A chip butty is an absolute British classic. With a few tips and tricks here I’ll show you the best way to make a chip butty!
If you’re reading this from outside the UK you might be thinking ‘What is a chip butty?’. You might possibly be thinking that if you’re in the UK too to be fair 😂. It’s essentially chips shoved between two buttered slices of bread. And by chips I mean the hot kind (as in French Fries), not the kind that come in a packet from the store. Although I am partial to a crisp sandwich, but that’s a story for another day 🤪. Follow me…
Sure, you could cook up some frozen chips and use them, but where’s the fun in that? Plus homemade chips are so much tastier!
Best potato for homemade chips?
You want a floury baking potato such as a Russet (US) or Maris Piper (UK). Waxy potatoes don’t work great for chips because they don’t go as fluffy in the centre when they’re cooked. Try and find the biggest potato you can, just so you can slice the chips nice and thick.
How to cut potato for chips?
Usually I’d keep the skin on, but for a chip butty it’s always skin off. The next thing you’ll want to do is square/straight the sides. This not only makes the potato more sturdy when slicing, but it also helps create a straight cut chip (in comparison to more of a wedge shape). From there just slice into large thick chips. Try and make them as uniform as possible so they cook at an even rate.
Process shots: add potato to chopping board (photo 1), peel (photo 2), square off sides (photo 3), quarter (photo 4), half the quarters (photo 5), discard any skinny edges (photo 6).
How to prepare chips
Next thing you’ll want to do is parboil the chips. By doing this you’ll draw out the starch, which will help the chips come out nice and fluffy once they’re baked. Two things to consider when you parboil:
When you boil the potatoes you’re essentially allowing water into the potato. However, in order the crisp up the chips we want as little water in the potato as possible. As such, once you’ve parboiled the chips make sure you allow them to steam dry. The more they steam = the more moisture leaves the potato = the crispier/fluffier they’ll be.
Rough the Edges
Another tip to help get crispy chips is roughing up the chips in the colander to create a fluffy exterior. The more rough the edges = the crispier they come out once baked.
Process shots: add chips to salted water (photo 1), parboil then drain (photo 2), allow to steam dry then rough the edges (photo 3).
How to bake chips
Nearly there – promise! When it comes to cooking the chips, you could deep fry them, but honestly you can still get them just as crispy by baking. The key is hot oil and using a good amount!
Best oil for chips?
You want something with a neutral flavour and a high smoking point. Vegetable, sunflower and canola oil all work perfectly.
Can you use olive oil for chips?
I don’t recommend using olive oil because it simply can’t take the heat. You essentially want to cover the base of a pan with oil and bake it until it’s roasting hot before you add the chips. Olive oil will smoke out the kitchen if you do this.
Process shots: cover pan with oil and roast until piping hot (photo 1), add chips, coat in oil and space out (photo 2), roast until golden crispy (photo 3).
How to make a chip butty
As you can imagine it’s fairly straight forward from here. For the perfect chip butty here’s what you’ll need:
- Chips – Homemade as discussed! You can bake frozen chips if you’re in a hurry and need a chip butty in your face asap (we’ve all been there).
- Bread – Classic option is white bread (seeded/wholegrain is distracting), needs to be soft (to counter the crispy chips) and preferably needs to be medium slices (too thick and the whole thing is too stodgy, too thin and it won’t hold the chips).
- Butter – Don’t hold back on this! It is a chip ‘butty’ after all.
- Salt – Seasons the chips and draws out the final bit of moisture to help them crisp up.
- Ketchup – or brown sauce (classic options). But you can use a sauce of choice.
- Vinegar – A splash of malt vinegar gives you the classic chip shop taste, but this is optional. Do not sub any other variety of vinegar (white wine, balsamic etc).
Do I have to make my own chips?
Homemade are horrendously satisfying, so I highly recommend it. If you’re going frozen then I recommend thick cut chips (go for ‘Homestyle Chips’, ‘Gastro Triple Cooked Chips’ or ‘Steak Cut Chips’). Medium thickness works well, thick cut is just my preference. Never French Fries. In any case just make sure they’re thick/steak cut and cook them until they’re nice and crispy, to counteract the soft bread.
Process shots: butter bread (photo 1), add chips and season with salt/vinegar (photo 2), add sauce (photo 3), add buttered bread (photo 4).
Serving a Chip Butty
When it comes to serving a chip butty you really don’t need anything else. In fact, it’s fairly frowned upon to try and upgrade or build upon this thing of beauty. Only exception is a piece of fish or battered sausage if you got your chips from the chippy! Oh and of course a cup of tea on the side.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chip butty shall we?!
How to make a Chip Butty (Full Recipe & Video)
- Large Baking Tray & Tongs
- Medium/Large Pot & Colander
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Paper Towels
- Potato Peeler
- 2 large Baking Potatoes (Russets or Maris Pipers)
- 1/3 cup / 80ml Vegetable Oil, or as needed (see notes)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 4 medium slices of Soft White Bread
- Ketchup or Brown Sauce, as needed
- Butter, as needed
- Salt, as needed
- Malt Vinegar, as needed (optional)
- Peel potatoes and straighten/square the edges with a knife (see video for reference). This will make the potato easier to slice and result in straight cut chips. Slice potato into 6-8 thick wedges (bear in mind they will shrink slightly in the oven).
- Add to a pot of cold water with 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil for around 5-8mins, or until parboiled. The edges should begin to fluff and you should only JUST be able to slice through the potato.
- Drain (don't rinse) in a colander and shake about to rough the edges. Allow to steam dry for 10-15mins, preferably until they stop steaming.
- Meanwhile pour enough oil to cover the base of a baking tray. I use 1/3cup/80ml in a 12"x15" tray for reference. Pop in the oven at 205C/400F until piping hot.
- Remove tray and quickly but carefully add chips. Use a pair of tongs to coat the chips in oil, make sure they're spread out then pop in the oven for 35-45mins, turning a few times throughout until golden brown and crispy. Important to space chips out or they'll steam and go soggy. Timings will depend on thickness of chips so just be vigilant. Place on paper towels to soak excess oil once cooked.
- Butter one side of each of your slices of bread. Add chips to two of those slices, top with a pinch of salt, drizzle with vinegar (optional) then add ketchup. Add the second slice of bread, slice in half and enjoy!
Your Private Notes:
For the Chip Butty’s partner is crime check out my Perfect Crisp Sandwich!
For more similar sandwiches check out these beauties:
British Sandwich Recipes
If you loved this Chip Butty Recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!