The LG LCE3081ST is a 30-inch smooth electric cooktop that gets good ratings from both professionals and users for its cooking performance. It has five burners, ranging in power from 100 watts (for warming) to a sizzling 3,000 watts, and two of the burners can be adjusted to accommodate pans of different sizes. It also includes a control touchpad with a child-safety lock and a hot-surface indicator.
In professional tests, this cooktop gets excellent marks for boiling water quickly and for cooking at low temperatures. Most users say high-heat performance is adequate, and they also like the cooktop's design, which they say is easy to clean. Most find it simple to use -- with the exception of the touchpad controls, which a few users say are not intuitive. This cooktop comes in black with stainless-steel trim and has a one-year warranty. If this LG model's price tag is a bit steep for your budget, consider the Kenmore 42732 (*Est. $710). It also performs very well in professional tests, though user reviews are mixed.
The best review of the LG LCE3081ST comes from ConsumerReports.org, which includes this cooktop in its latest tests of gas, electric and induction cooktops. We also found about a dozen user reviews at HomeDepot.com and a handful of non-overlapping reviews on the Google Shopping site. The 2012 Home Appliance Study by J.D. Power and Associates provides useful information about the reliability and performance of LG cooking appliances in general, though not about this particular model.
ConsumerReports.org rates almost 50 electric cooktops, including the LG LCE3081ST. Each cooktop has been tested on its speed at boiling water, its ability to melt and hold chocolate without scorching and its ability to hold tomato sauce at a steady simmer. A handful of user reviews are also available.
Review: Cooktops and Wall Ovens, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of July 2012
More than a dozen owners have reviewed the LG LCE3081ST at this retail site, awarding it a near-perfect rating. Owners praise the cooktop's even heating, good looks and easy cleanup. One says it is a bit slow at heating water, and another finds the controls a bit confusing.
Review: LG Electronics 30 in. Smooth Surface Electric Cooktop in Stainless Steel, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
3. Google Shopping
We found about 20 reviews for the LG LCE3081ST on Google's shopping site, pulled from a variety of sources (including HomeDepot.com, listed above). Users generally appreciate this cooktop's quick heating, easy cleanup and high-powered burners.
Review: LG LCE3081ST - Ceramic Cooktop - 5 Element(s) - 30", Contributors to Google Shopping
4. J.D. Power & Associates
In this survey, more than 3,800 consumers rate different brands (but not specific models) of ranges, cooktops and ovens. LG earns an above average rating of 788 points out of 1,000 overall, and is rated as either "among the best" or "better than most" in every category.
Review: 2012 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study and 2012 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, July 18, 2012