For the past 5 months this LG oven, has become my kitchen companion and used regularly to the point that I now feel comfortable in dishing out a comprehensive review.
The model in question is the LG MJ3966ABS, which apparently was recommended by Choice in 2017 and again, voted “Best brand Microwave” for 2019..
When building the kitchen, I wanted to have a microwave as I do use them quite extensively (from rice cooking to frozen pizza’s), so when I saw this LG retailing for just a bit more that a good conventional Microwave, I simply jumped at the idea of having an oven and a microwave in the same small space.
While I have a BBQ installed in the bin area, I thought that on cold and rainy days it could have become handy and been a sucker for black appliances, didn’t help either, so it didn’t take long for this device to find its place in my kitchen..
Let’s quickly do the sum..
1) Every time it start it does make a loud noise (like when metal expands), but it only does it once..
2) Menu is overly hard to memorise. Luckily it has the menu printed on the inside as per picture..
3) It seems very slow for an 1100 Watt unit as it takes ages to get the food ready..
4) The grill function is also extreme slow, like it try to prevent you from overcooking your food..
5) It only comes with a “Pull Down” type door. That to me, while it makes for a stronger door, it does hinder the cleaning process once installed at eyes level..
Now the Pros:
1) The design is absolutely impeccable. Is just a beauty. A single black glass with a single rotary knob..
2) It does come with several accessories: A High and a Low SS rack, a crispy tray, a steam plate and a steam cover. Practically, everything you need for to take advantage of all cooking modes available
3) Very easy to keep clean. Food just won’t stick to it. Period!
4) A double LED bright internal light that works extremely well and it allows you to see your food perfectly.
5) Once mastered, the modes allows you full control over power, time and food quantity giving you the choice of cooking your meals to perfection.
6) The crispy tray while made of metal is also Teflon coated around the border, allowing you to use it even in microwave mode. The steam plate can also be used as it sit inside the crispy tray.
7) Six support for the glass tray instead of the conventional three, gives your food a much better support and eliminate the chance of food tipping out of the container. Why nobody else thought of this before??
Now this menu.. The LG oven has 8 cooking Modes and a whopping 54 selections within those 8 cooking mode. It is a bit hard at first to remember what does what, but LG managed to also print the menu on the front panel behind the glass door. Unfortunately you will still need to reach for the manual as each mode also required a particular rack and/or the crispy tray. In the past 5 months I have memorised my most common cooking mode codes. I’m guessing this won’t be a problem for the new generation as is not much different to operate than the space shuttle.. 😁 Only kidding, but it does take a bit to get used too..
This unit does get really hot, therefore following the installation instruction regarding minimum distance from side and top it’s a must! Don’t enclose it or you will burn your vehicle. I followed, actually exceeded the recommended distance and the ceiling above the oven, still reach 88° when cooking for 60 minutes. In my case the heat is also expelled outside the vehicle through the large fridge vent on the roof. I probably wouldn’t be able to use it if I didn’t have that large vent. I’m also thinking to add a 120 mm fan to aid the hot air to escape even faster.
The maximum time that you can set on the clock is 99 minutes and the max temperature available for cooking is 200° Celsius. If you need higher cooking temperature, then this oven is not for you. I never need it anything higher than 180°, so this is not an issue for me..
At the time I did purchase this unit, I couldn’t find anything else close to the purchase price of $585 that had similar size, power, feature and accessories. The only other ones that I could find were the Sharp R995DST for $935 and the Panasonic NNCD997S that retails for $1087 dollars. I guess this could have also helped Choice regarding the two awards given in 2017 and in 2019.
Looking at several reviews online you can see that early models (<2018) has problems with the display unit, but other than that it seems rock solid. In my case other than the sound of metal expanding at start, it has been working flawless sine day one.
Finally, I would like also to point out and confirm that, as per manual page 9 point 11:
All of the recipes in this book give a range of cooking times. In general, you will find that the food remains under-cooked at the lower end of the time range, and you may sometimes want to cook your food beyond the maximum time given, according to personal preference. The governing philosophy of this book is that it is best for a recipe to be conservative in giving cooking times because overcooked food is undesirable.
I completely agree with the above. You will have to adjust each of the cooking time but not by much. For instance the preset cooking time for a frozen pizza (500 grams) is set at 20 minutes. By adding an extra 4 minutes it makes it more crispy and in my opinion and personal taste, just perfect..
If you are in the market for an inverter convection oven, have a look at the LG MJ3966ABS. You may like what you see..