Potato chips might come in every flavor under the sun these days, but all the jalapeño-cheddar dust in the world won't make up for a soggy bag of tater goodness. And here's the secret to the DIY crunch you crave.
Turns out when you're making your own chips, it's all about thickness. According to Serious Eats, 1/8 inch is the way to go—any thinner and they'll either burn or come out a bit too limp.
The next step? Washing out the starches and enzymes that'll dirty up your spuds. Specifically the enzyme tyrosinase, which when exposed to oxygen—like an apple core that's been left out too long—causes unpleasant browning.
Plain rinsing will get you far, but not far enough. Certainly not as far as boiling will. And definitely not as far as boiling in vinegar-spiked water:
Everyone who's ever baked an apple pie knows that different apples cook differently. Some retain their shape, while others turn to mush. The difference largely has to do with their acidity... Just like a potato, apple cells are held together by pectin. Moral of the story: acid slows the breakdown of pectin.
I sliced and rinsed one last batch of chips, this time parboiling them in a pot of vinegar-spiked water, allowing me to increase their boiling time from two minutes up to a full three before draining and frying them... the vinegar-boiled-then-fried potato chips were a resounding success.
That's your rough guide; for a recipe that'll make Utz look like mush, head here: [Serious Eats]