LG LRE3023ST Review
Amazing performance and value from this LG
It takes a lot to entice some American consumers away from the brands they've been devoted to since the 1950s. But sometimes, amazing performance and solid value from a relative newcomer makes a strong argument against years of brand loyalty. The LG LRE3023ST (MSRP $999) makes its case very well.
With a modern aesthetic and plenty of capacity, on the whole this range had some of the finest performance marks we've seen this year. Its spectacular oven temperature control, quick preheating, rangetop temperature spread, and convection oven characteristics left us thoroughly impressed. We were only slightly disappointed by boiling and broiling results.
The best part of all? The price. This electric LG is soon to be replaced by the LRE3083ST, an otherwise-identical range with LG's new self-cleaning technology. That means we've found sale prices lower than $700 on the this range.
Design & Usability
Stainless, but modern
The LG LRE3023ST has a very square look—both in the Euclidean sense and in the Huey Lewis sense. Though its finish is shiny and silvery, it doesn't quite have that je ne sais quoi of a semi-professional Wolf or Viking.
Of course, it's entirely possible that electric ovens by definition struggle to live up to that classic stainless character. They all lack those robust, heavy grates that make ranges feel like they were made by Studebaker, not Foxconn. However sleek the outside may look, though, the deep-blue oven cavity will at least temporarily distract from the vanilla exoskeleton.
Besides the industry-standard four burners, the rangetop features a keep-warm element at the center of its ceramic surface. (Be sure to read the manual: Only certain cleaners can be used here!) In the oven, two standard racks traverse the 6.3-cubic-foot oven cavity. This oven's most important feature is a convection fan, which facilitates more heat transfer to the food, allowing you to cook it faster or at lower temperatures.
While the oven controls are fairly standard, the rangetop uses buttons instead of knobs. We found them less user-friendly than physical controls. And of course, they're on the backsplash... you know, the part that's behind the boiling and bubbling pans. Livin' on the edge!
A great temperature range, but weak boiling performance.
With an electric rangetop, you don't quite have the control and precision of gas; you don't get the visual aid of a flame, and there's lag time between turning the dial and the temperature actually changing. But fortunately, there's an upside: Because electric ovens aren't bound by the minimum and maximum combustion temperatures of natural gas and propane, they often excel at extremely low and extremely high temperatures.
The LG LRE3023ST is no exception when it comes to low-temp cooking, but unfortunately, high-temp wasn't quite as great. The fastest burner only boiled six cups of water in seven minutes. Sure, there aren't many weaknesses in this range, but fans of pasta and classic British cuisine may have to wait a bit longer.
Oven Broiler & Convection
The LG LRE3023ST's excellent oven performance won it our 2012 Award for Best Electric Range.
In addition to getting very close to the proper target temperatures set for our tests, this excellent oven had no trouble limiting variance. With even temperatures that were almost true to the dial's setting, this is most certainly a baker's oven. Activate the convection fan, and the oven delivers similarly stellar results but with the advantage of improved heat transfer for more efficient baking. The only place the oven didn't excel was the 11-minute preheat to 350°F—not a class-leading time, but not really that slow either.
Prospective users who rely on the broiler, be warned: We found it to be underpowered. Though it has "Hi" and "Lo" settings, they both seemed a bit "Lo." That said, this oven comes with a pyrolitic system, a feature that makes the dirty, onerous affair of cleaning an oven a little bit easier.
One of the best ranges we've tested
Without a doubt, the LG LRE3023ST is one of the finest ovens we've seen.
Turning in phenomenal results in almost all of our tests, the LRE3023ST exhibited the kind of breadth that ambitious chefs need in the kitchen. Bakers will delight in the delicate evenness it displayed, with temperatures barely fluctuating at every tested setting.
The only weaknesses we found were in broiling and boiling. A household broiler will never approach the range of an industrial kitchen's salamander, so we're happy to give the LG LRE3023ST a pass there. But the boiling issue is important to note. Many people favor the rangetop and rarely use the oven at all, save for the occasional frozen pizza. So it's especially important to know thyself when considering this range.
If you're a lazy chef and habitual rangetop user, this many not be the range for you. Quicker boiling can be found on cheaper machines, albeit at the expense of the overall package. If you have a quick-draw cooking style that requires both a solid oven and a fast rangetop, keep in mind that the boiling results may be a bit slow with this one.
Let us be as clear as possible: this oven has almost no notable flaws. If you are fine with longer boiling times, this oven is an absolute steal if you can find it on clearance.
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