An easy step-by-step guide on how to make Heston Blumenthal’s Triple Cooked Chips recipe at home. We’ve made lots of mistakes trying to get them right, so we hope this definitive guide means you’ll have an easier time.
It’s taken us 4 years to get the hang of making Heston Blumenthal’s Triple Cooked Chips recipe. Along with certain savoury porridges and breakfast ice creams they’re one of the Fat Duck chef’s most famous dishes. And one you can make at home.
In the spirit of sharing we’d like to offer you this definitive step-by-step guide on how to make Heston’s Perfect Triple Cooked Chips recipe. Hopefully it’ll help you avoid all the problems that’ve spoiled our previous attempts. We hope this guide will help you to cook Heston’s Triple Cooked Chips perfectly the first time and every time.
Here’s a clip from the BBC series In Search of Perfection, showing you how to make the Triple Cooked Chips recipe :
There’s a better video from the Channel 4 series How to Cook Like Heston, but it’s blocked in the UK. We’ve found that to get the best results we need to adjust some of his instructions. As you’ll read below.
Special Equipment: Deep fryer or Chip pan with basket, high range digital thermometer, kitchen timer
Special Ingredients: Arran Victory / Maris Piper potatoes, groundnut oil
Time: 7 hours
- 1 – 2 kg of Maris Piper potatoes
- 2 litres Groundnut oil for frying
- Salt & vinegar to season
- Peel potatoes and cut into thick wedges
- Rinse potatoes under cold water until water is completely clear
- Bring a very large pan of water to the boil and add potatoes
- Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes have a broken surface (15 – 30 min)
- Carefully remove cooked potatoes and gently lay on a cake rack in one layer
- Leave potatoes to go cold, then carefully place in fridge for at least 2 hours
- Heat frying oil to 130°C
- Fry chips in small batches (no more than around 20 at a time) for 4 minutes exactly
- Carefully lay the chips back onto the cake rack and leave them to go completely cold
- Carefully transfer chips to the fridge and cool for another 2 hours, minimum
- Heat oil to 190°C and an oven to 100°C
- Fry chips in small batches for 8 minutes, 1 – 2 minutes longer if required
- Drain on kitchen paper. Keep cooked chips warm in oven while cooking the other batches.
- Serve with salt and vinegar to your liking
Step 1: Preparing the Potatoes
Buy Maris Piper Potatoes (or Arran Victory, if you can find them) – this recipe can be ruined by picking the wrong type of potato. Your spud’s dry matter content (the thing that makes a potato waxy or floury) is the key factor. In the In Search of Perfection series Heston showed how exhaustive tests proved the Maris Piper potato is the best potato to make Triple Cooked Chips with.
Peel your potatoes and cut into thick wedges (you can square off the peeled potatoes for better presentation if you like). The triple cooking process will give your chips quite a thick crust. You want to make sure they’re pretty thick or your finished chips will be all crust and no fluffy centre. (Word of warning, if they’re too thick then moisture will remain in the centre and the chips will become soggy).
The triple cooking process is designed to drive away moisture, creating a better crunch, this means your potatoes will shrink during the process. Your finished chips won’t be as big as they are now.
The cut potatoes need to be thoroughly rinsed of all surface starch. Run them under cold water for a couple of minutes, tossing them several times to get each surface of every individual chip completely clear. Cloudy water means there is still starch present.
Optional: A lot of the flavour of a potato is in the skin. You can wrap the skins in muslin (or a disposable hairnet like we do) then add them to the water. This will infuse some of the flavour of the skins into the chips while they cook.
Step 2: Simmering
Bring a very large pot of water to the boil. Do not overcrowd the pan as the chips will take longer to cook.
Once the chips are in the pan turn down the heat. A fast, rolling boil is quite aggressive and that boiling will churn the chips about. This churning motion will risk breaking the chips apart into small chunks. Not what you’re looking for. You want there to be barely any bubbles rising to the surface of your water.
Keep an eye on the pan from the ten minute mark onwards. You are looking for the chips to be nearly falling apart, says Heston. This means lots of jagged cracks on the surface of your potatoes that will soak up oil during the two frying stages, giving you more crunch.
Step 3: Draining and Drying
Be VERY careful when handling the chips. As Heston says, the chips should be almost falling apart. They will be very fragile. Do NOT tip them all into a colander in one go.
We recommend you use a slotted spoon to fish each individual chip our when you think it looks ready. Heston’s Triple Cooked Chips recipe tells you the potatoes will be ready after 20 minutes. In our experiments we’ve found chips are done after anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Sometimes longer. We’ve found potatoes from the same bag can take different times to cook, some chips being ready 10 minutes before the others
Gently place the chips in a single layer on a cake rack (or the rack from your grill, if you don’t have a cake rack). You’ll see lots of steam rising off them. This is good.
When the chips have cooled completely to room temperature put them in the fridge for at least two hours. Heston’s later recipes say you can speed this process up, putting the chips into the freezer for just one hour. We’ve tried using the freezer, but we think the fridge method works much better.
Step 4: First Fry
Heat a pan of oil or deep fat fryer to 130°C (the oil will cool down slightly when you add the cold chips, like adding ice to a drink, but don’t worry). It is best to use groundnut oil, as it’s neutrally flavoured. But if your budget doesn’t allow then sunflower oil is absolutely fine. That’s what we’re using. If you want to be really extravagant then follow Hawksmoor’s advice and fry your triple cooked chips in beef dripping.
If using a pan it might take a minute or two for you to achieve a stable temperature. You don’t need a super-accurate thermometer, but you do need to make sure yours will go as high as 200°C. Some digital thermometers designed for meat won’t go any higher than 99°C.
Set a timer for 4 minutes and start it once the chips are submerged in the hot oil. See all those bubbles coming off the oil? That’s water boiling away, giving you a dryer, crispier chip.
It’s best to work in small batches. We’re frying about 3 ½ potatoes or about 20 chips at a time here. Gently rustle the basket every minute or so to turn the chips and ensure they don’t stick and cook evenly.
You want the chips to be the same colour as when they went into the oil, or very pale blonde at the most.
Step 5: Drain and Dry Again
The frying process will have given the chips a slightly tougher crust, which will make them a bit easier to handle. The triple cooked chips will still be quite delicate so you should still be very careful when handling them.
Pat very gently with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil then place them back on the cake or grill rack in the same way you did before. They need another two hours in the fridge (or an hour in the freezer if you’re in a hurry, or just feeling brave).
After the second drying stage the chips should be noticeably smaller than when you started. Your drying rack will have a lot more empty space.
Step 6: Final Fry
As before heat your deep fat fryer or pan of oil, this time to 190°C then set your oven to a low heat. And set a timer for 8 minutes.
It’s still best to work in small batches; we’re cooking no more than about 20 chips in one go.
Submerge the chips in the hot oil and start the timer. If you think the chips look slightly undercooked then give them a little longer.
Drain on kitchen paper. If working in batches then transfer the chips to a tray in a low oven (around 80 – 100°C works well) to keep warm while you cook the other portions. If they make a thunking noise when they land on the tray you’ve done your job well.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully made Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Triple Cooked Chips recipe. Add lots of salt and enjoy.
They take a lot of time and careful attention (and, for us, years of practice) but Heston Blumenthal Triple Cooked Chips really are worth it. You will literally never have eaten a chip this crispy.
It’s no wonder they’re now copied by everyone from Hawksmoor to Tom Kerridge. We wouldn’t make these every week (we’re so lazy we don’t even make them once a month) but for a special occasion they’re definitely worth it.
Rip one open and you can genuinely see the promised “glass like crust” and fluffy centre. Perfection.
We made these chips to accompany Heston’s Perfect Steak and Salad recipe from In Search of Perfection. If you’d like to read how we’ve got on with Heston’s other In Search of Perfection recipes (we’re about to start on his second book after finishing all the recipes in the first) then please have a look at the following:
Heston’s Perfect Bangers and Mash recipe – Feeling energetic? You can make Heston’s In Search of Perfection Bangers and Mash recipe in a single frantic day, but it’s worth the effort. Especially the gravy.
More triple cooked chips fun:
BigSpud’s Triple Cooked Chips – Our good friend Gary over at BigSpud has a written a detailed and helpful report on how to make Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked chips recipe. HIGHLY recommended reading.
Reluctant Housedad – We genuinely love reading this site, with it’s fun and adventurous attitude to cooking. Not just that, but there;s an excellent post on how to make Heston’s Triple Cooked Chips that gave us invaluable advice.
Have you tried to make Heston’s Triple Cooked Chips recipe? And if so did you think it was worth the effort? Please let us know in the comments section.