It may be one of the simplest foods around, but a fair bit of work goes into perfecting the home cooked chip. Most of all getting in the right variety of spud.
So, what are the best potatoes for making chips?
Starchy potatoes are the best variety of potato for making chips - in Australia the most popular spud of this kind is the Russet Burbank.
Different types of potatoes
According to Neff Kitchen, spuds are categorised into three basic types.
As the name suggests, these potatoes are high in starch, low in moisture and have a floury texture. As well as the Russet Burbank, this variety also includes Yukon Gold, King Edward and Sweet potatoes.
These spuds are best suited for frying and making chips, as they contain lots starch, which keeps the oil from penetrating too deeply and keeps the chips fluffy and dry when cooked.
This variety has less starch and contain more moisture and sugar – it includes Dutch Cream and Kipfler potatoes. Often smaller with a waxy skin and a creamy and firm inside, they’re perfect for making boiling, roasting and slicing, so can be used in soups or potato salads.
An all-round good spud, these potatoes have a medium starch content, more moisture than the starchy variety and hold together in boiling water.
This variety includes Desiree, Sebago and Coliban potatoes, and can be used for making chips, roasting, pan frying, stewing or gratins such as Dauphinoise potatoes.
What is the best type of potato for making hot chips?
According to Good Food, it's best to buy older spuds that have been on the shelf for at least a month (just ask your local greengrocer).
In Australia, the best variety of potatoes for making chips is the Russet Burbank. Its long shape makes it ideal for cutting in to thick chips or thinner French fries.
If the Russet Burbank isn’t available, Yukon Gold, Sebago, Kennebec, Shepody or Coliabn are also good alternatives.
How to make the perfect hot chips
High starch potatoes make chips that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Crispy double fried chips
Make sure your chips are cut evenly and are the same thickness.
Use clean fresh sunflower oil.
Fry in moderately hot oil (around 130 degrees Celsius) until al dente but still pale in colour, remove and set aside while increasing the oil temperature.
Fry again in hot oil (around 180 degrees Celsius) until golden and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Drain on absorbent paper.
French fries or shoestring chips
Cut combination or floury potatoes into very thin slices, then cut into matchsticks.
Make sure they are dry before frying. Use a clean dish towel.
Fry in batches in a large pot of hot oil until golden and crispy.
The classic seasoning for chips is salt, but you can also try mayonnaise, gravy, Sriracha or ketchup with your perfectly fried spuds.
There’s also the Aussie favourite of chicken salt, or in English people love to top their chips with malt vinegar.
What are the best potatoes for wedges?
The key notes to hit when cooking up wedges is a good standard of softness and crispiness at the same time.
Again, the Russet Burbank is the best spud for wedges as they have that floury texture inside while retaining the crispiness on the outside.
To cut and curl the wedge shape, slice your spud in half lengthways and repeat until you’re left with eight wedge segments.
Keep chopping if you prefer a slimmer potato wedge but be sure to adapt the cooking time to your preference – the thicker the wedge the longer it takes, you wouldn’t want to go overboard and burn your treat!