Cleaning the oven is such a detested chore that some cooks admit to running the cleaning cycle of their range or wall oven only once during its lifetime. For almost as long, appliance makers have been looking for an easier way. LG took the plunge this week when it introduced a new series of self-cleaning, large-capacity ovens with a new coating called Aqua Clean Enamel at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Here's how it works: The user simply sprays water inside the oven, activates the Easy Clean function and the oven supposedly does the rest. The whole process takes 20 minutes from warm up to cool down, according to LG. The oven also features a normal self-cleaning cycle that uses extremely high heat to remove food detritus. LG claims that Aqua Clean Enamel is a "unique composition of enamel properties" that is more effective at separating baked-on food from the oven's walls and that can also stand up to the high heat of a normal clean.
Because it's so new, Consumer Reports hasn't tested LG's new cleaning process. But when we tested another oven cleaning "breakthrough" featured in Whirlpool and Maytag ranges, the results were not pretty. Called AquaLift, the system uses water and low heat (about 200 degrees F) to activate a proprietary oven coating, allowing moisture to release tough baked-on messes in roughly 40 minutes. In our tests, AquaLift was effective at cleaning the oven floor, but did not adequately tackle grease on the walls and window.
It's too bad because we too dislike this hot, smelly, time-consuming task. So let's hope LG's new cleaning method measures up in our tests and to the CEO's promise of being "virtually hassle-free."
—Mary H.J. Farrell