Is it possible to fry chips designed to be cooked in the oven? And is this the healthier method?
Simply yes you are able to fry oven chips but depending on how you decide to do that alters how healthy your chips turn out to be.
The humble chip is a staple food of the western world, easily comparable to rice in Asian cultures.
There is a whole range of methods for preparing chips that offer different textures and sometimes even flavour. For example, if you decide to fry them rather than bake them in the oven then you will end up with a crispier chip.
Each cooking method also effects the nutritional value of the chip which is a deciding factor on how many people prepare their food.
Cooking oven chips in the oven
Some people decide to cook their chips in the oven for 20 minutes or so as directed on the packaging of many store brought oven chips.
These prepackaged chips have already been made to a certain recipe and so often there is not much flavour to them. Unfortunately, simply putting them in the oven will not add any flavour either.
However, many families opt for cooking their chips in the oven rather than frying them as you are able to just throw them into the oven and get on with other tasks.
Still, if you want that crispy fresh texture from your chips then your best option is to fry them.
The different types of frying
There are two main types of frying options when it comes to frying your chips: deep fat frying or air frying.
To deep fat fry your food means to dunk your food in boiling hot oil until they are fully cooked and often brown in colour. This can be done through the use of a pan filled with oil or with a deep fat fryer.
Air frying is only achievable through the purchase of an air fryer which circulated heated air around your food to cook it. This method requires next to no oil.
Which method is healthier?
With the lack of additional oil for this method, it is often the oven that people looking for comfort food on a diet chose to use as whatever nutritional value is printed on the packaging is the same as you are putting into your body. It is easier to keep track of your eating habits this way.
Deep fat fryers are the traditional method in which chips are cooked with most restaurants and take aways opting for this method.
The issue is that deep fat fryers require a substantial amount of oil with the fattiest oils often producing the crispiest results. As such, this method is the most unhealthy way to cook your chips as you are submerging your food in fat in order to cook them.
Air frying your chips offer the best of both methods. Without the need for any oil, air frying your chips is just as healthy as cooking them in the oven.
You also get the crispy, crunchy effect that makes chips so enjoyable and was once only achievable by deep frying them.
Should I make my own chips or buy them?
While there is no argument that buying pre-made oven chips to either fry or cook in the oven is easier, there is simply a lack of flavour that many people turn to deep frying to rectify.
Furthermore, while most brands are very transparent about what goes into the making of their chips, you can never be quite sure and as such, there is no true way of knowing how healthy those re-packaged chips are.
This is why it is beneficial for both your health and your pallett to make your own chips at home.
Do not be alarmed, this is not as daunting as it may seem. Better still, you do not have to change your chip recipe no matter if you plan to fry them or cook them. You prepare them as if they were going into the oven.
A healthy chip recipe
First you need to decide how you wish to cook your chips, either oven cook them or fry them.
If you wish to use the oven then turn your oven onto the appropriate temperature. If you wish to fry them then you need to prepare your fryer.
Second, you need to decide the type of potato you plan to use. Personally, I just get whatever is the cheapest at the supermarket but if you prefer a specific taste then get whatever type of potato you prefer.
Next, you need to decide if you want your chip to be skin on or skin off chips. Leaving the skins on will certainly reduce the preparation time but some do not like the texture of potato skin.
Chopping your potatoes into chip shape is a task that can be easily customised. Some prefer chunky chip, some prefer more french fry types.
Just keep in mind that the chunkier the chip, the longer they will take to cook/fry. Also, the more even in shape they are, the less likely you are to have the odd underdone or overdone chip.
The best way to season chips is to use salt, pepper and a bit of paprika for that extra kick. Make sure your chips are evenly seasoned and do not be afraid to get your hands dirty to coat them all.
Now your chips are ready to cook. Using your preferred cooking method, cook them until they are golden brown.
Then you have your perfectly cooked chip. Ideal for your Friday dinner treat.