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DIY Kettle Chips
Whether thick cut, crinkle, plain, or flavored, potato chips are one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Our favorite is the small-batch, kettle-style chip. These chips have good potato flavor and a crisp, light texture. Though seemingly simple, perfecting a homemade version proved to be a challenge. Frying at too low a temperature made them soggy and greasy, but if we increased the heat, they burned. Targeting the potatoes’ starch as the source of our troubles, we finally landed on a method of rinsing, parboiling, then frying. It was a bit of work, but the reward of fresh, golden homemade potato chips was well worth it. —America’s Test Kitchen
Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook
Makes about 6 cups
Make today, enjoy immediately
1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/16 inch thick on mandoline 2 quarts vegetable oil Fine sea salt
1. Line rimmed baking sheet with clean dish towel. Set wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line with triple layer of paper towels; set both sheets aside. Place potato slices in large bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swirl potatoes to release starch. Drain potatoes and return to bowl. Repeat rinsing step until water no longer turns cloudy, about 5 rinses.
2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, return to gentle boil, and cook until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain potatoes well, then spread out over dish towel–lined sheet and thoroughly pat dry.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. Carefully place one-quarter of potato slices in oil. Fry, stirring frequently with wire skimmer or slotted spoon, until oil stops bubbling and chips turn golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature around 325 degrees. As soon as chips finish frying (some chips may cook slightly faster than others), transfer to prepared wire rack using wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Season with salt to taste.
4. Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining potato slices in 3 more batches. Let cool completely before serving. (Kettle chips are best enjoyed the day they are made.)

DIY Kettle Chips

Whether thick cut, crinkle, plain, or flavored, potato chips are one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Our favorite is the small-batch, kettle-style chip. These chips have good potato flavor and a crisp, light texture. Though seemingly simple, perfecting a homemade version proved to be a challenge. Frying at too low a temperature made them soggy and greasy, but if we increased the heat, they burned. Targeting the potatoes’ starch as the source of our troubles, we finally landed on a method of rinsing, parboiling, then frying. It was a bit of work, but the reward of fresh, golden homemade potato chips was well worth it. —America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes about 6 cups

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/16 inch thick on mandoline
2 quarts vegetable oil
Fine sea salt

1. Line rimmed baking sheet with clean dish towel. Set wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line with triple layer of paper towels; set both sheets aside. Place potato slices in large bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swirl potatoes to release starch. Drain potatoes and return to bowl. Repeat rinsing step until water no longer turns cloudy, about 5 rinses.

2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, return to gentle boil, and cook until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain potatoes well, then spread out over dish towel–lined sheet and thoroughly pat dry.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. Carefully place one-quarter of potato slices in oil. Fry, stirring frequently with wire skimmer or slotted spoon, until oil stops bubbling and chips turn golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature around 325 degrees. As soon as chips finish frying (some chips may cook slightly faster than others), transfer to prepared wire rack using wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Season with salt to taste.

4. Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining potato slices in 3 more batches. Let cool completely before serving. (Kettle chips are best enjoyed the day they are made.)

DIY Graham Crackers

There are few things I consider myself good at doing, but among them is cooking. So when I was helping out my daughter’s class and saw her teacher lean over and say,“I know which snack you want, Lola!” as she gave her a pile of graham crackers from a cardboard box, I thought: (1) “Why does that woman know my daughter’s snack preferences better than me?” and (2) “I will make them better!” (I’m good at being competitive, too.) Graham crackers’ flavor traditionally comes from graham flour, yet the supermarket crackers contain mostly all-purpose. This added one more goal; I would bring the graham back to the cracker. —Sarah Wilson, America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes 48 crackers

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 1/2	cups (8 1/4 ounces) graham flour
3/4	cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour 
1/2	cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1	teaspoon baking powder
1	teaspoon baking soda
1/2	teaspoon salt
1/4	teaspoon ground cinnamon
8	tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5	tablespoons water
2	tablespoons molasses
1	teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Process graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Add water, molasses, and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 20 seconds.

2. Divide dough into quarters. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap), roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 11 by 8-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment and trim dough into tidy 10 by 7 1/2-inch rectangle with knife, and then score rectangle of dough into twelve 2 1/2-inch squares. Prick each square several times with fork.

3. Slide 2 pieces of rolled-out and scored dough, still on parchment, onto separate baking sheets. Bake crackers until golden brown and edges are firm, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Slide baked crackers, still on parchment, onto wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of rolled-out dough.

4. Transfer cooled crackers, still on parchment, to cutting board and carefully cut apart along scored lines. Graham crackers can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To Make Cinnamon Graham Crackers: Increase amount of cinnamon in dough to 1/2 teaspoon. Toss 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, then sprinkle mixture over scored crackers just before baking.

DIY Graham Crackers

There are few things I consider myself good at doing, but among them is cooking. So when I was helping out my daughter’s class and saw her teacher lean over and say,“I know which snack you want, Lola!” as she gave her a pile of graham crackers from a cardboard box, I thought: (1) “Why does that woman know my daughter’s snack preferences better than me?” and (2) “I will make them better!” (I’m good at being competitive, too.) Graham crackers’ flavor traditionally comes from graham flour, yet the supermarket crackers contain mostly all-purpose. This added one more goal; I would bring the graham back to the cracker. —Sarah Wilson, America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes 48 crackers

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) graham flour
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Process graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Add water, molasses, and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 20 seconds.

2. Divide dough into quarters. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap), roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 11 by 8-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment and trim dough into tidy 10 by 7 1/2-inch rectangle with knife, and then score rectangle of dough into twelve 2 1/2-inch squares. Prick each square several times with fork.

3. Slide 2 pieces of rolled-out and scored dough, still on parchment, onto separate baking sheets. Bake crackers until golden brown and edges are firm, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Slide baked crackers, still on parchment, onto wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of rolled-out dough.

4. Transfer cooled crackers, still on parchment, to cutting board and carefully cut apart along scored lines. Graham crackers can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To Make Cinnamon Graham Crackers: Increase amount of cinnamon in dough to 1/2 teaspoon. Toss 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, then sprinkle mixture over scored crackers just before baking.

A Taco Dip Touchdown

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Taco dip rarely delivers on its promise of big Tex‐Mex flavor. We set out to develop a hearty, meaty taco dip worthy of eating while watching the big game. We wanted our dip to include plenty of flavorful ground beef, but when we simply stirred raw ground beef into the slow cooker, the dip was a watery, greasy mess. So we partially cooked the ground beef in the microwave to remove moisture and render excess fat. A packet of taco seasoning and a little garlic made quick work of seasoning the beef and helped us to shorten our ingredient list. To bulk up the meat, we added lots of hearty black beans. Mashing half of the beans and stirring in some shredded Monterey Jack cheese helped to bind everything together into a cohesive dip. Ro‐tel tomatoes added bright acidity and a spicy kick. To finish, we topped the dip with more gooey Monterey Jack and a sprinkling of scallions.

SLOW-COOKER BEEF AND BLACK BEAN TACO DIP

Get this recipe and 200+ more in Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2: The Easy-Prep Edition

Makes about 5 cups
Serves 6 to 8
Cooking Time 1 to 2 hours on Low
Slow Cooker Size 1 1/2 to 7 quarts

Serve with tortilla chips and/or pita chips.

1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 scallions, sliced thin


1. Microwave ground beef, taco seasoning, and garlic in bowl, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Break up any large pieces of beef with spoon, then drain off fat.

2. Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Using potato masher, mash half of beans with reserved tomato juice in large bowl until mostly smooth. Stir in beef mixture, remaining beans, tomatoes, and 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack until well combined.

3a. FOR A 1 1/2- TO 5-QUART SLOW COOKER: Transfer mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 hours on low. Stir dip to recombine and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack. Cover and continue to cook on low until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

3b. FOR A 5 1/2- TO 7-QUART SLOW COOKER: Transfer mixture to 1 1/2‐quart soufflé dish. Set dish in slow cooker and pour water into slow cooker until it reaches about one‐third up sides of dish (about 2 cups water). Cover and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 hours on low. Stir dip to recombine and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack. Cover and continue to cook on low until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove dish from slow cooker.

4. Sprinkle dip with scallions and serve. (Dip can be held on warm or low setting for up to 2 hours.)

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