Ovens

LG LRE3023ST Freestanding Electric Range Review

A master of everything but the broiling and boiling.

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Introduction

Most people are used to seeing the old standbys of GE, Maytag, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and Kenmore in the kitchen. But today, the influx of other companies have shaken up the market, innovating and injecting a sense of competition that ends in better ranges for the consumer.

It takes a lot to entice the American market from the brands trusted since the fifties. But sometimes amazing performance and solid value makes makes a good case against years of brand loyalty. The makes this case well.

Despite the interesting design interpretation of "stainless steel" and slow boiling and broiling results, this range had some of the finest performance marks we've seen this year: the spectacular oven temperature control, quick preheating, rangetop temperature range, and convection oven.

And of course the best part is all this is available for under $900 (MSRP $1,000).

Design Overview

The , single oven electric range, has a very square look, if you'll excuse the double entendre. Though its finish is stainess steel, it doesn't quite have that je ne sais quoi that someone considering a stainless steel range has in mind, though it's entirely possible electric ovens by definition struggle to live up to that stainless character with their lack of those robust, heavy grates that make it feel like it's been made more like Chevrolet than Apple.

However uninspiring the outside may look, the oven cavity's deep blue does indeed charm, temporarily distracting the user from the vanilla exoskeleton.

Front

Range-top

Burners 1 Photo

The elements shine red as rangetop operates.

 

Burners 2 Photo

A side view.

Upper Oven

Upper Oven Photo

The oven has two racks and a lovely blue inside.

Upper Oven Detail Photo

The convection fan is at the back and broiler on the top.

Broiler

Broiler Photo

The broiling element is uncovered.

Warming Drawer

Warming Drawer Photo

The keep-warm drawer can be used as storage as well.

Cooking Performance

After running the LG LRE3023 through our barrage of tests, we found some of the best results we've seen. The oven maintained the proper temperature with little variance, the convection fan worked well, and the rangetop the searing and simmering tests. However, we did find a weak broiler and rangetop boiling results, slightly tainting our findings.

Range Performance Overall

Being an electric rangetop, the plays to its inherent electric strength, demonstrating excellent temperature range. However, this electric advantage comes with the price of an added difficulty in zeroing in on the proper temperature. Unlike gas, the user can't see the flame and must deal with a delayed response in temperature change upon adjustment.This is the classic gas vs. electric performance debate.

Burners 1 Photo

The elements shine red as rangetop operates.

Burners 2 Photo

A side view.

Water Boiling

This is the weakest aspect of the . Peculiarly, this rangetop showed a great average boiling temperature, with an average boiling time of nine and a half minutes to boil six cups of water. But while that was a great average, the quickest boiling elements were both around around seven and a half minutes—slow for most rangetops. It's certainly useful to have many decent elements, but many users require at least one rangetop element that can get a pot of water to 212°F in a hurry.

Range-top Water Boil

While no burner was weaker taking twelve minutes to boil six cups of water, no burner was very fast.

Low Temperature Cooking

The simmering abilities impressed us thoroughly: every burner could maintain a temperature of 96°F or under. This is cool enough to melt chocolate without a double boiler and simmer tiny quantities of sauce or soup.

Range-top Temperature Range

Range-top Temperature Range

Excellent temperatures for simmering and searing. Perhaps even a bit too hot.

High Temperature Cooking

The high temperature cooking scores were phenomenal, being around as hot as you can get without getting too hot. We slightly penalize elements that run over 750°F by reducing their score, as they can be hazardous especially since electric rangetops can easily be left on. Only one element ran slightly too hot at 775°F, which wasn't a big deal whatsoever. The rest of the elements fell between 638°F and 702°F

Overall Oven Performance

The reached 350°F in just under eleven minutes. Though not the six minute preheat that occasionally wows us, this is quality all the same, making the freezer to table delay tolerable for the frozen pizza crowd.

Target Temperature Accuracy

The ability to average the proper temperature was good, though not great. Set to 350°F the oven averaged 342°F, a reasonable deviation. Similarly the maximum setting of 550°F averaged a cooler temperature than enjoined (540°F) but at temperatures that high, the percent difference is negligible. The keep-warm setting, however, ran ten degrees hotter than its setting at 180°F.

The convection fan worked well, circulating the hot air throughout the oven's cavity making for more even cooking and improved heat transfer. The temperature accuracy we found was identical to the 350°F setting, averaging a slightly cool—but allowable—342°F.

Temperature Fluctuation

Minimizing temperature fluctuation was the 's forte.

At 350°F, the oven strayed just nine degrees above and fourteen degrees below, outstanding evenness of temperature that bakers will especially appreciate. No burned crust and raw inside here. We found similar temperature control abilities on the other settings, but the convection setting was even better. At 350°F, it operated in a tiny window only 20°F wide. To put this into perspective, the standard baseline is a window of around 40°F.

Oven Temperature Variance

The conventional oven's temperature variance is as good as the convection's.

Broiler Performance

In our test, the broiler timed out at sixteen minutes at 535°F, not having reached the 600°F that most broilers can easily hit. Clearly the 535°F temperature recorded indicates that it works, but its performance was under par in comparison to its field as well as the rest of its features.

Broiler Photo

The broiling element is uncovered.

Broiler Features

The broiler--to be used with the door open—has two settings: "Hi" and "Lo," though it seems like the "Hi" isn't particularly "Hi" if our test results are anything to go by. Which they are.

Overall Efficiency

While it's difficult to really measure the efficiency of the oven, we can examine how the oven uses the power it draws by comparing the watts to the boiling and preheating results. But for the , the peculiar nature of the boiling performance confused our tests. While the boiling scores were poor, the 8194 watts were put to good use as the average boiling time was low—despite the decreased utility of this characteristic.

The oven was somewhat efficient as the 3454 watts preheated the rather large 6.3 cubic foot cavity in ten and a half minutes. However, the unimpressive broiler took 4217 watts, far too many for the performance results.

Features

The standard ceramic rangetop has a fifth keep-warm burner available to keep food warm if it tarries from oven to plate.

Burners 2 Photo

A side view.

Certainly big enough for the largest of turkeys, the oven has 6.3 cubic feet of space, but its large cavity is only divided by two standard racks. The most important feature—though standard on ovens in this class—is the convection fan, which allows for improved heat transfer and efficient cooking. It can be used in the convection bake and convection roast modes, allowing for the convection fan to be used in conjunction with the normal heating elements to use radiant and convection heat.

Oven Controls Photo

The oven control panel is straightforward.

The timer is simple and also features a delay bake and timed cook settings that merge the timer to the oven. Of course, the timer may be used independently as well. It's simple and easy to key in the time.

Controls

The 's range controls are a bit odd. Eschewing the standard design of dials that has worked for years, elected to install odd on/off and +/- buttons. This unfortunately means more time spent reaching over the hot cooktop—the controls are mounted on the backsplash—and it might be trickier to zero in on the proper temperature.

Range Controls Photo

Unfortunately, the range controls aren't even knobs.

The oven and broiler controls are standard of electric ranges—located on the backsplash and are simple to use. No endless sessions with the manual required—though we recommend a hearty reading before use.

To adjust the broiler from "Hi" to "Lo," you hit the "Broil" button again before hitting "Start."

Oven Controls Photo

The oven control panel is straightforward.

Cleaning

The uses a typical pyrolitic method to clean the oven cavity, heating up to a very hot temperature to carbonize the spills. There is also a delay cleaning feature that functions just like delay baking.

has a list of approved cleaners for the rangetop's flat ceramic surface. Burned-on residue can be taken off with a sharp razor.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, the is one of the finest machines we've seen, cementing LG as a leading manufacturer of our most important appliance.

Turning in phenomenal results in almost all of our tests, the exhibited the kind of breadth chefs need in the kitchen: excellent oven abilities on all settings. Bakers will delight in the delicate evenness the displayed, barely flickering on the temperature dial on all settings.

The only weaknesses we found were in broiling and boiling. While the former is not likely to matter as much (though it might!), 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 rangetop user, this many not be the range for you as quick boiling can be accomplished for less. However, if you are a serious chef and need a solid oven as well as a rangetop, the boiling results may be too slow.

Let us be as clear as possible: this oven has almost no flaws. If you are fine with boiling times, this oven is an absolute steal under $900.

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