There is no shortage of kale chips recipes on the web, but here are some tips for best results because it is possible to mess up oven-baked kale chips.
(Plus, there seems to be an unwritten rule that food blogs must contain a kale chips post.)
Tips for Best Oven Baked Kale Chips
1. Make sure the kale leaves are very dry after washing. Any moisture left on the leaves will create soggy leaves.
2. Bake your kale on a cooling rack or similar tray so any moisture evaporates instead of “steaming” the leaves. I use an oven safe cross wire cooling rack that fits over a half sheet sized pan. If you don’t have a rack you need to be extra sure the leaves are completely dry before placing it on a parchment lined pan.
3. Use the lowest temperature your oven will allow (my oven has a “dehydrate” function that bakes at 130F). Sure you’ll find recipes that will give you kale chips in 20-30 minutes or less at 350-375F, but I find that they are more likely to turn brown and bitter before being totally crisp. A lower oven temperature will dry out the kale without risk of browning the leaves.
4. If you have finally succumbed to the kale chip obsession (they are the snack addict’s healthy solution), consider getting a food dehydrator for perfect kale chips every time.
Best Oven Kale Chips
Bake the leaves enough to be crispy but not too much that they brown and turn bitter. Write down your timing for future reference. (Oven temps differ – be your own chef on this one). Though the lower the oven temperature used the more leeway you have on timing.
1 bunch kale (any variety works)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
optional flavorings: smoked paprika, granulated garlic, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, lemon juice
1. Remove kale leaves from the stem and rinse in water.
2. Dry the leaves as best you can (use a salad spinner, or do it ahead of time and let air dry on clean kitchen towels).
3. Toss kale with oil and spices in a large bowl.
4. Place leaves in a single layer on a *wire rack over a sheet pan or a parchment lined pan and bake at 250F or lower. Bake until crispy, about 30-45 minutes for 250F oven or a few hours if your oven has a “dehydrate” function.
Alternatively, use a food dehydrator and dry about 5 hours at 115F.
*Note: If you don’t have a rack to allow for better air flow, make sure your kale is really dry and salt the leaves after baking.
How do you make your kale chips? What oven temp and timing works for you?