Dreo ChefMaker air fryer review: the best air fryer, but also more than an air fryer

Simply the best kitchen appliance I’ve owned

Dreo ChefMaker during testing
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The Dreo ChefMaker is simply the best air fryer I’ve tested, delivering incredibly crispy yet very moist results. But it’s more than just an air fryer – it has a Chef mode and a Probe mode too, and those cook a lot of dishes to perfection, including the perfect steak. That’s not to mention the seven additional cooking functions that most air fryers have. It also looks fantastic, making it the prettiest air fryer I’ve seen. It is on the expensive side, but man oh man, it’s worth every penny.

Pros

  • +

    Amazing results, whatever mode you’re using

  • +

    Incredibly easy to use

  • +

    Helpful app, guides you through chef-curated recipes

  • +

    Looks sleek and beautiful

  • +

    Very responsive touch controls

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

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Dreo ChefMaker: One-minute review

Outside of soups, casseroles, stews, and fondues, there’s nothing you can’t cook in the Dreo ChefMaker. And I’m not just talking about air-frying a steak here; I’m talking about a properly and perfectly cooked steak that’s worth serving in a steakhouse.

That’s because while the ChefMaker is one of the best air fryers on the market, it’s so much more than that. Much more. It has two other cooking modes, namely the Chef mode and the Probe mode, both of which deliver restaurant-worthy results. And Chef mode is supported by an app that comes with a plethora of clever Chef-curated recipes that are so delicious you'll feel like you’ve got Thomas Keller whipping up dinners in your own kitchen.

This is perhaps my favorite kitchen appliance by far. Since using the ChefMaker I've enjoyed one of the best and cooked-to-perfection medium-rare steaks I’ve ever had, home-cooked or otherwise. That’s saying something because (1) I’ve only cooked steak three times in my life, and (2) I didn’t have to do anything here but prep the steak, insert the included probe and put it in the basket, and press a couple of buttons. The ChefMaker's air fryer function delivers super crispy yet super-moist results – the best results I’ve gotten from any air fryer.

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

It’s also a near-perfect product. It’s sleek and beautiful; it’s well-built and doesn’t take up too much space; and its touch controls are so responsive that they feel luxe. It’s also effortless to use, thanks in large part to its very useful app.

I say near-perfect because there is the smaller matter of the price, which isn't small. All those features do come at a premium – not so high that the ChefMaker would be a luxury purchase, but definitely more than what a lot of people would expect to pay for an air fryer. However, I would say that it’s worth every penny and then some. If you’re thinking of buying an air fryer, you won’t regret getting this one. 

Dreo Chefmaker: price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $359 / £279 (about AU$540)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and the UK

The Dreo ChefMaker is much more expensive than regular air fryers of the same size and capacity, and it’s also pricier than most double-basket models. In fact, at $359 / £279 (about AU$540), it’ll cost you as much as some large-capacity air fryer ovens. Now you may think that’s too much for a combination cooker with a 6-quart / 5.7-liter basket capacity, but honestly, given its versatility and what it can do, I’m mildly surprised that it doesn’t cost more. 

Unfortunately for Australian customers, however, it doesn’t look like it’s available there at the time of writing. It is, however, readily available in the US and the UK.

  •  Value: 4 / 5 

Dreo ChefMaker: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
The specs of our Dreo ChefMaker review unit
Capacity: 6 QT
No of baskets: 1
Temperature range: 100F - 450F (38C - 232C)
No of programmes: 3 modes + 8 cooking functions
Power/wattage: 1800W
Smart control: App support
Dimensions: 10.59 x 15.67 x 14.65 in (26.8 x 39.8 x 37.2 cm)
Weight:15.36 lb (6.97 kg)

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Dreo ChefMaker: Design

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Beautiful and fairly compact design
  • Touch controls are a pleasure to use

Setting up the Dreo ChefMaker is just as easy as setting up a regular air fryer. You simply place the cooking tray at the bottom of the basket or the grilling rack at the top, slot in the basket, plug it in, and turn it out. The one thing to consider here is that the cord isn’t very long, so you will have to find a spot in your kitchen that’s close enough to the outlet, or have an extension cord handy.

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

I’ve always found the design of most air fryers unappealing, even the ones from Ninja, but I adore the design of the ChefMaker. Trapezoidal in shape with a gentle tapering in the front, it’s got elegant rounded edges, a beautiful black-on-dark silver finish, and a long oval handle with a hollow middle.

At the top is a shallow square water tank for water, which the ChefMaker uses for cooking – it utilizes its water spray system for better results, and to ensure that the food doesn’t dry up – with a square lid that’s easy to pop off and replace. And at the front, just above the basket, is where you’ll find the control panel, which has touch buttons and a big 4.3-inch display with a fairly extensive menu, so you can easily navigate through and choose your cooking mode or function, adjust temperature, change cooking time, and more.

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The touch buttons are incredibly responsive and work perfectly with just a light tap, and the display is bright enough so that everything is visible, even when it’s in a brightly-lit area. Thank goodness for its backlighting.

The ChefMaker is taller than many air fryers of the same capacity, and slightly heavier as well. But it really doesn’t take up too much space, and is light enough to take with you if you want to use it offsite. 

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Just like regular air fryers, it has its hot air vent in the back. One thing I’ve noticed about this vent is that it blows a hot more hot air than other air fryers I’ve tested – so much so that it’s triggered my smoke and carbon monoxide detector that’s above the hallway next to my kitchen a few times. So be sure you’re leaving enough space for it to 'breathe.'

As far as cleaning, the trays and the basket are all dish-washer safe – though they are fairly-easy to hand wash, especially the basket since it is non-stick. The inside of the appliance can be cleaned the usual way.

  • Design: 5 / 5

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Dreo ChefMaker: Performance

  • Air fryer produces crisp and moist results
  • Chef mode makes the best dishes
  • Vent produces a lot of hot air

If I could only keep one tabletop cooking appliance in my kitchen, I would probably go with the Dreo ChefMaker. It’s not ideal for making stews, soups and other dishes drenched in sauce or gravy – if you make a lot of those, you should probably go with one of the best multicookers – but while I do enjoy a good stew, those are easy to make using my good old stove, whereas the ChefMaker actually allows me to not just quickly whip up meals when I’m pressed for time, but also make dishes that I don’t usually make, like a good steak or a tender brisket.

It’s not just versatility and effortless cooking that the ChefMaker offers. All the dishes I’ve made in it, from the air fryer recipes I found online to the ones on the Dreo app, are cooked to perfection. I’m particularly impressed that its air fryer function delivers better results than other regular air fryers I’ve tested, producing gorgeously and evenly cooked results that are super crispy on the outside and mind-bogglingly moist on the inside.

Foods made in the Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Foods made in the Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

My favorite chicken wings recipe, Vietnamese chicken wings, came out even better when I made them with the ChefMaker, as did my favorite pork belly recipe. And I didn’t even need to fill up the water tank, or adjust the temperature or cooking time from the recipes, to get those results. 

Foods made in the Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The water tank does play a massive role when using the cooker’s Chef and Probe modes, however. The ChefMaker uses water atomization via its water spray system, and super convection heating, with the occasional assistance of the included dual-sensing probe, to cook dishes, and the combination works wonderfully. 

I tried several of the Chef mode recipes on the Dreo app, including the Perfect Steak and the Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedge recipes, and they were not only easy to make but also came out incredible, with the steak nicely seared but beautifully pink in the middle and very tender, and the potatoes coming out with a nice crisp. 

The best part about making the steak was it took the guesswork and a chunk of the work out of the whole thing – just what a steak-cooking novice like me needs. I’ve only really made steak three times in my life, so while two out of those three came out great, I’m not exactly a steak master. With the help of the ChefMaker, however, my fourth steak came out steakhouse-worthy. 

Foods made in the Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Fair warning, though: the Dreo ChefMaker seems to produce a lot more heat than regular air fryers, even when it’s on air fryer mode. Even when there’s a lot of space behind its rear vent, it still manages to set off my smoke and carbon monoxide detector which is a few feet away in the hallway next to my kitchen. This never happened with the similar-capacity air fryers I’ve tested. I did, however, find that turning on my range hood helps minimize that issue.

This also was not a deal-breaker for me, especially since my kitchen isn't the biggest, and the bigger air fryer ovens I've tested have done the same thing.

  • Performance:  / 5

Should I buy the Dreo ChefMaker?

Dreo ChefMaker during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dreo ChefMaker score card
AttributeNotesScore
ValueThis is a pretty pricey appliance, but it’s well-worth the money.4.5 / 5
DesignIt’s elegantly-beautiful in design, has very responsive touch controls, a large display, and easy to clean components.5 / 5
PerformanceIt produces incredible results, whether you’re air fryer chicken wings or cooking a proper steak.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You’re looking for an incredibly versatile combination cooker
The ChefMaker is not just an air fryer. It has two other incredibly effective cook modes plus seven additional cooking functions.

You aren’t on a budget
It costs about as much as the bigger air fryer ovens and much more than other air fryers with a similar basket capacity. However, it can do so much more, and is a great value for money.

You want the best air fryer on the shelves
This is probably the best air fryer I’ve tested, producing crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside results.

Don't buy it if...

You don’t have the funds
If you’re on a tight budget, better look elsewhere. Or, better yet, save up until you have enough to get it without blowing your monthly budget.

You prefer to cook on the stove
If you prefer to cook your meats and vegetables the traditional way – aka stovetop – this probably isn’t the best investment for you.

You need something with a bigger capacity
With a 6-qt / 5.7-liter basket, it’s not ideal if you’re cooking a big batch or for a large group. You can purchase a second basket to make it slightly easier, but it’s still not going to be as convenient as something with a large-capacity basket.

Dreo ChefMaker: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Dreo ChefMakerCuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster OvenNinja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300
Price: $359 / £279 (about AU$540)$229.95 / £250$349.99 (about £274 / AU$532)
Capacity: 6 QT 0.6-cubic-foot7.6L
No of baskets: 1 Oven style2
Temperature range: 100F - 450F (38C - 232C) Up to 450F (240C)Up to 450F (240C)
No of programmes: 3 modes + 8 cooking functions 8 functions6
Power/wattage: 1800W 1800W 2400W
Smart control: App support Row 6 - Cell 2 Row 6 - Cell 3
Dimensions: 10.59 x 15.67 x 14.65 in (26.8 x 39.8 x 37.2 cm) 22.13 x 17.75 x 16.38 in (56.2 x 45 x 41.6 cm)12.4 x 14.9 x 10.4 in (31.5 x 38 x 26.5 cm)
Weight:15.36 lb (6.97 kg)25.6 lb (11.6 kg)18 lb (8.2 kg)
Image

Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
If you'd prefer to have two baskets rather than one then this Ninja model is worth considering. You'll have the ability to cook two different food types for two different durations.

Read our full Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven review

Image

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300
If a basket-style air fryer is more your speed, this dual-basket model from Ninja lets you cook two food items at once, offering the ability to have cooking complete at the same time.

Read our full Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300 review

How I tested the Dreo ChefMaker

  • I tested the Dreo ChefMaker for a couple of months
  • I used it as my main air fryer almost every day, cooking different recipes
  • I also tested its other cooking modes, especially Chef mode

I utilized the Dreo ChefMaker as my main air fryer and cooker almost every day for about two months, making sure to use different recipes I found on the Dreo app and from social media as well as my favorite recipes. I also made sure to test all three cooking modes available, documenting my process and the results.

As a regular air fryer user, TechRadar's Interim Homes Editor and someone who loves to cook, I've used and tested more than my share of cooking appliances, from air fryers to multicookers and the occasional baking implement.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed December 2023

Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.