Product Type: McCain Spices & Seasoning
Newest Review: ... easy to cook with no fat fumes or fat smells and nothing to clean afterwards. McCain's 5% oven chips are frozen chips containing only 5% ... more
Who Said Chips Had To Be Unhealthy?
McCain 5% Fat Oven Chips
Member Name: cazkins
McCain 5% Fat Oven Chips
Advantages: Good value for money when on offer, lower fat alternative, good taste
Disadvantages: Texture dependent on cooking so can sometimes be quite limp
I was tempted into trying these a while ago because they're advertised as only 5% fat. I don't like buying into the whole diet industry, but at the time they were on offer and worked out a lot cheaper than other varieties, especially considering you get a lot in the bag. Although I'm not so keen on skinnier chips, I do like these and have bought them regularly since trying them.
These Oven Chips are produced by McCain and I tend to stick with them for frozen chips as they're a brand I trust for quality food. Because they're so popular, they're readily available in most supermarkets and can be found in the freezer section in a big golden-coloured bag. On the front there's a nice picture of a few chips to tempt you, along with some potatoes (I presume this is just incase you thought chips are grown on a tree out the back of McDonalds) and a scroll across the bottom to highlight that they're only 5% fat. A 907g bag usually costs around £1.69 in Tesco, but they're regularly on offer (at the moment they're discounted to £1 which is a bargain - 7.1.09).
McCain have got a lot of knowledge and experience in their products and have taken steps to make the previously 'bad' and 'unhealthy' foods that bit healthier. Their oven chips are now made with a "dash of sunflower oil", one of the healthiest oils to use, making it lower in fat and saturated fat. I've always thought that larger chips are healthier than thin fries, though it also depends on the oil used to prepare them and the method used to cook them. Per 100g of these chips once oven cooked there's 172 calories and 4.9g of fat, which works out a lot less when compared to full-fat versions of larger chips. What I like is that you can have lots of these on your plate if you want to go by their recommended serving suggestion which is 135g. (I was curious as to the difference between the weight of these chips from frozen to once cooked, so sad old me weighed them and they do decrease in weight slightly once cooked, just incase you were wondering!)
These chips are halfway between fries and regular chips, not so skinny you can't pick them up with a fork but not substantial enough to want to serve them with a steak necessarily. I'm not a big fan of typical fries like McDonalds, but I quite like these chips. They suitable for oven or grill cooking:
Oven - Preheat the oven to 220°C. Spread out the chips on your tray in one layer and leave a bit of space between them to ensure they all get the benefits of the heat and cook for around 15-20 minutes. I tend to turn them quite regularly and find they take 15 minutes.
Grill - Similar to above, just switch to grill at a medium heat. This takes a similar amount of time but a bit more turning of the chips to make sure they get cooked all the way through without burning. I find that some look more cooked than others which can be a bit annoying, so instead of a tray full of golden chips, I end up getting a bit of a mish-mash. Despite them not all looking the same, as long as they're left in for at least 15 minutes so that they're properly cooked, they always taste good.
McCain emphasise their use of 'specially selected' potatoes, so you know you're getting natural and quality chips. You can taste the potato-y goodness and they are delicious, but I wouldn't say they're anything spectacular. It really does depend on how you manage to cook them - if they're well-cooked for quite a while they tend to turn out better than when taken out earlier as they're sometimes quite limp. Being soft is a good thing, but I quite like chips to be crisp and you don't really get that with these (though they've been more crisp and less limp when I've almost burnt them!)
All in all they're a good lower-fat alternative if that's what you're looking for. They taste delicious but lack that crisp texture and size that other chips have, and in my opinion that's the way chips are intended to be eaten. I still choose quite often when having chips but go for chunkier chips if they're to be served with steak or similar. Still, not bad for a huge bag of low fat chips at only £1.
Summary: Though they lack texture appeal they're still a good tasting lower fat alternative
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