How to Make BBQ Potato Chips at Home

The seasoning for these homemade BBQ potato chips is a surprisingly good knockoff of your favorite store bought bag of chips. 

Love copycat snacks? Be sure to try these homemade cheese crackers, too.

BBQ potato chips in a white bowl.

Even though we are diligently trying to eat a healthier diet in this household, I couldn’t help myself. I ordered a copy of Casey Barber’s Classic Snacks Made from Scratch. My husband picked up the book and said, ” Why did you get this? We don’t eat this stuff. Ooooh, Funyuns.” That’s why I got the book. Also: Hostess Cupcakes (chocolate and orange), Nacho Cheese Doritos, homemade potato chips, Tater Tots, and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Cinnamon Pop-Tarts!

This book is chock full of recipes to replicate your favorite junk food using real food ingredients. It may not be health food, but the homemade versions certainly have fewer ingredients than the store bought versions (and none that I can’t pronounce) and making them at home eliminates the packaging.

BBQ Potato Chips

Classic Snacks Made From Scratch

I decided to try out the Homemade Chips recipe (barbecue flavor, natch) from Barber’s book when my eldest son, home from college, requested hamburgers for dinner. Homemade potato chips and burgers? Sounds good to me!

My youngest sliced the potatoes and mixed up the spices that we’d toss the homemade chips in. I did the frying.

I don’t do much deep frying; I was surprised at how little splattering and popping there was – unlike frying bacon. The resulting homemade chips had the classic BBQ chip flavor that we love. Everyone around the table was impressed with the results.

You can also skip the barbecue spices and simply salt the cooked chips, if you like. Serve plain homemade chips with this green onion dip or this French onion dip.


The Handcrafted Pantry

Ready to DIY your pantry with healthier ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.


Ingredients

Potatoes The recipe calls for russet potatoes, but you can use any kind of potato you like. Removing the skin is optional. 

Seasonings This is the BBQ chip magic right here! The combination of smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper are a perfect copycat version of your favorite bagged chips.

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Oil for frying Opt for an oil that will handle high heat. Avocado, sunflower, or peanut oil are all good options. If you’re the kind of cook who keeps bacon grease on hand, by all means, use that in combination with a vegetable oil. 

How to Make Potato Chips 

Spoiler: There is a lot of frying. Amazingly, though, the chips don’t absorb much of the oil at all. (Note, anecdotally, that chips made in a deep fryer seem to absorb less oil that those made in a saucepan.)

Start by slicing the potatoes as thinly as possible. Use a knife, a mandoline, or your food processor slicing blade, just be sure that they are sliced as thinly as possible. 

process of making homemade chips, slicing, boiling, draining.

In process: Slicing potatoes, blanching them, and letting them dry.

Blanch the potatoes, cooking them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. This gives them a head start on cooking. Be sure to dry the potato slices well to prevent excessive splattering when you drop them into the hot oil. 

If you own a deep fryer, you can use that, but you can also use a deep saucepan. Using a high-sided pot will help prevent some oil spatter. The wider the pan, the more oil you’ll need to use to fill it; I use a 3-quart saucepan or a deep fryer.

Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the potato slices into the hot oil in batches. As they crisp up, they’ll take on a nice golden brown coloring. 

potato chips in a deep fryer basket.

Browned and crispy just out of the hot oil.

Drain the chips, either in the deep fryer basket or by transferring them to a wire rack on a baking sheet. 

Let them cool for a minute or two, then toss with the seasonings. Tada! Homemade BBQ potato chips! 

BBQ potato chips with a brown bag behind.

Shake the cooked chips with the seasoning in a small brown bag.

Our notes or alterations to the homemade chips recipe

  • This recipe for BBQ chips is a condensed version of the recipe found in Classic Snacks Made From Scratch and is shared with the author’s permission. In the book, the author goes into more detail about frying methods.
  • We are one of those households that saves bacon grease. We fried the chips in a blend of bacon grease and peanut oil. The author recommends vegetable or canola oil; I opted not use these genetically modified oils.
  • If you choose to use bacon grease, cut the amount of salt in the spice mix by half.
  • The thinner the slices, the crispier the homemade chips.
  • You can visit the author – and see more of her recipes – at Good. Food. Stories.
BBQ potato chips in a white bowl.

★ Did you make these BBQ potato chips? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

BBQ potato chips in a white bowl.

Homemade Barbecue Potato Chips

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

It may not be health food, but these homemade potato chips certainly have fewer ingredients than the store bought version. Making these chips at home eliminates the packaging, too.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds about 4 medium Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Oil for frying, (see my note below)

Instructions

Prepare the potatoes

  1. Bring a 4- quart stockpot filled with water to boil over high heat.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel.
  3. While water is coming to a boil, rinse and peel the potatoes as thinly as possible. Transfer half of the slices to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes. Don't overcook them; this is just jump-starting the cooking process.
  4. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer the slices to the kitchen towel, patting them dry. Repeat with second batch of potato slices.

Prepare the spice mix

  1. Place all of the spices into a jar and shake to mix

Fry and season the chips

  1. Heat at least 2" of oil to 350°F in an electric deep fryer or a large, high-sided pot.
  2. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or absorbent fabric. 
  3. Fry the potato slices in batches until golden brown.
  4. Remove the cooked chips with a metal skimmer and drain on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then place the chips in a small brown lunch sack along with barbecue seasoning. Shake gently to distribute the seasoning. 
  6. Remove chips from the bag and repeat with remaining slices.

Notes

These homemade chips are best eaten the day they're fried. If you have extras, store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

You can also skip the barbecue spices and simply salt the cooked chips, if you like.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 680mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gProtein: 4g

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Originally published September 2013; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

10 comments… add one
  • Phyllis Looby Mar 15, 2022 @ 12:09

    I make my chips in the oven.They come out crispy!

  • Fran Apr 9, 2018 @ 20:24

    We were blown away at how much these taste like store bough chips!

  • Auburn Nov 9, 2014 @ 20:37

    Yum! Do you think it would be possible to bake these rather than fry? Have you tried that variation?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 24, 2014 @ 20:21

      I’m big on experimenting – I’d try it, certainly!

  • Jenny Sep 19, 2013 @ 8:32

    What did you do with the cooking oil once you were done? That’s the great mystery to me and why I shy away from frying.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 19, 2013 @ 8:37

      There wasn’t a lot left; the chips absorbed a lot. But I typically scrape pans like this into my chicken’s feed. They love it.

    • bella Jun 18, 2022 @ 20:49

      You let the oil cool and pour it in a jar with lid and reuse it. dont use the crumbs settled at the bottom, if any.

      • AttainableSustainable Jun 21, 2022 @ 2:45

        Also, an option if you have excess.

  • Deborah Davis Sep 4, 2013 @ 8:19

    As a potato chip junkie, I applaud you! I have been known to eat a whole bag of barbecued potato chips with my girlfriends in no time at all. Now we can make them from scratch. I might try making them with coconut oil, though. Yum!

  • Kerry Dexter Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:11

    I can see why you were tempted by this book — not only the whole idea itself, but I’ve read Barber’s writing elsewhere and she an excellent writer.

    we tend to make baked fries and chips here, and I’ve learned over the years that if you watch the oven, it’s possible to dry bake them — no oil. and they taste great. barbeque and thai chili flavors are my favourites I have to say, so good to read about your experience with this recipe.

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