In our cooking tests, this LG balked when we asked it to do more than the basics. But if you use your microwave as a kitchen assistant, this one will do the trick. It won't make a meal, but it will help you heat water, defrost food, or warm up last night's leftovers.
The LMHM2237ST did well in our popcorn test. Once the cycle was complete, we measured only 42 unpopped kernels out of a possible 300, and we found no burnt kernels.
However, the LMHM2237ST's sensor cooking mode did little to buck the trend of sub-standard microwave sensors. The setting overheated our test food by 7°F—significant for microwaved food. Even worse, when measuring the temperatures across the cooked potato, we found a number of hot and cold spots.
It's got you covered
The LMHM2237ST features a clean and simple design, and should look good in most newer kitchens. LG has adopted a horizontal control scheme which makes perfect sense for an over-the-range microwave. We got used to it pretty quickly.
Along with a generous 2.2-cubic-foot capacity, the LMHM2237ST also has an expandable vent. The impressively named Extendavent 2.0 features a front facing drawer that you can pull out over a cooking surface. According to LG, that adds coverage area for better steam and smoke extraction.
The LMHM2237ST is a fairly quiet appliance by over-the-range standards. We recorded a sound level of 45.5 dB during normal operation, and 63.2 dB when using the exhaust vent.
Don't ask to much and it won't let you down
Provided you don't ask too much of it, the LMHM2237ST is a pretty able performer: The popcorn setting was efficient and accurate, and we were able to bring a cup of room temperature water to boil in a matter of minutes.
The defrost setting—hit or miss with most microwaves—was quick and effective. Great news if you freeze most of your meats.
If that's the extent of your microwave use, go ahead and buy this one. But if you want to fully cook meals and side dishes, beware: The automatic sensor cooking option proved woefully inaccurate, and cooking potatoes on the default power setting resulted in an uneven mashup of cold and hot spots.
As is often the case with modern microwaves, the LMHM2237ST did extremely well in our basic water heating test. The appliance took only three minutes to heat a cup of room temperature water to 211°F.
We reheated a portion of macaroni and cheese using the LMHM2237ST's default power levels. The resulting reheated food exhibited barely any evenness. The food was hot in general, but the few cold spots were significantly chilly enough to make dining an unpleasant experience. Definitely stir your food halfway through cooking, even if the directions don't call for it.
We saw vastly improved results in our defrosting test. At the completion of the six minute cycle, no frozen clumps were left behind, nor did we find any overcooked spots in the frozen ground beef we defrosted.
The Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to...
If the LMHM2237ST were an actor, it would be Steve Buscemi: He's a beloved, talented character actor who elevates the work of other performers he works with, but he isn't likely to play the lead in the next Transformers film.
Similarly, the LMHM2237ST heats, pops corn, and defrosts with aplomb, and its unusual Extendavent 2.0 sets it apart from the competition. However, its inaccurate cooking sensor and general unevenness mean that it will most likely end up fulfilling a supporting role in your kitchen. It won't replace your oven, but it will complement it perfectly.
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