Cooking a Christmas dinner is one of the toughest tasks any budding chef will ever face – so it’s a good idea to approach the kitchen well prepared.

A key component to any traditional Christmas dinner, besides the turkey and Brussels sprouts, are the potatoes. Namely, roast potatoes.

But what is the best way to roast your potatoes to ensure the perfect crispy outer shell and fluffy middle? We’ve broken down the best fats and oils for the job into their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.

Obviously a lot of this is down to personal opinion and tradition, so don’t get too hung up on the particulars.

Goose fat

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The typical fat of choice for cooking excellent roasties at Christmas, having been pioneered by the likes of Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver.

Pros:

Produces very crispy roast potatoes.

Rich in flavour.

Cons:

Not suitable for vegetarians and can be a little pricey.

Not the healthiest if consumed in large quantities.

Try this recipe.

Coconut oil

In 2016 coconut oil became a staple in the cupboards of every health-conscious person in the country.

Pros:

This is a good option for those watching what they eat over the festive season – or if you’re just looking for some extra health benefits with your roasties.

This variety of roast potato is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Cons:

Bit of an odd flavour if you’re used to the typical roast potatoes cooked in animal fats.

Coconut oil is expensive due to its recent popularity.

Potatoes will not be as crispy.

Try this recipe.

Olive oil

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Olive oil features heavily in Mediterranean cooking, which is revered as being one of the healthiest lifestyles on the planet.

Pros:

Another option for the health-conscious.

Produces fairly crispy potatoes with a fluffy interior.

You almost definitely already have some in your cupboard.

Suitable for vegetarians.

Cons:

Not as crispy or golden as when cooked with animal fats.

Quite a heavy flavour. Produces oily potatoes.

Try this recipe.

Beef dripping

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Proper traditional. Beef dripping was once found in every kitchen cupboard and people even used to eat it on toast in the 50s and 60s, before it was shunned in the revolution against fat. It’s always been a favourite with Delia Smith though.

Pros:

Much like with goose fat, gamey-tasting beef dripping produces very crispy potatoes.

Rich flavour.

Cons:

Strong flavour that might not be to everyone’s tastes.

Not suitable for vegetarians.

Not the healthiest if consumed in large quantities – it has even more calories than butter.

Try this recipe.

Ghee

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In case you don’t know, Ghee is a type of butter originating from India, which is commonly used in South Asian, Iranian and Arabic cooking.

Pros:

Produces potatoes with a golden outside and fluffy inside.

Not the healthiest if consumed in large quantities.

Cons:

Quite expensive when you consider that it is just another type of butter.

Could be an acquired taste for those who have never tried ghee before – quite oily.

Not suitable for vegans.

Try this recipe.

Rapeseed oil

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Rapeseed oil is even healthier than olive oil and has a light nutty flavour.

Pros:

Not an oil typically associated with cooking roast potatoes in, but a solid option as it is an oil best for frying, baking and roasting with.

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

A healthier option as it is low in saturated fat.

Produces fluffy, crispy potatoes.

Relatively cheap compared to the other options.

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Cons:

Might not be the preferred taste for those who like their potatoes cooked in animal fats.

Try this recipe.