That's because the Samsung NE59M6850SS/AA electric range(available at AppliancesConnection for $1,194.80) has Samsung's Flex Duo system. That means it's three ovens in one: It can function as a large, single oven for a Thanksgiving turkey, or you can slide in its Flex Duo divider to convert it into two smaller ovens to cook different dishes at once or cut preheat time.
OK—so, it's flexible. But how does it cook? Well, our tests show that this Samsung is one of the best ranges we’ve used all year. Interested? Here's what you need to know.
Roasts food wonderfully
Boils water quickly
Burners can reach very high and low temperatures with ease
Nothing out there like the Flex Duo divider
The oven isn't perfect when it comes to even baking
How does it work?
When you insert the Flex Duo divider, it activates the digital control panel to register the two oven configuration, so don’t worry about messing up your oven functions. We think it's pretty intuitive and foolproof. The door is double-hinged, so it can either open fully, or section by section with the push of a lever.
The design is nearly identical to a similar Flex Duo we tested last year, except it adds WiFi, swaps a warming drawer for a storage drawer, and improves the cooktop design—it has two large 3000W burners, whereas the the old one only had one and a bridge burner made up of two 1800W burners.
The burners on the older model reached higher temperatures, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the burners were too small to be functional. After all, what good is a high max temp if you can only put an 8-inch pan on it?
5-Burner Cooktop—1 three-size burner, 1 two-size burner, 2 one-size burners, and 1 warming zone
Storage Drawer—Down below is a storage drawer, not a warming drawer
Wi-Fi Connectivity—Allows you to remotely preheat your oven, and alerts you if you left the oven on (but doesn’t allow you to shut it off remotely)
Soft Close Door—A hip check when your hands are full will close this door instead of slamming it
What user reviews say
Owners of this range seem to love it, giving it 4.7/5 stars on Samsung's website and similar praise on retailer websites. One owner says he “never knew I needed split-level cooking, but now I wouldn't change it,” and many find it to be a great value for the quality it offers. We have to agree.
What we found
But how does it perform compared to the competition? We put it through the same battery of tests we use on every range we evaluate to see how well it performed.
We checked high and low temperatures for each of the burners, examined how evenly it heated a pan, baked cakes and cookies, and how quickly it preheated to 350ºF. Then, we scored the food on a scale of 10 compared to the rest of the ovens and ranges we've tested this year.
TIME TO PREHEAT TO 350ºF
8:49 on standard, 9:02 on convection. That's definitely faster than average.
To find hot and cold spots, we measured the color variance across a sheet of cookies we baked on the standard bake setting in this Samsung. It got a 6.2/10 for consistency compared to other ranges we've tested. This is a fine score, but definitely not stellar.
To see how well ovens distribute and circulate heat, we bake a cake and measure how tall it gets and how even its color is. We tried this in both the upper oven using convection and the full oven using conventional baking. Combined, we would rank the Flex Duo a 6/10 for consistency compared to other ranges we've tested. This is an above-average score, but not wonderful.
Pork turned out juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside: A near-perfect 9.9/10 for consistency compared to other ranges we've tested.
We laid out toast across a baking sheet and put it under the broiler. As you can see, there are some hot spots, which is how the Flex Duo got a 7.6/10.
TIME TO BOIL 48 OUNCES OF WATER
This cooktop can boil water as fast as about four minutes on the front right outer burner, but the slowest boil time clocks in at about fourteen minutes. Still, you can use the two most powerful burners at once to boil two things at the same time.
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE REACHED ON BURNER
The surface of a pan hit 773ºF on the left front burner, other burners got between 506º-657ºF. This is a high performer compared to other ranges we’ve tested, with a score of 8/10.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE REACHED ON BURNER
A pan got as low as 93ºF on the left front burner, while other burners hovered between 96º-134º F. Compared to the other ranges we’ve tested, the Flex Duo earns a score of 8/10 for stellar simmering.
Should you buy it?
In a word, yes. The great thing about this range is that it offers so much flexibility, and it performs wonderfully across tests. The cooktop can simmer, boil, and sear excellently, the oven’s roasting function turns out near-perfect result, the broiler is above-average. Even though baked goods weren't perfect, it's a small complaint about an otherwise great oven.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.