Which fat makes the best roasties?

Estimated read time 3 min read

To put an end to an age-old argument, we spent the day in our Test Kitchen using different oils and fats to roast batches of potatoes. All had great colour, a fluffy centre and excellent crunch. Coconut gave the deepest crust, and the butter mix the most colour – but how did they taste?

Check out our test kitchen review of the best fats for roast potatoes, then also discover more of our favourite roast potato recipes and and create a killer roast dinner with our roast collection. If you want an easy to follow demo, check out our video on how to roast potatoes.

How we tested the best fats for roasties

We boiled clementine-sized chunks of Maris Pipers for 15 mins, drained them, then steam-dried them until cold. A 0.5cm layer of oil or fat was heated in the oven in the roasting tin at 190C/170C fan/gas 5, then the potatoes were basted in the hot fat and roasted for 40 mins. The potatoes were turned, re-basted and roasted for 15 mins more at 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

1. Sunflower oil

The outsides were nice and dry, and the tasters thought the roasties tasted light with no overbearing flavours of oil or fat.

Try our easy roast potatoes recipe which uses sunflower oil.

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Roast potatoes in a bowl

2. Butter with rapeseed oil

Smelt buttery but didn’t taste fatty. A good tip is to melt the butter and leave the impurities in the pan before adding the melted butter to the rapeseed oil. This avoids little brown marks over the cooked roasties.

Try our crispiest ever roast potatoes recipe which use butter and rapeseed oil.

3. Coconut oil – Best crunch

The potatoes seemed to brown more quickly. There was a smell of coconut at the beginning of cooking, but not an obvious coconut flavour for some tasters – and those that did taste it didn’t find it unpleasant. The drawback was that the oil was smoky when you opened the oven.

4. Dripping

Another fat that created some smoke, and the tasters were poles apart with their opinions – the roasties were declared ‘worst’ and ‘best’ by different people! Dripping will give potatoes a slightly meaty aroma, as though they’ve been cooked with roast beef.

Try this recipe for triple-cooked roast potatoes which gives the option to use beef dripping.

Triple-cooked roast potatoes in a blue bowl

5. Goose fat – Best flavour

These had a good crunch and golden colour, but some thought they had a slightly more oily texture. Overall, they were considered the most flavoursome from the savoury taste of the goose fat, which didn’t overpower.

Try our ultimate roast potatoes recipe which use goose fat.

What is the best oil for roast potatoes?

Out of the oils that the Good Food team tried, coconut oil provided the best crunch and of course, is vegan-friendly. However as this also left a mild coconut flavour for some testers, if you aren’t a fan then sunflower oil would be a better option for amore neutral flavour.

Overall, what is the best fat for roast potatoes?

The team considered goose fat to yield the most flavoursome roasties. Despite the potatoes having a slightly oilier texture, the goose fat provided a satisfying savoury flavour which didn’t overpower. Butter makes a good vegetarian alternative for golden brown tatties.

Do you agree with our findings? Let us know in the comments below…

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