A Beet Chip Catastrophe
I am not meant to fry. Last week I attempted to make beet chips. I tried once, failed, and hung my head in discouragement for a week. Then today I said “Gosh darnit you will not defeat me, beet chips!”. But alas, they’ve defeated me again. Their soggy yet remarkably also burnt magenta and golden selves just staring up at me, taunting.
But this blog is all about learning. And while I like to pretend I never fail, well, I fail a lot. So here are some tips on how NOT to make vegetable chips, beet chips specifically.
- Don’t cut them too thick. I went and bought a mandoline slicer just for these stupid chips. But I’m also not one for dropping a ton of money on once-a-month kitchen appliances, so it was only $8. Which apparently means there’s only an option for ¼ inch slices. ⅛ inch would have been better.
- Don’t fry at a low temperature. The point of frying is to immediately evaporate all water from the thing being fried, allowing those spaces to fill with oil and get all crispy. If you’re me, however, you’ll cook them at a lower temperature than you thought you needed (possibly due to a lack of a good kitchen thermometer), causing for the water to be retained and the oil to come in and just cause for a big soggy mess.
- Don’t use a plastic spoon and expect it not to melt. Because it will melt, and it will form bubbles and when those plastic bubbles pop it will be loud and you’ll scream, flinging the spoon out of the hot oil. The hot oil will land on the hot stove, briefly catching fire then causing more smoke than you’d ever think possible for that little amount of oil. You’ll rush to open every window and door in an effort to not become “that girl who set off the fire alarm” in your apartment complex. And your beet chips will still be soggy.
So what can you do if your one Earthly desire is for good beet chips?
- Bake them.It’s healthier and it’s less likely to catch your house on fire. about 375 degrees F for 45 minutes should do the trick. Flip them halfway through.
- Use cornstarch. This stuff is magical. Toss your chips in cornstarch prior to baking them, then spray with an ultra-light coat of oil (like Pam cooking spray).
- Spice it up. Sprinkle some rosemary, salt, and cracked black pepper over the chips before baking.
Beets are great (when you don’t ruin them like I did today). Learn more about them here.