Finally, I have mastered the sweet potato chip.
I may not be able to crack an egg with one hand or split open a coconut with one nimble whack of the blade, but give me two ingredients and an oven and I can make you an oil-free sweet potato chip that’s pretty delish.
Maybe this is such a triumph to me because I’ve been working on perfecting my chip baking skills for a really long time. I’ve tried baking them on a pan, on a parchment-lined pan, on a wire rack, at high temp, at low temp, and on and on. The one thing that never changed: I always used oil somewhere in the process.
Even if it was just a tablespoon or so in the entire batch, I never thought that maybe my chips would turn out crispy instead of soggy if I cut the oil out completely. On a whim last week, I pulled out my mandolin and gave sweet potato chips one last hurrah, this time without the oil.
The result? Crispy and delicious chips!
Here’s how you can make some, too:
Start by using a mandolin to cut your unpeeled sweet potatoes into thin slices. I usually set my mandolin to somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8-inch thick. Your slices should look something like this:
Take the slices and spread them out in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They can be close together but do not overlap them. I suggest not crowding the pan with slices otherwise they may steam for a little bit before actually getting crisp. You’ll probably be able to fit about 1 medium potato on a standard baking sheet, which makes enough chips for 1 large or 2 smaller servings.
Sprinkle the potato slices with salt, so they look like these:
Bake them at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and flip the chips over. Yes, flip every single chip. It doesn’t take as long as you think it will.
Then put them back in the oven and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until they begin to brown lightly. Watch them VERY CLOSELY during these last 3-5 minutes as they go from golden to burnt in a big hurry. A few dark brown patches here and there are okay. It adds a little rustic flavor variety to the chips. But don’t let them all turn black!
Remove the chips from the oven and cool completely before serving. They’ll crisp up some more as they cool. That’s it!
You might find that these chips are a little less crunchy than store bought fried potato chips. You’ll still get good snap, though, and I like these much better than anything from the store because of their pure, homemade flavor.
I think the chips taste best right after they’ve cooled, so gobble them up right away. Because the chips can be made so quickly, it’s easy to whip up a batch for a pre-dinner nibble or after school snack. They’d also make a perfect crunchy garnish for winter soups and stews.
Who knew that sweet potato chips could be so simple to make at home? I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize it. But that just goes to prove the point I’m always preaching but maybe not believing quite enough: sometimes simple says it best!
Oil-Free Sweet Potato Chips
Use this recipe as a template to make as many chips as you’d like. Because the sweet potato slices will shrink as they bake, one medium potato yields enough chips for one large or two smaller servings.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes very thinly. (I usually set mine between 1/16 and 1/8-inch thick.) Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the chips, and return to the oven. Continue baking for 3-5 minutes until beginning to brown lightly. Watch them CLOSELY! They love to burn after you flip them. Cool completely on the baking sheet. The chips will continue to crisp up as they cool.
Enjoy right away.