Help Clear the Air with a Downdraft Range or Cooktop

Whether you’re searing a Wagyu steak to perfection or steaming broccolini from the garden, your favorite ingredients sizzling away in your kitchen are a sign of yet another amazing meal to come. Unfortunately, the steam, grease and odors that result from cooking can linger, creating unpleasant odors and potentially compromising your indoor air quality. If your kitchen is not equipped with a range hood or other ventilation system, KitchenAid® downdraft ranges, downdraft cooktops and retractable hoods offer an elegant solution to help clear the air while you experiment with your latest recipes.

Lit up red element on downdraft electric range Lit up red element on downdraft electric range

What is a Downdraft Range or Cooktop?

A downdraft range or cooktop integrates the ventilation system directly into the cooking surface, eliminating the need for an overhead vent. These systems help capture smoke, steam, grease particles and odors at the cooking surface, pulling them down and out of the kitchen before they can escape into the air. A retractable unit—sometimes called a downdraft range hood—is another form of downdraft ventilation that rises from near the cooking surface when in use.

Smoke and odors can be vented outside through duct work, or air can be filtered and recirculated inside with a duct-free vent accessory. Ductless vent accessories can be installed with a cooktop to filter the air before it re-enters your home. KitchenAid offers a ductless downdraft vent kit that fits several brands of cooktops and can help you avoid costly renovations in kitchens without outdoor ventilation.

Since downdraft ventilation systems eliminate the need for an overhead vent, they are a great option for open floor plans, kitchen island cooktops and kitchens that lack range hood capacity. Whatever system you choose, downdraft ventilation can help you fearlessly flambé seafood or sauté garlic along with other pungent ingredients without the lingering smells.

Downdraft hood sucking up smoke from food cooking on the range Downdraft hood sucking up smoke from food cooking on the range

How Does a Downdraft Range or Cooktop Work?

Downdraft ranges and cooktops use a built-in ventilation system that pulls air across your cooking surface and draws fumes, steam and smoke through a duct system that vents outside your home.

Are Downdraft Cooktops Effective?

Downdraft cooktops and ranges can be just as effective as overhead ventilation systems. Both options help to keep your kitchen smoke and odor-free as you make old favorites and experiment with new ingredients. Appliances with downdraft ventilation offer a sleek and seamless feel to your kitchen without taking up extra overhead cabinet space.

Downdraft range venting smoke from a searing steak Downdraft range venting smoke from a searing steak

Is There a Difference Between a Downdraft Range and Downdraft Cooktop?

The main difference between downdraft ranges and downdraft cooktops is appliance function. A range is an appliance that combines both a cooktop and an oven in one appliance. Cooktops are a flat, open cooking surface that does not have an oven below. Downdraft ventilation is available in both cooktops and ranges, so you can choose the best appliance to fit your kitchen’s style.

Explore KitchenAid® Downdraft Ranges

If you prefer a full range but are unable to accomodate a range hood to pair with it, an integrated downdraft system is a great choice. Available in both electric and dual fuel options, you can purchase a downdraft range from KitchenAid that matches your favorite cooking style. Additional oven features like Even-Heat True Convection, SatinGlide® Max racks, and large capacities give you a complete cooking experience that keeps up with your imagination.

SHOP KitchenAid® Downdraft Cooktops

Maintain the clean lines and sleek look of an open kitchen design with a downdraft cooktop in gas or electric. Cooktops can be outfitted with a duct-free ventilation kit to add even more flexibility to this installation.

Chocolate melting on a downdraft electric cooktop Chocolate melting on a downdraft electric cooktop

How Do I Cook Using a Downdraft Electric Range or Cooktop?

For best results, the downdraft ventilation fan for an electric range or cooktop should be turned on before any of the heating elements. Tall pots should be located on burners closest to the vent. In some models, this may be to the rear; in other models, this may be the center. During cooking, a higher heat setting may be needed to compensate for airflow along the cooktop surface. Higher fan speeds may remove heat from cookware. KitchenAid® electric ranges come in 2-burner or 5-burner options.

Seafood bisque cooking on a downdraft gas cooktop Seafood bisque cooking on a downdraft gas cooktop

Does a Downdraft Fan Impact Gas Range or Gas Cooktop Performance? 

When using a downdraft range or cooktop with gas burners, you may wish to make adjustments to your cooking style so you continue to get the best results. When cooking with gas, it’s important to use a lower fan setting or a higher burner setting for optimal performance. Adjusting to the lowest fan setting required for the load and making adjustments in burner power can help maintain cooking performance. KitchenAid brand offers configurations of 4-burner, 5-burner or 6-burner gas cooktops.

Man turning on a downdraft vent while food cooks on the stove Man turning on a downdraft vent while food cooks on the stove

What is a Downdraft Range Hood?

Retractable downdraft hoods are installed behind your cooktop or slide-in range and extend while you are cooking, then retract to sit flush with the cooking surface when not in use. Downdraft range hoods from KitchenAid brand provide a sleek, modern solution when your appliance doesn’t have an integrated system and your kitchen cannot accommodate a range hood.

Find the Right KitchenAid® Downdraft Range Hood

If your kitchen can’t accommodate a traditional range hood or microwave hood combination, a downdraft range hood vent may be a good option. Ideal for flush mount cooktops and slide-in ranges, downdraft range vents can retract to become level with your cooking surface when not in use. No matter which model you choose, KitchenAid® retractable downdraft systems are designed to help clear the air so you can focus on your next meal.

Explore KitchenAid® Downdraft Cooktops, Ranges and Hoods

Need a cooktop or range that enables your culinary explorations? Expand your possibilities with KitchenAid® downdraft cooktops and ranges. Find features and accessories that help you experiment with new techniques and recipes.


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