These days, there are plenty of the best microwaves festooning shelves from Costco to the corner drugstore. It’s an embarrassment of riches in some ways: no matter your counter size, color preference, or feature request, there’s a microwave out there for you.
Type: Countertop microwave
Colors: Black Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel, Smooth White, and Smooth Black
Capacity: 56.63 liters
Dimensions: 23 7/8" x 13 9/16" x 19 3/8"
Weight: 33 lbs
Number of settings: 10 power levels, Sensor cook and reheat modes, a popcorn setting, and a defrost mode
Energy Star Certified: No
Construction material: Brushed stainless steel
Warranty: 1 year, limited
As far as workhorse microwaves go, the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef countertop microwave gets the job done. At two cubic feet, it’s big enough to reheat a casserole in one go, but also too big for any sort of limited counter space. It’s easy to clean and seems fairly powerful, but offers only limited sensor cook and reheat settings. The buttons can also be a bit fidgety, and presets aren’t always intuitive.
Overall, the LMC2075ST is a perfectly fine microwave if you’re just looking for a workhorse to get the job done, but if you’re looking for something next level, you might want to go elsewhere.
LG LMC2075ST: Design
From the instant the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef comes out of the box, it’s got a presence to it. At two cubic feet, it’s a seemingly enormous microwave and one that, when purchased in all black, can really suck the light out of any airy counter space. With a flat black face and sides, it comes across as a sort of appliance monolith. Luckily, the microwave does come in multiple color options, so buyers can choose from black, white, stainless steel, and black stainless steel, meaning you can customize your choice to some degree.
The microwave’s button panel is flat to the touch and seems fairly straight forward. There are number buttons for setting the clock and cook duration, as well as “sensor reheat,” “sensor cook,” “popcorn” and “defrost” buttons. The on-off buttons are clearly labeled, and the microwave’s door opens when you push the button below the keypad.
That button, however, can be a bit iffy, and to get the door quickly, you really have to hit the button in the right spot—on the left side, ideally—lest the button just slightly compress and then bounce back. It can be annoying, especially if you’re zooming around your kitchen doing other things and then have to stop and make a concerted effort to get into your microwave.
LG LMC2075ST: Features
The LG LMC2075ST NeoChef comes with fairly standard microwave options, and while it’s great that microwaves these days have a “popcorn” button, we were left wanting a bit more. The “sensor cook” button has just 6 presets—bacon, fresh vegetables, frozen entree, frozen vegetable, oatmeal, potato, and rice—while the “sensor reheat” mode offers just five: beverage, casserole, dinner plate, pie, and pizza. (Honest question: Who reheats pie that much? And what kind of pie? Apple? Are there other kinds of pies you’d want to quickly reheat? But we digress).
The NeoChef has a couple cool inclusions, though, including a hexagonal turntable base, which is easy to install and less prone to tilt than a traditional triangle base. We also liked the oven’s EasyClean interior, which wiped right off with just the swipe of a slightly damp paper towel. Full disclosure: We didn’t test out how the EasyClean would do versus months and months and months of baked on “college apartment” style grime, but as long as you stay on top of your grease and spills, you should be okay.
LG LMC2075ST: Setup and assembly
The NeoChef comes packed tightly into a fairly large cardboard box, weighing in at around 44 pounds all in. You’ll need a buddy to help you get it out of the box, and even then, it can be a challenge: We eventually just had to cut down one of the sides of the box to get ours out, even with the help of a spouse.
Setup is fairly easy. The microwave’s glass tray is set at the top of the box, and once you have the unit out and plugged in, you can just open it, throw down the turntable base and tray, and you’re good to go. Most of the packaging material seems recyclable, save the plastic bag holding the microwave’s manual.
LG LMC2075ST: Performance
In general, we found the NeoChef to be a fairly powerful microwave, even compared to other units with similar wattage. We’re not sure why—1200 watts should be the same across units—but when we put in a bowl of soup to cook for two minutes on the NeoChef, it came out absolutely scalding and even baked onto the sides of the bowl at points.
It’s a great attribute to have if you’re always running behind or have hungry kids—we’d reheat our kids leftovers for about a minute and always found them perfectly done and ready for little mouths—but it can take a bit to get used to, especially if you’re coming from a less powerful unit. The unit’s defrost setting is similarly powerful, meaning you should probably keep an eye on whatever you’re un-freezing, lest you begin to cook it instead.
We tested the microwave’s sensor reheat setting a few times and always found it perfectly serviceable, if a bit strong. When we put a container of leftover lasagna in and hit the “dinner plate” option, it was sizzling and bubbling within about 60 seconds. We pulled it at 90 and found it good to eat, but we’ll note that if we hadn’t been there, the sensor would have kept cooking the leftovers for an additional 90 seconds.
If you’re into reheating large platters, you’re in luck, because the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef is huge. We found that we could put at least four full coffee pots inside on the turntable, though we didn’t test whether reheating them would be as impressive.
There were a couple other things about the LMC2075ST that we weren’t too sold on. First: The door’s opening and closing sounds deafening. It’s fine if you close it softly, but if you have a kid that likes to slam appliance doors closed and walk away, you’ll be shocked by how noisy the NeoChef can be. Perhaps it’s the largeness of the inside creating a sort of sonic echo chamber, but it’s loud.
Also, this is a nit-pick, but we wish that the number buttons could also correspond to heating times, i.e. hitting the ‘2’ would make the microwave cook for two minutes. Instead, you’ll have to type in whatever time you want manually, which is fine, but just takes a few more button pushes. The “start” button does have the 30 second option, which is nice, just in case you’re looking to give something a short blast or want to take that plate of leftovers over the top, heat-wise.
LG LMC2075ST: Care and maintenance
As previously mentioned, the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef is a snap to clean. Its EasyClean surfaces wipe right off, and because the microwave’s front button panel is all one piece, too, you don’t have to worry about digging crud out of little insets.
The microwave does come with cleaning instructions in the manual as well, detailing how to clean the interior, exterior, control panel, and accessories. They recommend staying clear of abrasive cleaners, steel wool, gritty wash cloths, and some paper towels, lest they harm the oven’s surfaces.
LG LMC2075ST: Price and availability
The NeoChef LMC2075ST retails for $279 on the LG site. Looking at other microwaves on the Best Buy site, that appears to be just about the median price for ovens that measure 2 cubic feet or more, with prices ranging from $166.79 for a Galanz ExpressWave to $1049 for a stainless steel Viking microwave. Most brands that are comparable to LG are pricing their ovens around $250, and many of the features seem to be fairly similar.
LG LMC2075ST: User reviews
Users online seem to think the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef is a solid buy, with Amazon users giving it 4.2 stars out of 5 with over 160 reviews, and Best Buy customers giving it a 4.5 star rating with over 5,000 reviews.
One five-star Amazon reviewer hailed the NeoChef’s alarm tune, which sounds when your cooking cycle is over. As they explain, “It is a little tune but quieter than a loud BEEP BEEP BEEP". Other reviewers agree with us that the microwave is powerful, with one five-star Best Buy customer writing, “Heated up several items, ramen soup, pulled pork, soup, potatoes, and each one was heated thru evenly. Zero cold spots…My son cooked ramen soup. As with our old microwave he set the cook time to 3 minutes. He noticed it was boiling at the 2 minute mark and removed the bowl. He said they were done.”
Some reviewers also say that the NeoChef can be used as a cheaper alternative to a built-in microwave, citing the way the unit fits with some trim kits. We can’t vouch for this, given the manual’s stated guidelines for how much clearance you’d need to have on the top and sides of the oven, lest you start a fire, but if you can give it the room, maybe it could work.
LG LMC2075ST: What the experts say
Sandy Cook, a salesperson at Pasadena Kitchens in Southern California, says that larger scale microwaves like this one are mainly meant for people who aim to do a lot of cooking in their small appliances. Cook said the perks of the NeoChef LMC2075ST include the hexagonal ring, which she says allows you to put heavier and taller items on the turntable, as well as the microwave’s interior LED lighting, which she says makes the inside much easier to see at night or in the dark.
These days, Cook says, buyers should expect a good microwave to last “at least 10 years.” That’s assuming buyers clean their ovens, use them gently, and give them proper clearance, though. “Everything is built to last at least 10 years,” says Cook, “but sometimes that doesn’t happen.”
Should you buy the LG LMC2075ST?
If your old microwave broke and you’re in the market for something for all your most basic microwave needs, the LG LMC2075ST NeoChef is a solid choice. If you’re looking to upgrade your microwave game, though, or want a unit that does more than just reheat food and zap oatmeal, then you might want to consider upgrading to a combination microwave/air fryer/convection oven, which does seem like it could be the kitchen wave of the future.
Overall, we found the NeoChef to be a perfectly adequate microwave. We liked its size and how easy it was to clean, but we found ourselves irked by little details, like the loud door, the wonky button, and the lack of quick cooking buttons.