Sure... you can open a store bought bag of crunchy, crispy, salty potato chips and stuff them mindlessly into your mouth... I would be totally lying if I claimed to have never done that myself. It's fun, isn't it?
But for a special occasion, or if you want to do something nice for someone... homemade potato chips will really impress!It's really not as much work or as time consuming or as messy as you might think.
Make a platter of potato chips for an impromptu late night snack and you'll probably make someone very happy!
First let's talk potatoes... I grow two varieties of potatoes: Pontiac Reds and Kennebecs. I can tell you that Pontiac Reds don't make very good potato chips. They just don't seem to fry up well. Kennebecs, however, make great potato chips! Kennebecs fry up light and crispy, and they resist burning. I'm sure that some other varieties of potatoes also make good chips... I just don't know of them since I only grow these two kinds myself. (I would love to hear what other potatoes make good chips... please share if you have made good chips with other potatoes! I want to know!)Next, let's talk about slicing those potatoes. They need to be very thin. I can't cut them thin enough by hand. The slicing attachment on my food processor doesn't slice them thin enough, either. What works well for me is to use a cheese slicer. This slices them just right!
Then there's the oil... peanut oil is a good fry oil, but I've also used vegetable oil with great success.
And then there's the frying pot... you don't need to use a deep fryer to make these. I'm not inclined to lug out the deep fryer just to make a small batch of chips for snacking... so I use my trusty old cast iron pot. But you can use any deep pot. I like to use something heavy if I'm heating oil because it reduces the chance that I'll accidentally knock it off the stove. (Help. Let's not even think about that.)
So, heat your oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and drop a handful of potato slices into the pot. I leave the thermometer in the pot and I watch it. The temperature cools a bit when I add the potato slices. I try not to let the temperature go below 300 degrees. I let the handful of potato slices fry for 2-3 minutes. Then I scoop them out and place them on a plate (line the plate with a paper towel if you wish but these really aren't very greasy).Sprinkle just a wee bit of salt on the chips right away, then let them cool. (It's fun to use something special, like fine ground sea salt on these!) Add more salt later, if needed.
These are so good! And they are so easy! Serve with or without your favorite dip (I like Fresh Buttermilk Dressing) and wash them down with a tasty beer. These will make you (and maybe someone else) very happy!Can I make true confession? Potato chips are so quick and easy to make (and easy to clean up, too) that I have been known to fry up a little batch of these when I'm all by myself!