The Potato Chip Chronicles

Potatoes are part of my heritage. At least that’s what I tell myself to justify how many I eat. Really any form, but like any salt-loving human, potato chips are one of my top favorite junk food vices.

Bulk potato chips? Unheard of.

Potato chips packaged in compostable materials? What? Where? If you know of one, sign me up.

And let’s face it, frying chips in a vat of oil isn’t totally sustainable. You can get a few uses out of cooked oil, but getting rid of spent oil isn’t easy.  Even if it’s used as biofuel, burning it still releases greenhouse gasses, although the amount is less than burning fossil fuels.

And cooking chips, crisps, or fries in oil isn’t exactly cost effective. Oil is expensive and frying can be a bit scary if you’re not experienced.

What if I told you that microwaving sliced potatoes could actually produce a potato chip?

Bull-doodie, right?

Actually, I was pretty surprised.

But after a few attempts to polish the perfect microwave-chip, I was convinced this was a much more sustainable alternative to buying bags of chips, or frying them.

First attempt:

  • 3 minutes on one side at 100% power
  • 4 on the other at 100% power.

A bit burnt. Some were still edible. The flavor was spot on and it gave me hope that I could achieve success with less time.

Also, I was slicing the potato with a regular kitchen knife, so my slices were thicker than I would have preferred. Ideally you would be using a mandolin to get a nice thin potato chip slice, but I have yet to find one in a thrift store.

Second and final attempt (because it was awesome) 

Microwave Potato Chips

Watch the full video here:


  • 1 potato (or as many as you like) scrubbed clean!
  • Salt
  • Olive oil, optional
  • Other seasons, optional (paprika, cumin, pepper, cayenne)


  • Mandoline (optional), or sharp knife
  • Bowl of cold water
  • Microwave-safe dish
  • Parchment Paper


Cover a microwave-safe dish with a sheet of parchment paper.

Cut the potato into 1/8” to 1/16” thick slices, placing the slices into the cold water as soon as they are cut.


Rinse the slices in cold water until the water runs clear.


Dry the slices by patting them between two clean dish cloths or using a salad spinner.


Paint both sides of the potato with olive oil and place the slices on the parchment paper lined plate in a single layer without overcrowding this may take a few batches!

Microwave the slices at 100% power for 3 minutes. Flip them over and microwave at 50% power for another 2-3 minutes. Remove any chips that are starting to crisp and brown (smaller chips crisp up faster!). Continue cooking the remaining chips at 50% power for 30 second intervals until crispy!


Transfer finished potato chips to a bowl and immediately season. Repeat microwaving with the remaining potato slices as needed.


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