^
Keep New Times Free
4

Baked vs. Fried: The Great Potato Chip Debate Comes Home

Ridged. Fried. Kettle cut. Baked. What seems like a simple, easy snack -- the classic potato chip -- is now found in supermarkets in a gazillion combinations of flavor, texture and cooking method.

While it'd be easy to grab a few bags and make the taste test comparison, Cooking Virgin went a step further by slicing a few Idaho spuds and putting her stove to the test in a potato chip mash-up.

Potato chips are relatively easy to make at home, provided you have a few simple tools -- and a foam fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

What You'll Need:
3 Idaho Potatoes
2 tsp butter
1 bottle canola oil
Salt, pepper and seasonings to taste

Learn how to get baked and fried with minimal effort, after the jump.
   

The Virgin's DeStructions:

1.  First, scrub the outside of your potatoes and remove any eyes or black spots.

2.  Cut potatoes into thin slices using a mandolin (the chef's tool, not the stringed musical instrument) or very sharp chef's knife. According to the backseat fryer I had visiting, the slices should ideally be so paper-thin and translucent that you can see your hand through them. If you prefer your snack food a little thicker around the middle, or your knife skills are as pitiful as The Virgin's, thin enough to see some vague light through works just fine.

3. Rinse potato slices in a colander and dump into a large mixing bowl filled with cold water. Separate any sticky slices with your fingers and swish around in the bowl for one minute until water gets slightly cloudy.

4. Leave potatoes to soak for at least one hour to remove the starch. If you're hungry in the meantime, don't feel bad about cracking open a bag of Kettle Chips or Ruffles while you're waiting. You can always call it "research."

5. Drain potato slices on a towel until most of the moisture is gone. This is a key step for safety.

6. Pour the bottle of oil into a medium-sized metal stockpot and place over medium heat for about five minutes or until the oil begins to simmer. Wildly toss a couple of potato slices in and watch your friends run for cover as they anticipate second-degree burns. Feel the relief when you realize you drained the potatoes properly and will not need to call 9-1-1.

7. Put the fire extinguisher down until later.

8. Use tongs to place a thin layer of potato slices in the oil and cook over medium heat until edges are slightly brown and slices are crisp.

9. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the potato slices and set them on paper towels to drain. Flavor with salt, pepper, garlic or other spices to taste.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

For baked chips: Follow directions 1-5, while preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease each potato slice with butter and place on nonstick cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes, until edges are crisp and brown. Note: If you over-grease the cookie sheet, your oven will set off your smoke alarm and cause everyone in your home to flee outside to avoid the greasy burned potato stench. Just sayin'.

The results: Making your own potato chips on the stove or in the oven is easier then expected -- and if you remember to do each step perfectly, you won't even need to disarm your home's safety features!

The pot-fried chips were crisp and thin, with the greasy coating and salty, starchy taste that the big-name brands have. The baked chips, on the other hand, burned far too easily and were left raw in the middle regardless of how high I turned the oven temperature up. I don't know how the genius originators of Baked! Lay's did it, but for the home cook, fried potato chips are far easier and tastier than their more healthful counterparts.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.