How to make it

  • Buy a deep fryer--it's worth it for the safety involved, cleanliness, and for temperature control. They're cheap, and purchasing a candy thermometer and cooking pot (which would be necessary for frying on the stove) is just as expensive, much more dangerous, and (the final word) can't keep all of the perfectly good vegetable oil sitting on your stove top forever, so people just end up throwing it out. A deep fryer can be purchased for around US$20 and (after cooling) can be hidden away in a cabinet for future use.
  • The rest is easy, but I added a lot of details to help you avoid some pitfalls:
  • Put the deep fryer on high (375 degrees)
  • Cut the corn tortillas into wedges (hint: smaller wedges last longer at parties, but then the salsa goes faster...more dips it seems)
  • Drop all of the wedges into a bowl and mix them around with your hand. Cutting them in large stacks has the effect of smashing and gluing the multiple chips together. In this state, they won't fry properly. So just break up any clusters.
  • After the oil reaches it's proper temp, slowly slide in a few chips at a time. Throwing them in will cause splatter--that's a bad thing with hot grease*.
  • Even the beginner will know when they are done: they stop all the foaming and get quiet. There's a little room for error, but you'll get the hang of it in one or two little batches.
  • Lift the chips out of the oil and shake a time or two to vent the oil (5 sec's) then drop them into a normal paper grocery bag (plastic is not an acceptable substitute). Lightly salt the chips with a fine ground popcorn salt while the chips are still wet with grease (else the salt won't stick).
  • Shake the bag around to evenly distribute the salt on the chips.
  • Pour the chips into another paper grocery bag and drop the next batch into the oil. With an average home deep fryer you can do about a handful of chips at a time.
  • Using the intermediate bag to dump in the freshly fried chips accomplishes 3 important tasks: 1. it further drains the chips before adding them to the final bag (making them more healthy for you), 2. it prevents you from salting the chips directly over the oil (which would accumulate salt in the oil over time), and 3. it prevents you from putting more salt on top of the already salted chips from the previous batch (which would get exponentially saltier with each batch).
  • Keep the chips in the grocery bag in your kitchen during the party. For each chip refill, simply pour to fill the bowl and microwave for 30 seconds...they'll be as good as fresh. Place the bag into the refrigerator for long term storage...they'll last about a week.
  • *Putting in too many chips has two hazards: 1. you will lower the grease temperature and the chips will get chewy, 2. the grease is going to "foam up" a little bit for each chip you drop many chips = too much foam = boil over (and a serious mess to clean up...assuming you didn't burn down your house...which also qualifies as a serious mess, I suppose).
  • On a very serious note, modern deep fryers have two important safety features to take note of. The "fill to" line let's you know how much vegetable oil to put into the fryer. Exceeding that line is rather silly and many turkey fryers have burned down houses for just that reason (seriously). Second, most now have magnetically attached power cables. This prevents the fryer from being pulled down on a child's head in the event the child's parents are morons and leave the cord stretched across the kitchen floor to act as a tripwire. With magnetic attachments, they simply pull away from the fryer.
  • Finally, never leave the fryer unattended while the oil is still hot. If people see an unplugged kitchen gadget, they tend to assume it can't hurt them (hot oil disagrees). When you are finished, unplug it from the wall, let it cool for a while, and then hide it away in a safe cabinet. Don't let unsuspecting partygoers (aka: drunken idiots) accidentally knock it over. Bottom line, be very careful when using a deep fryer--but don't fear them. Prepare the chips before anyone arrives and have the fryer cooled and safely hidden away.

Reviews & Comments 5

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    " It was excellent "
    notyourmomma ate it and said...
    Love the instructions and tips...great hints. Love it and the flavor is so much better.
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  • kake81 9 years ago
    My wife and I have been making chips for quite a while now, but the paper bag idea was new and definitely streamlines the process.
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  • fordeetoo 11 years ago
    chefjeb: I agree. You will never find my refrigerator lacking a bag of fresh fried chips. Our only disagreement (on the chip size) is probably due to taste. I tend to prefer a rather large salsa to chip ratio. Also, small chips tend to discourage "double dipping", which I don't care about, but some people hate. Small chips eliminate the "double dipping" issue.
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  • chefjeb 11 years ago
    Wow! Talk about step-by-step. We do two garbage cans of these every day at a restaurant I consult for. On cutting the corn tortillas, use a six inch tortilla and cut twice, making four chips per tortilla. In the restaurant world, we can buy them precut this way, but, it's an easy whap, whap with a sharp knife. You're right, these are much better than the grocery store stuff. But, why wait for a party? Make them for your self or family and don't share.
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  • coffeebean53 11 years ago
    Looks good . Great post.
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