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Subject: How to make Crisps (Potato Chips)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: djmg2[at]lycos.co.uk
Date: 30 Jan 2006 08:55:16 -0800
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Hi All,

Does anybody have some good tips on making crisps? I am in the UK so my
question relates to thin snack crisps what non-British would probably
call potato chips!!

I have had a look around Google and it is a bit of a mysterious art. So
far I have found the following tips:
#  Maris Piper potatoes (or older potatoes) are best
#  A 'mandolin' is generally used to slice them evenly and safely (but
I don't know what a good thickness is)
#  Vegetable oil is ok - some people like peanut oil. Walkers Crisps
use a blend of palm olein vegetable oil and high oleic sunflower oil to
make all its crisps products. There is less saturated fat in high oleic
sunflower oil.

But then how to flavour them? I want to have a go at making some spicy
chilli crisps. Is it just making sure the spice mix is really fine then
sprinkling it over when still hot?

Some suggestions talk about parboiling (30 secs) then drying before
frying.

Any tips on potato variety, which oil, what temperature, how long to
cook, how to avoid sticking, etc., would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Mat G
Birmingham, UK

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From: Johnny Dividas 
Date: 30 Jan 2006 11:13:34 -0800
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http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.cooking/search?group=rec.food.cooking&q=homemade+potato+chips&qt_g=1&searchnow=Search+this+group

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From: Elaine Parrish 
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 13:28:07 -0600
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On 30 Jan 2006 djmg2@lycos.co.uk wrote:

> I have had a look around Google and it is a bit of a mysterious art. So
> far I have found the following tips:
> #  Maris Piper potatoes (or older potatoes) are best

Most any potato will do. The commercial producers here in the US, mostly,
use a large, white, baking potato. My grandmother used a red-skinned
boiling potato (so do I).

Do you make "French fries" or fried potatoes, if so, use the same
potatoes.

> #  A 'mandolin' is generally used to slice them evenly and safely (but
> I don't know what a good thickness is)

A mandolin (or any like-kind tool) is good. A vegetable peeler (for
peeling the outside of the potato off) is good. AAMOF, a vegetable (or
potato) peeler is ideal.

If you want USA style potato chips, the thinner the slices the better.
"Paper thin", "see-through thin" is best.

> #  Vegetable oil is ok - some people like peanut oil. Walkers Crisps
> use a blend of palm olein vegetable oil and high oleic sunflower oil to
> make all its crisps products. There is less saturated fat in high oleic
> sunflower oil.

Any vegetable oil (or combination of oils) that is used for frying is
fine. Peanut oil is often suggested for "deep frying" because it will
take more heat before it breaks down (meaning you can use it over and
over or you can fry for a longer time).

Highly flavored oils - like olive oil - has a "flavor" of it's own and
that flavor will transfer to the frying food.

> But then how to flavour them? I want to have a go at making some spicy
> chilli crisps. Is it just making sure the spice mix is really fine then
> sprinkling it over when still hot?

Yes. Use a shaker jar or a flour sifter, etc and coat them while they are
hot as they come out of the oil

> Some suggestions talk about parboiling (30 secs) then drying before
> frying.

I don't know about this. I never parboiled a potato to fry.

> Any tips on potato variety, which oil, what temperature, how long to
> cook, how to avoid sticking, etc., would be greatly appreciated!

Fry at about 350 - 360 degrees.

Fry for a couple of minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Drain raw potatoes well. Pat dry on a towel.

Choose a deep cooking pot. Do not fill the pot more than two-thirds full
(one-half full is safer). Oil expands when heated and expands even more
when a large portion of something is dropped into it. It will bubble up
and run over the sides of the pot. This can burn you (the bubbling
up part, so watch your hands) and/or start a fire - especially if you are
cooking with gas (the running over the sides part).

Wet potatoes will sizzle violently, just like dropping water into hot oil.

Working quickly, drop raw potatoes into hot oil a few at a time.

Do not put too many potatoes in the hot oil at one time Do not crowd the
potatoes in the pan. The oil must be deep enough for the potato chips to
float. Each chip must have its own little space of oil or the chips
will stick together in a big mass. They should never touch the bottom of
the pan.

Be ready to fish them out of the oil with some kind of utensil with holes
in it so the oil will drain back into the cooking pot

Ideally, drain cooked chips on a cooling rack.

Sprinkle on seasoning.

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From: Dan Abel 
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 13:23:11 -0800
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djmg2 wrote:

> Does anybody have some good tips on making crisps? I am in the UK so my
> question relates to thin snack crisps what non-British would probably
> call potato chips!!

It's quite simple but tedious.
 
> I have had a look around Google and it is a bit of a mysterious art. So
> far I have found the following tips:
> #  Maris Piper potatoes (or older potatoes) are best
> #  A 'mandolin' is generally used to slice them evenly and safely (but
> I don't know what a good thickness is)
> #  Vegetable oil is ok - some people like peanut oil. Walkers Crisps
> use a blend of palm olein vegetable oil and high oleic sunflower oil to
> make all its crisps products. There is less saturated fat in high oleic
> sunflower oil.

But there is *more* saturation in palm oil than in animal fat!

> Some suggestions talk about parboiling (30 secs) then drying before
> frying.

I put my potato slices in cold water, and then dry well with a towel 
before frying.

> Any tips on potato variety, which oil, what temperature, how long to
> cook, how to avoid sticking, etc., would be greatly appreciated!

1.  Any kind of potato will work.  I use large white, cut lengthwise.  
They shrink something fierce.

2.  I use cheap vegetable oil.  

3.  It needs to fry vigorously.  Let the oil come up to temperature 
before adding the potatoes.  I just hold my hand over the hot oil.  If 
it feels hot, I add the spuds.

4.  Cook until done.  That's half the fun, deciding how much you want 
them cooked.  Note that the "shrinking" includes thickness.  Cut them 
much thicker than you want the final product.

5.  Cook in a single layer, at least until you have more experience with 
this.

Do not fill your pan very full with oil.  Half is probably too much.  
That's asking for trouble.  You can use a shallow fry pan, but that 
makes it more important to use a single layer.  There should be a *lot* 
of bubbles, especially when you first put a potato in.

Especially with a shallow pan with not much oil, this may not be a batch 
process.  You may need to add the slices a few at a time, and take them 
out when they are done.

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From: meow2222[at]care2.com
Date: 30 Jan 2006 14:12:25 -0800
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djmg2 wrote:
> But then how to flavour them? I want to have a go at making some spicy
> chilli crisps. Is it just making sure the spice mix is really fine then
> sprinkling it over when still hot?

2 excellant flavourings are:
salt and black pepper
garlic powder


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