In this week’s episode of You Can Do This, we’re pitting homemade tortilla chips against store-bought versions. While you might roll your eyes and say, “Well of course homemade fried chips taste better,” the question is also, “Is it more cost effective?” And crucially, is the time spent making them actually worth the effort compared to just grabbing a bag off the shelf?
The answer is based on how much you value taste. The homemade chips made of fried corn tortillas have a texture and corn flavor that I have yet to find in a conventional store-bought chip. And since you’re actually using tortillas, homemade chips tend to be thicker — which means they’re more equipped to handle dips and toppings without snapping. Chips fry fast, so the work here is actually minimal at best.
But the real question here is economics. What if I told you that corn tortillas are around half the cost per ounce than standard store-bought chips? What if I then told you to factor in the price of frying oil, which then puts it over the price of store bought, but that oil IS reusable: Does it then still matter? If you have fry oil already, then the cost stays the same. Like I said, it comes down to a matter of taste. As the vehicle for America’s favorite condiment, salsa, this question has plagued me for years.