My family loves salt and vinegar potato chips! I happened to read the label on a package of chips and realized that they’re seasoned with a vinegar powder, not something I had heard of before. I ordered the powdered vinegar on-line with the idea of making my own salt and vinegar chips. I experimented with sprinkling the vinegar powder over the warm chips and soaking the raw potato slices in apple cider vinegar, to see if there was a difference in taste. Both worked well but the chips with the powdered vinegar were excellent!
The secret to crispy potato chips are maintaining the temperature of the hot oil by using a deep fry/candy thermometer, and soaking the potatoes in ice water. The water helps withdraw some starch from the potatoes. Here are some safety tips for frying foods in oil; 1) Make sure there are at least 3 inches from the surface of the oil to the top of the pot, a heavy-bottom sauce pan or Dutch oven works well. When the water hits the oil it will bubble up furiously and you don’t want to burn yourself. 2) Gently lower the food into the pot using either tongs or a slotted spatula to avoid splashing the hot oil. I lay out aluminum foil on the countertop next to the stove to help contain the oil splatter. 3) Protect your clothing by wearing an apron. 4) Make extra as you’ll eat them as soon as they cool.
Slice the potatoes about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a mandolin to slice the potatoes is best, but be sure to use the safety device provided to protect your fingers. Place the potato slices in a large bowl and cover with cold water and ice cubes. Let the potatoes sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Drain and rinse the potatoes and pat dry really well with a dish towel or paper towel. You can spin them in a salad spinner to get them as dry as you can. Line a roasting tray with paper towel and place a cooling tray over the paper towel.
Fill a heavy duty sauce pan or Dutch oven with about 1 1/2 inches of oil and attach the deep fry thermometer. Heat the oil over a medium-high flame, until the thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Working in batches carefully add the potatoes slices to the pot, making sure to return the heat to 300 degrees between each batch. Using a heat-proof spatula carefully turn the potatoes to cook them evenly. Cook them until golden brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes per batch. Remove the chips from the hot oil with tongs or a spatula and place on the tray to cool or a plate lined with paper towel. Make sure to sprinkle on the powered vinegar and salt while the potato chips are still warm. The potatoes can be fried up to 4-6 hours ahead of time and kept at room temperature.