Downdraft Cooktops: All-in-One Cooking and Ventilation
Ideas and Advice

Downdraft Cooktops: All-in-One Cooking and Ventilation

Multi-purpose appliances such as downdraft cooktops are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchens. Whether you choose gas downdraft cooktops or electric downdraft cooktops, a Jenn-Air downdraft range or a KitchenAid downdraft cooktop, you get a combination of appliances that minimizes the amount of space taken up in your kitchen. Instead of requiring you to buy both a range hood and a range or cooktop, downdraft range hoods include ventilation in their design. Downdraft range hoods have a variety of advantages in the kitchen, but they also have drawbacks, and this post will explore everything you need to know about them before you make your purchasing decision.

How Does a Downdraft Cooktop Work?

How Does a Downdraft Cooktop Work

Traditional cooktops and ranges don't include any form of ventilation: they simply provide a source of energy to heat your food. If you need ventilation in your kitchen, the range hood is a completely separate purchase. Downdraft cooktops, on the other hand, combine these two appliances into one. They place vents along the edges or in the center of your cooking surfaces, allowing for ventilation without a range hood. Gas, electric, and induction cooktops can all include downdraft technology, meaning that no matter your preferred cooking method, you have the capability to include it in your kitchen.

Advantages of Downdraft Cooktops

Advantages of Downdraft Cooktops

Downdraft cooktops have a whole host of advantages that you should know about when you're looking for a new cooktop. First and foremost, they save space: this allows you to increase the number of cupboards in your kitchen, increasing your storage as well. This all-in-one design is ideal for minimalist kitchens in particular.

Another advantage of downdraft cooktops is the fact that they are great for kitchen islands. Installing an island range hood can be an expensive endeavor, and you then have a large appliance that comes down from your kitchen ceiling, which you may not be able to do in a kitchen with low ceilings. A downdraft cooktop lets you place your cooktop on an island without the need for a full-out remodel of your kitchen.

Finally, downdraft cooktops are great for cooking that involves shallow pots and pans. Because the airflow is close to the cooking surface, smoke and steam from cooking are trapped and brought away from your face.

Disadvantages of Downdraft Cooktops

Disadvantages of Downdraft Cooktops

There are a few disadvantages to having a downdraft cooktop as well. One issue is that you're limited in size: because the vents have to be very close to the burners or heating elements, you won't see a downdraft cooktop that's much larger than 36 in. wide.

Downdraft cooktops are also not as effective with tall cookware, such as stock pots and woks. This may mean putting a portable fan in the kitchen when you make chili or anything else that uses larger cookware.

With a downdraft cooktop, you're also fighting gravity: since heat rises and pulls smoke and steam up with it, you're constantly fighting against the laws of physics in order to pull them down.

Our Expert Picks

Our Expert Picks

Appliances Connection offers a wide variety of high-quality downdraft cooktops. We're proud to list three of our favorites in this post.

If you like using a traditional electric cooktop, try this sophisticated 30 in. downdraft cooktop from Jenn-Air. The JX3™ downdraft ventilation system ventilates at 310 cubic feet per minute (CFM), and the four heating elements include a Dual-Choice™ element that can output up to 3,000 W and expand in size from 6 in. to 10 in. depending on what you're cooking.

JED3430GS
JED3430GS
JED3430GS

Fans of induction cooking will no doubt admire this 36 in. downdraft cooktop by Fisher & Paykel in stunning black glass. It can be installed flush or raised depending on the aesthetic you want in your kitchen, and its four cooking zones are powerful enough to cook nearly anything.

CID364DTB4
CID364DTB4
CID364DTB4
CID364DTB4

Finally, this 36 in. gas downdraft cooktop from KitchenAid features 17,000 BTU professional-grade burners, along with a 5,000 BTU Even-Heat™ Simmer Burner that is perfect for simmering delicate sauces or melting butter. Its three-speed fan control allows you precise control over the ventilation it provides, as well.

Kitchen Aid

Related Questions

Who would need a downdraft cooktop?

If you don't have space for a range hood, you have very high ceilings in your kitchen, or you have a very minimalistic kitchen style, downdraft cooktops may be for you.

Do downdraft cooktops need to be vented?

Downdraft cooktops must be vented to the outside in order to work properly.