LG LDG3036ST Gas Range Review
With two ovens and five burners, this range is all about the extras.
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On the surface, the LG LDG3036ST (MSRP $1,799.99) gas double oven range seems to offer something for everyone. With its five burners, two ovens, and a number of welcome conveniences, you would be hard-pressed to find a similarly-priced appliance with so much to offer.
It's clearly a winner at convenience, and sale prices of $1,450 are so low for a range with this many features, we're willing to bet most users will blame their own skills for burned or underdone baked goods. However, when it comes to actual performance, this double oven range struggles to justify its admittedly attractive price tag.
Design & Usability
Filled to the brim with features
The LDG3036ST sports a blocky, angular design that is forward looking, without being ultra-modern. It's textbook transitional, and we think it's a look that will make homeowners happy without jeopardizing resale value. The standard stainless exterior is offset by a striking blue cobalt interior, a design that is becoming fairly commonplace in contemporary ranges and wall ovens ever since Wolf introduced a similar color years ago.
The oven's controls can be found on the backsplash. Even though they require a reach, they are exhaustive and easy to use. Meanwhile, the burners are controlled by sturdy dials found on the front of the unit. Both ovens feature LG's innovative version of steam cleaning, EasyClean. It lets users choose between quick steam cleaning for light messes and a heavy-duty pyrolitic self-clean to burn off the big spills.
LG's marketing department must love CamelCase, because the wider-than-average oven window gets tagged as WideView.
Where's the heat?
If the LDG3036ST's rangetop has one thing going for it, it's real estate. With four regular burners as well as a middle griddle burner, this cooktop covers all the bases. The griddle burner with included pan is particularly welcome, as it allows owners to cook up bacon, eggs, pancakes and burgers without taking up one of the regular burners.
Unfortunately, when we put all five burners to the test, we were somewhat disappointed. Yes, the front right burner took only five minutes to boil six cups of water, which is an impressive result for a gas range. But sometimes you need to boil more than one thing at a time. A superstar needs a great backup band, and the other burners on this range just don't cut it.
Gas burners tend to have a narrow range of temperatures, and this LG's burners were no exception. We recorded an average high of only 390°F, and an average low of 132°F. While these results may seem unimpressive, you shouldn't have any trouble cooking pasta and sauteeing chicken. Still, steaks may not sear as quickly as you'd like, and you'll have to keep your double boiler for melting chocolate and other delicate items.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
Mediocre at best
The LDG3036ST's total 6.1-cubic-foot oven capacity is divided up over a 3.9-cubic-foot lower oven, and a smaller 2.2-cubic-foot upper oven. Both cavities were pretty much on par in most of our tests, but the lower oven had a significant edge when it came to cooking performance. During cook tests for both ovens, we recorded uneven baking across the oven category. In a sheet of cookies, some were underdone and some were overdone. And cakes that were undercooked on top were burnt on the bottoms.
It wasn't all bad, however. The LDG3036ST is a good choice for those on a tight schedule. The broiler was reasonably fast with an acceptable preheat time of seven minutes, and both ovens took only five minutes to preheat to 350°F. That's barely enough time to open up a frozen pizza, let alone prepare an entire meal.
Before You Buy
A whole lotta' oven
Look, we get it: $1,799 seems like a good price for so much oven, and LG has certainly packed the LDG3036ST with tempting additions and features. You want an oven? How about two? Forget four burners—this one's got five! Rest assured, if you value quantity over quality and have a limited repertoire of recipes, this is the oven for you.
However, if you're a foodie or gourmand, you'll likely find this oven lacking. Our tests showed inconsistency in the ovens and a narrow band of temperatures from the range. If you demand perfection, you won't get it here. As it currently stands, the LG LDG3036ST isn't quite the Swiss Army knife of gas ranges we were hoping for.
From the Lab
We subject the ovens and rangetops we review to a barrage of tests, scrutinizing everything from water boiling speeds to baking performance. Unfortunately, despite an admirable effort, the LDG3036ST failed to impress in most areas. In particular, the unit was let down by a narrow temperature range and some shoddy baking performance.
Oven & Broiler Performance
We test our ovens for accuracy and precision. Accuracy is determined by how often the temperature in the cavity matches the setting—whether it be 170°F, 350°F, or 450°F. Precision, on the other hand, is determined by how far the temperature strays from the ideal. Despite some good accuracy in the Keep Warm and convection settings, both of the LDG3036ST's ovens were a let down.
The Keep Warm setting exhibited excellent accuracy, but terrible precision. It averaged 167°F, only 3°F off from the target temperature of 170°F, but it swung up and down over time. Similarly the Convection setting was extremely accurate with an average of 342°F. Conversely, the 350°F setting averaged 330°F— 20° below the target temperature of 350°F. That's likely due to automatic temperature conversion, as convection cooking requires a lower heat.
The broiler was fairly brisk. It took 7 minutes to reach 604°F. The preheat was exceptionally fast with both ovens taking only 5 minutes to reach 350°F.
Oven accuracy and precision is one thing, but we place more emphasis on actual cooking performance when testing our ovens. When looking at the cookies we baked in the both oven cavities, we noticed a number of inconsistencies. Cookie consistency—the difference between the tops and bottoms—was particularly noticeable when looking at the upper oven cookie batch. Similarly there was a noticeable difference in doneness dependent on cookie placement, indicating a number of hot and cold spots in the upper oven cavity. Fortunately, the cookies placed in the lower cavity fared far better, with less noticeable differences between the tops and bottoms, and when looking at the cookies alongside one another.
Our cake tests indicated that both oven cavities have a few issues with air circulation, as there was a large difference between the tops and bottoms of our test cakes. Stay away from dark pans, which tend to overdo bottoms of baked goods, and keep an eye on your temperatures.
While gas rangetops lack the wide range of temperatures of their electric counterparts, they make up for it with responsiveness and visual feedback. The LDG3036ST, predictably, suffers from a narrow range of temperatures. The front right burner reached a barely hot enough 390°F, while the front left only got as high as 365°F. Performance was equally disappointing in the lower end of the spectrum: We recorded a balmy low temperature of 145°F from the right rear burner, while the left rear only got as low as 151°F.
The LDG3036ST's front right burner was the star of the show when it came to water boiling. It took only 5 minutes for 6 cups of water. That's a remarkable result for a gas burner, as we expect speeds like that from induction rangetops. The front left lagged behind with a 9 minute boil time for the same amount of water.
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