Irish chips are simply delicious, soft and tender on the inside and just slightly crispy on the outside. Their thick cut is perfect for absorbing the bitter-sweet goodness of malt vinegar drizzled on top.
Let's straighten up our terminology here: In Ireland chips are french fries.
A typical American chip is called a crisp, a cookie is a biscuit and a biscuit is a scone. I could go on and on, but that's a topic for another day. It sure can get confusing!!!!
So just so we are straight, we are cooking french fries Irish style today!
Table of Contents
Irish Chips and American French Fries
American french fries are thinner than an Irish chip, which is thinner than an American steak fry.
They are not as crispy on the outside as most American fries and definitely don't receive any extra seasonings - just plain, fried, potato goodness.
Cooking the perfect Irish chip is not as simple as chopping a few spuds and plunging them straight into hot oil. This just doesn't work - by the time the inside of the chip has softened, the outside is just too crispy and burnt.
My secret for cooking the perfect Irish chip is parboiling the potatoes before deep frying them.
Some people insist that double-frying is the key to good french fries, but I'm a big believer in boiling the potatoes first before frying them.
Ingredients for Irish Chips
Here you’ll find a quick list of what you’ll need for this recipe. Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post for US and Metric equivalent versions of the recipe.
There you can choose the measurement system that works best for you.
- Russet potatoes
- Sea salt
- Canola oil or vegetable oil for deep frying.
I like to use russet potatoes or baking potatoes for this recipe. They are what we call in Ireland, floury potatoes. This means they are not too waxy for making chips.
When in Ireland I love to make chips using maris piper, King Edward, or rooster potatoes. They have a lovely flavor and texture.
Sunflower oil, canola oil or rapeseed oil are good for deep frying chips. Peanut oil works wonderfully too. All of these oils have a high smoke point and can cook the chips at a higher temperature without creating a smoky haze in the kitchen.
Directions for Irish Chips
Here you’ll find step-by-step photographic instructions to help you recreate this recipe successfully. There are plenty of tips included along the way.
Prepare the Potatoes
Peel the potatoes.
Remove any eyes or blemishes you see on the potatoes. French fries or chips are not very appealing with black spots on them.
Here's how I cut them to get the right size. Halve the potato lengthwise, then quarter it lengthwise.
Cut each quarter in half lengthwise, then each eighth size piece in half again. Each potato should yield 16 long chips. Try to create uniform shapes for your chips.
You want relatively thick slices of potatoes. If they're too thin they'll just get too crispy, and lack the floury, tender insides that Irish chips are famous for.
Yikes! That sounds like a crazy math lesson!!! Confused yet????
Here is my pile of chips. Now, recipes for perfect French fries call for soaking the cut potatoes in water for hours before cooking. This reduces the starch.
The next step involves pre-frying the fries in oil at 300 degrees. Later, when ready to serve, the pre-cooked chips are fried once again in super hot oil.
This method involves way too much planning for me. When I want chips I usually don't realize it until an hour or two before dinner, and planning all that pre-soaking just takes too much time for me. I also think cooking in oil at a lower temperature only allows the chip to soak up too much fat.
Parboiling the Chips
My solution is to parboil the sliced potatoes to help remove some starch and to start the cooking process before final immersion in hot oil.
So toss the sliced potatoes into a large saucepan and cover the chips with water. Season with some salt at this stage.
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for just 4 minutes.
Don't overcook the chips or they'll fall apart before frying.
Drain the chips into a colander and just let them sit there for 5 to 10 minutes.
They'll steam away, drying out in the process, making them perfect for dipping into hot oil. Less moisture in the potatoes creates succulent chips.
Deep Frying the Chips
Dry fries minimize a crazy, sizzling 'oil meets wet chips' frying reaction.
In addition, I like this steam drying process. It eliminates the need to pat the fries dry with paper towels or dish towels - much less mess.
Pour the oil into a large dutch oven or deep frying pan, bringing the level to a little under half full. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a thermometer to check the temperature.
You can use a deep fat fryer if you wish with a built in thermometer and temperature regulator. However, for this recipe I cooked my chips the old fashioned way.
When frying with hot oil be very careful. Keep the pot on the back burner so little ones don't get splashed or burned.
Lower the parboiled chips into the hot oil.
Be prepared for the sizzle!
Don't put too many chips into the pan at once or they'll stick together. My dutch oven is big enough to cook two potatoes worth of chips at the same time.
Cook them until they are just turning golden. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how many chips are in the pot together.
Carefully remove them from the oil with a metal strainer, and place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
If you have a fryer basket, you can use it to lower the fries into the oil, and lift them out again.
Look at those beautiful Irish chips, cut thick with a soft center and a lovely golden, slightly crispy finish.
They are just crying out for a sprinkle of malt vinegar and a little shake of salt. Some may like a little ketchup on the side, but if you're Irish malt vinegar will be your condiment of choice.
Recipe Card for Perfect Irish Chips
Here is the printable recipe card, if you would like to add this recipe to your collection.
Irish Chips or French Fries
- 4 large russet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 12 cups canola oil for deep fat frying
- Peel the potatoes. Halve each potato lengthwise, then quarter it lengthwise. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise, then each eighth size piece in half again. Each potato should yield 16 long chips.
- Add the sliced potatoes into a large saucepan and cover the chips with water. Season with salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for just 4 minutes.
- Drain the chips into a colander and just let them sit there for 5 to 10 minutes to steam dry.
- Pour the oil into a large dutch oven or deep frying pan, bringing the level to a little under half full. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lower some of the parboiled chips into the hot oil. Don’t put too many chips into the pan at once or they will stick together. Cook in 2 to 3 separate batches.
- Cook them for 8 to 10 minutes until they are just turning golden.
- Carefully remove them from the oil with a metal strainer, and place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
- Serve hot with burgers, chicken or beer battered fish and mushy peas.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Happy chip making!!
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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You can check out all by Irish cooking tips on my recipe index page here.