Samsung Range and Microwave Spectacular

(This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Samsung Home Appliances)

[This contest is now CLOSED. Please click here to see who the winner was.]

At the end of this post I will share with you how you can win a $200 gift certificate from BestBuy! You will see that you’ve got 8 chances to win that $200 Best Buy card. Keep in mind, the giveaway is for the gift card and not appliances.

Samsung range - baking bread

See that photo above? That is the biggest fanciest thing in my kitchen and my new favorite toy.

When asked if I would consider reviewing it my answer was simple, “Why, yes, yes I would like to review that crazy fantastic appliance.”

It was almost as if the kitchen goddess had heard our pleas as my old 14 year old range was literally down to its last electric burner (and it was only a small burner and it was only half heating and cutting out when not watched closely).

We were pinching ourselves as the guys from BestBuy delivered the 5.9 cu. ft. free-standing electric range and the 1.8 cu. ft. over-the-range microwave. We sighed enormously as the old range was pried out of its home and carted away.

It was time, past time.

The new range nestled right in perfectly and then it and I began to get to know each other better.

Samsung Range: Divine pizza!

The specs at the Samsung site say the following (for you spec-geeks out there this is a link for all the details):

  • three-fan true convection cooking
  • rapid steam cleaning
  • warming drawer with handle
  • 5 burner ceramic glass cooktop

When I saw the glasstop I was sort of concerned because I have never had one before. I am used to rickety crotchety wobbly uneven scratchy electrical elements that go bad (and will, trust me).

The glasstop is no end to neat.

If you have one and think I am being a cheesy newbie, too bad!

I have been to the badlands of stovetops and I can tell you, first hand, this glasstop business is good stuff.

At first it is sort of disconcerting because it seems like you are cooking on your counter. I got over that after a few days.

Then, as you start using your various pots and pans you find that the ancient pots that are warped and really are WELL past their good days do not work so great on the glasstop. Just a few of my old craggy pots are no longer useable.

The only drawback, for me, is that I can not use my cast iron frying pan. I am ok with this. I have a countertop electrical element that I have been using and if I need to fry eggs in a cast iron pan I can use that again. For the most part, I am using my stainless steel Emerilware.

The first recipe I set out to do as my own homemade benchmarking was pizza, two of them, at once, on two different shelves and right on top of one another. I have made them in the old oven to poor effect (family still choked it down but thats because they love me).

It started with caramelizing vidalia onions on the glasstop.

Samsung Range: Still Life

Samsung Range: carmelizing onions in coconut oil

Goodness, the biggest difference was how fast the element heated up the pan. It also got hotter than my old range. Takes some getting used to but I am getting there.

While I was caramelizing the onions (slowly), I was using the PROOF function in the convection oven to make my pizza dough.

Samsung Range: proofing feature

Samsung Range: proofing feature

I have since used this same proofing function to make some challah bread. Here are a couple of shots showing those breads proofing.

Samsung range - baking bread

Samsung range - baking bread

This function is just fantastic!

This convection oven is called true because the three fans force HOT air over and around your food. Some ovens just blow in cold nasty unfiltered air from outside of the oven, yikes!

What all this blowing means is that your food, and especially your baked goods, is cooked EVENLY and will brown evenly. It also means that you can live on the wild side and cook two pizzas on two different shelves, right above one another AND THEY WILL BOTH BE PERFECT.

Watch.

Two very thick and heavily loaded cheddar and caramelized onion pizzas in the oven.

Samsung Range: Divine pizza!

Into the oven at 475 F and then, viola!

Samsung Range: Divine pizza!

Both perfectly cooked.

Remember that challah bread I proofed in the oven? This is what they looked like after baking, just PERFECT.

Samsung review: challah bread

This reminds me to tell you that the oven has a sabbath function. I am not Jewish so I am not articulate about the needs of the kosher kitchen but I do know that one can not light a flame during the sabbath. This mode (which I have not tested yet) will allow you to have a warm oven in a certified kosher manner.

Other details about the convection oven are:

  • 20 minute steam heat self-cleaning
  • 3 chrome racks with 7 positions
  • 5.9 cubic feet volume
  • pyrolitic cleaning mode (really evil hot)
  • a warming drawer beneath (1.4 cubic feet)
  • Convection (upper/lower)
  • Top heat + convection
  • Convection bake + convection cook
  • custom code modes
  • kitchen timers
  • proof function
  • keep warm function (for pancakes!)
  • convection ROASTING (I have yet to buy a prime rib to try this one out)
  • delayed start
  • variable broil
  • and more

Recommendation: This is one very solid and infinitely user friendly and intuitive appliance. For me and my family of 5 with a diverse culinary palate, this range is a perfect fit. I recommend this appliance completely. If you are a baker, this is a HUGE thumbs up!

microwave-1

Literally on top of all of this, we also got a new microwave – the Samsung 1.8 cu. ft. over-the-range microwave.

This thing fits in the same space as our old (NON-FUNCTIONING) microwave but seems just enormous inside.

The specs are as follows:

  • metal shelf
  • 1100 W
  • 400 CFM ventilation
  • sensor cooking
  • large 14 inch turntable and stirrer
  • kid friendly buttons
  • much more

Our microwave died YEARS ago so my kids had never used one. They have been making nachos and popcorn. They enjoy being able to cook these things for themselves.

I have been using it for defrosting meats and also reheating left overs.

That might sound mundane but its not. Being able to use this for left overs is HUGE (you know this only when you dont have a microwave) – it really helps one use their left overs more effectively. This means you save money and not waste food.

Recommendation: This too is a very solid appliance. I like that it has many functions but the learning curve is very shallow – its easy to start using it immediately.

So, let me get to the exciting contest!

As I mentioned above, you’ve got 8 chances to win a $200 Best Buy card.

Visit Samsung’s site for more information about these and other appliances.

CONTEST INFORMATION

To enter, leave me a comment below, in this post, and tell me WHICH Samsung appliance would make your life easier? It doesnt have to be a range or microwave, it can be any of the appliances they make. You may also blog about which Samsung appliance you like most, linking to this post and ALSO leaving a link in the comments below letting me know about your blog post.

The contest will begin at 10/5/2009 at 5pm PST and will end 11/15/09 at 5 pm PST.

Please be certain that the e-mail address you leave is correct!

Rules:

  • No duplicate comments
  • You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link to this post in the comments
  • You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments
  • This giveaway is open to US-Residents, age 18 and older
  • Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail
  • You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected

To see the full listing of official rules please visit here: Official Rules