For $1,699, you'll get stylish design, a large-capacity oven and griddle and wok cooktop accessories.
The $1,699 Samsung Gas Range with True Convection, model number NX58F5700, is available in the US only. While this isn't an inexpensive appliance -- you can snag a basic gas range for less than 600 bucks -- it has the style and features of an even pricier model. (I mean, it comes with a cast iron wok insert.)
So, what does that mean to you if you aren't a stir-fry fanatic?
This range also has a large-capacity oven as well as defrost, dehydrate and bread proof modes. It certainly isn't the fastest cooker around, but it can easily make everything from a juicy roasted chicken to evenly-broiled burgers and beyond. I recommend the NX58F5700 if you're in the market for something that looks and acts nearly-premium, but costs significantly less.
Where some mid-price ranges seem to focus minimal effort on design, Samsung thankfully took a different approach.
Its instrument panel features a silvery touchscreen with a digital LED display that blends in nicely with its stainless steel surroundings. It also has an intuitive layout that shows cooking modes and other related features on the left and underneath the LED display, along with a full number pad on the right. That makes all of the oven controls extremely easy to navigate, although selecting something can be a little frustrating; the panel doesn't always respond after the first attempt.
I particularly like that the five burner knobs are large enough to give off a quasi-professional chef look. This also makes them easy to access and adjust up or down to various high, medium and low settings.
The rest of the range is relatively uneventful -- it's yet another stainless-steel-wrapped appliance, but the features behind it make up for that to some extent.
|Electrolux EI30GF35JS||Samsung NX58F5700||LG LRG3085ST||GE PGB920SEFSS||Whirlpool WEG730H0DS||KitchenAid KGRS306BSS|
|Oven size (in cu. ft.)||5||5.8||5.4||5.6||5.8||5.8|
|Cooktop output, in BTUs||5,000 to 18,000||5,000 to 18,000||5,000 to 17,000||5,000 to 19,000||5,000 to 17,000||5,000 to 17,000|
There's nothing particularly surprising about its 5 burners or its BTU range. The 5,000-BTU burner works well for simmering sauces, while the 18,000-BTU burner is suited for boiling a large stockpot of water. You can also remove the three cast iron grates to clean the cooktop underneath.Aside from the typical traditional and convection cooking modes that you'll find at this price level, the Samsung NX58F5700 also offers things like defrost, dehydrate and bread proof. It also comes with a wok insert that fits nicely over the cast iron grates and a griddle for cooking up a mean Saturday breakfast feast.
The NX58F5700's 5.8 cubic-foot oven capacity is especially impressive; the $1,549 Electrolux 30-inch Gas Freestanding Range with IQ-Touch Controls EI30GF35JS has only 5 cubic feet of space. This Samsung range also has 7 rack heights so you can easily switch from baking to broiling and back again.
The key differences between traditional and convection mode typically make an appearance during multirack cooking. To see if this gas range followed suit, I baked a bunch of biscuits using both the fan-free traditional and air-circulating convection modes.
Unlike Electrolux's counterintuitive results , Samsung's NX58F5700 returned traditional top-rack biscuits that were much darker (and bordering on overcooked) than the bottom row. One glance at the photo above shows this disparity (the traditional biscuits are on top, with the top rack on the left and the bottom rack on the right).
As expected, the convection biscuits cooked more evenly, although you can still distinguish between the top and bottom racks. So, while it did a fine job, the convection mode only slightly improved top and bottom rack biscuit uniformity.
In addition to feverish biscuit-making, I also broiled burgers in batches of six.
To broil something (that's a fast, high-heat cooking style), you'll want to position the food very close to the heat element (but not so close that it's touching the broiler). Broil elements are located at the top of the oven, so most user manuals will tell you to move the rack to a higher position.
I cooked these burgers to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. That's roughly equivalent to cooking them to medium-rare/medium. This tasty test turned out quite well, but the NX58F5700 wasn't particularly fast.
It actually took 16 minutes and 15 seconds for all six burgers to hit 145 degrees. Looking at the chart above, it tied for fourth place with the GE Free-Standing Electric (JB650SFSS) . The Samsung Slide-In Induction Chef Collection (NE58H9970WS) was the fastest at just under 15 minutes and the Electrolux Gas Freestanding Range (EI30GF35JS) took the longest at over 19 minutes.
I also tried out Ina Garten's "perfect roast chicken" recipe. It was very good, but it didn't reach the level of the impossibly delicious Dacor double-oven chicken . But, the Dacor oven costs $4,999, so I'm still impressed with the results I got from this $1,699 range.
I didn't want the cooktop to feel left out of the proceedings, so I tracked how long it took to boil 5- and 3-quart pots full of water.
The 5-quart test didn't turn out particularly well. It took 11 minutes and 30 seconds to reach a rolling boil. The Electrolux Gas Freestanding Range (EI30GF35JS) did slightly better at just over 11 minutes, but the Samsung Slide-In Induction Chef Collection (NE58H9970WS) did the best by far. It took under 8 minutes to boil.
It also didn't impress during the 3-quart test, although its 12 minutes and 45 seconds was better than the Electrolux EI30GF35JS's 15 minutes and 15 seconds. Once again the Samsung's induction NE58H9970WS did the best, taking less than 6 minutes to boil.
The $1,699 Samsung Gas Range with True Convection can do a lot, including wok- and griddle-cooking. Still, it only performed marginally better than the $1,549 Electrolux 30-inch Gas Freestanding Range with IQ-Touch Controls EI30GF35JS in terms of speed. Considering that there are ranges that can boil a large pot of water in less than 8 minutes , Samsung's NX58F5700 has some explaining to do. On the other hand, the extra cooktop accessories, nice design and tasty food do enough to make this midprice range recommendable.