Whether in a butty or alongside a burger, plenty of us love a chippy tea, but which are the tastiest chips to buy?
To find out, we asked a panel of consumers to blind taste test 12 types of frozen crinkle cut oven chips from McCain, Albert Bartlett and Aunt Bessie’s – as well as supermarket own-brand offerings.
The brands proved their potato-based prowess by taking the top three spots for taste, but McCain lost out to Albert Bartlett overall.
If you’re looking to switch to cheaper chips, you may have to opt for a less flavoursome fry. Own-brand supermarket options were on the bland side, though some are a better bet than others.
Read on to find out what makes the brands stand out, how to get the best price, and which cheaper options are best.
Best oven chips
These crinkle cut oven chips are the best by far for flavour and crispness. Albert Bartlett takes the crown, but the other brands aren’t far behind.
They are all a bit pricier, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for special offers and stocking up when they’re cheaper (and be aware of differing pack sizes when comparing!).
Best Buy: Albert Bartlett Deep Crinkle Cut Chips – 79%
£2.75 for a 1.2kg pack (23p per 100g)
A name synonymous with spuds, Albert Bartlett really does make a superior crinkle cut chip – and our tasters’ favourite.
They’re unmatched for flavour and are some of the only chips to achieve the perfect combination of crispness on the outside and fluffy potato on the inside. Most of our tasters also felt that the thickness of the chips was spot on.
They taste great; some of our tasters remarked on the pleasant flavour and hint of seasoning (more on this later). They’re darker in colour than most chips on test but for many the golden brown colour added to their appeal.
They’re one of the more expensive offerings, but worth splashing out on – or snapping up when on offer.
Aunt Bessie’s Crinkle Cut Chips – 75%
£2.90 for a 1.3kg pack (22p per 100g)
Another deeper-coloured chip, Aunt Bessie’s chips tied with McCain for second place. They look great and impressed our tasters with their crispy exterior. You get a lovely, well-balanced flavour, but they don’t quite match Albert Bartlett’s chips.
Some potato skin has been left on in places, which had varied appeal with our testers. They’re just a smidgeon cheaper than Albert Bartlett at 22p per 100g, but still towards the pricier end of the chip scale.
We’ve seen a larger 1.5kg bag available in Ocado; if you have room in your freezer it’s slightly better value at 21p per 100g.
McCain Home Chips (Crinkle) – 75%
£2.99 for a 1kg pack (30p per 100g)
For flavour, texture and thickness, these McCain chips were on par with Aunt Bessie’s, earning them joint second spot in our taste test.
They’re a slightly paler chip and nearly a quarter of tasters felt they were a bit too thick. However, most thought the texture inside was just right, and a number of tasters commented on the pleasant aftertaste.
Buying the 1kg bag makes these the most expensive chips on test, but if you have room in your freezer for the 1.6kg bag, they’re better value 22p per 100g. They also tend to be on offer fairly regularly so are worth snapping up when cheaper.
Best supermarket brand oven chips
The higher scoring own-brand chips tend to be the pricier ones, and they’re all a step down from the branded chips for flavour and texture.
But it’s worth knowing which ones will make for a decent dinner, and where you’re better off trading up to the branded option.
Co-op Crinkle Cut Oven Chips – 65%
£1.45 for a 750g pack (19p per 100g)
Co-op is the joint highest scoring supermarket brand. While the chips are reasonable enough, almost half of our testers said they lacked flavour and weren’t crispy enough on the outside. Some found them a little bland and a number of testers described them as ‘greasy’. If you don’t want to oven cook, these chips can also be grilled.
They only offer a saving of a couple of pence per 100g over the branded frozen chips, so switching to these won’t have much impact on your shopping spend.
M&S Crinkle Cut Chips – 65%
£2.35 for a 1kg pack (24p per 100g)
M&S’ chips aren’t bad overall, but the texture disappointed some tasters with 43% finding the outside lacked crispness. They also weren’t as chunky as some other chips we tested – just under a third said they were too thin for their liking.
These are the second priciest chips on test. You’ll be better off for flavour and price with the Albert Bartlett Best Buys.
Asda Crinkle Cut Chips – 64%
£1.70 for a 1.5kg pack (11p per 100g)
These chips ranked similarly to Co-op and M&S for flavour, but more than half of tasters thought the chips were too weak in flavour and not crispy enough.
They’re a bit bland, but also considerably cheaper than the rest, costing less than half the price of the branded chips. If you want to save money, these Asda chips are your best option.
How other supermarket chips compare
There’s not much separating the remaining own-brand chips on test. Scores are all very close with the exception of Aldi’s chips, which fall slightly behind.
Most are significantly cheaper than branded versions, with Iceland being the cheapest per 100g.
Here’s how the rest of the supermarket chips scored:
- Sainsbury’s Crinkle Cut Chips – 63%. Flavour is on a par with Asda, but these chips are paler and the texture wasn’t as appealing, with 62% of people saying the outside wasn’t crispy enough. £1.70 for a 1.5kg pack (11p per 100g). Available from .
- Lidl Harvest Basket Crinkle Cut Chips – 62%. These chips lack visual appeal and lacked a crispy coating; 78% of tasters said they were too pale and 58% thought the outer texture wasn’t crispy enough. £1.29 for a 1.5kg pack (9p per 100g). Available in-store from Lidl.
- Morrisons Crinkle Cut Chips – 62%. These chips looked fairly appealing, but two thirds of our tasters said they weren’t crispy enough. £1.35 for a 1.2kg pack (11p per 100g). Available from .
- Iceland Crinkle Cut Chips (Big Value Pack) – 61%. Our tasters found these had a less appealing smell than other chips and they fell behind on appearance too, with nine in 10 finding them too pale. They got decent marks for texture though. £2.00 for a 2.25kg pack (4p per 100g). Available from .
- Tesco Crinkle Cut Oven Chips – 61%. These chips may look quite appetising, but 60% of people found the flavour insipid. The texture also proved disappointing – two thirds of tasters said they weren’t crispy enough. £1.70 for a 1.5kg pack (11p per 100g). Available from .
- Aldi Four Seasons Crinkle Cut Chips – 58%. These chips didn’t smell particularly appetising and, like some of the other supermarket chips we tested, they’re a little bland. They’re also less chunky than others, with 64% finding them too thin. £1.29 for a 1.5kg pack (9p per 100g). Available from .
What makes the best oven chips so tasty?
Oven chips may seem simple, but they aren’t always just made of potato and sunflower oil. All three of the branded chips (as well as Iceland’s) have additional ingredients including different types of flour, salt and turmeric. The brands also include paprika. These can add colour, flavour and crunch.
M&S, Lidl and Aldi’s chips keep it simple, but the rest include dextrose or dextrin (sugar, essentially) which may account for some tasters commenting about a sweetness to some chips.
None of the chips were high in salt, sugar or fat according to NHS guidelines. However, be aware that adding salt, ketchup, mayo, or other sauces will add significantly on this front.
How long do oven chips take to cook?
Usually around 20-25 minutes at around 200-220°C, but we compared instructions across the different packs of chips and found they all differ slightly, so it’s worth checking the pack for best results. With energy prices on the rise, this could factor into your choice of chip.
Aunt Bessie’s and McCain’s chips need a higher temperature and take longer to cook than the rest, taking up to 25 and 26 minutes respectively at 210°C in a fan oven. However, the top-scoring Albert Bartlett chips cook around 7 minutes faster at 200°C.
How we tested oven chips
The chips were tested and assessed in July 2022 by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and consume chips. We focused on crinkle cut oven chips.
The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK. Each brand was assessed by 77 people. The chips were oven cooked in accordance with the instructions on the packaging.
The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the 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% aroma
- 10% appearance
These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different attributes of oven chips.
How to recycle chip packaging
All of the oven chips we tested are sold in plastic packaging. Aldi’s is the only packaging which is not recyclable. All of the other bags included information specifying that you can recycle the bags at soft plastic recycling points in large supermarkets.
Prices correct as of 11 August 2022. Prices based on most widely available / mid-range size.