Dreo air fryer review

The Dreo Air Fryer is space-saving and affordable, but still has advanced features

Image of Dreo air fryer on countertop
(Image credit: Future Studios/Phillip Sowels)
Ideal Home Verdict

The Dreo Air Fryer proves that investing in an affordable air fryer doesn't mean you have to lose out on user-friendly features. This model achieved a great all-over cook, and the shake reminder is exceptionally useful for making sure you avoid food being overdone. On the whole, I think this is a great choice for those with smaller homes of one to three people.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Compact design great for countertops

  • +

    Shake reminder is excellent

  • +

    Value for money with range of features

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Capacity won't stretch to larger families

  • -

    No option to view inside

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Convenience and time-saving are at the forefront of the soaring popularity of air fryers, and the Dreo Air Fryer is a prime example of an appliance that is designed to meet both of those needs and more. With a 3.8-litre capacity that would suit one to three people, and at an affordable price, this is a solidly designed air fryer that can help you save on your energy costs. 

Despite the fact it's reasonably priced, the Dreo Air Fryer also has winning qualities that you might expect of higher-end models. That includes a touchscreen with several presets, a shake reminder so that you can achieve that lovely all-over browning and a push-button design on the retractable basket. I extensively tested this Dreo Air Fryer at our test facility to see how it performed up against other iterations of the best air fryers. It's safe to say I was pleasantly surprised at the value for money available with this affordable model.

Image of Dreo air fryer

(Image credit: Dreo)

Dreo Air Fryer specifications

  • Material: Aluminium, Plastic
  • Colour: Black
  • Modes: One touch preheat and 8 presets for different foodtypes. Defrost, bake, cook, crisp, dehydrate, reheat.
  • Weight: ‎4.74 kg
  • Power: ‎‎1500 watts
  • Size: 29.5 x 24 x 30 cm
Molly Cleary
Molly Cleary

Molly is an Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home, covering all things appliance related, from coffee machines to cordless vacuums. She tested this Dreo air fryer and several other models during a testing day at the Future testing facility in Reading, as you'll be able to see from the photos.

Unboxing the Dreo Air Fryer 

The Dreo Air Fryer is a compact model, which makes it no surprise that the box for this model was small too. There's a minimal amount of cardboard packaged inside, as well as a small recipe book. If this is your first experience of an air fryer, this recipe book will save you from having to look up the temperatures you need for different foods, and can also spark inspiration when it comes to exactly what you can cook in an air fryer. 

This is a fairly lightweight model at 4kg and has a compact design that could be transported from place to place easily. It won't hog all of the space on your countertop either.

First impressions

Upon trying to first use this air fryer, I was stumped to find that the drawer wouldn't pull out. A few seconds later I realised that the drawer actually has a button on the handle which you have to press to get it to pull out, so that's the first lesson to learn with this model. It's a useful quirk for those with children who want a safety lock.

This model is a great size for fitting on countertops if you have overhead cupboards, and you'll find the touchscreen interface on top of it. On one side you can set the temperature, and the other is reserved for changing the time. Running across the top you'll find nine presets for various foods too if you want to skip doing the calculations for how long it'll take to cook chips and other foods.

Image of Dreo air fryer interface during testing

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

You'll find that it's easy to get started with this air fryer. Simply plug it in and program it to the right temperature and time and press the 'play/pause' button to begin. Very shortly after, you'll be able to hear the air fryer start working as it enters preheat mode, which is a great feature that even more expensive models often lack. 

Upon giving it a read, the included recipe book is a great touch from Dreo (and user reviews confirm that it's a hit with customers), giving new air fryer users a chance to get to grips with exactly the kind of recipes that work best in this kind of appliance. 

Using the air fryer 

The preheating stage that kicks in with this air fryer means that you have time to sort out what you want to cook - and for how long. You can use the assorted presets if you're cooking chips, meat, fish, bread, veg and more, or consult the recipe book if you need a bit more help adjusting your timings. A good system I've found is to always reduce packet cooking times by at least 30% so that you don't end up with an overcooked dinner.

Cooking chips
Chips are one of the easiest things to whip up in any air fryer thanks to the quick cooking times and the fact that you can hugely cut back on the amount of oil used. I opted for one portion of sweet potato fries and cooked them for 18 minutes at 185 degrees Celsius. I did my own calculations following the packet instructions (as these were frozen fries) but it's worth experimenting with the chips preset to see if it suits how you like yours cooked. At the halfway point (9 minutes in), the air fryer beeped and told me to shake the contents around, which I think is a pretty genius feature. 

Alternatively, if you hate machines making noise in order to tell you what to do, you can turn this off in the settings. After checking up on them, I found the chips could be taken out earlier than expected, around the 15-minute mark. 

I was testing this air fryer alongside various other budget and high-end models, and found the Dreo had the most even cook of all of the more affordable buys. Though the basket is admittedly small, I would say there is space for two portions of chips for lunch or dinner.

Image of Dreo air fryer during testing at facility

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Cooking fish
There's been a lot of  fresh conversations about the variety of foods you can cook in an air fryer since the cost of living crisis. Fish like salmon has been a particularly popular choice of late, which is why I thought I'd try a fillet of frozen fish with a glaze already added on there: the perfect pick for midweek dinners. 

I popped it into the drawer for 18 minutes once again, cutting down on the recommended 25 minutes as air fryers are so efficient. The shake reminder did still go off, giving the option to turn the fillet if you want a more all-over cook. I decided to keep it as it was to get that nice glaze on the top instead. When it emerged at the end of the time, I was impressed with the results, with the fish taking on a fine colour. As you can see from the photos, there's also plenty of space around the fillet, meaning you could add veg in there for the last five minutes and whip up a whole lunch in the same basket.

Image of Dreo air fryer during testing period

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Air frying meat
Another quick breakfast or lunch solution is of course bacon, which in the air fryer works an absolute treat. I tried 3 rashers for 6 minutes at 190 degrees and thought the results were great. Though there's always going to be some element of grease with bacon, it wasn't excessive, and I found the level of crispiness to be just right. 

Though we tried 3 rashers, I think there's plenty of space for more, meaning you can use this air fryer for breakfast sandwiches for the family. Other air fryers I tried at the same time as this one produced sad-looking curled bacon pieces, and it's a testament to the Dreo Air Fryer that these results were faraway from that.

Image of Dreo air fryer with bacon

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Air frying broccoli
Moving onto something a little healthier, broccoli is always a guaranteed quick win when cooking with an air fryer. I went for 5 stalks for 5 minutes at 185 degrees Celsius and was glad that I went for less time rather than more, as these greens cooked up very quickly. 

If you prefer softer broccoli, then air frying it won't really be for you at all, as this type of cooking will always yield a crunch. After 5 minutes the crunch achieved was nice, and there was no browning of the head of the broccoli thanks to the spray of oil I applied to the basket beforehand. If you want to load up on greens, then I think that you could pack plenty more broccoli into this air fryer, which frees up space for you on your hob too. 

Image of Dreo air fryer used to cook broccoli

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Air frying halloumi
Another one of those foods that you might not naturally think to throw into your air fryer is halloumi, so I gave it a go to see how it turned out. I tried it for 10 minutes at 180 degrees and made sure to flip it halfway. It's a lot less faff than pan frying, and it yielded a nice crisp outside while it still had that chewiness inside, which is a win in my book.

Dreo air fryer halloumi testing

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Cleaning

Picking up how to clean an air fryer can be a learning curve (as it can feel unnatural at first to get the basket element wet), and after this cooking session, the Dreo Air Fryer basket most definitely needed a thorough clean. Dishwasher fans will rejoice, as the dual-layer basket and plate that go inside are both safe to go inside everyone's favourite time-saving appliance. 

I washed the basket by hand, as I don't have a dishwasher at home so I'm used to simply adding the basket to soapy water. It's a small basket, and any nastiness left over from the glaze on the fish or grease from the bacon lifted very easily. I always use my Dishomatic on the plate to get to any debris that's fried up during the cooking process too. The exterior can easily be wiped down once you've unplugged it with a damp cloth too.

Comparisons

On the day itself I was testing the Dreo Air Fryer up against the Instant Vortex 6 in 1, which easily takes the crown when it comes to all of the air fryers I've ever tested out, but has a higher RRP (we're talking £120 compared to £94.99). The Instant Vortex can also handle bigger portion sizes (around 6).

The Instant Vortex sets a high benchmark, and while the Dreo doesn't exactly beat it, there are a lot of high-end features that the Vortex has that the Dreo has claimed for its own worth mentioning. Things like the shake reminder, the nonstick basket and the touchscreen interface are all there, and available to you for a more affordable price. The results of these two on the cooking front are also similar, even if the Instant Vortex is sleeker, and a little better equipped.

Should you buy the Dreo Air Fryer?

As an air fryer that comes in at under £100, the Dreo seriously impressed me. First and foremost, it produced great results on every test I threw at it. It's also no bigger than it needs to be on a countertop, and has great controls for everyday use, especially with those handy presets. Likely, it'll also save you money once you've calculated your personal savings when it comes to how much it costs to run an air fryer too. 

It's a small thing but the included recipe book will go far for those users who aren't familiar with their air fryer yet. The basket size isn't tiny either, meaning that more than 2 portions at a time is most definitely achievable. I ultimately found the Dreo to be an outstanding affordable option and one that'll make those midweek meals a bit easier to manage.

About this review, and the reviewer

Molly is an Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home and covers all things appliance related, meaning that she's constantly submerged in the world of air fryers. She received this sample from Dreo for testing at the Future facility in Reading, which is a space that allows her to expand her testing process. It's also much prettier than her flat and produces much nicer hands-on photos.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.