3 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my first of the four published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.
Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the rating is 3 out of 5.
I can see the rating will most likely go higher, I just simply haven’t had the time to try my new kitchen baby that much as it only arrived late Tuesday, it is the last week of school for the year for my kids and, well, things have been a bit crazy. My review today will be more a ‘first impressions’ opinion, and my next review will be where I start putting the NeoChef through its paces.
And so, what are my first impressions? Gosh it’s big! 😀 It is not only a little bigger on the outside to my old microwave, but inside it is HUGE! You honestly could roast a decent chunk of meat for a large family in there. We don’t do roast turkey at Christmas time as way too hot, but if we did I can see the LG NeoChef 30L being able to do it. The back of the device also sticks out a lot more than my old microwave and we need to actually pull it into the middle of our bench and away from the wall to use it so we ensure it has the required 20cm space around it when cooking. Then there is the fact the door swings down, rather than out to the side and this just adds to the amount of space it takes up. So yes, the size it in some ways a bit of a negative… but I have seen it as an excuse to re-arrange my kitchen and maybe install a new cupboard! Win win! 😉
We took it out of the packaging, loved that it actually came with both racks and the crisp tray and steamer you need – unlike the Philips Airfryer that said you needed these items but didn’t include them – so another big positive right there.
I went through the instructions and did the ‘warm water test’ it asks you to do to ensure the microwave wasn’t damaged in transportation. All works well and what a groovy little tune it sings when it’s done. Much better than that monotonous BEEEEP most microwaves do. I will have to try and record it to share if I can. Too cute.
The microwave did have that “new item” smell and there were no instructions on whether we needed to give it a wipe out, heat it for a while first, etc. before use and so didn’t. I do feel we should have as, the first thing made in it was using it as a griller and the whole house filled with a chemically smell and we were uncertain if the food cooked should be eaten after the odour. In most heating devices – like a wall oven, toaster or kettle, they do advise you to heat it up first before use. Nothing of the sort – besides the ‘warm water test’ of 20 seconds – was mentioned in the manual. Oh, and there is a big spelling error/typo in that warm water test. We assumed we were to FILL a cup with water, not FILE it with water as said in the manual. But I am yet to see a manual these days that isn’t riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. I know a lot of my work includes such clangers too, but I’m a reviewer and not a major company. You would think a major company could spend more money getting their written documents up to scratch.
But perhaps I am being a bit picky as user manuals and documentation is what I used to do for a living!
However, speaking of bad documentation, the cook book that comes with the LG NeoChef is horrible! You can clearly tell it was either written by someone where English is not their first language or, more likely, some sort of translator software was used. It is not pretty and I don’t think I will be able to use it to make anything. Which is a shame as I am yet to find any recipes online for this device either. I would have at least expected something at the LG website, but zip!
Okay, that is enough of being a negative nelly as, quite frankly, no modern device has a decent cook book or easy to read manual no matter the brand. And, more importantly, I don’t want to say anything too mean about my new kitchen baby as I love it too much! 😉
I’ve only used it to reheat meals, melt some honey and coconut oil for some honey roasted cashews I was making, and grill a cheese sandwich. But it is early days people! I still have a piece of pork to roast in it, a stew to slow cook, yoghurt to make and, according to my children, popcorn to pop. I also want to see how it goes as an airfryer as it has such a marvellously LARGE capacity.
For now, all I can tell you is this:
Melting coconut and honey – took 35 seconds, heated it evenly and quickly, easy to figure out how to use it and to raise or lower the time as needed. Loved it, worked a treat.
Reheating food in it – again it evenly first time and that makes SUCH a different to other microwaves where there is always one part that is piping hot while another is stone cold. Again it also took less time to do and the cooking time and heating level was super easy to change (I had read the manual you see). No complaints, big thumbs up.
Grilled cheese sandwich? Divine. My eldest daughter (11) made it with me driving the NeoChef. She complained it took too long as she normally makes toast, slaps some cheese between it and zaps it for 30 seconds. Where with the NeoChef it was like using the griller in our oven – only easier! Took about 4 minutes a side to grill, it did it evenly so no burnt patch next to an underdone patch and definitely less fuss and bother than doing it in our wall oven. So, for me, a win. All my daughter could say was “It’s alright, and not as soggy as the old microwave”. Still, can’t please everyone!
I will say though that in grilling the sandwich in such a smooth, even manner I see GREAT potential for making pizza in this oven. Either using a homemade base or even just a tortilla, pizza in this baby looks like it’s going to be A-MAZ-ING! I can’t emphasise enough how amazed I am at the even cooking/ heating/ reheating it has done. Have NEVER seen that in a microwave before!
All in all though, for the limited interaction I have had with the LG NeoChef Smart Converter Oven, no complaints from me! I simply cannot wait to try a few more things and report back to you all next week. I just need to decide with I want to bake, roast, grill, slow cook or make candy! I feel I will need to pace myself and that this is going to be the start of a long and very happy relationship!
Would I recommend this device to others?
To be honest, I feel it is too early in my reviewing to make that sort of comment. I mean, yes I am loving it and can see a lot of potential in it as it is meant to be able to do so many different things… But it is quite a lot of money to invest into a device – average retail price is $700 – and so I want to put it through a few more paces before I would truly recommend it.
Would I buy this device for myself?
To be honest, due to its price, if I was looking for a new microwave right now I wouldn’t. BUT! That is also because I know nothing about it and would assume I have enough devices already with my slow cooker, thermomix, etc. The thing to realise though is this is more than just a microwave and if it ever does go to appliance heaven I feel there would be a big enough hole in my heart left for all it does that I now WOULD seek to buy a new one. But that is only because I’ve gotten to try one first.
In summary – so far so good, amazing how to heats/reheats/cooks evenly and I really can’t wait to see what else it can do!
Until next time,