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Samsung NX58H9500WS review: Samsung gas range rests on pretty

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The Good The Samsung NX58H9500WS 30-inch gas range is a handsome slide-in unit with an appealing touch-panel control and powerful gas burners. Samsung also throws in some nice accessories including a griddle, temperature probe and wok grate.

The Bad The gas oven is a letdown, especially when it comes to baking multiple racks of biscuits to an even color. And Samsung is asking a lot for this range: $2,499.

The Bottom Line Consider a lower-priced, freestanding gas range, such as the Samsung NX58F5700 or the Kenmore 74343, instead of the middling Samsung NX58H9500WS. Is a slide-in range on your must-have list? Take a look at the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS, a similar range with a solid cooking performance.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Usability 7
  • Performance 6

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 $1,699 Samsung NX58F5700 or the $1,400 Kenmore 74343 .

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 KitchenAid KSGB900ESS . 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 Dacor Renaissance ER30DSCH .

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.

The control panel of the range goes into sleep mode when you aren't using it, which makes for a simple, clean display.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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 KitchenAid KGRS306BSS . 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.

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