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What are the best potatoes for chips?
For the most part, there are three broad categories of potatoes that you’ll find in your average supermarket; waxy potatoes, starchy potatoes, and floury potatoes. Although they might seem pretty similar on the outside, there’s a lot of difference when it comes to flavour and texture.
Let’s go a little more in-depth:
Waxy potatoes are high in moisture and low in starch. Great for salads. Includes Kipfler potatoes, Red royale potatoes, Dutch cream potatoes, and most red potatoes.
Starchy potatoes are low in water and high in starch. Excellent for mashed and deep fried dishes. Includes Russet potatoes, King Edward potatoes, and any kind of purple sweet potato.
All-purpose or floury potatoes are a good mixture of starch and sugars. Very good for frying and baking. Includes Yukon Gold potatoes, Desiree potatoes, and most types of blue and purple potatoes.
If you’re looking for the best potatoes for frying chips, floury potatoes are your best bet. They hold their shape very well, and they tend to absorb ingredients like salt and oil much better than other types of potatoes. This combination of factors allows them to exhibit a really robust flavour when cooked as chips.
Which floury potatoes are the best potatoes for wedges?
The potato that most Australian restaurants use for wedges is the Russet Burbank, an old variety of floury potato that originated in the United States. However, there are some homegrown spuds that can certainly compare when it comes to taste; like the Coliban potato and the Sebago potato.
These two potatoes are ideal for chips and wedges since they have smooth skin and moist flesh, which is perfect for handling the high temperatures that chips are exposed to. They also pair with most sauces and dips since they absorb flavour quite well. Finally, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations cites tubers and spuds to be an essential part of a healthy diet – which is good news for those looking for a healthy alternative to junk food.
How to make hot chips: tips and tricks
Cooking chips isn’t hard: you typically fry them twice, first with oil at 130C and then again at high heat around 180C. Here are other tips that you can keep in mind.
- Oil: Not all oils handle frying well. Cottonseed, pomace, or canola oil are best for making chips since they can handle high heat without smoking, and have neutral flavours. Don’t be wasteful with oil, especially if you’re cooking a large batch of chips: pass it through a filter after cooling and you can use it again.
- Pan fry vs deep fry: You can use either pan-frying or deep frying to make chips, but if you want a crispier skin with a soft interior, double deep frying them is the best. Pan frying is an excellent way to blend in herbs and spices if you want a different flavour to your chips, but you might not be frying the spuds evenly.
- Drain then serve: Floury potatoes can hold a bit of oil after cooking, especially when you’ve deep fried them. Have them sit and drain for a while on a plate with paper towels to get rid of the excess oil. This helps cut down on the overall fat and lessens the chance of burning your tongue when you bite into it.
Slice and fry
Using the right potato is essential to getting a perfectly crispy chip every single time. When in doubt always opt for floury potatoes like Russet Burbanks, Yukon Golds, and Desiree potatoes.
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