Downdraft vs Updraft Cooktop (Here’s My Pick)

Downdraft vs updraft cooktop

A good ventilation system plays a pivotal role in your kitchen – it makes the kitchen cool and fresh. Without a properly functioning ventilation system, your kitchen would be messy, hot, and very smoky.

Your walls would be stained by smoke, the heat from cooking pans would be suffocating, and the kitchen would be a hazardous space.

There are two common ventilation options for cooktops. Which one do you prefer?

Are Downdraft Cooktops Better than Updraft Cooktops?

Cooktops manufacturers in association with the Home Ventilating Institute recommend using induction cooktops with standard ventilation features. There are two main induction cooktops ventilation categories: downdraft and updraft ventilation cooktops. Both categories are effective in circulating clean air in the kitchen and removing all kitchen-related odors.

If I’d have to pick between the two I’ll pass a downdraft cooktop and go for an updraft one. After all it’s the one that I have and they’re common.

However, different factors come to play when deciding on the ventilation system to install. Below are critical factors that determine whether you install a downdraft or updraft cooktops:

Your Kitchen’s Orientation

Every kitchen has a different layout. Consider positioning your ventilation system in a space that is easily accessible. The position of your ventilation system should be close to your induction cooktops and all kitchen necessities. Additionally, there should be sufficient space between the preparation area, sink area, and cooking area.

Your Kitchen Interior

The choice of your ventilation system should complement your style and preferences. Always choose a ventilation system that is effective and adds to the beauty of your kitchen. The ventilation system you choose should also blend well with other kitchen appliances and the general kitchen interior.

Your Cooking Methods

Frequent and intense cooking often leads to high amounts of smoke, steam, and odors. Downdraft ventilation systems are effective in island kitchens and kitchens with limited space, while upward ventilation systems are prevalent in kitchens with high traffic, frequent barbeques and intense cooking.

General Home Atmosphere

Your kitchen’s general atmosphere plays a crucial role when deciding the best ventilation system. Downdraft cooktops can be used in small kitchen spaces, while upward ventilation systems can be used in kitchens with less natural ventilation. (downdraft and Updraft)

Ventilation Blower’s Air Capacity

Blowers affect the general functionality of a ventilation system. The size of your blower determines the heat and air pumped out of your ventilation. The higher the blower’s capacity, the more smoke and heat is pushed out of the cooking area.

What are Downdraft Cooktops?

Downdraft cooktops are cooktops with integrated downdraft ventilation systems. These cooktops are versatile, compact, and easy to clean. They use unique technology to push out smoke, grease, and all kitchen-related odors. The vents can be positioned either at the centre, back, or the sides of the induction cooktops.

Modern downdraft ventilation systems have extra blowers and a remote-control adjustment feature. Downdraft ventilation systems effectively remove steam and are a good option for island kitchen and kitchens with limited space.

1. Gaggenau Flex 200 Series

This is one of the high-end downdraft induction cooktops. Gaggenau Flex 200 Series induction cooktops model CV282110 has an advanced ventilation system that automatically eliminates smoke, steam, and other odors. This cooktop has a robust stainless steel frame, four cooking zones, easy to use control knobs and a safe grease filter unit. Additionally, Gaggenau Flex 200 Series Induction Cooktops model CV282110   has a smartwatch, pot detector, cooking timer, child lock feature, heat indicator, and a safety shut-off feature that makes cooking easier and safer.

2. GE JB258RMSS30

GE JB258RMSS30 is a fairly-priced induction cooktop with integrated downdraft ventilation. This cooktop is made from medium cast stainless steel, has a glossy look, and is very efficient. The unit has four all-purpose heating zones that suit multiple cooking. It also has open-ended strategic positions that give the cooktop a sleek look and provide impressive heat distribution capabilities. Food cooks evenly with the GE JB258RMSS30 downdraft cooktop.

3. The Empava 30-inch

The Empava 30-inch stainless steel cooktop is an excellent budget-friendly downdraft cooktop. This unit offers five cooking zones, easy-to-use control knobs, and an automatic shut-off feature.

What are Upward Cooktops?

Upward cooktops are cooktops that use upward ventilation systems. An upward ventilation system comprises three essential components: a hood, a blower, and an external pathway to vent the smoke and heat. The ventilation system is positioned on top of an induction cooktop, primarily in kitchens where frequent barbeques and meals are cooked.

Most upward ventilation systems cover about 3″ – 5″ in depth, sufficient for proper kitchen ventilation. Modern upward ventilation systems have stylish designs that contribute to the general aesthetics of a kitchen. They also have a self-cleaning option that makes them an excellent ventilation choice for many induction cooktops enthusiasts.

Upward cooktops are elegant, stylish, and have high aesthetic value. These appliances are common in kitchens with high traffic. However, buying an upward cooktops doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. Below are our top three upward cooktops across different price ranges.

1. Thor LRG3001U

Thor LRG3001U is a high end upward cooktop. This high-powered cooktop provides fast and intense heating features that are necessary for making quality meals. Thor LRG3001U has a big oven capacity allowing you to cook multiple dishes simultaneously. This unit is made of solid and stylish stainless steel material and has heavy-duty cast-iron cooking grates that can handle different -sized cookware.

Thor LRG3001U has an impressive appearance and performance. It also has a well-insulated oven, a black porcelain spill tray, simple controls and a heat control feature that maintains average kitchen temperatures. If you are in the market for high-end upward cooktops, Thor LRG3001U is ideal for you.

2. LG LSE4616ST

LG LSE4616ST is a relatively affordable upward cooktop. This unit has a spacious oven, incredible cooking speed and easy to operate controls. It also has a storage drawer that comfortably stores induction pans and pots. LG LSE4616ST has five induction zones and comes pre-installed with the signature LG Easy clean technology that makes cleaning spills and messes off the cooktops effortless.

3. Eco Touch 24-inch Cooktop

Eco touch 24 Inch Cooktop is the best-priced cooktop with an upward ventilation system. This unit has an admirable size, a robust power-saving ability, and different cooking zones. Additionally, the unit has nine different power settings, a child lock, timer, and an overheating protection feature. Get value for your money with the Eco Touch 24 Inch Cooktops.

How to Choose the Best Downdraft Ventilation?

Choosing the best downdraft ventilation doesn’t have to be a confusing task. I’ll make the work easy for you. Check the following tips.

1. Ventilating Power

An effective downdraft cooktop should have a high Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) rating. Induction units with higher cubic feet of air trap grease, smoke, and steam better. They also release trapped odors more effectively than units with less CFM rating.

2. Size of Your Cooktop

The size of your cooktops dictates the ease at which steam, smoke, and grease are managed. Given the technique behind cooktops with downdraft ventilation, it is crucial to have big induction cooktops. The bigger the size of your induction cooktops, the more room for air circulation and the easier it is to maintain cool kitchen temperature.

3. Induction Cooktops Material

Induction cooktops with downdraft ventilation require durable and robust material. This is why most downdraft cooktops are made of ceramic material. Ceramic material is safe and easy to clean. It also contributes to the overall performance of downdraft cooktops.

4. Number of Burners

The number of burners is a crucial factor to consider when shopping for a downdraft cooktop. Multiple-burner cooktops release a lot of smoke and grease when simultaneously used. It’s always advisable to use one burner at a time. This facilitates effective grease and smoke removal and improves the circulation of clean air in the kitchen.

5. Spill Protection

Spill protection is a liquid protection feature that protects spills on the surface of your induction unit from reaching the heating surface. As a result, your cooktop is safeguarded, and spill-related incidences are well-handled.

6. Advanced Features

Some of the safety features that make downdraft cooktops more effective include: control locks, hot surface indicators, and the keep-warm function. These features prevent unintentional set-offs, alert you when the induction surface is still warm, and allow you to use your downdraft cooktops simultaneously.

How to Make an Induction Cooktop Safe to Use

Induction hobs are safe to use for the most part. How about taking that safety a step further? Here are some easy ideas.

1. Use Stovetop Monitors

Stovetop monitors automatically shut off your induction unit when they detect little or no movement in the kitchen. As a result, negligence-related incidences in the kitchen are minimized.

2. Knob Turners

Knob turners allow you to have a better grip on the induction knobs.

3. Induction Cooktops Smart Plug

The cooktop smart plug alerts you when an induction cooktop is turned on unexpectedly or is unattended for a long time.

4. Kitchen Timers

A functional kitchen timer will alert you of your cooking progress. These gadgets go a long way in reducing common cooking mishaps. When buying a kitchen timer, settle on one that rings loudly such that you can easily hear it even when a few meters from the kitchen.

Induction cooktops are a long-term investment. Their design and features affect the general functionality of a kitchen. They also determine the setup/installation process and how often the cooktop is used. Get yours today and ensure it’s well-ventilated. Remember to purchase your induction cooktops from trusted brands. Enjoy your induction cooking experience!

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