Crispy Homemade Salt and Vinegar Chips from scratch taste just like store-bought chips thanks to vinegar powder. Recipes for baked potato chips and fried potato chips included.
For the longest time, I’ve had “make my own potato chips” on my bucket list. Something I did a long, long time ago when taking foods class in middle school. So long ago that I’m pretending I never did.
The problem is you have to cut the potatoes thin to crisp up; otherwise they become French fries (French chips?). Unless you have superior knife skills, you need a mandoline to slice them properly.
I finally bought a handheld mandoline and can finally cross Homemade Salt and Vinegar Chips off of my list.
They’re crispy homemade potato chips tossed in a salt and vinegar seasoning. They taste just like store bought chips thanks to one secret ingredient.
How To Make Homemade Potato Chips
The key to making crispy salt and vinegar chips is having thin enough slices. Too thick and the middle becomes cooked, not crispy.
My OXO mandoline has three settings: Setting 1 is 1.5 mm; setting 2 is 2.5 mm; and setting 3 is 4.5 mm. If you’re using a different brand, your settings will vary.
I started out on setting 3 but realized my slices were a tad thick for chips, so then I switched to setting 2 then to setting 1. Much better.
How To Use a Mandoline
To use the mandoline, place it over any bowl and use the gripper to hold the item you are slicing. This is very important because the blade is sharp.
However, some long and skinny vegetables such as carrots or parsnips don’t grip very well.
When I sliced some carrots for a soup, I couldn’t use the gripper until I got closer to the blade. Fatter produce such as potatoes and apples gripped just fine.
Because the blade is so sharp, my mandoline has two safety devices. The first is locking the blade in place. Make sure you do this before washing.
Second is the gripper slides onto the mandoline and covers the blade for storage. This is very critical if you have a junk drawer of tools (me!) and you don’t accidentally cut yourself when reaching for something else.
How To Make Salt And Vinegar Chips
Now for the best part – homemade potato chips!
I chose salt and vinegar chips because that’s one of my favorite flavors. Not only do I love the taste, it helps calm my stomach when I feel nauseous from motion sickness.
Typically when you make homemade potato chips, you soak the slices in water. For salt and vinegar chips, you soak them in vinegar instead.
Originally I experimented with soaking times of 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours. However, the vinegar flavor was subtle. Plus who wants to wait 2 hours for soaking?!
That’s when I discovered my secret ingredient – vinegar powder!
What is vinegar powder?
Vinegar powder is dehydrated vinegar which adds tanginess without adding any additional liquid to the recipe.
Similar to my BBQ chips, you toss the homemade chips with vinegar powder as a seasoning.
The best place to buy white distilled vinegar powder is online (affiliate link). The brand I used is no longer available, but there are plenty of others out there.
Can you leave out the vinegar powder?
I get it – vinegar powder is pricey for something you’re only going to use a few times.
However, it truly is the only way to get your salt and vinegar chips to taste like store-bought. You can also use your powder for Salt and Vinegar Popcorn or even chicken wings.
If you still insist on not buying it, increase your vinegar soak time to 2 hours. However, please note your end results will be more subtle in flavor.
Should you fry or bake salt and vinegar chips?
I’m including directions for both methods, but I think I’m going to stick with baking. The result of both methods produces crispy chips, so why add extra calories?
It’s how I prefer making my Homemade Pita Chips.
However, frying cooks them much faster. If you have the time, bake them. If not, fry them.
In addition to potato chips, I also made apple chips the same way. The possibilities are endless – carrot chips, sweet potato chips, even beet chips.
How To Fry Potato Chips
There are two ways you can make salt and vinegar chips – fried and baked.
To fry potato chips, fill your deep fryer (or a really deep saucepan) with frying oil of choice and heat to 350F. I use vegetable oil, but you can also use canola or peanut oil.
Once the oil is ready, fry your potato slices a few at a time until golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd the fryer.
Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the slices, but the average is 3-5 minutes.
Remove the homemade chips, drain on a paper towel lined plate, then immediately toss with the salt and vinegar seasoning. Cool for a few minutes to allow them to crisp up.
Repeat with the remaining slices, ensuring the oil is 350F when frying. You may need to pause in between batches to let the oil heat up again.
Baked Salt and Vinegar Chips
To bake potato chips, preheat your oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
Place your potato slices in a single layer on the two sheets. Brush each slice with oil then bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp (but not burnt).
If you find that some of the smaller pieces are baking faster after 10 minutes, you can remove those then finish baking the rest.
Immediately toss in the salt and vinegar mixture then cool until crispy.
Items You May Need
More Potato Recipes
Since it’s cheaper to buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes, you’re going to have extras. Here are more potato recipes you can make:
- 1 large russet potato, peeling optional (roughly 6-8 ounces)
- 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar powder* (see Note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- Frying oil (such as vegetable, canola, or peanut), enough to fill a fryer or to brush slices before baking
- With a mandoline, thinly slice the potato to about 1/10 inch (2.5 mm) thick (setting 2 on an OXO mandoline). You do not want to see through the slices.
- Put the potato slices in a bowl and pour vinegar over top. The potatoes should be submerged - if not, add more vinegar until covered. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain and pat completely dry.
- In a large bowl (preferably with a lid so you can shake it for easier coating), combine the vinegar powder and salt.
To fry potato chips:
- Fill a fryer or deep saucepan with oil and heat to 350F.
- Once the oil is ready, ensure the potato slices are completely dry. Fry a few at a time until golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd the fryer. Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the slices, but the average is 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the chips and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Immediately toss with the salt and vinegar mixture then cool for a few minutes to crisp up.
- Repeat with the remaining slices, ensuring the oil is 350F when frying. You may need to pause in between batches to let the oil heat up again.
To bake potato chips:
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Ensure the potato slices are completely dry then place the slices in a single layer on the two sheets. Brush each slice with oil.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp (but not burnt).
If you find some smaller pieces are baking faster after 10 minutes, you can remove those then finish baking the rest.
- Immediately toss with the salt and vinegar mixture then cool for a few minutes to crisp up.
- Vinegar powder is the key to giving these chips that lip-smacking store-bought flavor, so you really don't want to leave it out. You can buy vinegar powder online.
- If you don't have vinegar powder, increase the soak time to 2 hours. Please note the vinegar flavor will be more subtle and nothing like store bought.
- Enjoyed this recipe? Check out my recipe for BBQ chips!