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Samsung MS11K3000AS ReviewPrice: $150 List | $99.00 at Amazon
Pros: Solid at defrosting
Cons: Slow, poor at heating, expensive
Bottom line: This model performed very poorly and is exceptionally pricey.
The Samsung MS11K3000AS tied for the lowest score overall in our test, delivering a very poor performance in our highest-weighted test metric. This model was decently expensive and got substantially outperformed by models that were over $50 less expensive. The Samsung MS11K3000AS did tie for the top score when it came to defrosting, but it's hard to recommend this product solely on that fact alone.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Samsung MS11K3000AS performed exceptionally poorly in our heating and speed metrics. Heating food is the primary reason you get a microwave, and a model that did the worst out of the entire group at this crucial task is definitely something to be wary of.
We purchased the top 10 models of microwave that are currently available and put them through the wringer to see which one came out on top. In total, we spent over 150 hours researching and testing these products. We divided our testing methodology into four weighted metrics: Heating, Ease of Use, Defrosting, and Speed. The following sections give the full results on how the Samsung performed relative to its competition.
For a metric that is the cornerstone of these products, the Samsung MS11K3000AS did surprisingly poorly, earning the lowest score of the entire group with a 2 out of 10. We made a variety of foods in each mode, ranging from chicken pot pies to Hot Pockets, and evaluated the results to determine scores.
This model did absolutely terrible in our frozen burrito test, earning the lowest possible score that we give out. We followed the package directions for heating, and this model failed to hit the required temperature in the middle, with it feeling almost cool to the touch. In addition, this model had the largest average temperature variation of the group, with an average of 46.9°F between the left, right, and center regions.
The Samsung MS11K3000AS didn't fare any better when it came to heating up an individual serving of lasagna, once again earning the lowest possible score. This model failed to hit the stated minimum temperature, and had tons of variation between regions, averaging 25.3°F, much more than the 3.1°F of average variation on the best model in this test, the Oster. This model did much better at reheating the plate of leftovers, doing an above-average job. We used the "Sensor reheat" function for a dinner plate to heat up our plate of green beans, mashed potatoes, and chicken tenders. While there was a weirdly warm hot spot on the potatoes — enough to scald your tongue — everything was adequately heated, and the potatoes rapidly cooled to an acceptable temperature.
For the chicken pot pie test, the Samsung MS11K3000AS resumed its terrible performance, once again meriting the lowest score we give. The middle of the pie was cool, well below the minimum temperature stated by the package directions, and there was an average of 32°F of temperature difference between different regions of the pie.
Redeeming itself slightly, the Samsung MS11K3000AS actually did reasonably well in our Hot Pocket test, doing a comparable job to the Sharp. There was only about 7°F average temperature difference between the left, center, and right, and all three areas exceeded the minimum temperature listed by the package.
Our final test for this metric was a heat map made with chocolate. We spread melted chocolate on a piece of non-stick paper matched to the size of the turntable, then heated it for one minute.
The Samsung MS11K3000AS did slightly below average, leaving the center very cold and completely solid — explaining some of the poor performance in the previous tests. The center never made it above 130°F, much lower than the minimum temperature required for most of the pre-prepared foods.
Ease of Use
This metric rated these products on how convenient they were to use, encompassing everything from the interior light to the keypad design, and made up 30% of the total score. The Samsung MS11K3000AS did slightly above average in this metric, deserving a 6 out of 10 for its performance.
This model is very hard to see inside of, making it difficult to keep tabs on your food while it is heating. There is an interior light when the door is opened, but we found it to be subpar. This product lacks a traditional keypad, something we found to be quite annoying, as the combination of a bunch of presets and dial was a poor substitute.
This model can't be used as a kitchen timer at all, but wouldn't slide around on a smooth countertop when the door was opened or closed. This model did have a "+30 Seconds" button that would automatically start the appliance but lacked any keypad quick buttons, lacking a keypad.
We also tested the effectiveness of the presets, using the popcorn and potato buttons as our test cases. This model overall did about average, slightly more proficient at the popcorn than the potato. The Samsung MS11K3000AS produced excellent tasting popcorn but left almost 28% of the popcorn kernels unpopped. The potato baked by the machine was alright but probably should have been cooked longer. The left center was underdone and a little crunchy, while the right side was perfectly baked.
We tested how well each microwave could defrost by weight in this set of test. We tasked each model with defrosting a frozen muffin and a 1 lb roll of ground turkey. The Samsung MS11K3000AS did exceptionally well in this metric, tying for the top score with a 7 out of 10.
This model did an above average job at defrosting the muffin. It was defrosted throughout, and was nice and warm on the sides and bottom — the top was a little on the cool side, and the chocolate chips were just starting to melt.
However, it was in the frozen turkey test where this model truly shined. It completely defrosted 12.7 ounces of the 1 lb roll of turkey after entering in the correct weight. This amount was easily scraped away from the log, and the remaining 3.3-ounce semi-frozen chunk was very easy to break apart. There was one tiny piece that was close to being cooked. The Samsung MS11K3000AS notifies you to rotate the item twice throughout defrosting, aiding in its high score.
The final metric compared how quickly these products could heat items. The Samsung MS11K3000AS did not do well in this test, earning an abysmal 2 out of 10. We heated the same amount of water in each model and compared the associated temperature rise to compute scores. This product only raised the water's temperature by 25°F, substantially less than the 37°F of the Panasonic NN-SD745S
This model tied for the lowest score of the group and was the fourth-most expensive — not the best value.
While the Samsung MS11K3000AS did do very well in our defrosting test, it did exceptionally poorly in our heating and speed metrics. Heating food quickly is arguably the entire point of these products, and the Samsung MS11K3000AS fails to do that well and gets noticeably outperformed by models that cost close to $60 less. This might be a good choice if you primarily defrost meat in your microwave, but that's about all it does well.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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