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Cookworks Slow Cooker review: can this £25 gadget take the fuss out of family meals?

With its budget-friendly price tag and impressive capacity, the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker is ideal for busy family life. But how does it contend with more expensive models? MNHQ put it to the test to find out.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Jul 25, 2023


Overall star rating: 5/5

Price on writing: £25 | Buy now from Argos

What we like 

  • Excellent value

  • Large capacity

  • Very simple to use

  • Cooks delicious meals with minimal fuss

  • Clear instructions

  • Includes a keep warm setting

What we don’t like

  • Bulky

  • No timer or digital display

  • Keep warm setting isn't automatic

  • Hand wash only

  • Bowl isn't hob safe

Our verdict

  • Set up: 5/5

  • Ease of use: 5/5

  • Ease of cleaning: 3/5

  • Results: 5/5

  • Design: 4/5

  • Value for money: 5/5

We awarded the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker the 'top budget' title on our best slow cooker round-up, and it was the clear winner of that category by far.

When it comes to value for money, you really can't beat the Cookworks; featuring an impressive capacity, easy-to-use controls and a handy keep warm setting, it has everything you'd want from a basic, hardworking slow cooker – all for just £25.

Sure, it doesn't have the bells and whistles some more expensive options include – there's no digital display like the Crockpot Lift and Serve and the ceramic bowl isn't hob safe like the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew, but they both retail at around twice the cost of the Cookworks, so you're still getting a lot for your money despite its simplicity.

The biggest downside is that it's not the easiest to clean; it's not dishwasher safe, and occasionally food can get stuck to the inner pot. It's also pretty bulky, too, but that's to be expected with such a large capacity. All in all though, after six months of extensive testing, we think this is a fantastic bit of kit.

For more kitchen gadget reviews, don't miss our guides to the best air fryer and bread makers.

How we tested

MNHQ tester Amelia tried out the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker, putting it through its paces over a six month period. During that time, it was used once a week to cook up a large batch of food for her and her partner, and she tried a variety of different meals in the slow cooker.

After extensive use, Amelia analysed and scored the slow cooker on a range of different criteria, including ease of use and cleaning, value for money, design, and those all-important results. Read on for an in-depth look at how she found the slow cooker after months of use.

Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker: design and style

Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker

The Cookworks Slow Cooker is a simple yet impressive offering from Argos's budget-friendly kitchen range. Boasting an impressive 6.5-litre capacity, which should be enough to dish up five to six portions, it can hold enough food for a large family or a plentiful amount if you're a regular batch cooker (just make sure you have your Tupperware or lunch box ready to go for storage!)

However, its large capacity can be a downside if you're wanting something more compact. "It is quite bulky, so it doesn’t live on my countertop. I store it in a low cupboard in my kitchen and just bring it out when I need it," Amelia reported.

"I like the style of it. It doesn’t look out of place with my other appliances"

She was a fan of the design, too: "The exterior material is easy to clean and there are handles that stick out at each end to make it easier to lift. They’re helpful as it can be quite heavy when it’s full of food!"

Related: Discover the best cookbooks according to Mumsnetters

How easy is the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker to use?

After unboxing the slow cooker, Amelia found it was very logical and easy to set up. "The instructions booklet was clear and basic, which was good as I didn’t have to spend a lot of time looking through it to find what I needed.

"I find it very simple to use. There’s just one dial on the front that you twist to select one of the four options, which are ‘off’, ‘low’, ‘high’ and ‘warm’. When the slow cooker is switched on, it’s clearly indicated with a red light. I like that because I can panic sometimes wondering if I’ve switched something on/off, so the red light makes it really obvious. I love the addition of the ‘warm’ setting, as it keeps the food at a good temperature if timing works out a bit awkward and we don’t end up wanting to eat straight away." 

The only drawback Amelia found when it came to ease of use was the fact that it didn't have a timer that automatically switched the cooker to the 'warm' setting when the food was ready. "For the price, I was happy to sacrifice not having the timer. You just need to factor in someone being around to switch it off, but I generally only use it when I’m at home all day anyway."

Related: The best pressure cookers for speedy meals

What are the results like from the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker?

Onto the most important part: those crucial results! When you're investing in a kitchen gadget to make life easier, be it a slow cooker, a food processor or a multi-cooker, you still want to make sure the results are decent no matter how simple it is to operate. Luckily, the Cookworks excelled at rustling up tasty dishes with minimal fuss.

"I’ve tried lots of things in it. One of my favourites is a BBC Good Food Coq au vin recipe. I’ve also made Nando’s style chicken, beef ragu with pasta and chicken tacos. I usually use Instagram or TikTok to find recipes as they explain everything quickly and clearly," Amelia said.

How easy is the Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker to clean?

Our biggest gripe with the slow cooker was that it could occasionally be difficult to clean. The pot and lid aren't dishwasher safe like some other cookers, so they need to be hand washed. Amelia found that it was "generally easy to clean" but commented that "over time some bits of food have become stuck to the sides where they may have been overcooked and they’re trickier to get off."

"A bit of elbow grease is required"

She also reported that the bulkiness of the pot was a drawback with cleaning as it took up the whole of the sink and draining rack. "I usually have to sort all my other dishes out first, so I may leave the slow cooker to soak overnight or [wait to] clean it until just before I go to bed. Then it’s dry by the morning and can be stored away again."

Related: The best deep fat fryers for indulgent treats

Other sizes in the range

Cookworks 1.5L Compact Slow Cooker

1.5L Slow Cooker

Buy now
Cookworks 3.5L Slow Cooker

3.5L Slow Cooker

Buy now
Cookworks 6.5L Slow Cooker

6.5L Slow Cooker

Buy now

Key specs

  • Capacity: 6.5 litres

  • Size: 29.2 x 41 x 23.7 cm

  • Weight: 3.59kg (inner pot)

  • Settings: Three; low, high, warm

  • Pot: Ceramic

  • Lid: Toughened glass

  • Dishwasher safe: No, hand wash only

  • Power: 320W

About the author

Natasha Gregson is an Affiliate Content Editor at Mumsnet, specialising in lifestyle and home articles with a focus on product round-ups and reviews.

After a three-year stint on Gransnet's editorial team, Natasha joined Mumsnet in 2021, and has since carved out a specialism in all things home, kitchen and lifestyle. An avid foodie, she loves nothing more than trying new culinary creations in the kitchen, which often includes testing out and researching the latest time-saving gadgets for Mumsnet.

With several years of editorial experience under her belt, she has written on many topics, covering everything from fashion to health, parenting to entertainment, and has had work featured in national publications including The i Paper and Stylist Magazine.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real people after extensive research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

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