Most people don’t think twice of popping a frozen bag of chips in their shopping trolley while at the shop and some get a pack from the takeaway on their way home. If you have the patience, there’s a cheaper method. All you need is an electric fryer, with fresh oil and a bag of potatoes. No need to take up all that space in the freezer either.
For anyone who tried cutting potatoes into chips and popping them in the fryer as they would with frozen chips, the end result was usually dark soggy chips which tasted both burnt and greasy. However, after reading a few different approaches on how to do this and doing this myself for several months now, there is more to just dumping the cutlets in the fryer!
Before you start, you will need an electric fryer with a variable temperature control, ideally from 140C to 180C. If the fryer only has an 180C setting, you’ll need to use the parboil method or use a deep fryer thermometer (capable of 200C or higher) to monitor the temperature so you can switch it off when it reaches the required temperature.
Make sure the fryer has clean oil that is clear to the bottom. Dark oil especially where the bottom is not visible will result in soggy greasy chips no matter how you prepare, not to mention the build-up of Trans-fat resulting from the deterioration of the oil.
The best potatoes I find for this is roosters or thick skin potatoes. For new potatoes, use the parboil method.
First, switch on the fryer and set it to 120C or as close as you can to this temperature.
Peel the potatoes, storing the peeled potatoes in water. Then cut up the potatoes into chips, adding them to the fryer basket.
Once the fryer reaches its temperature, lower the basket of chips slowly into the fryer. Due to the low temperature, the fryer will not bubble up vigorously like when frying frozen chips at the usual temperature, but will start to bubble and steam after a minute or two. Leave the chips in for up to 10 minutes or until they lightly brown.
Remove the basket from the fryer, turn the temperature dial up to 180C and wait until it reaches temperature. Then lower the basket back in for 2 to 3 minutes.
The chips will still brown significantly more than frozen chips, but will at least have a nice flavour, be crispy and from my experience, giving the craving to make more!
Peel the potatoes, storing at room temperature water in a saucepan large enough to submerge the potatoes. Bring the potatoes to a boil for around 15 minutes. Next, remove them and submerge the potatoes in cold water to cool them down. Basically what we are doing here is partially cooking them, but to avoid making them too soft to chip. Fully cooked potatoes will also work, so long as they are still firm enough to chip.
Switch on the fryer to 180C and start cutting the potatoes up into chips, adding them to the fryer basket.
Once the fryer reaches its temperature, lower the basket of chips slowly into the fryer. As the chips are not frozen, take care doing so as the oil could boil over, especially if there are too many chips in the basket.
Leave the chips in for 5 minutes or until they have browned to your liking.
The higher the wattage on your fryer, the quicker it brings the temperature up and in turn quicker cooking times. For example, from my experience, the Delongi pro 3200 watt fryer will typically take between a third and half the time of a typical 2000 watt fryer for the same quantity of chips. Note that dual-basket fryers run at half the wattage per basket, so if the fryer is rated at 3000 watts, each container has a 1500 watt heating element.