DREO ChefMaker Combi Fryer Review

Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Editors’ Choice Home

DREO ChefMaker Combi Fryer Review

Review by Angie Kibiloski

DREO ChefMaker Combi Fryer from the front with rack of ribs and temperature probe

Multi-Functional Kitchen Appliance

There are a lot of different kitchen appliances to choose from out there, some more useful than others. If you have limited counter space, it’s great when you can find one that’s multi-functional, and if it’s smart, user-friendly, and can help you cook a great meal no matter your skill level, that’s even better. The ChefMaker Combi Fryer from DREO ticks all of these bonus boxes, allowing you to cook a wide variety of foods using different methods, holding your hand through the process if needed, and my kitchen gadget reviewer and I can’t recommend this item enough. Considering the extent of my home cooking is scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and anything that can be popped in the microwave, this review was greatly helped along by my reviewer/mother, who is far better equipped to judge kitchen appliances than I am.

Powerful, Versatile, and Easy to Clean

The ChefMaker Combi Fryer is a well-designed countertop machine, with 1800W of power, a 6-quart capacity, and temperature range of 100℉ – 450℉. Its compact, 10.59″ x 15.67″ x 14.65″ metallic body weighs in at 15.36 lbs., and features an easily removed, dishwasher-safe, glass-fronted cooking drawer with a hollow, heat-resistant handle, and a 4.3″ glass control panel. It comes with a removable, non-stick cooking tray and grilling rack, an internal temperature probe, and water reservoir.

 ChefMaker 4.3" display on left, see-through basket and handle on right   Illustration of ChefMaker's internal tech, with water atomizing system on top, convection heating element in middle, temperature probe at bottom

This powerful machine can cook a variety of dishes, automatically adjusting and maintaining temperature, moisture level, and cook time to get the perfect result whether you’re making meats, veggies, or even breads. The convection heating system reaches the set temperature quickly, heats evenly throughout the chamber, and shuts off exactly when it’s programmed so food will never be overcooked. No more checking the oven every 5 minutes to make sure it isn’t drying out your chicken breasts or turning your potatoes into little charred rocks. The grilling rack elevates your meats to the perfect height between the bottom of the oven and heating element at the top, for improved airflow and an even temperature all around. The water tank and atomization spray system monitors and maintains the moisture level of certain foods when cooking in Chef Mode, and is especially helpful for keeping meats tender and moist.

Smart, Simple, and Sophisticated

There are 3 cooking Modes on the ChefMaker Combi Fryer: Chef Mode, Classic Mode, and Probe Mode, all of which can be controlled directly on the machine or through the connected app. Chef Mode provides more than 40 ingredient-based presets from top chefs, for novice-proof results at the touch of a button. Just choose your meal and desired level of doneness, and the program with walk you through all the prep-steps, and take control of the cooking. Classic Mode is suited for quick meals and custom temp and time settings, and features 8 typical cooking methods like air fry, roast, and broil. You’ll need a little more prior cooking knowledge to make the most of this Mode, since it relies on more manual adjustments. In Probe Mode, the onboard high-precision food probe remains inserted into your dish, gauging cook status and automatically adjusting cook duration in real time. This Mode will most often be used when cooking meats, and may be best suited for more expert users.

ChefMaker cooking modes screenshots, Chef Mode, Classic Mode, Probe Mode

An Appetizing App

The ChefMaker Combi Fryer is backed by years of research and testing, including techniques from professional chefs, a knowledge base from food scientists, and a smart algorithm from AI experts. Through the companion DREO app for Android and iOS, you’ll get access to dozens of specialized cooking programs across all types of meal ingredients. You can browse, save, and customize recipes specifically designed for the ChefMaker Combi Fryer, watch step-by-step video tutorials for each dish, monitor the cooking process, and get notifications on your phone when your dish is ready. No need to walk into the kitchen multiple times to check how your meal is progressing, since you can check it remotely within the app.

DREO app screenshots, Home Menu, Recipe Search, Cooking Steps, Phone Notifications

A Home Cook’s Pros and Cons

My mother, who kindly agreed to help with this review, spent a couple weeks taking the ChefMaker Combi Fryer through its paces, testing out each Mode with multiple ingredients and meal types, and thoroughly exploring the app. Her favorite items to prepare were garlic chili tofu from a recipe within the app using the Chef Mode defined presets, and crispy fried shrimp from the grocery freezer using the Classic Mode air fry method. Her least successful was roasted broccoli and cauliflower, which came out too charred when using the app-provided preset. Her thoughts about the machine as a whole were mostly positive, with just a few caveats, so let’s start with the good stuff.

Garlic Chili Tofu cooking inside ChefMaker   Fried Shrimp and Fries cooking inside ChefMaker

The Good

The cooking basket/drawer is a nice, large size, with its 8.5″ x 8.5″ square interior providing plenty of room and versatility for a number of dishes, and its clear window and interior light is very handy to view your meal without having to pull it out. The simple controls and user-friendly app made cooking even the more complicated dishes accessible for all skill levels, with the recipe search and video tutorial sections making finding and learning those recipes a snap. She also appreciated that you weren’t restricted to always needing the app, as the device is fully functional with just the onboard controls. When finished cooking, all removable elements of the device, including basket/drawer, grilling rack, and cooking tray were easy to clean, either hand-washing or throwing in the dishwasher, as long as they weren’t left to sit overnight.

Her preferred Mode of cooking was Chef Mode, as it walks you through the cooking process step-by-step so you can’t mess up, from prep, to tools, to temp and time settings. She also enjoyed browsing and discovering many new recipes to try in the app, and having the ability to save them to a Favorites list for future use. She found the video tutorials to be extremely useful, as they continuously looped until you were familiar with each step. She was impressed with how many different ways you could cook things, and the variety of foods the machine could make, though it did excel most when cooking proteins.

The Not So Good

Now for the brief list of things she thought could be improved. As convenient as the app is for setting and customizing the cooking process, you can’t start cooking directly from the app, and need to push the button directly on the machine. Since everything else is controlled through the app, this didn’t fully make sense. When cooking vegetables using the Chef Mode presets, she found that they’d always get too done on the outside before they were fully cooked internally, and would need the temp and time adjusted manually after a little trial and error. Additionally, there was a browning function that would come on automatically during some cooking methods, which tended to make everything too crispy on the outside before being cooked through, so she’d need to watch through the window to stop the cook before food got too browned. Lastly, the built-in heating element in the ceiling of the cooker is open to the interior, and its design makes cleaning above and inside it a bit difficult when grease or food particles inevitably get on it. This last point seems to be an issue with all similar machines, however, not specific to the ChefMaker Combi Fryer.

Ready to Be Served

Air fryers have been a really popular kitchen item in recent years, and if you’ve ever been considering adding one to your appliance collection, I’d recommend the ChefMaker Combi Fryer from DREO. Not only will it do the job of a standard air fryer, its multi-purpose cooking methods, useful onboard tools, and versatile Modes will bring a lot of functionality to your kitchen, while taking up a relatively small footprint on your countertop. The companion app adds even more smart features to the machine, and opens up complex cooking methods to even unskilled home cooks. Bring home your own ChefMaker Combi Fryer from DREO for just $359.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *