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Homemade Potato Chips


Demetrius
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After familiarizing myself with the topic of mandoline's on this site, and then researching the various models on Amazon, I am days away from purchasing a MIU model.

In addition to looking forward to quickly slicing various veggies, I am interested in learning how to make potatoe chips. And, whether it is necessary to deep fry them?

I would like to try both Russert's and Sweet Potatoes, but wanted to ask if anyone had any experience with making homemade chips, and if so, what advise could be offered.

Thank you.

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What about deep frying versus baking?  If the former, what oil do you suggest using?

I always fry them. As for the oil, it depends what I am cooking. For the baby artichokes I use EVOO, for potato chips, I like something very neutral, and go with a vegetable or canola oil. Sometimes, I will use peanut oil, but really all that matters is that the oil is fresh, and has not been heated to its smoke point.
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Lard.

I have to disagree. I am not disagreeing with the taste that frying in lard produces, because everything tastes better cooked in good lard. My issue is that it is nearly impossible to find a properly rendered lard and even more difficult to find any white leaf lard these days. The crap that is sold in most grocery stores is not worth buying, and will ruin the flavor on whatever you cook in it.
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FYI, if you want to try a local verson, the Quarry House in Silver Spring has them on their menu. Not sure how they make them, but I bet they may tell you if asked. They served them with a dill dip that was pretty good. They were thinly sliced and fried nice and crispy. The chips went very well with a cold beer.

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I always fry them. As for the oil, it depends what I am cooking. For the baby artichokes I use EVOO, for potato chips, I like something very neutral, and go with a vegetable or canola oil. Sometimes, I will use peanut oil, but really all that matters is that the oil is fresh, and has not been heated to its smoke point.

I have used my mandoline with the wavy end to make sweet potato waffle shapes and fryed them in peanut oil. The brand of mandaline I have is a Bron Coucke made in France and am very pleased with the quality of the item. If you do not have a lot of experience with using a mandaline don't forget to use the sliding guide. Be careful its sharp!

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I'm in, but it most likely can't happen until late spring.  I will have to find a source for good quality lard.

Polyface Farm, which comes to both Arlington and Dupont Circle Farmers' Markets, sells kettle rendered lard by the quart from their organically raised heirloom pork. I doubt that it is made solely with leaf fat, but it is very pure and has no preservatives in it.

Edited by zoramargolis
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Making your own potato chips is a fine idea but, beware; getting a real, heavy-duty mandolin is not unlike getting your first Cuisinart food processor. One is tempted to puree EVERYTHING initially.

I bought an expensive Bron mandolin many years ago for the sole purpose of making those potato-wrapped salmon filets. Yes, it was quite the party trick and real tasty to boot. Haven't done that again in years. :lol: I even thinly sliced some large beets just so I could use my heart-shaped cookie cutter to line a salad plate with the things for Valentine's Day. HAH! Yes, I did.

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And, do you have any suggestions as far as what to season the cooked chips with after frying?

Depends what you like. I season mine with either plain sea salt (use the fine stuff), or play around with various spice rubs. Right now I am playing around with some various flavorings to get either a beef or chicken flavored chip like you would find in the UK. What I don't recommend is that you try to make your own salt and vinegar chips as the liquid will ruin the crispness of the chip. But whatever you use for flavoring, make sure that it goes on as soon as the chips come out of the oil, and they still sheen.
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That depends on how hot your oil is, how thin you cut the potatoes, and how much moisture is in the potatoes. You really need to watch them and when they start to brown they are most likely done. If you like them a bit more cooked, keep them in a little longer. Remember, they will continue to cook for a minute or two after you take them out of the oil.

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What I don't recommend is that you try to make your own salt and vinegar chips as the liquid will ruin the crispness of the chip.

I think you are confusing the practice of sprinkling malt vinegar on french fried potatoes with the commercial "salt and vinegar" potato chips, which are not actually made with vinegar. If you look closely at the ingredients on the bag, you'll see that citric acid is used--the same thing that makes sour candy sour. Citric acid can be sprinkled onto potato chips with sea salt and will make the chips sour but not soggy. You can buy it in a spice section or get some from Penzey's. Sometimes it is labelled "sour salt". It is often used in traditional Eastern European sweet and sour dishes.

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I think you are confusing the practice of sprinkling malt vinegar on french fried potatoes with the commercial "salt and vinegar" potato chips, which are not actually made with vinegar. If you look closely at the ingredients on the bag, you'll see that citric acid is used--the same thing that makes sour candy sour. Citric acid can be sprinkled onto potato chips with sea salt and will make the chips sour but not soggy. You can buy it in a spice section or get some from Penzey's. Sometimes it is labelled "sour salt". It is often used in traditional Eastern European sweet and sour dishes.

I am not confusing it at all, it was simply a warning to not try to use the vinegar if the cook wants to try to reproduce that flavor.
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That depends on how hot your oil is, how thin you cut the potatoes, and how much moisture is in the potatoes.  You really need to watch them and when they start to brown they are most likely done.  If you like them a bit more cooked, keep them in a little longer.  Remember, they will continue to cook for a minute or two after you take them out of the oil.

All commercial chip makers seem to use a special potato they call a "chip" potato or "chipper." It's grown for the purpose. Does anybody know how to lay hands on any of these, or what available potato type most closely resembles them? Or is it irrelevant?

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All commercial chip makers seem to use a special potato they call a "chip" potato or "chipper."  It's grown for the purpose.  Does anybody know how to lay hands on any of these, or what available potato type most closely resembles them?  Or is it irrelevant?

Before you get hooked on the idea of buying such potatoes, read the chapter on the cultivation of Russet Burbanks in Michael Pollan's fascinatingThe Botany of Desire.

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