UPDATE (January 2019): After a year of use, the deep fryer continues to work exactly as it did when we first bought it.
A deep fryer is by no means a device to promote health … but, let’s be honest, it’s a really fun way to cook food. (In moderation, of course.) You can make certain foods in a deep fryer that taste an awful lot like restaurant food, which makes it a useful tool for occasional cooking.
At different times of the year, Aldi sells deep fryers. Some are mini-fryers that have only a small capacity, while others are a little larger. This review deals with one of the larger versions.
The Ambiano Stainless Steel Deep Fryer is a Special Buy that retails for $19.99. The box comes with:
- A housing unit with lid
- A 1700W heating element
- A 3-liter capacity removable oil container
- A 12-cup capacity wire basket
- A magnetic plug
- A manual
- A warranty card
The Fryer’s features include:
- A viewport in the lid
- An odor filter in the lid: the manual advises replacing the filter after 60 uses and says new ones can be purchased by using the manufacturer contact information in the manual
- Non-skid feet
- Cool touch handles on the fry basket, lid, and housing unit
- A dishwasher-safe oil container
- The ability to set cook time and heating temperature
- A 3-year warranty
We strongly advise reading the manual carefully, since there are a number of warnings and tips inside about how to operate the deep fryer safely and effectively. Some of the information will be familiar to people who have used a deep fryer before, but it still doesn’t hurt to look it over.
It’s not an overly complex device, but our first impressions were pretty good. The fryer has a nice capacity and heats up quickly, with a knob to let you set the temperature and light indicator to let you know when it’s done. The power knob lets you turn it on, but it also lets you set a timer that will automatically shut off the unit when the timer goes off. The heating element display and manual both have suggested temperatures for various items, just in case you’re not using food with deep fryer instructions on the packaging.
One little nitpick: if you preheat the fryer with the “ON” setting and and then turn the knob to the timer, it can shut off the fryer altogether. You have to turn it first to off, wait a second, then turn it to the time. Also, be careful fiddling with the knobs once you’ve got something in the fryer, as steam comes pouring out in that area and can burn if you’re not careful.
We subjected the deep fryer to a basket of Aldi crinkle cut fries. We weren’t disappointed: the lid did a good job of corralling the splatter and smell and the handles were cool to the touch. The wire basket even has a little hook where you can let oil drain out of the basket and its contents before putting them on a paper towel-lined plate or wherever you need them to go.
As for the fries? They came out crisp and tasty and didn’t last long on our dinner table. Definitely a success.
Of note, the manual contains instructions for homemade french fries, too. (EDITOR’S NOTE: We later wrote our separate thoughts on those here.)
For $20, Aldi’s got the means to deep fry whatever you need deep frying. With a 3-liter capacity and a 12-cup basket, you can make a decent amount of food. It’s not the healthiest cooking option, but for those in search of a deep fryer, this definitely deserves a look. We’ll update our review as we spend more time with it, but early returns look promising, and it does come with a 3-year warranty.