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My goal is to make a crispy butternut squash chip without deep frying, but from all my various trials, the chips keep coming out chewy, with a texture similar to fruit leather.

My main method has been to slice butternut squash on a mandoline to approx 3-4 millimeters, toss in oil and salt, bake in oven at 400F for approx 35 min on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan, then place the chips in my dehydrator at 125F for 5 hours.

I've also tried boiling them instead of baking for 5 min before the dehydrator and baking at 400F for 20 min then 500F for 10 min before the dehydrator. Both methods still produced the same leathery / chewy texture. I've also tried putting the cut butternut squash straight in the dehydrator, but I don't like the raw taste that the squash retains. Finally, I've tried putting the squash slices in the oven at 300F for 30 min as well to no avail.

It seems to me that there might not be enough starch content in a butternut squash to get a true crispy chip like you'd find in a potato. Does this make sense?

I'd love any advice anyone can offer on how to get these things crispy and crunchy. Thanks!

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You can try slicing it thinner (about 1mm or less, like a normal potato crisp), to further increase surface ratio in your crisps and make them dehydrate quicker and fully in the oven, so there is no moisture to migrate.

The difference between frying and baking is how your food is exposed to heat - frying is sudden exposure to high heat that leads to dehydration of the surface of your food and makes it crispy. This doesn't last long because then the moisture at the core of the food migrates to the surface and makes it soggy (like french fries and chicken nuggets). Unless your food lost completely all the remaining moisture and it doesn't migrate to the surface (like happens with potato crisps).

Cutting your squash as thinly as possible might be the solution to have crisps, so your oven can fully dehydrate them and you don't have the leathery texture.

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