In a world full of home improvement and real estate shows, appearance is a top priority when it comes to home goods, especially in the kitchen. The countertops must be granite, the floors must be hardwood or tile and the appliances must be stainless steel. But in focusing so much on appearances, we often miss the point of a good appliance: does it deliver an even, consistent performance when it's time to cook?
The Samsung NX58H9500WS is an example of an attractive appearance that hides a so-so product. This 30-inch, slide-in gas range has hefty burner knobs, continuous grates, a large oven window and a sleek touch panel give the appliance a high-end look. But my appreciation of this Samsung range wanes when it comes to its performance. This range is $2,499, so I expected the results of my cook tests to match the impressive physical appearance of the range. Though the largest burner boils water at an impressive rate, the rest of the oven is just mediocre, especially the broil times (slow) and the double-rack baking (uneven).
The Samsung NX58H9500WS would instantly upgrade your kitchen's visual appeal if you added it to your home. But when it's time to actually use it, you may be disappointed. If you're not attached to a slide-in option, consider a freestanding (and less expensive) gas model, such as the $1,699or the $1,400 .
Range impresses with streamlined appearance and easy-to-use controls
At first glance, the Samsung NX58H9500WS appears to have few physical differences from similar gas ranges, such as the. Both models are 30-inch-wide slide-in ranges, a type of design that eliminates a back panel and puts all of the controls at the front of the unit. Both models are wrapped in stainless steel, have five-burner cooktops covered in continuous black grates and a large oven window. These design elements elevate these popular consumer brands to look more similar to luxury models, such as the .
The Samsung begins to distinguish itself with its control panel, a sleek, responsive touchpad that goes to sleep and only displays the time when you're not using it.
You press a button in the bottom left corner that will "wake up" the touchpad and illuminate the oven controls: convection and traditional bake, convection roast, broil and keep warm. There is also a "Healthy Cook" button that provides six cooking options for cooking specific foods such as salmon steak or grilled chicken. I find this feature a little extraneous, especially if you have a recipe, but it could be nice for the novice cook. The control panel is slightly tilted upward, which makes it very easy to select oven options without having to bend over or squat in front of the oven.
Samsung equips the NX58H9500WS with sizable knobs to control the five burners on the cooktop. The burners provide 5,000-18,000 BTUs of power, which puts this range on par with other gas models we've reviewed, such as the. One of the burners is an oblong unit in the middle of the cooktop that is designed for use with the included griddle. I have mixed feelings about this feature, which has become pretty common for midpriced to high-end ranges. A middle burner is great if you do a lot of cooking with the griddle, but it takes up valuable space if you don't. Samsung also includes a wok ring that can sit over any of the round burners so you can safely use a wok over the gas.
The oven of the NX58H9500WS has a 5.8-cubic-foot capacity, which felt pretty roomy during my bake tests. The oven also comes with two flat racks and a split rack, nice bonus pieces for the avid baker. A warming drawer is located beneath the main oven cavity.
Performance falls short of promising appearance
Based on looks and price, I expected a lot more out of the Samsung's performance than I received. Though the NX58H9500WS has a stellar cooktop, my bake, broil and roast tests produced results that showed uneven cooking.
During my convection bake tests, I cooked two sheets of biscuits with a dozen biscuits on each sheet. The oven automatically converts the temperature during convection baking to account for the quicker baking times we typically see when a convection fan is in use. But even with the automatic conversion, the sheet of biscuits that baked on the higher rack were repeatedly browner than the biscuits on the lower rack. The edges of biscuits on the top rack teetered toward being burnt. We've seen a similar performance with another Samsung model, the, which makes me think that the manufacturer needs to take a closer look at its gas ovens.