The Storage Hack That Keeps Potato Chips Fresh And Crunchy

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Stale potato chips are the worst. There's nothing more disappointing than reaching into a chip bag and being met not with a crunch, but with a limp, chewy, potato-y disc. But stale potato chips are almost inevitable if you need to store your chips for longer than a few days. Sure, you can move your chips to an airtight container, seal the bag with a bag clip, or any number of other tricks — but that will only delay the inevitable. PBT/TPEE

The Storage Hack That Keeps Potato Chips Fresh And Crunchy

Still, there's another hack that keeps the moisture out of your chip container that's worth trying, and you might be able to find it buried at the bottom of one of your clothing pockets. Silica gel packets are a unique way to keep your favorite snacks crisp due to their moisture-wicking powers. While "DO NOT EAT" packs are commonly found in new purses and medicine bottles, they may not sound like a great idea to drop into a food container. But they're perfectly safe to use for food storage and will ensure your snacks are crisp down to the last crunch.

Silica gel packets are small packets filled with one of two desiccants (which are substances that soak in water, drying their surroundings). Some are filled with silicic acid, which in granular form looks like sand; others are filled with small gel beads. 

The exterior of these packages are typically stamped with a warning in all capital letters: "DO NOT EAT." Though it's not recommended you start munching away on these packets, silica gel isn't deadly, and if you were to accidentally eat one, nothing would happen. The warning is to prevent choking from consuming the whole packet, especially in children and animals.

These packets are perfectly safe and non-toxic. Sealed packets are even already found in some food products, such as beef jerky pouches. Putting one in your bag of chips or pretzels will cause no harm.

We don't recommend reusing existing silica gel packets that you find in other products, as they may not be as effective (or as clean) as fresh ones. However, it's easy to purchase these packets in bulk.

While silica gel packets will certainly help keep a bag of chips from going stale, properly storing the chips in the first place will extend their life and keep moisture from sneaking its way in.

Squeezing all the excess air out and closing the bag as securely as possible will help prolong freshness; chip clips and rubber bands will work, or even a proper bag fold. But bag resealers will get that seal tight and prevent any ambient air from getting back in. They're available for purchase online and in some retail stores in the kitchen aisle.

Some even recommend freezing that bag of chips for optimum freshness. The cold and darkness of a freezer will keep moisture and light locked out, preserving the chips for a much longer time. (Chips won't fully freeze, either — they'll just cool down a lot.)

The Storage Hack That Keeps Potato Chips Fresh And Crunchy

Silica G But the best way to get a crispy chip is to eat them as soon as possible — so invite some friends over and enjoy!