Wednesday, 18 March 2015

How to make perfect Hot Chips.

While most people will agree that Hot Chips are one of the most delicious and comforting foods of all time- and surely deserving of their own food group- there is not much agreement on how to make them.

Some people soak them in water, some par boil them, some leave them once par-cooked, to dry out in the fridge overnight- the list is endless.

While there are myriad methods I think that one of the most important of all factors is perhaps NOT discussed and that is the TYPE of spud.

You see spuds are NOT spuds.

And by that I mean you need to understand a little more about potatoes before you can really have success with potato dishes.

Potatoes are divided into two main groups- waxy & floury.

For a good chip you want a floury potato to get that super lovely fluffy interior.
Save the waxy varieties for salads.

Floury potatoes have less moisture & a higher starch content than their waxy counterparts making them more suited to frying & mashing.

Waxy potatoes tend to retain their shape more than floury ones and so are the ones to choose when stewing or boiling for salads etc. If you try to mash waxy potatoes you may find it hard to get rid of lumps and it can go gluey in texture.

It wasn't until I started to shop at Farmers Markets that I REALLY learned to understand about potatoes. This is one of many reasons I love shopping at Farmers Markets- the people who grow the food are masters of knowledge & are keen to share!  I have learned sooooo much about food from these people. More than google or any cookbook could ever teach me. Our producers are one of the best (and most under-utilised) resources out there.

For chips I love to use SEBAGO potatoes- they are a white skinned & white flesh potato.  I think they give a great fluffy interior and are delicious and crunchy on the outside.

I use the twice cooked method- sometimes three. I am usually ill prepared and wanting hot chips NOW, so the methods that require excessive amounts of waiting time in between are not my friend.

And I LOVE mine to be crinkle cut - relying on a very old and very fave piece of kitchen equipment that was gifted to me by a very gorgeous friend. It features in one of the pics below.
I think the crinkles allow for more crispy edges. Total win in my book.

So, for me there are 3 things that are vital to making the perfect Hot Chips.
They are:

  1. the type of potato
  2. the temperature of the oil (and the freshness of the oil! Use FRESH oil!)
  3. the cooking times
And whilst I love the way my chips turn out I am sure there will be people out there for whom this method will not be their favourite.

Vive le difference!

NB: Poh has a wonderful list of Australian spuds to refer to here for all you Aussie readers.
If you are in other countries your varieties will be different. 

You will get best results using a deep fryer for this.
If not you will need a cooking thermometer.

  • 1kg Sebago Potatoes
  • rice bran oil
Preheat the oil (my deep fryer requires 4 litres of oil- if using a saucepan use enough to allow the chips to be well covered- I would say at least 2 litres) to 130C.

Meanwhile peel (you can leave the skins on if you have washed the spuds really well!) and slice your chips into 1.5cm batons. I use my trusty crinkle cut chip cutter for this job- an antique but much loved piece of kitchen arsenal. 

Carefully place the cut chips into the oil being careful not to overcrowd. You may find it easier to do this in two batches. (if using a sauce pan it will be much easier of you have a mesh chip basket as you need to lift the chips out half way through cooking)

Now set a timer for 9 minutes.

After this time lift the basket up and let strain.

Turn up the heat to 190C & do not lower basket until the temp has been reached.

Once temp is 190C, lower basket and fry for another 3-4 minutes. (and again if you are doing the 3 times method).

I recommend draining on a wire tray with paper towel below to let air escape- this prevents the chips going soggy.

Salt well & let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

The symphony orchestra & choir at my big kids school performed this recently.
I - of course- burst into tears when the voices began.
Music is a very special thing. Just like Hot Chips.
I like to play this music very loud for maximum effect.


  1. YUM!!!!! I have a gazillion potatoes in this year only I can't remember what I planted where and so each time we pull some up it's like a lucky dip. The other night we dug the perfect gnocchi spuds but that was just luck. That'll teach me to take better notes next time. xx

  2. Oh my gosh, yes! The type of potato! That's where I'd go wrong! Thank you for the insight. Floury sebagos from now on it is! I use the double fry method, a tip handed down to me from my dad, whose Greek immigrant parents ran a fish'n'chips shop in South Melbourne in the 60's (funnily enough, I blogged about it today!). I don't have a deep fryer, so I have to wait it out batch by batch in the saucepan. All that effort and they're gone in 5 minutes! And hell-to-the-yes for ol' fashioned crinkles! J'adore you, GG xxxxxx

  3. what did you cut them with?

  4. I love making homemade chips but they do go soggy, still yum but not great. Next time I'm going to follow your steps & see how I go x


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