Not so long ago, my friend Ewa (the one who taught me how to make homemade fondant) posted about how excited she was to have made homemade potato chips, and how easy it was to do so, using her spiralizer (she has the same spiralizer that I have). I had asked her to write a guest post for me on how she did it, and just my luck, just after I posted yesterday that I wasn't able to keep up the posting rate because I've been sick, she sent me this guest post.
I hope you like it!
As soon as I'm fully back on my feet again, I intend to try this. It should be fun! And since my husband really enjoys eating his chips and cottage cheese at work for lunch, maybe I can see
P.S. Already on the upward mend! Today I already feel so much better than yesterday!
Don't laugh.... I made my own potato chips.
If you would have asked me about home-made potato chips a few weeks ago, I would have laughed. If I hadn't made them myself, I would say that it sounds like a lot of effort. In a perfect world, all of our DIY food projects would be easy and fast and save money and be environmentally friendly and be healthier and taste better than the stuff you buy in stores.... but in real life, there are tradeoffs. Until I got my spiralizer, I would never have thought that making potato chips was easy... or that the chips would turn out so well.
Spiralizers are cool. That was my reason for buying one, so when mine arrived in the mail, I tried to spiralize every fruit and vegetable I had in my house... with mixed results. How you make tasty DIY potato chips is by using the 'slicer' blade and deep-frying the spirals... easy enough.
As a test, I started out with a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of potatoes.
In general, I pay between $0.57-$0.85 a kilo, or $0.29-$0.39 cents per pound for white potatoes. Using the slicer blade, I turned all the potatoes into pretty spiral ribbons. Of course, the machine doesn't slice the entire potato and leaves behind a 'stump'... so a kilo of potatoes didn't necessarily translate to a kilo of spiralized potatoes. After the spirals were done, I broke them up into smaller segments.
I don't have a deep fryer, so I just use oil in my deepest pot. Using a deep pot is important because there will be a sudden frenzy of bubbling oil when you drop your potatoes into your pot of hot oil. If the pot is deep, no worries... if the pot is shallow, you will have hot oil splattered all over your stove top. I used a stainless steel soup pot, nothing fancy. The best oils to use for deep-drying are neutral-tasting oils which have a high smoke-point. My personal preference is canola oil.... for the reasons I stated and because I can buy a liter bottle for $1.42-$2.29.
I started off by heating the oil in the pot... the more oil, the better. I put a whole 1 liter bottle in my pot. When the oil was hot, I dropped half of my potatoes inside. When deep-drying, food needs to have some space so it cooks quickly, a crowded pot will take forever to cook. I needed two batches to get my potatoes fried. After a couple of minutes of frying, I stirred the potato spirals around... flipping them over a bit. After a few minutes, I saw that they were becoming brown and crispy, so I removed them and left them in a metal colander.... and then placed them on a paper-towel lined pan, to absorb excess oil. The last step was to sprinkle seasoned salt on them.
The first time I tried this, I was surprised at how well they turned out. They tasted like those pricey Kettle chips! The kilo (2.2 lbs) of potatoes I used yielded 277 grams of chips (0.61 lbs/9.8 ounces).
Let me say the obvious thing: after you deep-fry, let the oil cool and put it through a strainer and save it. If you dump a liter of oil in your pot, it's not "used up". I save the oil for the next time I need to deep-fry something or in recipes that call for oil (roasted potatoes, casseroles.. etc).
For the sake of calculating costs, let's assume that 1/4 of my bottle was used up in my chip-making. For 277 grams of chips, at most, I paid $0.85 for the potatoes and $0.57 for oil. Compare that $1.42 to the price of a 241 gram/9.8 ounce bag of Kettle chips. Even regular store-bought chips aren't so cheap.... this is half the price of a large-sized bag of name-brand potato chips.
In the end, would I say that making your own potato chips is worth it? Yes. It's a considerable savings over store-bought chips. There are no bags to throw away. Making the chips takes about as much time as it would take me to walk to the convenience store and get home. I don't think the chips I made were necessarily healthier than store-bought ones, but if you had someone in your family who was sensitive to spices, this would be perfect, since you season the chips yourself.
What it (literally..lol) boils down to is that it's fun to make something tasty from such simple ingredients. This is a fun treat I have made for my family, but not something I would necessarily make for a party... I only had patience for frying two batches of chips, since you need to keep an eye on them as they're frying to make sure they don't burn.
So yeah, you should do it.
I also tried this with sweet potatoes (they were too hard and would not spiralize) and beets (spiralized allright, made OK chips) and I am eagerly awaiting the winter, so i can try it with turnips. You can try making these chips with any starchy root vegetables.
Note from Penny:
I don't use canola oil in my house since I don't think it is healthy. Most of the potato chips sold locally are made with sunflower oil, which is somewhat better for you than canola oil- because it isn't genetically modified to be able to withstand heavy pesticides... Additionally, when you reuse these oils oils, they become more and more unhealthy each time they're reused. So I don't recommend canola oil from a health standpoint for this recipe.
I would use refined coconut oil, because I buy it in bulk cheaply- only $1.29 per pound- and it has a very high smoke point and when it is reused again and again for deep frying it doesn't get damaged and become unhealthy the way most other oils do.
But feel free to use canola oil or sunflower oil if cost is your primary concern- and it certainly won't be less healthy than store bought chips, that's for sure.