Fry Tortilla Chips Yourself

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

Fry tortilla chips outside for the least mess.

Frying at home may be what really separates the cheater chef with the poser microwave warmer chef. Yes, cheating still means you have to cook. Cheating means knowing where to cut corners and where to put in the serious effort. Frying is worth the effort. A stack of stale corn tortillas proves our point. Home fried tortilla chips are so good, you’ll be inspired to expand your salsa catalog, you’ll eat more guacamole and generally be a happier person.

Just get one of those big stacks and cut them into quarters. Fry them in small batches. You’ll get the hang of it.

Here are our tips for frying:

  • Peanut oil has a high smoke point and works great. Get a thermometer. You want to keep the oil at a nice 375 F-ish. Use a big heavy pot, like cast iron. It keeps the oil at a nice even heat. Yes, a Fry Daddy is a great option.
  • Make sure your foods are as dry as possible. Water and ice crystals cause splattering.
  • You can reuse your oil if you strain it through cheese cloth.  It’s not that hard really. Take a hint from any fast food fish joint–use the cleanest oil for the fries and the dirty oil for the fish. Always fry the fish last.
  • Fill the pot about 1/2 full of oil. You need room for displacement when you add the foods to be fried. Be careful! I
  • Invite people over because if you go to the trouble of frying, you might as well fry a lot of food.

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