Manufacturers add bits and pieces of new tech to ovens all the time, but it’s been awhile since we’ve seen such a fundamental change as LG’s new ProBake system.
Available on all LG gas ovens—including the LG LDG4315ST double-oven gas range (MSRP $1,899), ProBake moves the heating element from its typical location at the bottom of the cavity onto the rear oven wall. A fan moves the hot air throughout the oven—a design choice meant to alleviate the burnt bottoms so commonly caused by traditional heating elements. It’s a beautiful concept, but does it work?
Sort of. This LG may do things a little differently, but it can’t always bake more evenly than some of other ovens we’ve tested—including the single-oven, ProBake-equipped LG LRG4115ST we tested earlier this year. Brisk preheat times were indeed impressive, as were the rangetop burners and convection baking setting.
As with many double oven ranges, the smaller oven is the weak link, but the extra space could be helpful around the holidays. A game-changer it’s not, but the LG LDG4315ST does well if you know how to use it.
This video features the single-oven LG LRG4115ST, which has the same ProBake system as the LG LDG4315ST.
Design & Usability
We’re fans of this fan
While this 6.9 cubic-foot LG has the appearance of an ordinary double oven range, looks can be deceiving. Yes, that’s a stainless steel finish covering the front of the range, but inside, this oven is anything but ordinary.
The rangetop features continuous, cast-iron grates, five gas burners (including a center oval burner), and convenient removable griddle. Below an angled panel with rangetop control knobs, the 2.6 cubic-foot upper oven cavity has a cobalt blue interior. The 4.3 cubic-foot lower oven, however, houses LG’s new ProBake system.
The upper oven may offer Bake, Broil, Delay Bake, Warm, and Pizza settings, but the lower oven takes things to another level. The heating element is located at the rear of the cavity, rather than its standard location at the bottom. The element works with a fan, which circulates heat even when you’re not using the convection setting for what LG claims is improved temperature regulation.
Settings in the lower oven include Bake, Convection Bake, Convection Roast, Multi-Rack Convection, Delay Bake, Proof, Warm, and Pizza. Both ovens can be put to use with a glass touch control panel located on the backsplash. Each is equipped with LG’s EasyClean cycle, which combines a special coating with a brief steam clean cycle for fast results. A traditional pyrolytic self-clean cycle is also available.
The unsung hero
Even though ProBake is the main event here, the LDG4315ST’s best feature is actually its rangetop.
Maximum temperatures were high for a gas range: Out of 5 gas burners, the front two burners both peaked at temperatures above 400°F. The center oval burner and left rear burner were just shy of 400°F, while only the right rear burner failed to climb above 300°F.
Minimum temperatures were even more impressive. The right rear burner may have flunked the high temperature test, but its lowest temperature was a mild 117°F—perfect for warming soup. The left rear burner was almost as temperate, and the front burners both bottomed out just below 150°F. Only the center burner was unable to dip to ideal simmering temperatures.
Boil times were pretty darn speedy. LG markets its right front burner as a quick boiler, and for good reason—it was able to boil six cups of water in less than four minutes. (Be careful if you’re trying to perform a more delicate task.) The left rear burner took just a few minutes more—still pretty good—while the center and left rear burners took closer to ten. Just take care not to boil on the right rear burner, which will keep you waiting for far too long.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
Use convection, trust us.
We’ve tested a whole lot of ovens, and those that won’t darken the bottom of your baked goods are rare indeed. After all, the bottom of the oven is typically where the heating element is located.
Well, here’s the good news: We baked cakes and cookies in the LDG4315ST’s lower oven, where ProBake relocates the heating element from the bottom of the lower oven to the rear, and there was nigh a burnt cookie bottom to be found. Preheat times in the bottom cavity were speedy, at just over 4 minutes for standard bake and under 6 for convection.
But without true convection, the ProBake system doesn’t seem to offer much else that a regular oven wouldn’t. We baked two cakes in the bottom cavity using the standard bake setting, and found doneness varied significantly throughout. Cookies fared a lot better, but there was still room for improvement.
If you buy this oven, we recommend using convection. We found that cookies baked with convection in the bottom oven were perfectly even. Cakes were not, but were much improved from the regular bake setting.
As far as the smaller upper oven goes, you’ll want to use it either for the extra space, for the broiler, or not at all. Cakes were totally uneven, and cookies were barely better. If you can, stick to the bottom oven’s convection setting.
According to LG, should the LDG4315ST fail due to defects of material or workmanship during one year from the date of purchase, LG will offer repairs or replacements. If LG does replace the product or a part during the original warranty period, that product or part is under warranty until the end of the original warranty period, or 90 days, whichever is greater.
Before You Buy
Good, but not groundbreaking
While the LG LDG4315ST is a solid double oven gas range, its ProBake technology appears to offer limited usefulness. Unless you’re using the true convection mode, there’s not much here that will outperform its less revolutionary—and less costly—competition in any significant way.
So don’t buy this oven just for the ProBake. If you can find the right deal—and we’re still seeing prices just shy of $1,400—buy it for the great convection baking, quick preheat, versatile oven modes, and surprisingly good rangetop.