CNET First Look
LG's connected Smart ThinQ ovenLG's SmartThinQ is one of the first smart ovens on the market, but its online features feel more like a first draft.
Hi. I'm Katie Pilkington for CNET. And today, we're gonna be taking a closer look at the LG LRE3027ST Smart ThinQ Range. This is an electric oven that also features an electric smooth-top cook surface. But one of the highlights of this range is the Smart ThinQ technology. This is LG's kind of flagship foray into smart appliances. And it's featured on a washer, a dryer, and a refrigerator, which we did our first take of. With Smart ThinQ, LG wants to be able to connect all of your kitchen appliances and your home appliances both to each other and to you via a smartphone app. As far as the range is concerned, this app is somewhat limited in that you can send recipes from the Smart Range Recipe Manager to the range itself, and it will program the temperature and the time to cook and pre-heat. But you still have to be present to press start. If you like the look of this range, you could look at the LG LRE3025ST, which is identical in all ways, except for those smart inclusions. This LG range was kind of torn between efficiency. In some tests, like the boiling test, the dual element burners made it so that the LG was able to boil water really quickly, outpacing the Samsung model that we've been reviewing side-by-side. But with our convection roasting test where we butterflied a whole chicken down the back, laid it open and then roasted it, the LG took 20 minutes longer to cook the chicken than the Samsung. And the product wasn't even as good. In terms of our baking test, we tested both convection baking and electric baking. But still, I was less than impressed with the convection ability and didn't know that it made a huge difference in terms of performance. In terms of oven hardware, one of the things that really sets this LG apart is the infrared broiler, which rather than heating a coil on the top of the oven cavity, the LG uses infrared to heat plates that distribute heat more evenly across the top of your food. And they claim that you can get a sear that mimics what you would get on a grill. The infrared broiler definitely seared the food in our broiling test, which was a bone in ham steak. But we found that it almost overdid it in that some of the fat actually caught on fire. The high heat of this broiler brings like an interesting thing that we noticed about the LG during cooking, which is that it tends to run higher and hotter than other ovens. And you would think that this is a good thing, but it landed itself to more inconsistent results across all of our tests. As it currently stands, I'm not terribly gone [unk] about recommending this Smart ThinQ Range, but I do think that LG is heading in an interesting direction, and I would love to see further iterations of this technology. For CNET, I'm Katie Pilkington.