Our top tips on how to make the perfect homemade chips
Once you master the secret on how to cook homemade chips for yourself, you'll never want to buy shop-bought again.
So, if you're wanting to make crispy and delicious homemade chips more regularly, follow the expert advice from our cookery team.
What is the secret of making good chips?
Well first up, it's all about using the right potatoes..
Which potatoes are best?
The key to the perfect chip, is to use a floury potato like King Edward or Maris Piper, and ensure they're cut into evenly sized, uniform fries. This means you'll get evenly cooked chips at the end with a crispy outer shell, but a soft and fluffy centre, rather than the half frazzled, and half undercooked.
Don't skip the soaking step!
It's imperative you soak your potatoes for at least 30mins. This helps remove most of the starch in the potato, resulting in a crispier finish! It also means that some of the natural sugars are removed, meaning that the outside won't burn before the middle is cooked.
But before you go reaching for your trusty olive oil, don't! You want a light, neutral oil with a high smoke point like vegetable or rapeseed. However, if you like the flavour, dripping or goose fat are also great options.
Do you need to parboil homemade chips?
For a quicker fry, and to gurantee extra crispy fries, we'd recommend parboiling your cut potatoes until a fork goes into them easily (not to the point where they break easily once you check doneness with a fork).
Once you've drained your parboiled chips, we'd recommend arranging a single layer on a cooling rack until they're completely cool, or pat dry with kitchen paper.
This is not essential, but this step helps them crisp them up later!
No deep fat fryer?
No problem! The method below uses a deep fat fryer, but if you don't have one then you can use a large pan instead.
Top tips when deep fat frying in a pan:
Choose a large, heavy bottomed pan with handles
Always use a pan with a tightly fitting lid incase the oil catches fire
Have a damp tea towel to hand to smother any potential remaining flames
Never put wet potatoes into hot oil as the oil will spit
Use an oil with a high smoking point, such as vegetable or sunflower oil
Always check the temperature of your oil, following the temperatures below, with a food thermometer
Only ever fill the pan up with oil no more than halfway
Never leave the pan unattended
Fry in small batches so that the oil temperature doesn't drop too dramatically
When discarding your oil, allow it to cool completely and decant it back into it's original bottle and then throw that bottle into the bin. Never pour oil down the sink.
Why double fry?
The fries in the method below are cooked twice. First at a lower temperature, then cooled and fried at a higher temperature for a second time. This ensures the deliciously crispy coating everyone wants when biting into a chip!
Why are my homemade chips not crispy?
It's likely that too many chips were cooked at once (a crowded pan is never a good thing) and doing so means the temperature of the oil decreases, resulting in soggy, greasy chips.
Fries or chips?
The method below is for thick cut chips, but the thicker cut isn't for everyone! If you prefer a fry, cut your potatoes thinner and par cook them initially until light brown and then fry until deep brown on the second cook.
Either go classic with salt and vinegar or try mixing it up with the addition of dried herbs, spices such as paprika and garam masala or, go extra decadent with melted cheese! Experiment with flavours that you enjoy.
To make the perfect homemade chips you will need:
Floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper
Vegetable or sunflower oil
For the best home cooked chips, use a deep fat fryer or a deep pot filled with oil (and have a digital thermometer handy).
Peel and cut potatoes into thick slices, then cut slices into sticks. Use floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, as these have a soft, fluffy texture.
Leave in a bowl of cold water for 30min to remove excess starch. Drain in a tea towel or on kitchen paper. Make sure they are completely dry on the surface as this will give a crunchy, crisp result.
Heat the oil to 160°C. Never leave hot fat unattended at any time.
Quarter fill frying basket or pot with chips, lower into the oil and cook for 6-7min. Fry in batches.
Raise basket to drain then set aside to cool. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
Turn heat up to 190°C and fry all the chips together for a second time, for 3min, until crisp and golden. Drain, season and serve.
Ta-dah, the perfect homemade oven chips.
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