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It features some of the best convection cooking performance we've seen from an over-the-range microwave, in addition to good microwave performance, and a series of interesting extras. For instance, there's a Steam Clean function that should make it easier to get pasta sauce splatters off the interior.

The Samsung also features Slim Fry technology, which crisps food using heated air circulation. It's a cool little feature that should prove popular among fans of chicken nuggets and French fries.

Sure, the MC17F808KDT won't be cooking your turkey on Thanksgiving. But if we were forced to trade all our other cooking appliances for a single over-the-range microwave, this versatile Samsung would be our choice.
The MC17F808KDT did well in our popcorn test. Once the cycle was complete only 76 unpopped kernels (out of a possible 300) remained behind, and we found no burnt kernels.

The convection setting also proved impressive. The tops of our test cookies were not particularly uniform, but the bottoms were. Also, there was little noticeable difference when comparing the tops and bottoms of individual cookies.

We also baked some cakes, which have no business being in a convection microwave. Still, they weren't terrible. The tops were pretty consistent and there was little difference in uniformity between the cakes. The bottoms were a bit of a mess, but they were no worse than those we cooked in competing microwaves.

Clean in more ways than one

The control panel is well laid out and features a physical selector dial.

The control panel is well laid out and features a physical selector dial.

It's difficult to truly innovate when it comes to microwave design. Consumers expect a square, stainless box and manufacturers are all too eager to oblige.

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It's for this reason that we are pleased that Samsung has at least elected to emphasize the design of the MC17F808KDT. It sports an appealing, clean look that will compliment existing Samsung appliances, and won't look out of place in a modern or transitional kitchen.

Along with a brushed stainless exterior and a well-designed control panel that combines a touchpad and physical dial, the microwave has an easy—to-clean ceramic enamel interior.

Two functions are worth a mention: Steam Clean and Eco Mode. Steam Clean uses water vapor to clean the microwave's interior. You still need to place a cup of water into the microwave, but it's a convenient function nonetheless. Eco Mode preserves power when the microwave is not in use by turning of the display and other non-essential functions, resulting in less vampire power.

Oddly, it lacks a one-touch sensor cooking feature. If that's a must, you can scratch this microwave off your list.
The MC17F808KDT was pretty much consistent with most over-the-range microwaves in this department. We recorded a sound level of 50.7 dB during normal operation. Sound levels rose to 62.4 dB when using the exhaust vent.

This one takes the cake... and actually cooks it, too!

In almost all our tests, this microwave achieved results just slightly above average. For instance, its popcorn setting proved efficient, leaving behind minimal unpopped kernels. Results were also good in our defrost and cooking evenness tests, but not outstanding.

The Samsung MC17F808KDT over-the-range microwave.

The Samsung MC17F808KDT over-the-range microwave.

It wasn't until we tried convection that this Samsung impressed. It's unlikely to replace your actual oven when it comes to baking, but it'll do in a pinch.

For a variety of reasons, convection settings on microwaves are less robust than those on conventional ovens and ranges. But we were pleasantly surprised by the MC17F808KDT's excellent cooking results. Our test sheet of cookies emerged from the microwave uniform and consistent. We even tried a cake, and got results that wouldn't disappoint at a dinner party.

We reheated a portion of macaroni and cheese using the MC17F808KDT's default power levels. The resulting reheated food exhibited overall good evenness. There were a couple of cold spots, but a good mix during cooking should resolve that, and we would rather see cold spots over hot spots. You can always add cook time, but you can't un-burn food.

We saw similar results in our defrosting test. At the completion of the nine minute cycle, we found a tiny amount of frozen food left behind, and a few sections of our previously frozen ground beef were overcooked.

Worth it, especially if you find it on sale

Overall, our time spent with the Samsung MC17F808KDT left us pretty impressed. Sure, it didn't get straight A's, but it's well-rounded, and aced the difficult subject that is convection cooking. If it were a kid bringing home a report card, we'd take it to Dairy Queen.

With a worry-free convection setting, an interesting oil-free frying feature, and a steam clean preset, the MC17F808KDT should compliment your kitchen nicely. Inoffensive design and above average performance all around make it a good utility player.

A one-touch sensor setting is noticeably absent. But if you can find the MC17F808KDT on sale for around $399, this Samsung isn't a bad choice.

Meet the tester

James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Staff Writer


Aside from reviewing ovens and cooktops, James moonlights as an educational theatre practitioner, amateur home chef, and weekend DIY warrior.

See all of James Aitchison's reviews

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