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Everyone loves a good air fryer; they are cheaper to run than an oven and often produce better results while also being healthier due to the reduced need for oil.
I have reviewed some excellent fryers over the past few years, including the Proscenic T21 Smart air fryer, Proscenic T31 and the HYSapientia 25L air fryer, which is the air fryer I have continued to use in our kitchen.
The Dreo ChefMaker is a bit different than your generic cheap air fryer. This is a smart air fryer with a digital display, temperature probe and water tank, allowing it to steam cook to preserve moisture.
All of these features make it one of the most expensive options on the market, but if you want to make high-quality meals with minimal effort, this is a superb choice.
|Dreo ChefMaker Combi Fryer, Cook like a pro with just the...
|Buy on Amazon
- Dreo Falcon S Air Circulator Smart Fan Review
- Anova Sous-Vide Precision Cooker 2.0 Review
- The Space Neovide Sous Vide Cooker Review
- HYSapientia 15L Review
- Proscenic T31 Air Fryer Oven Review
- Model: DR-KCM001S
- Cooking technique: Convection
- Cooking Modes: 3 + 8 functions
- Rated power: 1800W
- Capacity: 5.7 litters
- Water tank capacity: 200 millilitres
- Temperature range: 38 – 232°C (100 – 450°F)
- Application control: Yes
- WiFi capable: Yes
- Automatic functions: Yes
- Weight: 6.97 kilograms
- Dimensions: 26.9 x 39.8 x 37.2 centimetres
- Packing list: ChefMaker, basket, grilling rack, cooking tray, probe, and user guide
- Air Fry Mode – Uses super convection heating system to cook food crispy on the outside and tender on the inside
- Roast Mode – Cooks food evenly with convection heat and steam injection to keep food moist
- Chef Mode – Uses multi-stage CombiCook technology to automatically adjust time, temperature, and moisture levels to ensure perfect doneness
Heating & Temperature Control
- Temperature Range: 38 – 232°C (100 – 450°F)
- Super convection heating system for fast, even heating
- Dual temperature probes for monitoring internal and ambient temperatures
- Automatic temperature adjustment to prevent over or under-cooking
- Built-in water tank with atomisation system to inject steam and control moisture
- Adjusts moisture levels automatically in Chef Mode based on preset programs
Smart Features & Connectivity
- Connects to app via WiFi for remote monitoring and control
- Stores recipes and custom cooking presets in app
- Sends push notifications when cooking is finished
- Allows real-time adjustment of cook settings from app
Unboxing / Design
The ChefMaker adopts a drawer-based design like most air fryers, but the overall appearance and build quality are nicer than most of the affordable options on the market.
Rather than physical buttons and a digital display, this has touch buttons and a full-colour LCD display, which gives you access to many of the functions without the need for the companion app.
On the top of the ChefMaker is a small water tank, which will be used to steam-cook food and attempt to replicate sous vide.
The drawer has a see-through window allowing you to check your food without opening it up fully, and there is a small recess at the top of the drawer where you attach the temperature probe.
You then get a cooking tray and grilling rack to use with the drawer, and you could just about use both at the same time to cook two layers of food.
I have continued to use the HYSapientia air fryer for my personal use, and this has a shelf-based design with 25L capacity and I also have a Ninja Foodi MAX with a 7.5L capacity, so the 5.7-litre capacity of this feels quite small. However, it has the same capacity as many air fryers with this design, including the Proscenic T21 and Ultenic K10.
To make the most out of the ChefMaker, you will want to download the Dreo app and connect the air fryer to your WiFi network. This is a simple process as it uses Bluetooth to find and pass the SSID settings over to the air fryer.
With the app, you can view all the various dishes that are available to make with the Chefmode, or you can manually program the probe mode.
For Chef Mode, you select the dish and follow the basic tips. For some options, you have additional settings, which include using the air fryer in classic mode or sous vide and selecting the doneness.
The Probe Mode is quite simple, you just select the ambient temperature and the probe temperature.
Interestingly, Dreo has designed this so that the air fryer can not be started remotely. It will pass the cooking program to the ChefMaker, but you have to press the start button manually.
A few years ago, there were reports that some smart June Ovens had turned on in the middle of the night and heated up to over 200°C, so it is understandable why Dreo has been cautious with the smart control features of this oven. That being said, I do love the idea of being able to remotely start/stop an air fryer as it, gives you the flexibility to leave the house and do things rather than having to be at home at a specific time just to start the oven.
Classic Cook is the classic frying and roasting mode, offering 8 common cooking methods.
You can easily use this mode via the display or via the app. You set the temperature and the time, and this works like all other air fryers.
I did find that this cooked food quicker when the temperature was set the same or lower than my HYSapientia. This, therefore, required some experimentation to work out the best temperature for the usual foods I cook in my air fryer, but I think this is a good indicator that this air fryer is either more accurate with its temperature readings or just superior all around.
Once I dialled in my settings, I found that the results were good, and this is the mode I use for simple things like chips.
Probe Cook is a cooking mode cantered around the probe temperature, which allows for precise control of the food’s internal temperature and ensures it reaches the desired level of doneness.
This is a simple addition to an air fryer but incredibly useful as it allows you to time your cooking perfectly.
Again, this required me to use a lower ambient temperature in comparison to my existing air fryers.
The ChefMaker stand-out function is the Chef Mode, which includes over 40 pre-set cooking programs designed by professional chefs for various ingredients.
You simply choose the desired menu, set your preferred doneness and flavour level, and the built-in smart meat probe and water atomiser work together with the CombiCook tech to automatically control the cooking process.
Additionally, under the Kitchen+ menu item, you have a wide range of meals with step-by-step instructions. These can all be downloaded and sent to the device with the specific temperatures and timings for the cook.
The one issue I have with this mode is that there appears to be no way to make your own cooking programs, and apart from selecting things like doneness, there is no way to customise the presets. You are, therefore, limited to what Dreo provide within their app.
As far as performance goes, it is an excellent way to cook meat. Ever since reviewing the Anova Sous-Vide Precision Cooker 2.0, I have been a big fan of sous-vide cooking. The sous vide settings don’t produce the same results as proper sous vide, but it is much more convenient to use, and I use it when cooking most proteins, whereas I only use the Anova when cooking large joints of meat.
Electricity Usage and Noise
One of the main selling points of air fryers is the reduced electricity usage compared to a normal oven. This is rated for 1800W and has a 5.7l capacity, whereas most fan-assisted ovens run at over 3kW and are more than ten times the capacity, which requires much more energy to warm up.
One issue with many air fryers is that they are noisy. This is much better than the average; the noise it produces sounds quite muffled, giving it a lower tone than many of the other air fryers I have reviewed, and I find the noise less annoying.
Price and Alternative Options
|Dreo ChefMaker Combi Fryer, Cook like a pro with just the...
|Buy on Amazon
The Dreo ChefMaker is available to buy directly from Dreo, priced at £279, and it is also listed on Amazon, priced at £359, but at the time of writing, it had an £80 off voucher.
The multi-function design and smart features make this a unique product with nothing that’s quite like for like in comparison.
The Anova Precision Oven is probably the closest appliance I can think of. This is priced much higher at over £700 but has a significantly larger internal capacity of 1.2 cubic feet or 34 litres.
The Ninja Foodi MAX has an air fryer and grill function with a probe. It lacks the steam function, smart features and has a smaller capacity of 3.8L but it is priced more attractively at £200.
The Breville Halo Steam has a water compartment for steam cooking but lacks the smart features and probe. This costs £180.
It’s not the same, but alternatively, the Ninja Foodi Max is an excellent multi-function cooker that works as an air fryer, pressure cooker, and combi steam oven. It doesn’t intelligently produce steam but instead requires you to add water to the pot. You get a large 7.5L capacity and it is priced at around £230.
The Space Neovide was a unique device that claims to achieve sous vide without the need for a water bath or vacuum bags. It has a probe, and I found it was great for steaks and cooking joints of meat.
I think the Dreo ChefMaker is an excellent air fryer.
The two main issues I have with it are:
- The relatively small capacity, which I find quite limiting. I eat a lot more food than normal people, so this may not be an issue for a lot of people. I also prefer the drawer-style air fryers as this gives you the option to have multiple things cooking on each tray.
- The Chef Mode is great, but it really could do with options to customise programs and create your own.
While it is not cheap, there is nothing really competing with it at this price point. The combination of smart features, water tank and probe make this significantly better at cooking proteins than any other regular air fryer.
The Anova Precision Oven is the closest competitor and appears to be a superior product with a much larger capacity and superior functions, but it is 2.5 times the price, so it is not really comparable.
Overall, the Dreo ChefMaker gets a strong recommendation from me, and I like it enough that I have continued to use it in conjunction with my HYSapientia as it is much better for cooking proteins.
Dreo ChefMaker Combi Fryer Review
Overall - 90%90%
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the Editor and Owner of Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.
Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API