We have a new oven! As it turns out, it’s not on the short list I talked about a couple of months ago. But let’s back up a little so I can explain everything. The first oven we had in the apartment came with it and was chosen by the builder. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best of them, and wasn’t even a convection oven, which is the setting I use to bake because the heat is a lot more uniform than traditional heat. So we knew we wanted to upgrade the oven and cooktop (and hood someday down the road, too) when we could. We already had an oven lined up, since my parents had bought a new one to replace their old (sort of broken, but we thought we had fixed it after running a couple of tests) one and they gave it to us. The problem was that we couldn’t swap the “builder-grade” oven for this second one and keep the builder grade cooktop because the oven controlled the cooktop.
So we lived with the builder-grade ones for almost two years, since we moved in (Nov 2009) until September 2011. We were planning on buying a new induction cooktop in November of last year as both of our birthday gifts, but our friends surprised us with one in September. It was awesome! We switched the old cooktop for the new one and the oven for the sort-of-broken-but-we-thought-we-fixed-it-and-it’s-a-much-better-oven. I even did a post on how we installed it.
Shortly after, we realized that the oven wasn’t fixed like we thought. The convection-only setting didn’t work (I had to use the convection plus conventional heat setting) and the oven turned itself off after it reached a certain temperature and wouldn’t turn itself back on until it was fixed. Apparently, the internal thermometer thought it was way hotter than it actually was so it turned off for security reasons. Which is a great feature to have, but not when it doesn’t work properly and it turns itself off while you’re baking a cake or roasting a chicken.
We decided we could just save up for a new oven. For anyone who’s not counting, that would make it the third oven we’ve had in 2.5 years. Hopefully we’ll be able to stick to this one. Anyway, we made 150€ by selling the old builder-grade oven+cooktop combo, and the house insurance gave us about 150€ as well when the second oven started acting up even more after a power outage. In theory, the 150€ the insurance gave us was to cover the cost of the repair, but since we already had about 300€ we knew it would just be better to buy a new one. This was right around Christmas time, and a couple of relatives gave us a bit of money instead of gifts, so we put them towards the oven, too. In total we had about 450€-500€. A few months had passed, too, so we didn’t mind spending a bit more if we felt it was worth it.
And that’s when I started researching our options. We narrowed it down to these three, and although the first one by Neff is a dream, it was also way out of our price range. We decided to go with the cheapest one, a (sort-of) double oven by a local brand, Teka. When I was looking around I had seen it on sale for around 500€ so it was perfect. However, just as we decided to buy that one, the price went back up to 620€ and stayed there. Since we weren’t in a hurry (our oven still worked, even if it was a bit inconvenient) we decided to wait for a bit and see if it went back on sale. We had just decided to buy it in a couple of weeks, until yesterday.
A friend called saying he had to go buy some stuff to a warehouse, and asked us whether we wanted to go. We had to get some stuff there for the wedding, so we said yes. But first he told us he needed to go to the big-box appliance store, Media Markt. We thought we could check out our oven just in case it was cheaper so we agreed to meet there. And as I was looking around the ovens… I found a similar one that was even better! The price was great (349€) and after quickly checking for prices online, we saw that it was actually cheaper in store so we bought it. It’s already installed and I made lunch with it yesterday (which turned out great!).
What’s the new oven like? Well, for starters, it’s similar to the one we had chosen because it also has a sort-of double oven system going on. It comes with a special oven tray that, when inserted right in the middle of the oven, it triggers a button and separates the top part of the oven from the bottom. You can use just the top part, just the bottom part (and you’re using less energy this way, it’s perfect when you’re cooking small amounts of food, so basically, perfect for us 95% of the time). You can also use both the bottom and top parts at the same time, independently, at different temperatures. The ad showed croissants baking on top and chicken on the bottom one. Now, I won’t probably use it that way (because I’d be afraid of the smell permeating the croissants) but having two independent “ovens” is actually perfect for baking two cakes at the same time without worrying about how the cakes are baking (because cakes have to be baked in the middle rack position… so if you bake two at the same time in the same single oven, that’s impossible). Obviously, you can also remove the special tray/rack thingie and use it as a normal single oven.
It also has two really cool cleaning systems. The pirolitic one which is so popular right now; and the bigger plus for me, the steam cleaning system. You fill a tray with water and let the oven do its magic with steam… then you simply wipe it clean. I actually like this cleaning system better than the pirolitic one because 1) the other one scares me a bit (the oven reaches such a high temperature with the pirolitic one that the door actually locks itself shut for security reasons… but what if the self-locking feature doesn’t work?) and 2) obviously the pirolitic system consumes a lot of energy and should be used very sparingly (unless you want your energy bill to sky rocket).
Another thing we like is the material it’s made of. The inside of the oven and the trays seem very easy to clean. The guy who sold it to us also mentioned it (and he was technically a Miele salesman, not Samsung), so hopefully it’s true. He also said that ovens with those specs are usually a lot more expensive. Apparently Samsung is starting to make very nice oven/cooktop combos for great prices and they’re taking away from other brand’s business because of this. And after trying it at home, we can say with confidence that the special separator tray system works surprisingly well, and that the oven heats up incredibly quickly (always a good thing since it saves energy). We still have to test the cleaning settings though.
Just as they were preparing our order, they asked us whether we wanted to extend the warranty for 49€. Every product you buy in Spain comes with a 2 year limited warranty (which means you don’t have to pay the actual repair if it’s due to manufacturing issues, but you do have to pay for them to come pick it up, etc after the first 6 months) and they were offering a 5 year warranty which even covered the cost of the repairs due to wear and tear. We want this oven to last us, and 49€ seemed reasonable. Sold!
We ended up paying 398€ for the oven plus extended warranty, which was actually under budget. As soon as we arrived home we installed it (just like we did last time), wiped it clean, and turned it on (empty) for an hour like it was indicated in the instruction manual. Now we have an old oven in the living room and a huge box we have to hold onto for a couple of weeks. But we’re actually very happy with the purchase so far. Of course I’ll keep you posted if things go south though. So how about you guys? Any big purchases this weekend? We certainly weren’t expecting buying the oven this Saturday!