How To Make Homemade Potato Chips

04/20/2012 09:11 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

If the Neelys' quick demonstration didn't leave you with indestructible confidence in homemade potato chip making, read on for some further explanation -- and don't feel bad, you're not alone.

Deep frying can create a lot of anxiety. It involves a ton of hot oil (which has the bad habit of jumping out at you). And then, there's the high expectations you have to meet since store-bought potato chips are so good. Is it really worth the time and effort to make them yourself? Well, there's a reason people bother cooking them up. Once you produce a (successful) batch, you'll understand why. Potato chips are infinitely tastier, and much healthier, when made in your own kitchen.

There's one thing we want to make clear before we begin. You don't need a fancy deep fryer or mandoline to make these crisp potatoes at home. All you need are some good potatoes (which is crucial!), a knife, a bit of oil (preferably peanut oil) and a cooking method (whether that's a fryer, frying pan, oven or microwave). With those basic tools, the best potato chips are yours to achieve.

Now it's time for potato chip making.
You'll need:
1-2 medium Yukon Gold or Idaho potatoes (1 will make roughly 3-4 servings)
A mandoline, knife or potato peeler
2 cups canola or peanut oil (if frying) or 3 tablespoons oil (if baking)

  • Slice the potatoes about 1/8 of an inch thick using either a mandoline, potato peeler or knife.
  • Soak the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. This step releases the excess starch from the potato and helps it get really crispy when cooked.
  • Once done soaking, dry the potatoes completely. Too much water left on the potatoes can cause the oil to spit.
  • If you're going to fry your chips, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Carefully place a handful of potatoes into the fryer, and allow them to turn golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Make sure that there's not too much crowding so that the chips can properly crisp. Take them out and let them drain on paper towels.
  • If you're going to bake the potatoes, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the potatoes in the 3 tablespoons of oil. Bake them until golden brown (about 12-15 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up even more.
  • It you're going the microwaving route, coat the potatoes with oil or cooking spray. Spread the chips in a single layer on a microwavable plate. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes (until properly browned).
  • Once your chips are cooked, season them to your liking. Salt is always a good way to go, but you can also add garlic powder, cheese powder, paprika or curry powder for a little more excitement.

The chips will keep in an air tight container for three days, though we doubt they'll last longer than an hour.

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