SAMSUNG – 5.9 cu. ft. Freestanding Flex Duo Oven with Five Burner Radiant Electric Range.
We chose this electric range for our kitchen because we were looking for a dual oven, but most duals had a tiny upper oven and a large lower oven and no storage drawer at the bottom. This Samsung’s upper oven has 2 shelf levels, while the lower oven has 4 more. We felt that having a large lower oven near the floor would be awkward when lifting a 20 lb HOT turkey from such a low level.
One thing you’ll notice in any oven is that when the door is open, you stand rather far back to lift something. This is because the door is in your way and you usually are lifting with your back – not your legs. Our thinking was that if the turkey was 10 inches higher off the floor, it would be much easier to lift.
Dual Oven without dual doors!
The top oven can convection bake, roast or broil. It can’t do regular baking. The lower oven can bake or convection bake only. The lower oven has no visible heating elements so you can;t broil in it. It has 4 shelf positions. The upper oven is approximately 9″ high with 2 shelf positions. Both ovens heat up quickly and while they are heating, the actual temperature is displayed on the busy control panel above.
Baking a cake in the lower oven works fine, while in the upper oven, the convection-only baking is simply not the same. For one thing, whenever you set either oven on convection to a specific temperature, it will preheat 25 degrees cooler – example: you set 350 degrees convection cooking. The oven will heat to 325 degrees. Samsung says because convection cooking is that much more efficient, it lowers the temperature for a better cooking time. Something to note on the lower oven is that it has no upper heating elements so baking until the top is brown can be challenging. If you wait for the top of a cake to brown to a golden color, the cake can be over-cooked.
One of the best things about this dual oven is that you can take the center divider out and use it as a large single oven with all oven related cooking functions available – Bake, Convection Bake, Roast, Broil. In addition, both ovens have single button presets for pizza, casserole, nuggets and cake.
The Control Panel
The layout is straightforward, but it takes getting used to because of all the different things you can do with it. It controls both ovens with different cook modes, the warming center (middle rear burner on cooktop) and the warming drawer, plus the cooking timer. The timer is different: hit the “Timer” button once and it will set hours and minutes; push it twice and it will set minutes and seconds. In either mode, you punch in the length of time that you want and hit “Timer” again. This behavior takes some getting used to. Best advice is to keep the manual (yes it comes with a printed manual!) in a drawer nearby until you get used to this appliance.
Five Burner Cooktop
The five burner cooktop is smooth, shiny black ceramic. Our previous cooktop was textured black ceramic which was much easier to keep clean as it did not show the messy spills as much. The very shiny Samsung, doesn’t hide the spills as well, mars easily and requires frequent cleaning to stay looking nice. Some of the cooking spills will actually pit the surface and will never come out. It still looks nice when it is cleaned and polished after 6 months of use. It’s a little messy in the picture, but I’ll demonstrate how to clean it in a video [here] soon (after it gets really messy!)
The 5 burner layout is standard with the two front burners having multiple heating elements. The left is labeled “Fast Boil” and has two heating elements. The right front has three heating elements for different size pans.
The reason that the front left is fast boil, is that when set to “Hi”, the burner stays on full. The rear burners don’t do this and subsequently don’t get as hot as the front burners.
The controls for the burners take some time to get used to. Three out of four will have “Hi” as the first position when turning clockwise. The large front right hand burner is the opposite. For each of the triple burner positions, a clockwise turn starts out at “Lo” and gets progressively hotter as you turn clockwise. When you start out with the triple burner setting, crossing from “Hi” to “Lo” on the twin burner settings, your back at a low temperature setting.This is inconsistent with the other multiple burner on the left.
The left twin burner control is laid out differently. It starts on Hi to Lo for the dual, then crosses into Lo to Hi for the single as you continue to turn clockwise. This takes a bit to get used to and I recommend you pay attention to the settings until you get the hang of it.
The bottom 10 inches of the range contains the warming drawer which also serves as storage for the oven’s center divider. It is controlled from the control panel and has 4 warming levels (see picture above.) We use it to store baking pans and it is convenient. If we need to use it for keeping food warm during a dinner party, we’ll have to empty it.
I’d recommend this dual oven range because it looks great, cooks great and has the most versatile cooking oven modes of all the others that we looked at. The Pros: the oven heats fast and keeps steady temperature. The Cons: The range top mars easily and takes a lot of effort to keep clean, the counter-intuitive rotation of the burner knobs and also, the lack of browning elements in the lower oven.