A clever oven cavity seperator and stunning looks help this Samsung range make a strong first impression.
The Samsung NE58F9710WS 5.8 cu.ft. Electric Range is a 30-inch, slide-in range with a smooth-top cooking surface, a convection oven, and a warming drawer. It was released in the United States in June and sports a price tag of $2,399. This price point might come as a shock to you initially, but this model sits in a category where the lowest MSRP of a range with similar features is $1,300 and the highest nearly $3,000.
The NE58F9710WS is a sleek-looking range with two type of controls: a touch pad to control the oven, warming drawer, and warming burner on the cook top, and large dials to control the other stove top burners. This is fairly standard for Samsung's top tier of ranges. The company has taken the tradition control panel location (in the rear of the cook top) and moved it to the front of the unit, just above the handle of the oven door. This conveniently lets you control the stove without needing to reach over it.
This model isn't flashy and it doesn't boast any particularly surprising technology, but it's attractive and what features it does possess seem like they would work well for any dedicated home cook. There is a divide, however, between its cooktop, which is very standard and without any surprises, and its oven, which is more interesting and innovative.
Among the useful features you will find on this cooktop are its bridge burners. These are two burners that can function independently or, when you turn on the bridge, join to form a large, oblong burner. This is perfect for griddles, as the heat is consistent along the bottom of the pan, rather than concentrated at each end with a cold spot in the middle. It's a welcome feature, though certainly not unique to this product or to Samsung. While we wouldn't call it category standard, it is becoming increasingly common.
Other fairly standard features include a variety of burner sizes and a typical hot surface indicator light. Samsung has tweaked the standard burner layout by adding a size-adjustable triple burner and a fifth burner, for warming. The triple burner allows you to select a burner size from three options with the turn of a dial. Most adjustable burners only give you two size options.
Even if the Samsung's cooktop isn't overly innovative, but the oven is more interesting by far. The NE58F9710WS's oven is 5.8 cubic feet, plenty of cooking space to feed four or more people. This is a large oven, but as with refrigerators, it's not necessarily the amount of cubic feet that matters. It's how the manufacturer puts that space to work for you.
You may have seen a number of single-door-size ovens lately with two baking cavities. These ovens generally land in the ballpark of 2 to 4 cubic feet per cavity for a total of between 6 and 7 cubic feet total. The designs of these ovens impart some convenience and efficiency, but they also introduce flaws. By cramming two cooking chambers into a roughly standard single chamber-sized unit, you might miss the single, large cavity option. Also, and with few exceptions, these single-size double oven ranges lack any kind of broiling/warming/storage drawer.
Samsung addresses both of these flaws impressively with the NE58F9710WS. The solution comes by way of Samsung's Flex Duo design. The idea is that Samsung includes a removable thermal divider that's made of the same enameled steel as the rest of the oven chamber. Without the divider, you get a standard full-size oven. With it, you get two independent cooking zones and all the flexibility that implies. The Flex Duo design isn't new -- Samsung released it in 2011 -- but it's still a welcome, convenient addition.
When you slide the panel into place in the middle rack position, it triggers a sensor that turns on the dual zone controls. This intelligent space management also lets Samsung retain a small lower drawer, which works for either warming or general storage.
Samsung has also included what it calls a gliding rack, which is connected via a track system and enables you to pull a pan almost completely out of the oven, making it an excellent option for larger, heavier items or foods that you need to stir or turn frequently. Along with this rack and the divider, Samsung also includes a set of three traditional racks.
The last standout feature of the oven is the control touch pad. It's attractive, responsive, and while we wish that it was a fully connected touch screen, like the ones seen on Samsung's newest washer and dryer, we can't complain too bitterly. The
You may find the combination of dial and touch pad controls clumsy, but we appreciate the utilitarian qualities of the former balanced with the modernness of the latter. The dials make sense as stove controls and the pad works well with the oven's many settings.
It remains to be seen whether the Samsung NE58F9710WS has the performance to justify its price tag. With an MSRP of $2,399, it's certainly not a budget range, but nor is it the most expensive in its category. Even if its performance isn't best-in-class, a feature like the Flex Duo oven might be useful enough to make up the difference. We'll report back with a full review in the coming weeks.