How To: Make Homemade Potato Chips

I promised some of you on Facebook a cool science trick to impress the kiddos today, but I’m changing my mind after making a batch of fresh potato chips and realizing while munching that I’ve never written about them here.  And that’s a crying shame. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t fry a lot at home; it’s a once-and-a-while kind of thing at our house, so when we do it’s especially good.  Maybe because it feels naughty.  And admit it; sometimes a little bit of naughty is fun. Like this.  Making your own chips is so easy and they’re so so so good.  You can customize flavors and make them anywhere from super basic to super fancy.  They go especially well with gourmet burgers like our BBQ Bacon Sliders or these Mar-a-lago Turkey Burgers.  Watch how simple.

While you prep your potatoes you can heat up your oil.  You can use whatever type of frying oil you like- I use canola because it’s what I always have around. Peanut oil works well too.  You don’t need super deep oil either, since the potatoes are so thin and don’t take up much space.  I’d say 2-3 inches in the pan, so just use your judgement about what type of pot you’d like to use.  Use a thermometer to get the oil to about 375 degrees.

You’ll want uniform, paper thin slices, so unless you have the knife skills of a ninja, I recommend using either a mandoline or a food processor.  If the whole potato doesn’t fit through your food processor opening, just slice off a side until it does 🙂  That’s why my chips are sort of half moon shaped.  Doesn’t matter one bit.  Place your sliced potatoes in a bowl of very cold water and gently stir/jiggle/agitate/swoosh around/you get the idea.  Leave them for at least 10 minutes to wash off the extra starch  Rinse them a couple of times before you take them out of the water.  When you pull them out of the water, place them on a single layer on some paper towels to absorb the excess.  Remember that unlike my mouth and potato chips,  oil and water are not bff’s, so you’ll want to make sure they’re as dry as they can be.

Gently place some potatoes into the hot oil.  You don’t want to crowd the pan, but the potatoes are pretty thin so you can put quite a few in there.  Just try to keep a single layer of them, and if you kind of stir them around a bit they all cook evenly.  I’m using a pretty tiny pan here because I’m just doing one potato, but if you use a large skillet withe 2-3 inch sides on it, you can fry up a lot of chips, very quickly, and without using a ton of oil.

It only takes a couple of minutes for them to get a nice golden brown.  You don’t want them too brown or they’ll get a burnt taste, so just shoot for golden.

Do you all have a spider in your kitchen?  Not the creepy crawly kind, the silver meshy kind.  A spider skimmer comes in so handy in the kitchen, not only for deep frying.  It’s a tool I use quite often (and you can see from that link, they’re not very expensive either).

Place the chips on some folded paper towels and season immediately so the seasonings will stick onto the hot chips.  At the very least, sprinkle them with some sea salt.  At our house we love parmesan cheese on ours- and I don’t even use the good fresh stuff, I like the powdery stuff in a can because it stays on the chips!

Play around with flavors and try adding dried herbs and flavored salts.  You can pulse kosher salt and fresh herbs in the food processor for awesome flavors.  We love rosemary- salt and black pepper together.  Or you can do some cayenne for a kick.  Get creative!

One thing I love about these is that unlike most home-fried foods they don’t need to be eaten right away to be at their best.  So you can make a whole bowl up for a party and just leave them out on the counter.  They’ll be fantastic hours later and by then you’ll have all of your dishes washed.  If you have extras (that’s literally never happened to me)  You can store them for about a day, but I don’t think they’re quite as good the next day.  So do yourself a favor and just eat up.


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. dear Sara,

    How long as in days or weeks would these chips last on a pure want a snack need to make it from scratch want it to last a while in the pantry basis. I like to cook in bulk and then store contents in sealed containers on my Saturdays. I i will try a batch regardless and find out anyways but figured i would ask an expert first.


  2. cool post i have to try it oh sara what happened with you a knife and a latex glove on your left hand?

  3. These homemade potato chips are wonderfully addictive! I have found that freshly dug potatoes make the best chips. My husband and I dig a few hills of potatoes for the chips and invite the grandkids the next day to dig potatoes. The potato chips are the treat afterward.

  4. I just discovered your website today. I love chips and can’t wait to try this – I also agree that these would be pretty tasty dipped in dark chocolate with some sea salt. Plus, it’s a great reason to procrastinate on laundry!

  5. FANTASTIC! just finished my first batch and sprinkled them with Parmesan cheese. delicious! even my two year old exclaimed “it’s duhLIIIIshush!”

  6. Hi! Love your site!! Can’t wait to get trying stuff…hopefully I do… 🙂 Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I use coconut oil to do frying and deep frying, it is Amazing. And alot healthier too! I find it is so nice and light that it crisp ups perfectly!

  7. Sounds tasty! Is there a way i could bake these instead of frying for a healthier option?
    Love the website by the way. My mom and i tried three of your recipes today! soooo good 🙂

  8. This looks like a great way to use that food processor that has been unused for a very long time. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. These look so freaking tasty! I really need to get a mandolin! (I don’t have mad ninja skillz. ::sad face::)

    1. I used my 4 sided cheese grater, the old fashioned stand up type. Anyway…one side has 3 straight cutting edges. It’s worked great! They we not as pretty as yours but they got gobbled up pretty fast anyway! Thanks, this morning was my first try, after reading your post, and it was easy. I just followed your steps and víola! You made me look SO smart;~*) Thanks for making me, my kids hero!

  10. I always have a problem with my oil getting too hot. Seems like a no brainer to just turn the temp down, but what temp should I start with (I don’t have a fryer)? Seems like it’ll be fine at first and then it gets so hot that everything cooks so fast on the outside, but isn’t quite done on the inside. It takes so long to cool off once it’s too hot that whatever is left to cook gets ruined. Anyway, I don’t fry often either, so I’m not too good at it! Help!

    1. That’s tricky Diane, I know what you mean. Sometimes it’s more a problem with your stove’s ability to regulate heat than anything else. I’d just say make sure to use a thermometer and for something like this, the temp doesn’t have to be exact. With candy you need to be vigilant in hitting an exact temp, but for frying something like this, you just want it bubbling nicely when the potatoes go in.

    2. Put one kernel of popping corn in the oil, put it on medium to medium high heat. When the kernel pops, the oil I really to go.

  11. The joys of homemade potato chips! My mom makes them quite a bit and we all devour them like there’s no tomorrow. DELICIOUS! Way better than Lay’s.
    When we make them, they are just slightly thicker than yours but that’s just because that’s how we prefer them.

    Love your site. There are so many fun recipes to try.

  12. One kind of odd combination of seasoning that we discovered years ago is parmesan cheese and Lowry’s seasoned salt. YUM. Use mostly cheese and a little salt. We put it on everything, including buttered popcorn, so I’ll bet it would be great for this!

  13. Made these for supper tonight and they were awesome. Did salt and pepper and BBQ flavored. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Fabulous! I have never tried homemade chips before. I bet they taste amazing! Definitely need to try it soon. Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!

  15. I love potato chips! Even more than chocolate. *listens to gasps of shocked women* I cannot wait to make these!

  16. I have a staunch belief that anything homemade is automatically healthy and calorie-free (or at least reduced, hee hee). We’ll have to try these, for sure.

  17. Awesome post. I love chips but get so bored with the flavors at the store. They are all the same! I jump on the new flavors when I can find them.

    Did you know you can make pretty decent chips in the microwave too, and skip the oil? I bought a little rack to make them that way so I could play around with flavors, but unfortunately our apartment microwave has no turntable & that’s kind of important.

  18. Oh my god, those look soooo delicious! Might this work with Sweet Potatos too? Anyways, I#ll give it a try. Thanks for this recipe.

  19. Sara, when I saw how nicely you had cut those potato slices I was SO impressed, but then I remembered something about you and a knife and a latex glove on your left hand. Anyway, these chips look fantastic.
    Oh, and I bought the pretty turquoise immersion blender from your Amazon store. I couldn’t resist. Now that I have it, what shall I do with it?

    1. Ha! You will never let me live that down, will you?? lol So excited you bought your immersion blender- blend blend blend!