Introduction: Perfect British Homemade Chips

Picture of Perfect British Homemade Chips

These chips rock as a snack or side dish. Whilst its a very simple recipe Ive been refining this method for 20yrs and its suprising how many people dont know how to make them good, so after many compliments heres an instructable.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

There are many recipes for chips that claim a certain potato is the best, the method in how you make them is far more important i think.

So you'll need

Maris Piper/King Edward/Desiree will all produce a good chip.

About 200g of spuds per person should yield a good portion. Try and use good sized spuds 70x70mm + (adult size fist should give a single portion)

About 500ml (if cooking 1kg of spuds) of quality vegetable oil.

A sharp wide knife or peeler.

A good quality stainless steel saucepan that will be 1/3 full or less with 500ml of oil (this is a very important safety consideration due to the boiling oil)

A stainless steel colinder

Some sea salt

Step 2: Prepare the Spuds

Picture of Prepare the Spuds

Wash the mud from the spuds in cold water if needed.

Peel the spuds carefully with a wide knife or a peeler if you dont feel confident with the knife.

Cut the spud in half then slice a small section from the end of each half so you can place the half upright on the chopping board.

Proceed to slice the spud in equal sections then turn the spud on its other side then cut in half lengthways. The idea is to create equal volume chips that will cook consitentley.

Add the chips to cold water as you cut them.

Step 3: The Oil

Picture of The Oil

Heat the oil in the pan (remember not to fill over 1/3) 500ml of oil on full heat should be ready in apprx 5-7 mins do not leave unnatended.

Take one of the chips from the cold water bowl and throw into the oil to check the heat. You want the single chip to bubble in the oil but not too violently if it does reduce the heat. If there is no bubble wait a few more minutes or you will have greasy chips.

Drain all the chips from the cold water and add all at once to the oil. If the oil overflows at this point you will need the ability to extinguish a fierce fire, either use a wet towel or phone the fire brigade.

Now the chips are bubbling away nicely reduce the heat by 1/4

Now wrap a wet paper towel around that warm beer you found chuck it in the freezer and wait for a few mins to have a rapidly cooled beer.

Step 4: Final Approach

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Refrain from stirring the chips whilst cooking but keep a watchful eye whilst slurping that cold beer.

Once you start to see the chips browning whack up the heat to full power for a few mins until they look ready.

Take an empty saucepan and place the metal colindar on top of the pan. Remove the chip pan from the heat and carefully pour the oil into the empty pan. Leaving the cooked chips in the colindar.

If youve done this correct the chips should have slightly stuck together and be ungreasy they will break apart when you drop them into a bowl. If you need to remove more of the oil wrap them in kitchen towel and give them a good shake.

Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!


jasara (author)2014-09-16

I just tried some with banana because i like banana a lot and this has turned out to be really good!

nartyteek made it! (author)2014-09-09

Oh wow, these were amazing and so simple to make! I made mine poutine-style with a meaty gravy and cheddar. For the first time ever, I did not get so much as a splash of hot oil during the frying process, nothing burned, and the end result was non-greasy and crisp. Damn. You might be an enemy of mine now because these suckers are getting made every weekend. The only difference was I used whatever potatoes were lying aroung, and they worked out fine. Sorry about the picture, but those were the only survivors by the time I thought to document.

CrayfishYAY (author)2014-09-06

This is how my great step-grandma makes her fries.

eplinox (author)2014-08-21

I just tried making these and it was a disaster!!!! when I put the chips in, it overflowed and there was fire everywhere - _----

gralan (author)2014-08-17

I have to admit I am totally delighted about your homefries. I grew up in the 70's eating Fish&Chips served in a wrap, great memories. I do also like a spot of malt vinegar splashed over the whole bunch of it too. haha Thank you, most surely.

wilki242 (author)gralan2014-08-19

HI there Gralan

I grew up in Gods own country (Yorkshire Uk) and remember all to well as a young man 8-9 in the 50s buying chips (4 old pennies aprox 3 np today these were on a piece of white paper in a nest of old newspaper (clean but used) and were doused with plenty of salt and vineger which was non brewed condiment and is still sold here as chip shop vineger it was actually a concentrate made of caramelised sugar and acetic acid sold in gallon jars and diluted at the chippy with water so varied from shop to shop (less water the better)

wilki242 (author)2014-08-19

Here in the uk we have many versions of the perfect chip. My own favorite is to place cut chips in water containing a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of garlic paste.and boil until they just start to fall apart . transfer to a colander to drain for 5 mins before giving a gentle shake just to ruff up the edges then transfer to hot vegetable oil proximately 180 degrees and cook until golden brown.

sd (author)2014-08-14

Agree with the paper towel for draining the water.

Also agree with baking them twice. They should first boil on a low temperature (150-170 degrees celcius), until they start to sing (produce a squeaking noise).

Then they need to be taken out, and drain all oil from it by throwing them inside a basket or something else that lets poor out the oil (not on a towel, a towel lets more damp in, and makes them less crunchy). Let them jump high.

After draining the oil, they can cool down (which also means you can do the first bake a while before the party starts).

The Second bake is to make them crunchy. Turn up the temperature to 190 degrees celcius, put in the chips until they get a nice colour, and when taking them out, drain the oil again with the same method of throwing them up several times in a basket.

KennethH (author)2014-08-13

Vegetable Oils are highly inflammatory (High in Omega-6s in which a western diet is already too high in), usually rancid by the time consumed and NOT actually something our body knows how to process. Use Lard or other fats. Animal fats do not make us fat.

I've never heard of rancid cooking oils? There are other oils though - canola oil or olive oil - they have lower amounts of saturated fats, but still have the good lipids that bodies need and don't generally get from other sources... Using lard over vegetable oil is super unhealthy. As unhealthy as critiquing the poor guy for teaching us how to make french fries!

Actualy Canola (Rapeseed) oil is the worst offender, likely GMO, super high in Omega-6s and always rancid by the time you consume as it usually sat on the self for years before consumed. Olive oil or other good fat oils would be better. Actually Lard for a pastured animal is super healthy compared to vegetable oil. In fact using bacon grease, tallow, duck fat would all be better choices than vegetable oil. I'm not critiquing the poor guy for teaching, I'm suggesting he and all of us use something other than vegetable oil. I'm guessing your reading this while consuming something cooked in Rapeseed. Enjoy Rapeseed :)

jreefer1 (author)2014-08-12

Leave'em in the water for 5 minutes ?

josbd (author)jreefer12014-08-14

This removes starch from the cut spuds. I would suggest drying these with an old teetowel or kitchen paper before you chuck them in the oil....!

surfershort (author)2014-08-13

Thanks for the comments and ideas....i didn't realise this would be quite so popular. In response to people saying do them this/do them that way. Yes there are all sorts of methods but i personally believe this to be one of the best and have been applauded on them many times which is why i wrote this instructable.

Putting them in water is essential to remove starch an overnight soak even better, what ever way you soak them throwing them in the oil will not overflow if the pan is less than 1/3 full. (Just keep a wet towel handy if your worried)

People moaning about them being unhealthy....really who cares not me. They havnt made me fat or unhealthy maybe im lucky but my mother once said to me an Italian quote

"Why live like an invalid and die healthy".

Happy chipping!

PS I am British and not a student

dpye (author)2014-08-13

Your either not British or a student or both. You definitely don't do it like this...........

jcavell (author)2014-08-07

I'm ganna have to try these! Can I use Guinness for the beer?

ewaldoh (author)jcavell2014-08-13

What else would you be having around?

glakofahn (author)2014-08-13

Check out Heston Blumenthal's work on perfect chips—they are really the gold standard reference, though his recipe has been adapted variously. It's a triple-cooking technique in which the chips are first boiled until completely tender (20m or so), before being dried out and fried twice.

You won't get crispier chips without the boiling stage.

selwood1 (author)2014-08-12

Wet chips should NEVER be put in hot fat, they should be dried first. Otherwise the fat is likely to boil over. A better way is to cut into chips, par boil for 5 minutes. Drain and put on baking sheet. Spray with one cal and sprinkle with salt/pepper/chili flakes and put in oven at 200c for 15 to 20 minutes. No mess or smell but delicious crispy and tasty chips.

Kiteman (author)selwood12014-08-13

These are BRITISH chips. If they don't noticeably clog your arteries when you eat them, you didn't cook them properly.

Kiteman (author)2014-08-13

You didn't double-dip!

To get the chips borderline crispy on the outside, fluffy inside, and not stuck together at all, you cook them once at the lower temperature, then lift the out of the fat whike you heat it right up, then dunk the chips back into the super-hot fat to brown off properly.

(This is, of course, a lot easier in a deep-fat fryer with a basket.)

Salt is salt, but you should also use a nice malt vinegar.


Over in Great Yarmouth, they do their chips with a cheesy sauce. Yum. (author)2014-08-09

proper British chips should be made with lard, apart from that, your instructable is spot on.

Deltic (author)orbit.al2014-08-13

Harry Ramsden's traditionally used beef dripping for frying - the veggies might not like it but if it was good enough for Harry.....

Johnlewisdesign (author)2014-08-13

To get them extra fluffy in the middle like proper UK chips you should be blanching them for a few minutes then leaving to rest. THEN fry them like you say. And as for chucking wet things in hot fat, are you nuts? That is asking for a fire. Make sure they are not dripping with water or displacement will give you a nasty shock.

BigAndRed (author)2014-08-12

if you slow simmer in salted water for about 20 minutes then dry before they go into the hot oil that gets a good result, check out how Heston Blumenthal does spuds.

thecapper (author)2014-08-12

Yum! I LOVE health food!!

sjackson999 (author)2014-08-12

I also rinse with hot water which helps them dry faster before going into the hot oil.

BetsyFartBlossom (author)2014-08-12

HAHAHA - the word 'spud' made me laugh:) I remember a scene on the old show "Night Court" where Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) had his family visit him, much to his dismay. They were country bumpkins and he was ashamed of them because they were so poor and backwards. He had this hilarious outburst where he told his father that he was ashamed because they were so poor that they couldn't afford to get him a dog, so all he had as a pet was a turtle and it didn't do anything, didn't ever move. His father looked at him and said something to the effect "You never had a turtle,boy. It was a spud, A SPUD son!" Thanks for conjuring up a happy memory. And, of course, for the recipe. I'm going to try it. Maybe use a little garlic salt:)

jreefer1 (author)2014-08-12

Thank you very much!

tomascco (author)2014-08-12

I find dumping the raw cut potatoes in hot tap water for 10 minutes removes a bit of the starch and gets them crispier.

Goose (author)2014-08-12

That looks the same way as my mom makes them.. Her fries are the best. Its very important to let them sit in the water to remove some starch. You know when she makes them as she adds some fresh crushed garlic. After they are done and out of the oil she adds the garlic. The smell in the house drive everyone crazy and rushing to the kitchen.. Im having fries tonight for dinner yummm..

gromanski (author)2014-08-12

Dry the chips on a paper towel before putting them into the hot oil. (reduces bubbling)

Cook at a hot temperature until the chips are soft. Then take them out, raise the temperature of the oil to hot-hot, and put them in again to crisp the outside.

Dump out on a paper towel to absorb any oil, salt and serve.

romanreb (author)2014-08-12

I'd kill for a chip butty right now...

Cool Dude 123 (author)2014-08-12


SteveSi (author)2014-08-12

For a crispier chip, par-boil for 5 minutes in the spare saucepan first, drain well, put saucepan lid and shake violently for a minute or two to make the surface of each chip rough and fluffy. Drain off any water again and tip them all into a hot chip pan.

Jayefuu (author)2014-08-12

Nice! None of that American muck!

petergovaere (author)2014-08-12

1. Chips or fries, or whatever you call them, are not French nor Britisch....they are Belgian !

2. Do NOT put the chips in cold water. Because they take up the water. Not a good idea if you want them crispy.

3. You should frie your chips 2 times: first 5 minutes at 160°C, let them cool for 30 minutes and then frie them at 190°C, untill they are golden. They take up more fat, if you don't do this.


kbc2 (author)2014-08-10

nicely written! and delicious!

vikingjohn (author)2014-08-10

Great insructible but I think your chips are a bit too brown...

pfred2 (author)2014-08-09

Your chips look good. Now I want to go get some fries. Some Thrashers fries!

Computothought (author)2014-08-09

The knife under the wood block is probably a good safety idea. The only thing I might do different is dry the potatoes before putting them in the oil to avoid a splatter.. The chips as you call them look good.

hunter999 (author)2014-08-09

These look awesome! Thanks for sharing :-)

ajrat01 (author)2014-08-08

If you dry the chips with a towel before adding to the oil you'll have less issues with spitting /overflowing oil. Thanks for the instructable!

colonelnils (author)2014-08-08

good old British chips, not sure why its taken You 20yrs to refine this method. Its the only method for British chips!

sgrönberg (author)2014-08-08

Looks like a mix with Pommes château, it's actually French.

amulder1 (author)2014-08-08

they look perfect! We usually take the lazy lane and don't peel them at all. Just a good rince and that’s it, tastes just as good and no waste! (and less work :p)

About This Instructable




Bio: Adventures in Creativity and Innovation, Design, Engineering, Making, Fixing, and Tinkering
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