The Trick to Getting the Crispiest Kale Chips

The Tuscan kale plants in my garden needed a serious trim. What to do with all the leaves? How about making kale chips?

I’ve heard lots of people rave about kale chips, but I never had the need to prepare them until now.

I was eager to try a method for extra-crispy chips I saw recommended on the blog Stay at Stove Dad. The trick is to bake the chips, then let them sit in the oven for another hour with the heat turned off. As a kale chip novice, I figured I would be a good person to determine if this extra step was worth it.

I removed the center rib from my kale leaves, then cut them into chip-sized pieces. I tossed the leaves (about one store-bought bundle’s worth) in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the juice from half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and two dashes of cayenne pepper.

I spread the leaves on two sheet pans, then baked them for 25 minutes at 250 degrees F. I turned off the oven and pulled one sheet pan out right away, letting the other one sit in the oven for another hour.

After trying one of the quick-baked chips, I couldn’t imagine how the extra hour of rest could be much of an improvement. The chips were crispy and delicious. I couldn’t stop eating them.

After waiting patiently for 60 minutes, I did a chip-by-chip comparison, and there was a noticeable difference. The chips that rested in the oven were completely crunchy and crispy, without being burned. They disintegrated on my tongue as soon as I closed my mouth, without having to even chew them. The chips that had only been baked for 25 minutes, while crispy, weren’t quite as crispy. They stuck to my teeth a little.

There was a clear winner. And waiting an extra hour for these kale chips was worth it.

  • Jesse

    I’ll have to try this.  My kale chips always have a slightly soggy one or two in the batch.  (That being said, in the potato chip world — kettle chips especially — it’s always a treat to get that really folded-over one that’s still a little oily and moist inside.)

  • Dan

    Good to know. I’m going to buy some kale and try making chips.

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