Craving potato chips? Make your own, right now. Yes, right this very minute. If you have a microwave, a sharp knife, a plate, a bowl, a few potatoes, oil, and some salt, you are about 10 minutes from plastic-free, home-made potato chips. You’ll never need to buy single-use plastic-packaged store-bought chips again.
But before you read on, ask yourself if you truly want to know how to do this. You will not be able to unlearn this. I thank my friend Peter, high wizard of forbidden culinary knowledge, for my own fall from grace. He did warn me, and then he was kind enough to share the secret.
Are you ready?
You will need:
- Potatoes – I use my home-grown spuds of unknown variety; experiment to find your favorite
- Oil – I use grapeseed oil, Peter recommends olive oil
- A sharp knife (or a mandoline, if you have one)
- A bowl
- A microwave-safe plate
- An oven mitt
- A microwave
- A tiny bit of patience
Here’s how to make your own potato chips. These directions work for my 1,000 watt microwave; adjust the times as needed for your own microwave.
- Slice your potatoes. I’ve tested batches of translucently thin chips and thicker ones; they all taste good to me.
- Toss the potato slices gently with a drizzle of oil. I like grapeseed oil because it’s stable at high temperatures, but Peter swears that olive oil works well and is delicious. I’m sure he’s right. You want enough oil that each and ever slice of potato has an even, thin coating on both sides. They don’t need to swim in oil, but neither is this the time to question your oil consumption. Remember, you’re making potato chips.
- Add a bit of oil to your microwave-safe plate and smear it around with your fingers to coat the entire surface. This helps keep the first batch of chips from sticking. Future batches will be fine, since the oil from the chips before them will do the same job. Don’t think you’ll be making more than one batch? Think again.
- Lay the oiled potato slices onto the oiled plate in a single layer, with just a bit of room between each slice.
- Pop the potato plate into your microwave and set the timer for 4 minutes.
- Check the chips towards the end of their cooking time. They’re done when they’re lightly browned on top. Add time as needed. In my 1,000 watt microwave, it takes from 4 – 6 minutes to cook chips, depending on how thick I’ve sliced them.
- When they’re done, protect your hand with an oven mitt and remove the plate to a heat-friendly surface. The plate will be seriously hot. The chips will need a minute to cool before you devour them. Distract yourself during this waiting period by using the tip of your sharp knife to loosen any stuck chips from the plate.
- Sprinkle the hot chips with salt and other seasonings as desired.
- Blame my friend Peter.