LG's new ProBake system changes cooking for the better.
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We put the LG LRG4115ST through our standardized barrage of tests, covering everything from preheat speeds to burner temperatures. Ultimately, the LRG4115ST excelled in most of our tests, although we found the much touted ProBake true convection mode lacking when it came to cookies.
The LG LRG4115ST (MSRP $1,599.99) is an otherwise-nondescript freestanding five-burner gas range that happens to include one of the most exciting cooking innovations we've seen. Housed in the 6.3 cu.-ft. cavity is LG’s new ProBake system, which ditches the standard bottom-mounted heating element and instead relies entirely on a high-powered, true convection heating element at the back of the cavity.
If all this new tech sounds intimidating, don't be scared off. Professional ranges in restaurant kitchens use similar technology, and our tests show the LRG4115ST is an excellent choice for the home cook, as well. Our time spent baking, broiling, and boiling with the new LG cemented that opinion. Our baked goods were evenly browned after a short preheat, and our water reached a rolling boil in a snap.
Until now, we've never had any strong opinions about LG's lineup of gas ranges. But we can confidently say the new ProBake-equipped LRG4115ST is worth checking out.
To learn more about how we test ranges, click here.
We test oven performance by baking a batch of standardized cookies and a pair of cakes. We then use a photospectrometer to measure variations of doneness. This gives us a precise indication of temperatures variations and circulation within the oven cavity. The standard bake setting resulted in almost perfectly uniform cookies, however the cakes emerged with overdone sections and a wide variation of doneness.
ProBake, on the other hand, did not treat cookies well. We noticed thin items placed near the rear element emerged severely overdone, negating some of the usefulness of this oven's large cavity. Conversely, cakes baked using the convection setting were in better shape than those prepared with the standard bake setting.
One area were the LRG4115ST excelled regardless of cooking mode was preheat speed. The standard setting took only 8 minutes to reach 350°F, while the convection mode needed 10.
In terms of design, LG played things safe this time. The LRG4115ST's looks are unremarkable, with little deviation from established design language. Stainless steel abounds and we love the hefty oven door handle and bulky burner dials that are angled toward the user.
While its looks are pretty average, the LRG4115ST does feature a number of tweaks and touches to make cooking more enjoyable. Continuous cast-iron grates make moving heavy pots between burners a simple task, and standard pyrolytic self-clean and rapid steam clean options let you choose the cleaning mode that works for you. The steam clean mode is quicker, but encrusted grime requires you burn off the mess.
The LRG4115ST’s most exciting innovation is inside the cavity. The aforementioned ProBake system is a radical new cooking technology that puts a new spin on an old idea.
Most gas convection ranges turn off an oven's main heating element when the convection fan spins, relying instead on a small electric heater to keep the oven warm. ProBake dispenses with a lower heating element entirely. Instead, there's a high-powered gas burner at the rear of the cavity, and it's embedded into a powerful fan.
LG says the new design makes for even heating, easier cleaning, and more space—6.3 cu. ft. to be exact. It was up to us to find out.
LG not only put a lot of effort into the oven, but also redesigned the rangetop. Engineers angled the edges of the burner caps so gas flames could better reach the bottoms of pans.
Despite the promise of better performance, we were skeptical. We tend to temper our expectations for gas burners, which are more responsive but lack the range of temperatures and fast boiling speeds of electric and induction. Yet the LG LRG4115ST did have one remarkably fast burner, and an impressive temperature range.
If you want to boil up some water for a pasta or blanch some vegetables, your first choice should be the front right burner, which can do it in just four minutes. That’s an incredible result for any burner, let alone a gas one.
Maximum temperatures were on the cool side. The front right burner reached a maximum temperature of 442°F, while the remaining burners peaked between 420°F and 272°F. Fortunately, minimum temperatures were adequate for simmering or melting. The right rear burner dipped down to 110°F, while the remaining burners bottomed out between 127°F and 166°F.
An included griddle sits on top of the center oval burner.
The LRG4115ST's gas burners proved more than a match for our tests, and the front two burners should be your go-to's for boiling. The front right burner needed just 4 minutes to boil six cups of water—an amazing result for gas—while the front right took 8 minutes to boil the same amount.
Gas burners struggle to reach the high temperatures electric and induction ranges are capable of, and the LRG4115ST is no exception. The front right burner maxed out at 442°F, and the front left got as high as 420°F. Meanwhile, the right rear reached 352°F, the left rear burner reached 272°F, and the center oval burner peaked at 392°F.
Minimum temperatures were more impressive. The right rear simmer burner dipped down to 110°F, the left rear burner hit 127°F, the right front burner got as low as 151°F, and the left front and center burners managed 149°F and 166°F respectively.
As mentioned, the LG LRG4115ST’s cavity is unlike any other. Most ovens are heated from below by a gas or electric element. The LRG4115ST eliminates the bottom heating element entirely, and instead relies solely on a high-powered rear-mounted true convection element.
Burnt cake and cookie bottoms—unavoidable with many ovens—were completely absent in our convection tests. This was confirmed by our standard bake tests: Not a single cookie emerged with a burnt bottom, and the cakes also scored well.
As promised, baked goods were more evenly cooked throughout. But we also found that placing thinner items—like cookies—anywhere near the rear element would result in burnt food. You’ll want to drastically adjust your cooking times or temperatures if you plan to whip up a batch of Grandma's famous oatmeal raisin crisp. Cakes, on the other hand, fared better with ProBake than in a traditional oven.
The efficiency of the rear heating element, combined with what must be a well-insulated cavity, resulted in some fast preheat speeds. The standard setting took only 8 minutes to reach 350°F, while convection mode did so in 9 minutes. Most ovens take longer than 10—especially big ones like this LG. The broiler needed 8 minutes to reach 608°F, which is average.
LG covers replacement parts and repair costs for failure due to defects of material or workmanship during the first year from the date of purchase. That part is then covered for the remainder of the warranty period, or 90 days—whichever is longer.
Investing hard-earned money in new technology can be daunting. So if you’re uncertain about LG’s latest innovation, allow us to put your mind at ease: ProBake or not, the LG LRG4115ST is a spectacular gas range. The standard bake setting put some competing ovens to shame, the cavity preheats quickly, and the rangetop features a powerhouse burner that will boil water in no time.
$1,599 for a freestanding gas range is downright reasonable considering this model's performance and features, but you won't even have to pay that much! At the time of writing, this range can be found for as little as $1,345 online.
As with any new oven, you'll have to spend some time learning its ins and outs. Just remember the theory behind how this LG cooks, and you should be fine.