REVIEW NEEDED PLEASE!
I have been shopping for a new gas range and I need to make a decision today to take advantage of the 4th July sales. I am thinking of buying the Samsung with True Convection and the 5 burners. I have never had a convection oven.
I'd truly appreciate any input from cooks that own this kind of stove.
Does it work well? Is it difficult to make the transition from baking in a regular oven to this one?
thanks a lot.
Are you asking only about convection or are you also asking for opinions/experiences with five-burner Samsung stoves?
If the latter, there does not yet seem to be much feedback because Samsung is pretty new to the North American market. I checked on gardenweb and found virtually nothing about the Samsung 5 burner gas stoves yet. Consumer Reports most-recent membership appliance-reliability surveys had 27,000 members reporting on stoves purchased from 2006 to 2012. Not enough of them had purchased Samsung gas ranges to get a statistically significant report on experience with long-term reliability.
CR has, however, lab tested a number of the Samsung gas ranges and found them to be pretty good. These get very good test results for speed to boiling on high heat, for evenness of baking (apparently without the convection fan being engaged) and for oven capacity. Simmer ability was rated good with the caveat that the biggest burner had trouble maintaining tomato sauce at a low simmer. The oven broiler was rated good and the self-cleaning function was only fair.
I haven't seen any reviews of the Samsung center "griddle" burner and griddle, but the similarly designed ones on the GE Profile and Cafe stoves have gotten mixed reviews. Some people love them. Others think the burners and and ovoid-shaped griddles are useless.
As for convection ovens, you do understand that convection is simply a setting and that you are not required to use it? As noted above, CR thinks the Samsungs' gas range ovens do a very good job of baking without convection.
Beyond that, it is hard to generalize about convection ovens because they seem to vary between brands and models. You will have to check on things as you use it. There are rules of thumb, such as setting the temp down by 25F for convection (many stoves can do that automatically and some require you to disable that in a menu if you don't want it.) Another is shortening baking/roasting times by 10 minutes/hour.
Bear in mind that these are only rules of thumb. Neither rule applied with my previous stove (a dual fuel) or my present (gas) stove. That might be because of living in a relatively dry mountain location or be the nature of the stoves I happened to pick, or both.
I find convection very helpful for getting more even browning (though for meats and such, you want them elevated a bit above the bottom of the roasting pan) and for baking multiple trays of things like cookies and biscuits.
Some of the experimentation will be just figuring out the difference between "very good" and "best" results with your particular stove. That strikes me as a truism for any new stove. It just taakes a little time to get it figured out.
With the electric oven in my former "df" stove, I found convection helpful for getting a very good crust on bread. With my current gas stove, I find I get excellent results by waiting until half way through to switch on convection.
YMMV which is why I'm saying that there is no hard and fast rule on convection (at least for residential stoves.)
The so-called "true" convection means that there is a third heating element in the oven, one which rings the convection fan at the back of the oven. I had this on my previous stove (the GE Profile df) and found that I could bake 3 sheets of thin cookies (sugar cookies or ginger snaps) without having to swap or rotate trays. My current gas stove's oven does a pretty good job but it has only two racks and I still have to rotate those sheets halfway through.
I thought only the Samsung dual fuel models had the third element convection. I did not know that the gas ones did, too. Third element convection is pretty rare on gas ranges. Frigidaire was the only maker that I knew had this function. There is at least one Frigidare Gallery model with it.
OTOH, both of my ranges' convection ovens did and do a great job with even roasting chickens regardless of whether there is or is not a third element. I roast them vertically, on beer cans. With convection, they come out of the oven looking ready for Martha Stewart photo-shoot. Hence the name given by my friends: Martha Stewart Beer Butt Chicken. :>) I use a temperature probe to test for actual doneness. Harddest thing about learning to use convection for this? Remembering that I could switch on the convection.
There are certain things you probably want to bake on regular settings. Soufflés, angel food cake, meringues and popovers are the things for which I have found that convection is problemmatic if not detrimental.
Check if the Samsungs have a "convection roast" function. (I'll bet they do.) This allows you to run a fan with controlled heat from the top (broiler) element. By that, I mean that you can run it at settings lower than broil. This can be handy for quickly browning the tops of things like biscuits without risking burning them as you would with a standard broiler function.
One final thing, and this probably applies to all new ovens. Do not believe the "preheat" signals. Give the oven at least 15 or 20 minutes beyond the preheat signal in order to come to full, even heat. The preheat signal mainly measures interior air temperature and you'll get the beast baking when the cavity walls are properly heated and radiating heat.
Not a SS fan for this appliance - Google it, you'll see.
As to sales, you'll see them all the time and July 4th isn't exceptional for cooking appliances - grills are though.
I have a GE PGB995SETSS that's gas, double-oven, convection, and 5 burners. You can get it for at least $500 below list by waiting or just walking into Sears, H-Depot, or Lowe's and haggling.
I never use the convection though. Gas ovens heat by flame-up and flame-down to maintain temp, and I've just never trusted the fan on wouldn't be a little too unpredictable. It could be perfect, but I'll never know unless I just goof around. I've never had time or interest in that though.