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LG LDG4315ST review: Uneven baking, lousy app decrease this oven's appeal

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The Good The LG LDG4315ST double-oven gas range is versatile oven that's easy to use and boasts some of the fastest water boil times I've ever seen.

The Bad The double oven's cooking performance was inconsistent, and the accompanying LG app that connects to the oven is useless when it comes to making cooking smarter.

The Bottom Line Skip the LG LDG4315ST and its ineffective upgrades. Consider a simple gas model like the Kenmore 74343 or KitchenAid KGRS306BSS.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Usability 9
  • Performance 6

Double ovens are no longer relegated to the wall. Manufacturers are releasing more freestanding and slide-in ranges that contain double-oven cavities, such as the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS and the Maytag Gemini MET8720DS . Models like these fit two smaller ovens into the space of one traditional oven cavity and allow you to simultaneously cook two dishes at two separate temperatures. These freestanding double ovens will save you from a major home renovation if your kitchen doesn't accommodate a double wall oven, but you want to cook multiple dishes at the same time.

LG has gotten in on the double-oven act with its LDG4315ST, a 30-inch gas range that also displays the Korean company's continued experiments into smart kitchen appliances. Unfortunately, the LG LDG4315ST might make you reconsider the merits of tearing up your kitchen for a double wall oven. This model, which became available this month at $1,899 MSRP, makes a lot of big promises to which it never quite lives up. The LDG4315ST's double oven is convenient for multitasking, but its lackluster performance in my baking tests overshadowed any advantages to having two ovens in the space of one. And the accompanying LG application adds frustration to cooking rather than convenience and intelligence I expect from connected tools.

The LG LD4315ST isn't all bad news. The powerful gas cooktop stands out for its fast boiling times and useful middle burner. And the LD4315ST finds its stride when it roasts and bakes foods over long periods of time. But these highlights aren't enough to make the LG LD4315ST a worthwhile investment. Instead, opt for a gas range that sticks with simplicity, such as the Kenmore 74343 or KitchenAid KGRS306BSS .

Blocky design offers easy-to-use controls

The LG LDG4315ST isn't as sleek or streamlined as similar 30-inch-wide gas ranges, such as the Electrolux EI30GF35JS or the aforementioned KitchenAid KGRS306BSS. Instead, LG opts for a blocky design for this stainless steel model that adds to unit's usability. Everything has a little extra heft, from the sturdy, curved oven handles to the big, easy-to-grip burner knobs. User-friendliness extends to the touchscreen on the unit's back panel that controls the features of the upper and lower ovens. The type is clear, large and easy to read.

Some of the LG LDG4315ST's oven features include convection bake and roast and settings for baking pizza. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The LDG4315ST's cooktop has five gas burners that range from 5,000 to 18,500 BTUs of power: four normal, round burners in each corner and an oblong burner in the middle. The middle burner is designed for cooking with an oval pot or the griddle that LG includes with the oven. The continuous grates that cover the four traditional burners in the front and back corners curve to accommodate the grate over the middle burner.

Continuous grates cover the five burners on the LDG4315ST's cooktop. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The middle burner takes up valuable real estate on the cooktop. Space was tight when I put pots and pans on the other burners while I used the griddle to cook bacon. The griddle is definitely convenient if you're in the pancake-flipping business (or at least a weekend pancake enthusiast). But the shape of the LDG4315ST's middle burner is limiting if you only use a griddle sporadically. I prefer the flexibility of a traditional, round middle burner that you can use with regular pots and pans and/or having a griddle that fits over two normal burners, such as the Dacor ER30DSCH .

The double oven is the showpiece of the LG LDG4315ST. LG boasts that the oven has 6.9 cubic feet of capacity, but keep in mind that this space is split between its two cavities. The top oven has 2.6 cubic feet of space, and the bottom has 4.3 cubic feet. A convection fan surrounded by a heat element is mounted to the back wall of the bottom oven, a feature that LG calls ProBake convection. This type of convection fan is often found in high-end models such as the Dacor ER30DSCH and referred to as pure, true or European convection. This type of convection fan is designed to heat the air as it circulates throughout the oven, providing faster, more even baking.

LG also includes some pleasant surprises to help the home cook. When the oven is done preheating, the unit alerts you with a cheerful melody and flashes the oven lights on and off several times. A different ditty plays when you set the timer. These are simple default settings that would be helpful in a real-life home, where you can't stay attached to your oven waiting patiently for it to come to temperature. LG also includes a gliding rack, a recessed rack for larger dishes and a standard rack for the ovens that provides some nice flexibility.

Frustrating smart features fall short

LG equipped the LDG4315ST with Smart ThinQ technology that allows you to connect with the LG Smart Oven app to change the oven's settings, run diagnostics and look up recipes. We saw this capability on LG's LRE3027ST electric single-oven range , but the app left us underwhelmed. However, I had high hopes for this updated version of the app. Surely, the app has improved in the two years since we reviewed the LRE3027ST , right?

On the surface, the LG Smart Oven app seems like an improvement over the previous LG Smart Range app that we used with the LRE3027ST (be careful when you download; both similarly named apps are still available for Android, but only the Smart Oven app works with the LDG4315ST). But the Android-only app uses NFC (near-field communication) to communicate with the oven rather than Wi-Fi, which means you have to hold your smartphone or tablet right next to the oven for the two to connect. So to change the oven settings with the app, you decide what you want to change in the app, hold the device inches away from the oven, and adjust your position until the app sends the new information to the oven. Hovering over the oven with your device is extraneous, especially when you can make the same changes right on the oven without the middle man. The app would be more useful if it used wireless technology that would allow you to change the settings from a greater distance (say, from your living room or even your workplace).

You can change oven settings on the app, but you have to be right next to the oven to make the changes. Screenshots by Ashlee Clark Thompson/CNET

The app doesn't impact cooking performance, so the decision whether to buy the LDG4315ST shouldn't rest solely on the app's performance. More than anything, this app shows that LG continues to invest in and experiment with connected technology in its appliances. The company still has a long way to go before its smart ovens and apps make cooking easier and more precise.

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