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8 June 2020

Best oven chips

They're a weeknight dinner staple in many British households, but are you best buying McCain oven chips, or can supermarket brands offer a tastier, better value snack?
Oven chips on baking tray
AW
Alice Williams

McCain might claim the lion's share of the market when it comes to oven chips, but savvy shoppers can find bargains on supermarket shelves.

In February 2020, we pitted McCain's straight cut oven chips against eight supermarket offerings to see if any could beat the brand on appearance, texture, and, most importantly, taste.

And while we found some bargain Best Buys among the humble potatoes, we also encountered some flavourless, limp and lifeless spuds you'd be best leaving to the permafrost of the freezer aisle.

Best oven chips

Only logged-in Which? members can view the results of our taste test below and the overall score as a percentage given to each brand by our experts. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the oven chips on test. To get instant access join Which?.

Aldi Champion Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

6p per 100g

'Champion' is a tough name to live up to, especially for chips as cheap as these. So are these oven chips really better than all the rest? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Asda Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

8p per 100g

Asda's oven chips promise a 'crispy bite' but we found several brands that couldn't deliver the perfect crunchy texture. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Co-op Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

15p per 100g

Besides McCain, these Co-op straight cut oven chips are the priciest we tested. So are they really worth the money? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Iceland Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

8p per 100g

Iceland certainly knows what it's doing when it comes to frozen fare, but can it beat much pricier chips on texture and taste? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Lidl Harvest Basket Straight Cut Oven Chips

6p per 100g

Our panel loved the look of these cheap Lidl chips, but you'll have to log in to find out if they found them crispy, fluffy and generally tasty. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

McCain Original Oven Chips Straight Cut 5%

20p per 100g

McCain oven chips is the brand you know and possibly trust, but at more than three times more expensive than the cheapest chips we tried, is it worth a spot in your basket? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Morrisons Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

11p per 100g

Morrisons oven chips are some of the most calorific, but you might forgive them if they can deliver on flavour. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Sainsbury's Straight Cut Frozen Oven Chips

10p per 100g

There's quite a bit of saturated fat in Sainsbury's oven chips. Find out if this makes them tasty, or just greasy, by logging in. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Essential Waitrose Straight Cut Oven Chips

14p per 100g

Waitrose's chips are some of the least calorific, but you shouldn't have to compromise taste if you're watching your weight. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Note: Prices correct as of February 2020.

How to make your own homemade oven chips

If you're not daunted by all the peeling and chopping, it's pretty easy to make your own oven chips at home.

  • Choose a fluffy, floury type of potato (Maris Piper or King Edward work well) and peel off the skins.
  • Heat your oven to around 220-200°C, or 200-180°C if you have a fan oven.
  • Rinse your potatoes under a cold tap and pat completely dry. Lovepotatoes.co.uk recommends leaving them to soak in slightly salty water for 30 minutes if you have the time.
  • Cut chips into even strips.
  • Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. If you like, you could add extra seasonings such as rosemary, thyme, paprika or unpeeled garlic cloves.
  • Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, turning every so often until golden brown.

Find out the best mayonnaise to serve with your chips. Or if you're a ketchup fan, see which Heinz tomato ketchup was rated best in our taste test.

Can you fry oven chips?

If you have a deep fat fryer at home, you might be tempted to throw your chips in there instead of the oven, for a crispier coating and deeper flavour.

Luckily, most of the oven chips we've tested are suitable for frying, with instructions on the packet for cooking them to their best. The chips from Aldi and Iceland are also suitable for grilling if you're keen to try a different method.

Bear in mind that frying your chips is much quicker, taking around 4-5 minutes vs 20-30 minutes in the oven. And, as you're piling on the oil, it makes your dinner a much more indulgent affair too.

Another option is to air fry your chips. These stovetop appliances cook food more quickly than an oven manages with no pre-heating and, if you buy a good one, may yield crispier results. See the best air fryers we've tested to find your perfect model.

How we tested oven chips

The chips were assessed by a large panel of people who regularly buy and consume oven chips.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.

Each brand was assessed by 60 people.

The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each tray of chips and told us which one they preferred overall.

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the oven chips was fully rotated to avoid any bias.

Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 30% texture
  • 10% appearance
  • 10% aroma