Samsung FE710DRS/XXA Flex Duo Electric Oven Review$1,699.00
Features, Controls, & Cleaning
The ceramic range sports four main burners and a 100W warming zone. The two front power burners have multiple elements accommodating different sized pots, with the left having a two and the right having three elements. Toward the middle of the cooktop, the 100W warming zone provides easy-bake power and temperature to food before serving.
The Duo Flex divider allows for the Samsung Flex Duo FE710DRS/XXA to be used as either a full-height single oven or a double oven that's capable of holding two separate temperatures. The Duo Flex divider slides in about two thirds of the way up the oven, clicking into place and triggering the control panel so that it's ready for a double oven.
Besides the convertible nature of the Samsung Flex Duo FE710DRS/XXA, the oven has some other features that--while less useful--are just as unusual. The control panel has an "Easy Cook" feature, which allows the user to choose from the preset options of pizza, casserole, chicken nuggets, and cake. Besides being slightly offensive to American cuisine, these do not appear to be particularly useful, especially when most of these recipes call for a single oven temperature. Besides the "Easy Cook" options, there are "Custom Cook" options that allow the user to save temperature settings. The three racks and seven rack settings allow for exceptional flexibility in conjunction with the Flex Duo divider, and with the various convection settings delivering even heat around the oven, the need to swap racks to prevent overcooking may be minimized.
Interestingly, the time will only display in-24 hour "military" time, so you can let the kids know their pizza will be ready at zero two hundred hours. Otherwise, the timer, delay start and time bake options are quite easy to use. Press the "Timer" button once for a countdown in hours and minutes, twice for seconds. Enter the time, and press it a third time to start the clock.
Range controls are on the top rear of the unit, so you'll have to potentially reach over some pretty hot items to turn the knobs. Once you've met that challenge, you'll find metal knobs that are quite easy to turn. For burners with multiple elements inside of them, the controls are subdivided to control each element. It's quite intuitive -- the further you turn it, the more elements will turn on and the hotter the burner will get.
Oven controls are on a flat touchpad with an extremely bright blue display. To bake or use convection, press the key for the function you want and enter in the temperature on the numeric keypad. The numbers aren't in a telephone style format, so you may hit the wrong button -- but just press "Cancel" to undo your mistake.
Slide the Duo Flex divider into the oven cavity and the control panel will beep, letting you know it's now configured to work as a double oven. You'll have to select "upper" or "lower" before setting the temperature.
As for the "Easy Cook" options, Samsung sure must have a low estimation of the average American consumer. According to the presets, all we eat is pizza, casseroles, chicken nuggets and cake. I'm sure it adds convenience for some users, but we'd rather not be reminded of the existence of chicken nuggets when we're actually cooking.
Some other ovens force you to choose between just low and high, but not the Samsung Flex Duo FE710DRS/XXA. The broiler operates much the same way as the oven: Press the broil button and enter a specific temperature.
In addition to traditional pyrolitic cleaning, which burns all spills until they become charcoal, the Samsung Flex Duo FE710DRS/XXA also features a steam cleaning option for lighter messes. It only takes 20 minutes, though it's definitely not as thorough as a full-on cleaning. The cooktop itself must be cleaned with a special solution, or it will permanently scratch.