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Ventilation Options for Indoor Grill

12 years ago

I need help in determining the best way to ventilate my cooktop and grill - there is so much conflicting info from everyone I talk to and everything I read....

I probably will use two Gaggenau units - a 12" wide, 2-burner electric cooktop and a 12" wide barbeque grill, of the type shown in the pictures below. Countertop space is tight, so I like that both will fit in a 24"w space. Alternatively, I may space them apart slightly to allow for more space so pan handles won't overlap the grill, and so a 30"w cooktop will fit in the space if desired at a later time by a future owner. (I may want to take these with me to my next home!)

My inclination is to use a fairly large, high-CFM overhead hood, which everyone seems to agree works best, especially for grills. But Gaggenau's own spec page for their grill states "we recommend the combination with downdraft ventilation", adding "when installed with overhead ventilation, the [optional accessory cast-iron] AM 060 000 griddle plate must be used". Needless to say, always having to use a griddle plate on top of the grill would defeat the purpose of having one, since a real grill depends on juices and fats falling onto the hot charcoal-like briquettes and smoking upward, imparting the taste into the food you're cooking. Essentially, my Gaggenau grill would become just an elegant-looking George Foreman grill, which isn't really a grill at all.

So Gaggenau wants downdraft ventilation for their grill. Or do they? Their own colorful brochures and websites show the grill installed with their overhead hoods and without the downdraft ventilators. And many people who have those Jenn-Air downdraft grill cooktops or ranges tell me they don't work all that well, which doesn't surprise me since they're working against gravity.

So I could (a) use a downdraft grille between the cooktop and grill; (b) use a telescopic downdraft behind the cooktop and grill; (c) use Gaggenau's pop-up downdraft unit shown in one of the photos below; (d)use a powerful overhead hood, or (e) use the Kenmore/LG 600CFM microwave hood and pray.

Or I could just keep the old Nutone through-the-wall fan that's there now, about 10" diameter, about a foot above the cooktop that looks like this:

I have no idea how much air it moves. It doesn't look very good in the middle of the backsplash, but it sure has a direct route to the outdoors through a wide, very short duct, and has got to be at least as effective as a downdraft, right?

Here are what the cooktops and downdrafts look like - I'd be using the electic cooktop and maybe one of the downdraft grilles from the first picture, and the grill and maybe the pop-up ventilator from the second pic. So smoothtop electric cooktop on the left, grill on the right, and maybe a downdraft or pop-up vent in between (or maybe nothing between, and an overhead hood).

Which would work best?



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