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Homemade potato chips - soak/rinse or not?

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I'll be frying up some homemade tater chips tomorrow afternoon.

Most of the recipes I've found are the same. Some specify a specific potato or oil, but I've got that covered already.

The biggest difference I see is to soak and rinse or not (after washing and slicing of course), and how much. Some recipes call for repeated soaking and rinsing until the water runs clear. Some call for one long soak and rinse. Some call for a single rinse. Then, there are also quite a few that don't mention rinsing at all.

Any chow-hound experience out there? You're opinions are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Any thoughts on this yet? I wonder if this post got lost in the shuffle since it went up late last night.

    1. Well, I found myself with just enough time to experiment on my own. The first batch got nice and brown, tasted great, but remained a little soggy, especially in the middle.

      After rinsing once, the next batch crisped up a bit. So, I ended up soaking and rinsing twice, which led to nicely crispy potato chips. They were very tasty, but I will say that the un-rinsed chips actually had more flavor.

      Any other tips on homemade tater chips would be greatly appreciated.

      1. Sorry your post got so lost, I only saw it today.
        From what I've been told, you want to store the sliced potatoes in water and change the water until it stays clear. This gets rid of the starch and helps yield a crispy final product.
        Also I hear there is a potato that is perfect for chips but offers no nutritional value. Something Mc Donalds uses? Sounds a little scary, anyone hear of this?

        1. You'll find the same conflicting advice in french fry recipes. The theory is you need to get rid of the free starch released when you cut the potatoes. I find that a single rinse in lots of cold water is sufficient, and leaving them to soak is not necessary unless you don't plan to cook them right away (keeps them from turning brown).

          I've also just patted the cut potatoes with a paper towel and cooked immediately and didn't notice any starchy crust or other problem.

          Rinsed or not, more important is to make sure they are as dry as possible before putting them in the oil. Besides being dangerous, excess water will cause the oil temp to drop too much and you may get soggy chips.