For the best homemade tortilla chips, fry them. We have shared details for fried and baked tortilla chips in the recipe. The baked chips are excellent, but they will not be as light or crispy as the traditionally fried chips. In the recipe ingredients, we call for 10 corn tortillas, but you can increase or decrease this amount based on how many chips you would like to make.
For the best flavor, look for tortillas that have been made using nixtamilized corn. Nixtamal is dried corn that has been cooked and soaked in water with calcium hydroxide (also known as slaked lime or cal). Not all store-bought tortillas use this method, which is why the flavor of corn tortillas can vary. Look for the words “nixtamel” or “nixtamalized” on the package. You can also look at the ingredients list on the package. It should be short and have the words “lime” or “cal” present.
10 corn tortillas or use more for more chips, stale or dried out tortillas are best
3/4 to 1 cup neutral, high-heat cooking oil; suggested: avocado oil, safflower oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil
Sea salt to taste
Cut each tortilla into six triangles.
Line a plate with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
Add enough oil to a wide, high sided pot or cast iron pan so that it is at least 1/4-inch deep. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat until the oil is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a thermometer, you can check the temperature of the oil by dropping a small piece of tortilla into the oil. If it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. If the tortilla browns too quickly, the oil is too hot and you will need to take the oil off of the heat and allow it to cool down before cooking the tortilla chips.
Place enough tortilla triangles into the hot oil so that they are mostly in one layer, but not crowded on top of each other. Use a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs to gently push the tortillas down into the oil so that they all have the chance to be coated in oil. Cook until the chips are crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the chips to the plate lined with paper towels and lightly season with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla triangles.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.
Spray or lightly brush the tortillas on both sides with oil. Cut each tortilla into six triangles and then arrange, in one layer, on the baking sheets.
Bake until the chips are crisp and golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Check the chips often and if you find that some are browning quicker than others, rotate the baking sheets to encourage more even baking.
Lightly season each chip with salt and then serve.