Ultrean 4.2qt Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to clean, good cooking performance
Cons: Fry basket can stick, medicore temperature accuracy
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to clean, good cooking performance||Fantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functions||Great cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracy||Good air frying performance, quite user friendly||Good cooking performance, inexpensive|
|Cons||Fry basket can stick, medicore temperature accuracy||On the expensive side||Not the easiest to clean||Relatively poor temperature accuracy, additional cooking functions somewhat lackluster||Very small capacity|
|Bottom Line||An effective and inexpensive model that offers decent cooking performance and good temperature accuracy||Exceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the market||This high performing, four quart model offers the most consistent quality of the bunch||Good for air frying, but its extra cooking functions don't quite live up to expectations||A fairly good appliance that is held back by a relatively small capacity|
|Rating Categories||Ultrean 4.2qt||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja 1550 Watt||Instant Vortex Plus...||Dash Compact|
|Cooking Performance (35%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (20%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Specs||Ultrean 4.2qt||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja 1550 Watt||Instant Vortex Plus...||Dash Compact|
|Outside Dimensions||13.2" x 11.3" x 12.4"||11.5" x 13.25" x 12.75"||13.6" x 11" x 13.3"||13.2" x 13.2" x 14.4"||10.2" x 8.1" x 11.4"|
|Capacity||4.2 qt||6 qt||4 qt||6 qt||2 qt|
|Accessories||None||None||Multi-layer rack for dehydrating||Two cooking trays, rotisseries basket, spit, and fork, drip pan||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While not the absolute best performer in our cooking tests, the Ultrean 4.2qt seated itself firmly in the lead group. The best dish this fryer prepared was onion rings, which came out with a near-perfect crisp and very even cooking. Doughnuts, chicken breast, and tater tots all came out well cooked and tasty, but with some minor inconsistencies in both texture and evenness.
Like most air fryers, the Ultrean struggled a bit in getting a good crisp on the outside of sweet potato fries. Most models have similar issues, which is why we use sweet potato fries in our testing. However, there are a select few models we've tested that made delectable sweet potato fries, and this was not one of them.
The interface is simple and sleek. However, cycling through time and temperature settings takes a lot of scrolling, and the digital display is rather small. The most significant ease of use aspect of any air fryer is how easy it is to remove and replace the fry basket. Since many recipes require that you shake the basket a few times during the cooking process, being able to do so easily and without fuss is essential. The 4.2qt's fry basket has a handle that doesn't get hot during cooking, which means no need for potholders. However, we found that the basket stuck a bit when sliding it in and out of the device. Additionally, we found that the bottom of the fry basket tends to fall out when trying to dump food out of it. However, these are relatively minor annoyances and, in our opinion, far from deal-breakers.
Ease of Cleaning
The basket and rack of the 4.2qt are dishwasher safe, but we felt that more significant messes required some hand scrubbing. In general, We found this hand scrubbing to be easy, though the fry basket did seem to hang on to grease just a bit more stubbornly than the baskets of some other models.
The 4.2qt proved to be relatively temperature accurate in our tests, generally staying within 10˚of the set temperature. When set to lower temperatures it would occasionally run up to 20˚ hot, with that discrepancy quickly shrinking at higher temperatures. While potentially not accurate for particularly temperature-sensitive recipes, we think the vast majority of people will be more than pleased with this level of accuracy.
The 4.2qt's list price approaches those of some of the top-performing models on the market, so at that point, you may want to consider investing a bit more in an upgrade.
The Ultrean performed well in nearly all of our tests, often performing as well as some of the higher-end models. However, the list price compares to that of some of the higher scores models in our review, which offer even better performance.
— Michelle Powell and Max Mutter