Homemade Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips – Homemade In The Kitchen
Crispy Homemade Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips you can make from scratch! Recipes for baked potato chips and fried potato chips provided. Recipe now updated to give these potato chips that lip-smacking flavor thanks to vinegar powder, just store-bought chips!
For the longest time, I’ve had “make my own potato chips” on my bucket list. Something I did a long, long time ago when taking foods class in middle school. So long ago that I’m pretending I never did.
The problem is you have to cut the potatoes thin to crisp up; otherwise they become French fries (French chips?). Unless you have superior knife skills, you need a mandoline to slice them properly.
I finally bought a handheld mandoline and can finally cross homemade salt and vinegar chips off of my list.
The key to making chips is having thin enough slices. Too thick and the middle becomes cooked, not crisped.
My mandoline has three settings. I emailed the company and found out the measurements for each setting. Setting 1 is 1.5 mm; setting 2 is 2.5 mm; and setting 3 is 4.5 mm. If you’re using a different brand, your settings will vary.
I started out on setting 3 but realized my slices were a tad thick for chips, so then I switched to setting 2 then to setting 1. Much better.
If you’re making a dish such as easy cheesy stovetop scalloped potatoes or garlic parmesan au gratin potatoes, then you’ll want to use setting 2 or 3 for uniformed yet slightly thicker slices.
To use the mandoline, place it over any bowl and use the gripper to hold the item you are slicing. This is very important because the blade is sharp.
However, some long and skinny vegetables such as carrots or parsnips don’t grip very well. When I sliced some carrots for a soup, I couldn’t use the gripper until I got closer to the blade. Fatter produce such as potatoes and apples gripped just fine.
Because the blade is so sharp, my mandoline has two safety devices. The first is locking the blade in place. Make sure you do this before washing.
Second is the gripper slides onto the mandoline and covers the blade for storage. This is very critical if you have a junk drawer of tools (me!) and that you don’t accidentally cut yourself when reaching for something else.
Now for the best part – the chips!
I chose salt and vinegar chips because that’s one of my favorite flavors. Not only do I love the taste, it helps calm my stomach when I feel nauseous from motion sickness.
Typically when you make chips, you soak the slices in water. For these chips, you soak them in vinegar instead.
I’ve experimented with 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours. I highly recommend 2 hours for maximum flavor; however, if you are in a hurry, soak at least 1 hour. 30 minutes only gives some hint of vinegar.
Update 1/11/15: I updated the recipe to reduce soaking time since the flavor now comes from vinegar powder.
I also made these chips two ways – fried and baked.
I’m going to include directions for both methods, but I think I’m going to stick with baking. The result of both methods produces crispy chips, so why add extra calories?
However, frying cooks them much faster. If you have the time, bake them. If not, fry them.
In addition to potato chips, I also made apple chips the same way. The possibilities are endless – carrot chips, sweet potato chips, even beet chips.
This photo shows the chips are on a rack after they are fried, not baked. Sorry for the confusion.
Update 1/11/15: Thanks to several readers, I was introduced to vinegar powder, which is the key to giving these potato chips that lip-smacking store-bought flavor. Although soaking them in vinegar did help, the vinegar flavor was subtle.
After multiple test batches, the best way to achieve maximum flavor is to toss the chips into the vinegar powder and salt after frying or baking.
Because the flavor now comes from the powder and not soaking, I reduced soaking time to a half hour, which is still needed to ensure the chips crisp up. You can buy vinegar powder online.
Items You May Need:
- 1 large russet potato, peeling optional (roughly 6-8 ounces)
- 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar (or water in a pinch)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar powder* (see Note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Frying oil (such as vegetable or peanut), enough to fill a fryer or to brush slices before baking
- With a mandoline, thinly slice the potato to about 1/10 inch (2.5 mm) thick. You do not want to see through the slices.**
- Put the potato slices in a bowl and pour vinegar over top. The potatoes should be submerged – if not, add more liquid. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain and pat completely dry.
- In a large bowl (preferably with a lid so you can shake it for easier coating), combine the vinegar powder and salt.
If you're frying the chips:
- Fill a fryer (or a really deep saucepan) with frying oil of choice and heat to 350F. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet.
- When the oil is ready, ensure the potato slices are completely dry. Fry a few at a time until golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd the fryer. Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the slices, but the average is 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the chips and place on the cooling rack. Let cool for a few minutes to allow them to crisp up then toss in the salt and vinegar mixture.
- Repeat with the remaining slices, ensuring the oil is 350F when frying. You may need to pause in between batches to let the oil heat up again.
If you're baking the chips:
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Ensure the potato slices are completely dry then place the slices in a single layer on the two sheets. Brush each slice with oil.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp (but not burnt). If you find that some of the smaller pieces are baking faster after 10 minutes, you can remove those then finish baking the rest. Let cool for a few minutes to finish crisping up then toss in the salt and vinegar mixture.
Vinegar powder is the key to giving these chips that lip-smacking store-bought flavor. You can buy vinegar powder online.
More Snack Recipes
Homemade Barbecue Potato Chips
Homemade Pita Chips
Salt and Vinegar Popcorn
Chili Cheese Popcorn
Irish Cheese and Bacon Popcorn
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny bit of commission if you buy through these links. Each penny made goes back into the blog.
The Best Homemade French Fries. Ever. • The Prairie Homestead
As I’ve progressed along in my read food journey, I’ve noticed that my taste buds have changed. I’ve gradually lost my cravings for many of my once-loved processed food favorites, and I’m pleased to report that my palate has happily adjusted to fresh ingredients and flavorful whole foods.
There is one “junk food” that I still love just as much as ever.
And not just any french fries– I still adore the ones that come from America’s favorite fast-food chain (you know, the one with the big yellowish arches…)
But those delicious sticks of potato-perfection are fried in a canola/soybean oil blend… And I definitely try to avoid processed vegetable oils…
Thankfully, french fries don’t have to be junk food if you make them with the proper ingredients. Wanna know the secret to perfect fries?
In fact, that certain fast-food chain referenced above used to cook their fries in beef tallow, until they sadly switched to the icky vegetable oils in 1990.
Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, beef tallow is actually a “good” fat? More and more evidence is popping up, showing us that animals fats ( tallow) are actually better for us than modern industrial oil alternatives. Lard is back, baby!
(You can easily render your own tallow at home– check out my beef tallow tutorial for all the details.)
Now, I oven fries too (the kind you stick on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven). BUT. Sometimes only a true-blue fried French fry will do, and that is where these babies come in.
How to Make French Fries at Home
(There aren’t really precise measurements for this– you’ll just have to eyeball this one according to what you have on hand.)
- Potatoes (You can use any kind, but I particularly love using my homegrown Yukon Golds. I usually use 4-6 potatoes for my small family.)
- Cold water (optional)
- Beef Tallow OR Lard (see my note below for other fat options)
- Sea Salt (I use this one)
Cut the potatoes (peeled or unpeeled– your choice) into sticks or wedges. Keep in mind that the thicker they are, the longer they will take to fry.
Place the potato sticks in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow the potatoes to soak for about an hour.
Once you are ready to fry, place the beef tallow in a deep stockpot (enough for there to be 3-4 inches of liquid fat once it melts) and heat it to approximately 350 degrees.
Remove the potatoes from the water and pat them dry. (I usually just use a clean kitchen towel to do this, although paper towels work as well.)
Carefully place the potato sticks into the hot oil. Do not fry the entire batch at once– you’ll need to do several, smaller batches for the best result.
It takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes per batch, depending on how crunchy you prefer your fries and how thickly they are cut. (I softer fries, while my hubby prefers them nice and crunchy.)
Stir them occasionally and watch for them to turn that lovely shade of golden brown. If you aren’t sure if they are ready or not, taste-testing is best way to check. (And it’s also one of the perks of being the cook…)
Once they are finished, remove them from the hot oil and place on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Generously toss with sea salt and serve immediately.
- If you don’t have lard or tallow, I’ve heard that palm shortening is another healthy fat that is stable at high temperatures (although it won’t have the lovely “beefy” undertone of the tallow….)
- It’s thought that soaking the potatoes in water helps the end result to be crispier. (I think it has something to do with the starch.
) I’ve had great results using this method, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you find yourself short on time, just skip that step.
- I’m sure a home-fryer this one would work for this recipe. However since I don’t have one, I’ve found that a deep stockpot works just as well.
- I also don’t have a frying thermometer, so I just experiment until I find the right temp. I’ll often place one “sacrifice” fry in the oil as it heats up. Once it starts sizzling, I know it’s ready.
- Be careful not to overload the pot– stick with smaller batches. A crowded pot takes forever to fry, and they are more prone to be soggy.
- These do not store well– you’ll have to eat them all right away. (I’m so sorry.
- I hope you have better self-control than I do, because I usually can’t stop myself from devouring them while I wait for the remaining batches to finish…
Enjoy your homemade fries with some grassfed burgers (or even some homemade fish sticks) and a generous side of ketchup. Who says healthy food has to be boring?
- Potatoes (I use 4-5 Yukon Golds for my small family)
- Cold water (optional)
- Beef Tallow OR Lard
- Sea Salt (I use this one)
- Cut potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) into sticks or wedges
- Place potato sticks in a bowl
- Cover with cold water
- Allow potatoes to soak for about one hour.
- When ready to fry, place enough beef tallow in deep stockpot to equal 3-4 inches when melted
- Heat to approximately 350 degrees
- Remove potatoes from the water
- Pat dry (a clean kitchen towel works)
- Carefully place some of the potato sticks into hot oil
- You’ll need to do several, smaller batches for best results
- It takes 5-10 minutes per batch, depending how thickly cut they are and how crunchy you them (I softer fries, hubby prefers crunchy)
- Stir occasionally and watch for that lovely shade of golden brown
- Once finished, remove from hot oil and place on paper-towel lined baking sheet
- Generously toss with sea salt and serve immediately
This post contains affiliate links.