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Apr 13, 2007 12:30 PM

Advice: induction cooktop, downdraft, Fr-door fridges

Buying a new house that has an electric cooktop in an island with a downdraft vent. I will be replacing it with an induction cooktop (no way to put a gas line in there, and no way in heck will I cook with electric.) Also in the market for a new fridge.


1. I guess I have to have a vent with the cooktop, even though I admit I rarely turn one on unless I have something smoking/burning. Resale would require a vent, right? So what are my options: an overhead hood is better, I know, but would require such serious remodeling of the ceiling etc. that it's just out of the question.

2. That means a downdraft. Anyone have any experience with an induction cooktop and a downdraft? I'm hoping I can find them coming together as a package.

3. I've read earlier posts on French door/freezer bottom fridges. My requirements aren't even for a french-door style, but my fiance prefers them. We do need a fridge with an interior water filter/icemaker, and freezer on the bottom. Experiences/suggestions welcome.

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  1. The cooktop should specify the minimum number of cubic feet per minute for your ventilation. I do know that induction and electric supposedly require less capacity than gas, but if I had to do it all over again, I would go for the biggest, baddest overhead monster I could get in here. My downdraft works fine for "normal" cooking, but once I start grilling on the cast iron grill, heavy duty frying, or large amounts of food at once (like a lunch for twenty people), my house fills with cooking odors and smoke that can last for over a day if I don't turn on every ceiling fan and open doors and windows. If you don't cook this way (it sounds like it's never been a problem before), then downdraft works fine. The problem I see is that the downdraft really works on a principle that involves sucking the odors and smoke downward, while most odors and smoke tend to rise. If you are cooking something that creates a lot of steam or smoke you will actually be able to see that only a portion of the smoke gets drawn into the exhaust. I'm sorry I didn't invest in a good overhead vent. I think it would be more effective.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGC1982

      Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I would put in an overhead, but it's just not financially possible to do that great of a remodeling job. The current owner has an electric cooktop (UGH) with a downdraft built in, so I am hoping to piggyback off the ductwork already in place. I rarely fry foods, and while I cook for huge crowds a few times a year, I can't justify a 20k remodel with that in mind.

      THANK YOU!

    2. I was wondering if you solved your problem #2 because I have the exact same problem as you! I would really like an induction cooktop but need a downdraft if I don't want to add a hood (and I don't). What did you end up doing?

      1 Reply
      1. re: NellieK

        I went with the Induction Cooktop and it is Awesome!!! I also have an Island cooking center and installed my GE Monogram Island Vent-a-hood myself. It really isn't that difficult as long as the studs in the ceiling line up in a way that allows for it to be centered. I purchased the unit thru Home Depot Expo, and for a couple of hundred bucks they would have installed. What did the installation include. I had to center the system (reccomend covering your stovetop unit completely while installing), Run some cable from the CB Pannel, make a small frame and started screwing everything together. Even the hole in the roof was fairly simple where the vent was installed. It really wasn't rocket science, any general carpentor could do the work in less than four hours. Pay the extra money to put in a nice looking unit and pay the little extra to have it installed and you will extremely glad that you did, both now and when you go to sell the house. Good Luck.

      2. I can only respond to #3, since we have a gas range with an exhaust fan above it.

        We have the french door Jenn-Air and I really like it. It has filtered water inside the fridge and an icemaker in the freezer on the bottom. I like this better than having them in the door since you get more interior space this way. Ours is cabinet depth, but is plenty big for the two of us.

        The freezer is on the small side, so I recommend having a full size freezer in your garage or basement if you do much shopping at Costco or Trader Joes.

        Jenn-Air, Amana, Maytag are all owned by the same company and make the french door and a freezer on the bottom with filtered water model.

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