I enjoy cooking. Of course, that may be because I like food. My wife is an incredible cook and all of our children are great cooks as well. Though most of them are adults, whenever we get together as a family, everyone likes to pitch in and help prepare meals and share new recipes. My daughter and son-in-law even wrote and published a cookbook as a project while stuck at home during the COVID shutdowns. Since I also like to try out new tech, it is great when technology and the kitchen come together. Now there is something new that can make it easy to prepare food, even for those who do not know a lot about cooking. Dreo, a company known for quality products that circulate, heat, and purify the air, has entered the cooking market with their new ChefMaker. Since I recently reviewed and was impressed by their Aircrisp Pro Max Air Fryer, I was excited to try out this new kitchen appliance and see if it could cook as well as my family.
What Is the Dreo ChefMaker?
The ChefMaker is produced by Dreo and is a countertop kitchen appliance that uses Dreo’s patented CombiCook technology which combines convection cooking with moisture and a software designed to replicate the cooking procedures used by professional chefs. It can also air fry, bake, roast, broil, toast, reheat, defrost, and even dehydrate. The Dreo ChefMaker will launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday, May 23. Dreo is having a Launch Day Special where you can get the ChefMaker for a pledge of only $199. The Super Early Bird Special for May 24 and 25 will have a pledge of $229. After that, the pledge will go up to $259 for a limited amount of Early Bird pledgers and then to $279. Pledges will ship in July 2023. The ChefMaker will then launch on Amazon and the Dreo website later in July for $359.
Product Components and Specs
Here is what you get in the box:
- 1 Dreo ChefMaker
- 1 Nonstick cooking tray
- 1 Nonstick grilling rack
- 1 Cook probe
- 1 User manual
- 1 Quick Start guide
The ChefMaker stands a little over 15 inches high and is almost 11 inches wide and 15 inches deep. The ChefMaker comes in a stainless steel finish with a contemporary design. It features a 6-quart basket with a non-stick interior that is large enough for most cooking needs. It also includes a removable nonstick cooking tray that allows the heated air to circulate completely around the food for more even cooking and for grease to drip through so the food is not sitting in it while cooking. There is also a removeable grilling rack designed for cooking meats and holds the food up higher in the basket. A cook probe plugs right into the front of the basket and is used to monitor the internal temperature of meats during the cooking process.
A water tank is built into the top of the ChefMaker. It is used for cooking certain types of foods while using the Chef mode and atomizes the water to increase the moisture inside the basket. The ChefMaker’s cooking temperature ranges from 100°F to 450°F, allowing users to cook a variety of different types of food. The ChefMaker even has a window at the front of the basket and an interior light so you can view and check on your food without having to open the basket and stop the cooking. The controls are at the top of the front of the appliance and features a 5.6 inch LCD display that not only show options, but also provides cooking directions for preparing food with the Chef mode.
The Dreo app is a great way to control the ChefMaker. It lets you access all of the same cooking features as on the control panel. Once you set everything, it will send the settings to the device. You then only need to press the start button on the device to begin the cooking. The app also lets you know how much time is remaining for programmed modes or monitor the temperature
How to Use the Dreo ChefMaker
The ChefMaker is easy to use. Just plug it in and it is ready to go. All of the controls are on front at the top. To use the app, download the Dreo app from the App Store or Google Play store (a QR code is included in the quick start guide and user manual) and the app will walk you through connecting the ChefMaker to your Wi-Fi and to the app. When you want to cook something, choose one of three modes: Chef Mode, classic cook or probe cook. Chef Mode provides CombiCook programs for several types of meats as well as vegetables. It will let you know if you need to fill the water tank or use the probe. The directions on the screen will even provide preparation instructions to help improve the final quality of the food. For example, it may tell you to brush butter on your steak for better browning or to wrap the meat in foil or parchment paper. For some meats you can even choose a classic cook or sous vide flavor. Currently there are 44 Chef Mode programs. However, most can be adapted to similar types of food.
In classic cook, you can choose the type of cooking you would like to do from eight different options: air fry, roast, defrost, toast, reheat, bake, broil, and dehydrate. Each of these have default settings. However, you can adjust both the ambient temperature as well as the cook time. The classic cook mode operates similarly to a higher end air fryer. Finally, the probe cook mode lets you set the target probe temperature as well as the ambient or cooking temperature. When the internal temperature of the food reaches the target probe temperature, the ChefMaker ends the cooking process.
Why You Should Get the Dreo ChefMaker
Our family has been getting a lot of use out of our air fryer. In fact, our teenagers really like it for cooking snacks and meals as well as reheating leftover pizza. (Once you have used an air fryer to reheat your pizza, you will never use a microwave for the job again). While the ChefMaker can do all of the things an air fryer can do, it also features an innovative smart technology that can measure the internal temperature of food while it is cooking as well as the moisture content of the food. The Chef mode is really where the ChefMaker shines. The programming takes into account various cuts of meat including the thickness, fat content, moisture content, and connective tissue content. The algorithm then takes all of that information and adjusts cooking temperature in real-time. For example, for a steak, it will raise the temperature at the start to begin the process and then lower the temp to cook the meat all the way through. Towards the end, the temperature is raised again to give the meat a nice brown exterior.
Our family enjoys a good steak. Over the course of years and years of experimenting on the grill, I feel like I can cook a delicious steak. I have my own process of changing the temperature, rotating, and turning the steaks, and knowing the best spots on the grill. Therefore, I decided to put the ChefMaker to the test against my own cooking expertise. I set aside one steak to cook in the ChefMaker and the rest I cooked on the grill. I seasoned them all the same and did the same preparations. For the steak in the ChefMaker, I followed the directions and used the grilling rack, the cook probe, and put water in the tank. I then set it at the desired doneness and started it. 25 minutes later it was done and I did not have to do anything else once I pressed the start button. Meanwhile I was constantly monitoring and working the grill. At the end, all of the steaks were delicious, tender, and cooked perfectly. The only difference my family noticed was that those on the grill had that “grilled” flavor. Other than that, they were pretty much the same. The difference was the effort and experience. On another occasion, I tried cooking a steak in Chef mode and the sous vide flavor setting. It took longer to cook, nearly an hour, but came out very tender and delicious with the pink right to the edge. The app even let me see which of the four steps was taking place: raising temperature, achieving doneness, pre-sear, and then browning.
In addition to cooking meats, the Chef mode is also great for vegetables. I used it to cook asparagus and it came out delicious. All I did was brush it with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper and then let the ChefMaker do all the cooking. It took me about 15 minutes to prep and cook. Doing it in an oven would have taken longer. I also tried cooking chunked potatoes. We sometimes like eggs and potatoes for breakfast. All I did was cut up some potatoes, spray a bit of oil on them and add some seasoning and then start the ChefMaker. 20 minutes later, they were ready to eat.
While in Chef mode, you can pretty much start it and not worry about it until it is done, I like the window at the front of the basket. When I am cooking in classic mode, I can turn on the light and look through the window to see if I need to decrease or increase the time to achieve the desired doneness or browning without opening the basket and stopping the cooking process. The nonstick basket, cooking tray, and grilling rack are very easy to clean. Plus you can store everything in the basket when not cooking.
My family likes cooking with the ChefMaker. Since it does not take constant monitoring, we can put food inside it, start the cooking, and then go do something else while waiting. I can check the status from my phone. It does not take up much room on the kitchen counter and is quicker and easier than using an oven. In fact, before using the oven, we are asking ourselves, “Can we cook it in the ChefMaker?” My daughter even baked a small batch of cinnamon roles in it.
I am very impressed with the Dreo ChefMaker. While it may look like and function like an air fryer, it offers so much more. If you are considering getting an air fryer, then I highly suggest considering the ChefMaker. Even if you already have an air fryer, you may still want to upgrade so you can do so much more cooking with it. We will be keeping our Dreo AirCrisp Pro Max air fryer and can now cook two different things at the same time. Be sure to take advantage of the launch day and early day specials. The launch day special of only $199 is a 45% discount and an incredible deal. Dreo is also offering a promotional giveaway where three lucky winners will each get a ChefMaker. Enter before May 31st.
Check out the Dreo ChefMaker on Kickstarter for more information and to make a pledge.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of this item for review purposes.