How to Make BBQ Chips

How to Make BBQ Chips

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Follow some of these tips and you’ll be on your way to the perfect barbecue bite

It’s just as easy (and more delicious) to make your own version at home.

The ideal road trip and on-the-go snack, potato chips are perfect for summer vacation and activities. But instead of filling the grocery store cart with packaged brands, it’s just as easy (and more delicious) to make your own version at home. Follow some of these tips and you’ll be on your way to the perfect barbecue bite.

First, use a vegetable peeler to peel the potato skin completely from the potato. Using a mandoline or a knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices. Store the slices in a mixture of ice water and lemon juice while you finish slicing all the potatoes. This will help keep the potato slices from turning brown. Next, make the barbecue seasoning. Combine a half a teaspoon of paprika and garlic salt with one quarter of a teaspoon of sugar, onion powder, and chili powder. Add in a pinch of ground mustard and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Add canola oil to a large skillet and heat it to 375 degrees F. Dry off the potato slices and fry them in small patches being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Turn each over and cook until golden brown on each side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chips from the hot oil and let cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with the barbecue seasoning while still hot. Store the chips in an airtight container.

Making homemade barbecue chips is easy at home with a few of these simple tricks. Once you have the basics of homemade chips you can try any flavor, like sour cream and onion, cheese, or simply salt and pepper.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

Homemade BBQ Sweet Potato Chips.

Don’t they say that foods that crunch relieve stress? I don’t know who “they” are and unfortunately they probably suggest eating a carrot to solve the issue, but I vote chips. All day, every day.

Lately I’ve run across the predicament of developing recipes that solely revolve around tex-mex situations or burgers or sandwiches. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Just when I think I’ve got a handle on it, I deal with that full force and combine the two. I sit down and make these giant lists of recipes to make for my invisible internet friends and then instead decide that weirdly flavored enchiladas are appropriate or that I can attempt to turn anything – I mean, anything – into a taco and margarita fest.

Today I’m just giving you something you can eat with your burgers. Or with your beer. Or your hot dogs! Or with your emotions. You know. Whatever works.

Oh… and if we’re being reeeeeal honest… something to put on top of your burgers. Or inside your sandwiches.

I’ve never been a giant chip eater unless salt ‘n vinegar or bbq kettle cooked chips were staring me in the face. Sometimes I love the crunch for a sandwich-type lunch but for once in my lifetime, one of those itty bitty single sized, fairly appropriate portioned bags often does the trick.

The only place I really get wacky about chips is Target because they have omgthebestflavorsever and I just cannot get enough. I usually end up buying three or four bags and opening them all at once and having a chip tasting party in my car. So trashy.

And the only time I get wacky about chips in restaurants is when they are freshly homemade and served with blue cheese. Like, lots of blue cheese. Ugh. Love that.

The deal? Homemade potato chips are sort of high maintenance, especially of the sweet potato variety. They just take a while. In hindsight, they are still easy to make – you simply have to be willing to stand in front of a hot pot of oil for a long while, tossing and turning and draining and seasoning. It is 100% COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Say it with me. Worth it.

Maybe not worth it for a giant group of people, like a gigantic gaggle of adolescent males who will eat you out of house and home. But for one person, like maybe a husband that does the same? Or a small group? These are so fun and delicious. Or just for yourself. You deserve it.

This little seasoning mix I throw on top of the chips is my go-to “bbq flavor” that I’ve perfected to our liking since first making my crockpot bbq beer chicken. I encourage you to play around with it a little if you like – use regular paprika if you don’t want smoky or add a little extra cayenne for some kick – whatever you want. This is a spice rub that I use multiple times per week in our house and I have no qualms in saying that it has taken me a year to feel like I realllllly got it right. And we are talking about me: Miss No Patience.

Anyhoo, go getcha some chips this weekend. Make ’em! You will not regret it. Even when you eat them all in on sitting… you will not regret it.

Homemade BBQ Chips

Ever since I was a kid, I loved experimenting in the kitchen. A lot of my friends experimented with drugs and boys but I was fairly well behaved so instead of making meth, I made food which worked out well for my friends with the munchies.

One of the favorite recipes that I created in those days was Homemade BBQ Chips. I made it from what I could find around the house, mostly potatoes and seasonings which probably doesn’t come as a surprise but what may surprise you was how I cooked it.

We didn’t have a deep fryer or a frying pan in that particular home we lived in, we moved a lot and never seemed to bring our stuff with us from previous homes….hmmm my parents sound kinda shady, so I cooked it on a griddle.

These days, I have several deep fryers, I don’t mean to brag but you can get them for right around twenty bucks so I suggest everyone pick one up at that price. As a kid, I was happy to have the griddle and I did some amazing things with it if I do say so myself.

Keep in mind that making these Homemade BBQ Chips will surely go over better if you use a deep fryer instead.

Although I am not getting paid to tell you about the deep fryer, this post contains Amazon affiliate links which means if you make a purchase after clicking my link, I get a small portion of the sale at no additional cost to you, so go ahead and get that one I mentioned for around twenty bucks by clicking here, if you do make a purchase, I get like two cents off of the sale, cha-ching!

After you pick up that deep fryer, grab some potatoes, and if you are on the level of Martha Stewart like I surely am, you have grown these potatoes yourself, if you don’t know how to do that well you can learn here. After growing your first round of potatoes you can even write a blog post about it as if you have always known that they grew underground because I certainly did.

Now back to making those delicious homemade BBQ Chips, whassat? (Please comment below if you get that reference.)

The first thing you are going to want to do when making Homemade BBQ Chips is to preheat your deep-fryer then start making that seasoning so it’s ready to sprinkle on when the chips are finished frying.

Mix the garlic powder, onion powder,brown suger,paprika,salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl, set aside. If you are fancy and drink your tea with one finger in the air then you may also want to pick up these glass jars for seasoning. They make it easy to sprinkle the perfect amount onto your homemade chips.

The next step in making Homemade BBQ Chips is to slice those potatoes using a mandolin slicer. Don’t even act like you are a potato slicing ninja and can slice them bad boys without one. That link is for the exact one I use, my husband bought me the most expensive one he could find for some reason. It works great and I love it but I usually try to save when making purchases so if you are like me and want the cheapo, check this one out.

I don’t know why the one I have is double the price but it does have some extra safety stuff on it so I guess you can try to put a value on your fingers and if you don’t really care about them go ahead, save some coin.

Once your potatoes are done frying, this may take about 3-5 minutes depending on how thinly they are sliced and how crunchy you want them, add them to a paper plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oils.

Then sprinkle the seasoning on and enjoy your Homemade BBQ Chips!

Now you can pour them fellas down your throat all at one time or store some for later. I really don’t care how you eat them, you are going to love these Homemade BBQ Chips no matter how weird your eating habits tend to be.

Now share this post with a friend especially if you did eat all of your chips at once, maybe they have more self control and will share theirs with you!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media so you can be the first to know about future posts and maybe even catch a tweet or Instagram photo that wasn’t thought through before posting.

How to Make Apple Wood Chips for Barbecuing

Barbecuing is the process of slowly cooking foods using indirect heat, taking as much as a day or more to completely cook the meat. Grilling, while often referred to as barbecuing, uses direct heat and is a much quicker process. A grilled steak is done in about 15 minutes. Wood chips added to the fire give a distinctive smoky flavor to barbecue, but grilled foods don’t have time to absorb the smoke. Different kinds of wood produce different flavors. Apple wood, for instance, adds a sweet tang to the smoke. Barbecue chips of apple wood can be purchased, or are easily made.

Gather apple tree branches. Orchard owners are usually happy to give away these when they prune their trees.

Strip the leaves from the branches. An easy way to do this is to let the branches dry out for a day or two, then slide gloved hands over the branches. Most of the leaves will come off easily. Pick off any that are left.

Set the wood chipper to produce the size chips you want. Many wood chippers have settings that allow them to make anything from sawdust to small chunks of wood, though not all chippers are adjustable. Experiment with the different piece sizes to see what works best for you. Check the owner’s manual to see how to adjust your chipper.

Check the chips for signs of insects. If the wood is infested, you may not want to use it for your barbecue. If you do want to use wood containing insects, don’t store any of it where it could contaminate other wood.

Store any unused chips in sealed plastic bags. Apple wood chips should be moistened or green in order to make smoke for the barbecue. An easy way to keep chips ready for the next cookout is to fill a zipper-top plastic bag with chips, seal it and store it in the freezer. They will come out of the freezer ready to use, with no soaking required.

Dry any chips that cannot be frozen. This helps to prevent problems with mold, mildew and rot. Chips can be spread out in the sun or placed on cookie sheets in an oven set at 200 degrees F in order to remove all moisture. How they take to dry depends on factors such as how wet they were to start with, how much moisture is in the air, and drying temperature.

You can make wood chips with or without the bark left on. Both burn equally well and create a rich, flavorful smoke. If you want your chips with the bark off, peel the wood before chipping. If you don’t have access to a chipper, you can use a chainsaw or an axe to cut up bits of wood to use for smoking.


Wood chippers and chainsaws are extremely hazardous. Wear protective eye wear and gloves when using such equipment. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions.

How to make Potato Chips (BBQ chips)

This may come as a surprise, but I am not a huge snacker. I will admit that this was a huge advantage for me during the past eight months of weight loss (I lost 60 pounds by the way). But there is one snack that I do get a craving for on a fairly regular basis. That snack is BBQ potato chips. I really don’t know what it is about this flavor of chips that makes me lose all control when I’m around them. They’re crunchy, salty, sweet, and packed with that great BBQ flavor that I love. I can’t say that I’m really a huge health nut, but I have really begun to pay closer attention to what I put into my body. So recently I decided to make my own BBQ chips so that I knew exactly what was going into them and boy did they turn out great. I was able to make a chip that was just as good a week later as they were straight out of the fryer with the added bonus that I could add as much or as little flavoring as I wanted.

I started off by mixing together my seasoning mix. I like a fairly sweet BBQ with a touch of heat to it, so you may have to adjust the proportions of the mix to suit your tastes. This mix also is great as a rib rub for your summer days spent smoking ribs.

Mix all the ingredients and set aside.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 T salt
  • 2 T black pepper
  • 1 T Cayenne pepper
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder


I used red potatoes for my chips and they turned out great, but you can use your favorite type of potato. Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes as thinly as you can. I try to get them paper thin because the thinner they are sliced, the better they fry up. As you slice them, transfer the sliced potatoes to a bowl of cold water. This prevents them from browning and also removes a lot of the starch from the slices which will keep them from sticking together into a big potato mess. Once you are done slicing the potatoes, drain and rinse the slices several more times. Keep repeating the process until the potato water remains clear. If it is still cloudy that means that there is additional starch that needs to be removed. Once the water is clear, drain the potatoes one last time and transfer them to paper towels to dry. It is important to get the slices as dry as you can because they fry up a lot better that way. A little moisture isn’t going to hurt too much, but just remember the dryer the better. Heat your oil (canola or peanut work the best) in a large skillet. I only use an inch or two of oil in my biggest skillet because I’m looking for surface area, not necessarily depth. Have a plate lined with paper towel ready along with a large bowl for mixing the potatoes and the seasoning mix. Heat the oil over medium to medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Now, working in small batches fry your potato slices. Once they are golden brown remove them from the oil and place them on the paper towels to drain for a minute or so. Transfer them to the bowl and toss with several spoonfuls of the seasoning mix to coat. These will more than likely be gone before you can store them, but if you end up having some left you can keep them in a plastic food storage bag and they should stay fresh for a week or so. I’m not sure how long they will keep fresh because my batches don’t typically stay not eaten for more than a couple days.

Setting up a gas grill for smoking can be very easy, especially if the grill is equipped with a built-in smoker box however, there is a way to create smoke even without a built-in smoker box.

1. First, start soaking wood chips in water (check the recipe for the amount you&rsquoll need). They should soak in water for at least 30 minutes or else they are likely to light on fire and give you more flame than smoke.

2. Start the grill by preheating your grill for 10-15 minutes on high and then brushing the cooking grates clean using a stainless steel grill brush.

3. Add wood chips to your smoker box. Using long-handled tongs, open the lid of the smoker box. Grab some of the soaked wood chips with the tongs, let the excess water drain off, and drop the wood chips into the smoker box.

Spread out the wood chips so they cover the bottom of the box, directly exposing as many chips as possible to the burner below.

Continue to add as many wood chips as the recipe suggests. Close the lid of the smoker box.

Close the lid of the grill and wait a few minutes for smoke to pour out of the grill. Now it&rsquos time to lower the heat of the dedicated burner under the smoker box to medium or low so that the wood will smolder slowly.

4. Start smoking your food. Arrange the food in the middle of the cooking grate, over the unlit burner(s). Close the lid as soon as possible and let the food cook.

Controlling the temperature of a gas grill is not a matter of opening and closing vents, it&rsquos simply a matter of turning knobs. In most cases you will adjust one or two of the main burners during cooking, though if you want to smoke at very low temperatures (below 250°F), turn off all of the main burners and use just the dedicated burner under the smoker box for the heat.

Keep in mind that most of the smoke will accumulate around the smoker box. The closer your food is to the smoker box, the more smoke flavor it will absorb.

If your grill doesn't have a built-in smoker box, you still have options.

1. Order one of ours. We offer a heavy-gauge stainless steel smoker box to sit right on top of your cooking grate.

The metal will conduct the heat of your grill to the soaked wood chips you pile inside the box. The holes in the lid will direct the fragrant smoke over your food. When the wood chips have burned out, you can simply open the lid and add more, if you like.

2. Make your own. Place drained wood chips in a foil pan, cover with aluminum foil, and poke holes in the foil to allow the smoke to escape. Place the pan directly on the bars over an unlit burner or two, preferably in a back corner.

Put the cooking grates in place. Turn on the grill, with all the burners on high, and close the lid. When smoke appears, begin cooking your food, adjusting the temperature of the grill as needed. You can&rsquot add more chips to the pan, but at least it&rsquos a start.

  • 1/2 pound/225 grams large potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters kosher salt
  • For the Aioli:
  • 1/2 cup/120 milliliters mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

Use either a mandolin slicer or sharp knife to cut potatoes lengthwise into very thin slices.

Place in a large bowl and coat with olive oil and salt.

Place a grill pan on grill and allow to heat.

Place potatoes on pan forming a single layer.

Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes per side or until browned.

Keep a close eye on the potatoes as they are prone to burn if left on for too long.

Repeat process with additional potato slices.

BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion Chips

  • Author: Cara Reed
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 cup s 1 x
  • Category: Snacks


For the chips:

For Sour Cream and Onion:

  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp . onion powder
  • 2 tsp . garlic powder
  • 2 tsp . dried chives
  • 1 tsp . dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp . sea salt

For BBQ Flavor:

  • 2 tsp . chili powder
  • 2 tsp . smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp . onion powder
  • 1 tsp . garlic powder
  • 1 tsp . sugar
  • 1/2 tsp . sea salt


  1. In two small bowls, whisk the ingredients for the individual flavors together until well-combined.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet until 350 degrees. You will know it’s ready when you test 1 chip and it immediately begins to sizzle once it hits the oil Cook until just lightly browned. Remove and allow to drain. *Read the post for clear instructions.
  3. Once the chips have been removed from the oil, gently sprinkle the potatoes on each side.


  • Serving Size: 10 chips
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 240mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Protein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @forkandbeans on Instagram and hashtag it #forkandbeans

The seasoning covers 1 large russet potato. Simply double the recipe if you want only one flavored chip. Scrub the hades out of the two potatoes and pat dry. While you are doing this, heat up a medium-sized skillet with gobs of oil (you see why I did this pre-cleanse?) You want probably 1/2″-1″ of oil filled in the pan. Heat it up over medium-high heat. Slice up the potatoes with your mandolin and now they are ready to cook! (You will know when it is ready to go when you place a piece of the potato into the oil and it immediately begins to sizzle). Do not overcrowd the skillet. Do this in batches.

Allow to lightly brown. Remember, the oil will continue to cook the chips even when it’s out of the pan so you don’t want them to brown too much. Place on a padding of paper towels to soak up the oil and t est out crispiness and adjust cooking time if needed. S eason with the flavoring of your choice. Who wouldn’t want a combo of flavors? I get it, maybe it’s you. I’m not judging .

Allow to fully cool, pack up into brown paper baggies, grab your sweetie/friend/self and a blanket, pair with beverage of choice and you got yourself a Snack Picnic!

Take the chips out of the oven, allow to cool and serve.

There are many flavor options for quinoa chips, just as there are with regular chips. Bon Appetit even has a cheesy Doritos flavored quinoa chip. Try a sea salt and lime mixture, using ranch dressing mix, chili powder or other seasoning salt mixes to flavor your quinoa chips. Sugar and cinnamon can make a sweet quinoa chip.

Quinoa chips are easily dipped as well. Try them with standards like salsa, guacamole, or a ranch tip, or mix it up and create your own dip using sour cream or Greek yogurt and various spices. If you go with a sweeter chip, try it with a caramel or cream cheese and powdered sugar dip.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Peel the potato and slice as thinly and uniformly as possible. (If you have a kitchen mandoline, now's the time to use it.)
  3. Soak the potato slices for at least 5 minutes in cold water.
  4. Drain and pat dry, then toss in a bowl with the olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Lay the potatoes out on an oiled baking sheet. (The slices can overlap.)
  6. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and crunchy, about 30 minutes.

Eat This Tip

Staying on Track and Packing Snacks:

So you know we're all about meal planning, but what about snacks? You can't always plan for when you'll have a craving, but planning to have extra healthy snacks on hand for when you do is a great way to stay healthy for all day, including the bites taken in between meals.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!