (boiling creates the least acrylamides compared to all other cooking methods).”

    That’s from: http://ezinearticles.com/?Natural-Hypertension-Remedies,-Plus-a-Unique-Perspective-of-the-Condition&id=3647643

    So it sounds like our body knows to store it where it won’t be as harmful to us, but this basically is a GREAT reminder to me (AGAIN!) that we should only eat a LIMITED amount of starches in our diets anyway, especially the cooked ones, and that these potato chips aren’t as guilt-free as I’d hoped.

    This is why I tell people all the time, don’t just listen to what I say, there’s too much I don’t know!

    Thanks for bringing this up,
    Kelly

    Reply

    27 Jennifer February 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I love how I’m learning to make the foods we’re used to with a healthy twist. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

    28 Robin February 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Raine-I make homemade tortilla chips (and tostadas and taco shells) all the time but have so far only used store-bought corn tortillas (I do try to find a good-quality Mexican brand). I do want to make my own but when I tried in the past, it turned into a huge mess (I tried at least a couple times!) and never really did end up with actual tortillas! I keep thinking that trying it with a tortillas press might help…any tips on that?

    Anyway, when frying corn tortillas for chips, I have had them turn out chewy many times in the past and finally found that the main reason was from tortillas that were too thick. Try making the tortillas as thin as possible before cutting and frying. Another trick is also to maybe let them dry out a little before frying. I always used to use canola oil until I learned it wasn’t so healthy. So, I recently found some lard, and after using that several times to fry the chips, I have decided that LARD ROCKS for frying chips-they turn out crispier and not oily at all! I’ve never actually used a thermometer though for frying, so I have no idea what the temp is usually at (I just eyeball it), but if it’s not hot enough, they’ll take too long to cook and absorb too much oil.

    Assuming the oil is hot enough and your tortillas are nice and thin, they should cook fairly quickly-I like to see that they’re starting to brown before removing them. Hope this helps, as homemade chips and salsa just might be my favorite thing in the world! Now if I can just master the art of actually making the tortillas…:-)

    Reply

    29 KitchenKop February 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Robin, I think Cheeseslave has a good recipe for corn tortillas on her site?

    “Lard Rocks” – there should be a t-shirt that says that! :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    30 Robin February 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Hey Kelly-thanks, I’ll check out the recipe. I should note, though, that it’s not the recipe that’s the problem, it’s the method I’ve had trouble with, and I usually end up with a big sticky mess…:-)

    Reply

    31 KitchenKop February 22, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Hmmm, I’ve never tried it so I’m not much help. Maybe Cheeseslave’s method is different? I know she soaks the corn for a loooong time… Might be worth checking out. :)

    Reply

    32 Amy @ Finer Things February 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Those look delicious! I know the family would love them.

    Reply

    33 kskull June 28, 2010 at 10:54 am
    34 Barb November 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Would palm shortening work for frying? I guess I should check the smoke point. I’m a vegetarian, so beef tallow isn’t an option.

    Reply

    35 KitchenKop November 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Yes, check the smoke point on that one or also you could check the refined coconut oil.

    Reply

    36 anonymoose May 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I’d love to try this using blue potatoes and coconut oil!

    What I’m wondering is, what about using those small frying machines they sell at costco, to make chips? Anyone try any of these.. T-Fal Actifry Fryer , Presto FryDaddy , Kenmore Deep Fryer, Waring Pro, Bella Cucina, Cook’s Essentials Deep Fryer, Proctor Silex, etc, etc

    Reply

    37 KitchenKop May 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Have you seen this post about what I use to fry in?

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/02/kitchen-gadgets.html

    Reply

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