Samsung Electric Self-Cleaning Range FTQ386LWX/LWUX

Samsung Electric Self-Cleaning Range FTQ386LWX/LWUX

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Nice looking range - great for cooks and bakers

Mar 10, 2008 (Updated Apr 16, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:oven size, high quality top elements, great convection, proof mode, steam clean

Cons:Light turns off when you open then close the oven door, oven temp not calibrated

The Bottom Line: From a performance perspective, I would buy this unit again. But I would definitely want to buy an extended warranty and ensure the service in your local area is good.

Scroll to bottom for 1st year update

We recently bought this range to replace a circa 2002 Kenmore (built by Frigidaire) that was of very poor design and quality and not very durable.

We use our range daily with 3 cooks in the house, and do a lot of baking (baking Sourdough bread is a hobby of mine) therefore we were willing to invest in quality, durability and performance.

After doing some extensive research we had decided our criteria for a new range was true convection (with the element in the fan) and an oven that did not have its depth compromised by the convection fan unit. We were also very concerned about reliability and durability after our horrible experience with the Kenmore unit. We had narrowed down our search to ranges built by Camco (GE, Hotpoint, Moffat) but were very intrigued by positive reviews of the higher end LG ranges. We had eliminated Frigidaire, Kenmore, Maytag, Kitchenaid, Whirlpool, Jenn-Air and Bosch mainly due to on-line reviews and the advice of some very helpful sales associates.

We had briefly considered moving to high-end appliances and renovating our kitchen but we were disappointed in the prices that were at least 4x the common brands and warranties that were no better. We also found on-line reviews that were not very supportive of high-end product reliability and resulting expensive repairs and/or poor service experience.

After touring the appliance stores, we decided against the LG solely based on its electronic range top controls but were impressed at the build quality and components of the LG.

Looking at the GE appliances we found pretty much all of the features we wanted but a slightly smaller oven cavity (the element at the bottom was hidden cheaply by an add-on cover) whereby the LG bottom element was designed to be hidden, the oven floor was seamless. Our main disappointment with the GE was the 1 year warranty on the ceramic cooktop, meaning spending more money on a virtually identical GE Profile. Just the same the price difference between the LG and GE were not significant enough to make the decision any simpler.

A friendly sales rep pointed out that we could get roughly the same features on a Samsung for less than the LG, but we could not find any consumer reviews on-line. Also the unit that was on sale was all-white and we had pretty much decided we wanted a stainless steel finish.

We were deciding between GE/GE profile when we found a the higher end Samsung model in stainless at a Brault & Martineau liquidation centre on sale for $1299 including a 5 year service contract. The sales rep was very well informed about this product and pointed out the various features that were comparable to high end appliances, such as the ribbon elements and the 3 fan true convection. Since this was nearly $1000 cheaper than the GE (with an extended warranty) we went for it and had it delivered in 48 hours. We are a bit sorry that we are not supporting our local economy (The Camco factory is here in Montreal).

So far we are not disappointed with this range. The controls and the oven door give the impression of quality with their heft. The rangetop elements come up to full power almost instantly. The three-way right burner meant that we had to go out to buy a skillet with a 12" base, which does not sound big until you have to find a place to store it!

The oven capacity is huge and I can easily bake 8 loaves of bread at a time. The proofing mode is turning out to be a boon, as well as the warming drawer, which we thought was rather frivolous. The convection quality is excellent, using only the bottom oven element to preheat and then using only the convection elements to maintain oven temperature consistently regardless of the vertical position of the racks in the oven. You can easily bake 3 levels with 2 full-size cookie sheets on each rack.

I also tried the vaunted "steam clean" feature. It seams a bit weird to put 10 oz of water on the bottom of the oven, but the cycle only runs 20 minutes at a relatively cool temperature. You have to wipe down the inside walls of the oven and there is a significant amount of water left on the bottom when its done but it does seem to work. Light grease and other dirt (as long as it is not baked on) comes off easily. I imagine cleaning the oven this way after a heavy roast would prevent grease from baking on, we'll see after doing a 20 lb turkey how good it is!

On the downside: We found it odd that the oven light does not stay on when you open and close the oven door. Also the oven temperature was too cold by about 10 degrees farenheit but this was a simple job to calibrate.

Time will tell if this unit proves to be reliable and durable. As service is done by Brault & Martineau locally we do not have to depend on the generally poor big-box store service (e.g. Best Buy/Future Shop). We can also take advantage of a free service call before the warranty expires to see if any parts need to be replaced.

1-year update

We are continuing to sing the praises of this range. We have managed to use most features including the full self-clean, which surprisingly did not do a perfect job (the inside of the door and glass did not clean). The "steam clean" feature is excellent if used frequently.

The warming drawer, a feature we thought we would never use, has been a godsend when preparing elaborate meals.

Would definitely buy another.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 1299

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