Is cheap 6.5-litre Aldi slow cooker an autumn bargain?£17 Ambiano slow cooker goes on sale this week
20 October 2016
Aldi has launched a cheap family-sized slow cooker. The £17 Ambiano 6.5 litre slow cooker is on sale from Thursday 20 October and only available while stocks last. We tried it out to see if it's worth popping in your trolley.
This slow cooker could look like a tempting bargain while you're wandering the aisles. It's available in four colours and should help create big batches of tasty, home-cooked casseroles to warm you up once winter hits. All for less than the cost of a smart bottle of sparkling wine.
With a stated capacity of 6.5 litres, it should be large enough to cook stews or soups for seven to eight people.
Find out what we thought of its cooking abilities in our full Aldi Ambiano slow cooker first look review.
Aldi Ambiano slow cooker features
Like most cheap slow cookers, the Ambiano is pretty light on the features front. It has low, high and keep-warm settings for different recipe requirements, and its oval shape means that you can also roast meat in it as an energy-saving alternative to an oven.
The 6.5-litre capacity is at the higher end of the scale for a slow cooker, although we found that the actual usable capacity is slightly smaller at 5.5 litres. For most slow cookers, the actual capacity is usually two thirds of the claimed capacity, as you can't fill them to the brim.
We list both the usable and claimed capacity in our reviews, and what this means in real life in terms of how many mouths you can feed, so check our slow cooker reviews to make sure you get the right size for you.
Is the Aldi slow cooker a good deal?
This Aldi slow cooker is cheap but it's not significantly cheaper than the competition. Most slow cookers cost between £15 and £40. More-expensive models, which can cost up to £80, tend to have fancy features such as digital controls, timers and even self-stirring functions.
Cheaper models tend to be own-brand offerings and won't win any prizes in the style stakes, but cheap doesn’t have to mean basic. We’ve tested several slow cookers costing less than £25 that come with an auto-cook setting, which we have found tends to be effective at cooking tender and tasty stews.
You don’t need fancy extras to make a good stew, though. We've found several brilliant slow cookers for less than £20, so even if you're on a strict budget you'll find great options in our round-up of the best slow cookers.
Aldi slow cooker recipes
Most slow cookers include some recipes to get you started. You don't have to stick to these, but your own recipes might need converting to adapt to the long cooking times used. The best instruction booklets will give you clear guidance on how to adapt your favourite recipes for use in the slow cooker, but we've found in our testing that some give sparse or confusing information.
The Aldi slow cooker includes a recipe booklet with a range of different options to try. We thought some were a bit unusual, though, so you might still need your trusted recipes to hand. Find out more in the full review, or get the lowdown on our testing at how we test slow cookers.