Hands on: Panasonic HomeChef review

It'll air fry, broil, microwave and convection bake

panasonic chekfmaker at ces
(Image: © Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Early Verdict


  • +

    Useful programs

  • +

    Responsive controls

  • +

    Is no bigger than a standard microwave


  • -

    Can not adjust the preset temperatures

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The Panasonic HomeChef was revealed at CES 2024, and it’s already making a good impression, at least for me.

I find that one of the most convenient small appliances to have is one of the best microwaves or best air fryers because they can make family meal times so much quicker, easier, and healthier. Air fryers circulate hot air, whereas microwaves radiate to cook the food from the inside out.

The Panasonic HomeChef combines these two cooking processes and more. Having it all in one appliance makes it a fantastic space-saving cooking appliance, ideal for condos or apartments. Impressed by the spec, I checked it out when it was on demo at the annual consumer electronics show. This is my first impression.

Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien (Jen) is the editor of Top Ten Reviews. She has tested and reviewed countless appliances over the years and is keen to take her experience outside to challenge popular yard tools in her new backyard.

Jen got a feel for the Panasonic ChefMaker while at CES 2024. She turned dials, pressed buttons, opened the door, and sampled some food to better understand how this space-saving countertop appliance performs.

Panasonic HomeChef: key specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Model noCD87KS
ProgramsMicrowave, broil, air fry and convection
Dimensions13.5 x 22 x 17.7in (h x w x d)
FinishStainless steel
Accesoriesair fryer basket and tray

Panasonic HomeChef: price & availability

The Panasonic HomeChef has a list price of $499 and is available to buy from Amazon and Best Buy.

Included in the list price is an air fryer basket and tray. Available separately is the HomeChef magic pot for searing, simmering, steaming, and grilling, which can be bought for $99 from Amazon and Best Buy.

It has only recently launched, which means that the app hasn’t been fully rolled out. Customers of the Panasonic HomeChef will have this automatically applied when it comes to the launch date.

Panasonic HomeChef: design

The Panasonic HomeChef looks like a microwave and is the size of a microwave. It measures 13.5 x 22 x 17.7in (h x w x d).

On closer inspection, the cooking programs around the dial reveal what it is capable of. There are four in total: air fry, broil, microwave, and convection. You can then turn the dial to adjust the time and press the central button of the dial to start/pause the HomeChef.

The dial was responsive to turn, and the buttons responded instantly when I pressed them. To open the door, there's a button on the bottom right-hand side of the unit.

Panasonic HomeChef: performance

I got hands-on with the Panasonic HimeChef at CES. I turned the dial, pressed buttons, and ate some microwave mushrooms cooked in it. 

I found that it was really easy to navigate; all dials and buttons were responsive. I couldn’t adjust the air fryer temperature, though, and I couldn’t get confirmation of what the maximum temperature setting was. I imagine it’ll be around 350F, though, since this is the standard for cooking frozen fries and, therefore, most frozen foods.

To try out the HomeChef, I toggled through the programs using the dials and buttons. I noted the Timer, which would be useful for boiling pasta, etc.

I was also shown how to use the app. This is connected to the HomeChef and means that you can select a recipe in the app, which will then set the correct duration and temperature setting for the food type you’re cooking. It embraces the connectivity with Fresco’s AI cooking assistant that'll allow you to easily customize recipes to fit dietary preferences, make ingredient substitutions based on what's in the pantry, and seamlessly adjust serving size and cooking settings.

panasonic chefmaker with the app at ces 2024

Using the app with the ChefMaker (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

If you prefer not to use the app, then you can absolutely do this; you’ll just need to listen out for the ‘ding’ rather than a notification on your phone. 

I also sampled some microwaved mushrooms. The flavor was locked in, and the mushrooms hadn’t dried out. This was after several minutes of cooking.

mushrooms cooked in the panasonic chefmaker

Trying a mushroom recipe cooked in the ChefMaker (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Panasonic HomeChef: verdict

Buy it if...

You live in a condo or have a small kitchen

The Panasonic ChefMaker combines four cooking functions into one unit, enabling you to claim back space on the countertop.

You need quick, easy, and healthy meals

Air frying and microwaving a known for avoiding the use of additional fat and locking in flavor, and the Chef Maker has both these capabilities.

Don't buy it if...

You like to cook at high temperatures

The temperature can not be adjusted on the Panasonic ChefMaker, so you're stuck with the undisclosed max temperatures on the presets.

I really enjoyed using the Panasonic Chefmaker, and I enjoyed the mushrooms. I found it easy to use, albeit a little frustrating that I couldn’t adjust the temperature, and it didn’t take up much counter space.

The app looked easy to use too, and the use of all recyclable packing was the icing on the cake. I’m looking forward to a member of the Top Ten Reviews team trying out more of the cooking functions.

panasoinic chefmaker in recyclable packaging

The Panasonic ChefMaker arrives in 100% recyclable packaging  (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see Top Ten Review's Reviews Guarantee.

Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien is the Editor of Top Ten Reviews. Jennifer (Jen) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as TechRadar, Real Homes and Ideal Home. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or making a cake.