This review has been updated to reflect new test data for convection baking.
February 19, 2015
Looking for a stylish new range but also want one that just plain performs? With the Samsung Chef Collection NX58H9950WS slide-in gas range (MSRP $2,799), you get the best of both worlds.
The beautiful, functional stainless steel design is the initial draw, but the NX58H9950WS also heats quickly and cooks evenly, both on the rangetop and in the oven. The included features are unobtrusive, and—as the name suggests—aimed at relatively serious chefs who might need, say, a wok grate more than a dedicated setting for reheating chicken nuggets.
This range isn't cheap—$2,299 is a good sale price—but if you’re willing to pay more for great performance and design, we’d recommend you give the Samsung NX58H9950WS some serious consideration.
Beautiful design meets thoughtful extras
We’d love the Samsung NX58H9950WS for its cooking power alone—more on that later—but the gorgeous design is a welcome bonus. This stainless steel slide-in is a real beauty, with modern edges and angles that distinguish it from a simple box. The 5.8 cubic-foot cavity should fit dinner for a crowd, and the three-setting warming drawer below can keep your meal ready while you wait for stragglers. Controls sit at the front of the range, with simple rangetop knobs on either side of a digital oven control screen.
The oven settings are controlled by Samsung's Guiding Light system. The controls are meant to be operated from left to right, and as you make choices, inappropriate options disappear. This simplifies the process, and essentially provides users with a cooking roadmap.
The oven also has a few welcome additions: The Healthy Cook setting lets you choose from six preset cook modes like "dehydrate" or "salmon steak," while a temperature probe ensures your meat cooks just right.
The oven itself offers true—or "European"—convection with three fans, and convection settings include both Convection Bake and Convection Roast. The cavity comes with three oven racks, including a gliding rack.
On the rangetop, removable black grates cover five burners, which include a central oval-shaped fish burner and a dual burner on the front right. A wok grate can be swapped in to accommodate the tricky rounded cookware, and there’s also a reversible cast iron griddle that can sit over the center of the rangetop. Pancakes, anyone?
When it comes to oven testing, we place a lot of weight on how well the oven actually performs when we use it to bake real food. The NX58H9950WS earned decent scores when we used its regular oven setting to bake cakes and cookies, turning out a batch of dark-bottomed cookies, as well as dark-bottomed cakes with patches of browning across their surfaces and around the edges. Not terrible, but not impressive either.
However, performance improved when we switched on the convection setting and tried again. This oven uses true convection, circulating hot air throughout the oven with its three fans to achieve an even temperature throughout. The result? Cookies weren't quite as dark on the bottom. Cakes were more evenly baked than with standard settings, and didn't vary much based on their placement inside the oven..
We also test ovens to see how quickly they preheat to 350°F, as well as how quickly the broiler can reach its goal temperature—in this case, 605°F. The NX58H9950WS had a fast preheat, reaching 350°F in just 7 minutes 35 seconds using regular settings and 7 minutes 25 seconds with convection. The broiler wasn’t fast enough to earn our highest score, but we were pleased enough with its speed. You’ll only have to wait 7 minutes for it to reach that broiling temperature.
As is characteristic of gas rangetops, the NX58H9950WS was unable to reach the kind of high temperatures achievable by electric and induction rangetops. However, its maximum heat should be enough to cook any food you throw at it. The left rear burner, which is meant to be used for general cooking, reached the highest temperature, topping out at 436°F. Surprisingly, the maximum output burner on the right front of the rangetop fell short at 349°F, while the right rear and left front burners neared 400°F with their maximum temps. The center burner is the only one that failed to rise above 300°F, with a max temp of 286°F. That’s not unexpected from a central fish burner.
Low temperatures, however, are a real selling point for this range, and something gas rangetops tend to do well. The NX58H9950WS’s right rear simmer burner dropped to a positively balmy 112°F, perfect for low heat tasks like melting chocolate or, well, simmering. None of the burners had lowest temperatures above 200°F, but we’d avoid the left front burner for delicate rangetop cooking: With a low temperature of 193°F, it had the hottest low temperature out of all five burners.
When we used the rangetop to boil water, we were fairly pleased with its speed. The speedy right front burner brought 6 cups of water to a boil in just 4 minutes 16 seconds, while the left front burner only lagged behind by about a minute and a half. The left rear burner boiled water in a perfectly respectable 9 minutes 49 seconds, but we’d recommend you leave the center burner and right rear simmer burner alone when you’re boiling water, as both took near 20 minutes.
Great for gas
The Samsung NX58H9950WS has a solid rangetop. Boiling times varied from one burner to another, but the front burners were fastest. The quicker right front burner boiled six cups of water in just over 4 minutes, while the slightly-slower left front burner took almost 6 minutes to bring the water to a boil. You’ll want to reserve the central fish burner and right rear simmer burner for other tasks, unless you don’t mind waiting a while. Still, how often do you need to boil more than three pots at once?
Maximum burner temperatures weren’t high enough to earn a great score, but that’s to be expected with gas rangetops, which excel at accuracy but just can't hit the high temps we see with electric and induction. Still, most burners will serve you well enough during high-heat tasks like searing meat. The left rear burner was the hottest, hitting a maximum temp of 436°F during testing, while the other round burners fell short of 400°F—but not by a whole lot. The only burner we’d recommend only for lower heat tasks is the central fish burner, which failed to reach even 300°F, something not totally unexpected from this kind of burner.
Low temperatures were more impressive. Burners hit their lowest heat between 112°F and 193°, which means you'll be well equipped to simmer soups or melt butter.
Convection doesn't mean perfection, but it helps.
Seeking an oven that can perform? Look no further. The NX58H9950’s 5.8 cubic-foot oven did a pretty good job during our baking tests, turning out cakes and cookies with great potential.
Regular oven settings offered mixed performance, but switch on that true convection and you’ll get a bit of a boost. Cookies baked with the standard setting emerged a bit too dark on the bottoms, but were slightly less dark when we used convection. Cakes baked with the standard setting were fairly uneven, emerging with dark edges and some darker and lighter spots, and unfortunately this varied from one cake to another as well. When we tried again using convection, we saw a significant improvement, with very little variation in browning throughout the individual cakes, although they still varied from one cake to another.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: Use the convection setting. It's not a miracle solution here by any means, but it does result in some improved baking quality. Still, we'd urge users to keep a close eye on cooking food to make sure it doesn't burn. We'd also suggest using parchment paper or placing your food on one of the upper racks to discourage burning on the bottom of the food.
The NX58H9950 also offers a downright speedy preheat, reaching 350°F in about 7.5 minutes. The broiler too won’t keep you waiting; it took just over 7 minutes to reach our target 605°F broiling temp.
The oven does offer a Self Clean system as well, which simply burns away dripped-on food, as is fairly standard.
Worth the splurge
If you’re shopping for a gas range, you’d be hard-pressed to find something better for under $3,000. The Samsung Chef Collection NX58H9950 slide-in does well in every category, coupling a solid cooking and baking performance with good looks and some nice features.
Of course, you do get what you pay for. If the current sale price of $2,299 is still too much, and if looks and features matter less to you, the Kenmore 75232 and Frigidaire FGGF3054MF offer good performance for less than half the price, but both lack the sleek stainless, smart design choices, and high-end features you’ll find in the NX58H9950.
Still, if you’re willing to shell out a bit more cash, this Samsung may prove worth the splurge.
Meet the tester
Former Editor, Home & Outdoors@Reviewedhome
Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.
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