Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gadgets: Top Chips

Okay, I'll admit it. I've developed a bit of a potato chip problem lately. So when the Top Chips kit arrived, I might have been a little over-eager to try it. Like, rip the box open, wash, dry, slice, microwave, eat. Just like that.

The kit ($23.95) comes with two stackable silicone trays with holes in them for ventilation, plus a small, non-adjustable mandoline that's set for the right thickness for thin potato chips.

I'll admit when I was first offered this item for review, I turned it down. It looked too gimmicky. Too much like a toy.

And then the potato chip addiction hit, and I said, sure, send it.

The first batch I made, I followed the super-basic instructions to slice the potatoes, make sure they're dry, then arrange and microwave for about 3 minutes for 1 tray and one extra minute for a second tray, then 30 seconds longer until the chips were done. With two trays pretty well packed with potato slices (but not overlapping) it took about 5 minutes to crisp the chips and get a little browning.

The chips were okay, but a teeny bit bland. The next batch I soaked in some salted water to rinse off the starch and season the chips a bit. I don't like super-salty chips, but I wanted a little more flavor. And ... perfect. I didn't miss the frying-oil flavor at all.

The instructions suggest that you can make chips from carrots, mangoes, apples, sweet potatoes, and pears, besides regular old potato chips. It specifically recommends against beets and basil. I have no idea why.

It it gimmicky? Yeah, a little. But I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is how many batches of flavored potato chips I'm likely to be making in the future. But they're fat-free, so it's okay, right?

The product was supplied for the purpose of a review on Serious Eats; this was previously published on Serious Eats.