Water good idea: this air fryer steams your food to make it moist

The Dreo ChefMaker comes to the UK today and your kitchen may never be the same again

Dreo ChefMaker
(Image credit: Dreo)

If you're disappointed with your air fryer or just wish you could get restaurant-style results every time you cook, Dreo could have just the thing. After a successful US launch its ChefMaker smart air fryer is now available in the UK, and it promises to transform your cooking.

Calling the ChefMaker a smart air fryer does it a disservice. It's a multi-function cooker with lots of programs and two key features that differentiate it from rivals: a digital probe so it knows exactly what the internal temperature is, and a steam dispenser that delivers very carefully calculated amounts of steam to keep your food moist. The promise is sous vide-style steaks, super-tender salmon and perfectly cooked everything else too.

I'm the first to be suspicious of manufacturers' claims – my kitchen cupboards are an appliance graveyard of gadgets that simply didn't deliver on their promises – but this looks like the real deal: it's been reviewed by my favourite food website The Kitchn, who gave it a glowing review.

Is the ChefMaker worth buying?

According to The Kitchn, "the ChefMaker keeps proteins tender and juicy in the center, and produces a reliable result every time, regardless of the size or cut I’m working with... the Dreo ChefMaker is much more reliable and versatile than my air fryer, holding court on my countertop where the air fryer used to be." And on r/combisteamovencooking, where you'd expect to find the most critical evaluations, users there compare it very favourably to the considerably more expensive Anova Precision Oven.

According to USA Today, it's a great device but it does have a learning curve: "This advanced, multi-cooking gadget comes at a price, but we believe it's worth the splurge thanks to its smart technology, helpful accompanying app, and functionality for an expansive amount of pre-programmed recipes."

I suspect that for me, it's going to be a case of when I buy one rather than if I buy one; the only thing putting me off right now is that in my small kitchen there simply isn't counter or cupboard space alongside my multi-function Instant Pot and my multi-function smart oven. But if you have the space and the inclination, there's currently a launch offer taking the price down from the £359 RRP to £279.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).