How You Can Bring Stale Potato Chips Back To Life In The Air Fryer

Everyone can recall the disappointment of excitedly tearing into a bag of chips only to find they taste nowhere near as fresh as they once did. Accidentally leave a bag of Lay's or Ruffles open for a few hours, and you're left with a stale heap. The crunch has disappeared and the texture is all off, leaving you yearning for the product's original state. Luckily, thanks to a particularly useful kitchen appliance, you can quickly return your crisps to the texture they were meant to be enjoyed in. 


One of the air fryer hacks you'll wish you knew sooner is that the appliance can revive just about anything you throw into it, including a bag of stale potato chips. So there's no need to toss a nearly full package out just because you forgot to close it up. Give the chips some time to reheat in the handy dandy air fryer, and they'll be like new when you take them out.

How to re-crisp potato chips in the air fryer

To bring back that addictingly satisfying crunch in your potato chips, it's truly as simple as taking the ones that could use some love and placing them inside the air fryer. The duration you leave them in for ultimately depends on your appliance's exact model, as well as how many chips you're working with and how crispy you'd like them to be. Nonetheless, all air fryers operate similarly to achieve the same goal.


A good temperature to start with is 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop the chips into the basket or tray for anywhere between 1 to 5 minutes. You can open the air fryer and give a taste test as each minute passes to see if you're happy with the chips' level of crunch. The longer you leave them in, the more you'll notice a change in both color and texture. A good rule of thumb would be to start slow and increase the time as needed. Once they've had their time to bask in the heat, notice how they've regained their initial consistency and taste even better now that they're warm.

How the air fryer revives stale food

The science behind why food goes stale and how it interacts with the air fryer makes it easier to understand the magic that brings your chips back to life. Simply put, chips become stale because they've gained moisture. This happens when their packaging is left open and leaves them exposed to the air, from which the chips attract water. The originally very low amount of water they had throughout the potato frying process, which is what makes them as crunchy as they are, increases.


This is where your air fryer comes in to bring that moisture content back down. Air fryers work by emitting very hot air that the fan then rapidly circulates throughout the device's basket, heating your food through both radiation and convection. It exposes the chips to a high heat that allows their crispy texture to be renewed without the use of oil. 

Don't limit your machine to just resuscitating chips, though. There's a whole lineup of unexpected foods to throw in the air fryer, from dill pickles and crispy tofu to pop tarts and grilled cheese. You can put pizza with a spoonful of water in there to bring it back to perfection.