A potato chipper to make chips / French fries with is very easy to use, and once you’ve used one, you’ll be spoiled for life from how easy it is.
Whether you peel your potatoes or not is up to you — there are arguments for and against.
If you don’t peel them, then give the potatoes a good rinse under running water with a vegetable scrub brush, and cut away any bad or green spots or eyes.
This small potato shown above, about 125 g (4.5 oz), will fit in as is just fine, so it can just be popped in with no further ado, and pressed through the cutter.
It all grinds to a halt though with this larger potato, about 275 g (9.5 oz), which won’t even fit into the machine.
This larger potato will have to be cut.
We’ll just cut it in half horizontally through the middle. A large chef’s knife makes this the work of micro-seconds. The knife blade can just be wiped with a damp cloth afterwards.
The secret to easy “chipping”
Now, here comes the only trick to know about this whole chipping enterprise.
You now have two halves of a large potato. Each half now has a blunt end, and a (sort of) pointy end.
If you put the blunt end in facing the cutting blade grid, more times than not it will get stuck on you and you’ll get your daily exercise right there and then leaning on that machine to force it through — or dig it back out the way it came.
But, put it in with the pointy end facing the cutting blade grid, and Bob’s your uncle, it will slide right through as easy as, er, pie through a goose.
There it is above, ready to be pressed. Now, if that sucker had been any wider, even just a tidge, I would have been tempted to take an extra micro-second to quarter that potato. If a potato is too wide, it can get stuck as well and cause you to spend the next two minutes of your life trying to dig it out of the cutting grid. So, watch that. There’s no contest — or prize — for pressing the most potato at once through the cutter. There’s only a booby prize for getting it stuck.
And, here’s our chips / fries, ready to be (ideally) soaked for a bit, or at least rinsed, in cold water to get some excess starch out for crispier chips.
If you are in a real rush and just want to get straight to cooking them, many varieties of potato are also okay without the water stage.
But, if there will be any delay at all that is over, say, 5 minutes in cooking them, get them into a bowl, and covered in water, so they don’t blacken on you. (They will still be edible if they do blacken, but look very unappealing.)
You might wish to see a few tips on how to select a potato chipper / French fry cutter.