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I like to make corn tortilla chips by cutting up store-bought tortillas and baking them at 350 for ~20-25 minutes without oil or salt. However, I've found that the last few minutes are highly variable - they go from perfect golden to burnt brown very quick. I've had to toss quite a few sheets because giving an extra minute or two resulted in burnt chips.

I also try to flip and rearrange the chips about halfway through because another large source of variability is the chip's placement within the oven - usually chips near the front crisp up much quicker.

These issues are further compounded if I'm baking two sheets of chips at the same time, which is often the case.

I've thought of a couple things, but haven't tried yet:

  • Bake at a lower temp for longer.
  • Dehydrate the tortillas somehow before baking.

I'd rather avoid the first option, and I haven't thought of a means of doing the second.

Does anyone have suggestions for baking tortilla chips in a more consistent manner?

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  • When I'm trying to brown stuff in the oven, I'll often switch to broil w/ the oven cracked so I can actively watch the color change and pull it at the right time. It's often a thin line between golden brown and blackened husk, so working with the oven open is pretty important. (and not getting distracted and turning your back for 30+ seconds) – Joe Apr 20 '15 at 10:40
  • Hmm the problem is that it takes ~20 minutes of baking to get to the stage where the golden => burnt transition takes place. Since this ~20 minutes is variable, I always end up obsessively checking every few minutes for 20-25 minutes. It's annoying :/ – Chester Apr 20 '15 at 22:00
  • The broiler is faster ... you crank the heat way up, and place the food right near the heat source. The disadvantage is that it only cooks from one side, so you might need to pull it a little early, turn everything over, then put it back in again. – Joe Apr 20 '15 at 23:54
  • Do you also rotate the tray in the oven? We make tortilla chips in the oven also, but it's usually while we are preparing or cooking something else so we are always looking in on the chips and we spray oil on them before they are put into the oven. We haven't really had a problem with the cips burning as long as we rotated the pan halfway and tossed the chips a few times during the baking time. – Deirdra Strangio Apr 22 '15 at 21:22
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I broiled on low and just watched them. Didn't take more than a few minutes per side and they browned relatively evenly. Actually they looked store bought and they tasted delicious completely unseasoned

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In case you would like to try the method we use (minus the oil and salt)

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes (tossing the strips halfway through).
  4. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with paper towels.

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