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Jul 23, 2012 07:02 PM

Venting for an induction cooktop

We are going to be building a new house and have decided on a 36" induction cooktop. Do we need a range hood, or would an over-the-range-convection microwave be sufficient? Thanks for any advice you provide!

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  1. I can't directly answer your question, but when I installed my induction cooktop (in Japan), the installer mentioned that it's important to have a powerful range hood. Since induction only heats up the pan, you don't get a strong updraft effect from hot air flowing upward along the outside of the pot. As a result, the steam and tiny oil droplets from boiling and frying tend to spread out more laterally. You need a strong exhaust fan to suck them out of the kitchen.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tanuki soup

      Hi, tanuki:

      Another counterweight to the vaunted energy "efficiency".

      You ever get any more Prima Matera?


      1. re: kaleokahu

        Well, nyah, nyah, nyah to you, Kaleo!

        [I'm assuming that I don't need to put a "sarcasm" tag on the above.]

        Actually, I haven't been saving up my lunch money to get any more PM cookware. For the kind of basic cooking I do, I feel that the advantages of PM are pretty much limited to frying pans (I don't make delicate sauces or candy). And for folks like me who cook on induction, these advantages are most apparent for larger frying pans. (Yeah, I know, another disadvantage of induction, so I'll just "nyah, nyah, nyah" you again in advance.) I believe the PM frying pan I currently have is the largest size they make.

        For sauce pans and stock pots, I'm more attracted to designs like Demeyere Atlantis or Fissler Original Pro, with a nice thick disk bottom. It seems to me that a 5-mm or 7-mm-thick aluminum disk bottom would be more effective than the typical 2-mm or 2.5-mm aluminum layer used in fully clad pots (or the 1.8-mm copper walls of PM), especially on induction, since you don't have to worry about the flames burning the food beyond the edges of the disk (nyah). I also subscribe to Demeyere's position that putting highly thermally conductive sidewalls on a stockpot just radiates heat into the room rather than keeping it in the pot, thus reducing efficiency (nyah).

        That said, I'm hoping that manufacturers other than De Buyer also begin to offer induction-compatible copper cookware in the future. Given the popularity of induction in Europe and Japan, it seems like a good bet. Both Anolon Nouvelle Copper and All-Clad Copper Core are a step in that direction, although limited to a copper inner layer.

    2. I have 30" induction and OTR microwave. I did it because I was very limited in counter space and overhead cabinet space. If you don't absolutely need OTR microwave go with a real range hood. If the OTR microwave dies I am thinking I will replace it with a real hood and relocate the microwave to the utility room. You don't need a really powerful range hood like you would with high BTU gas burners.

      1. If you'd be happy with an OTR microwave hood over a non-induction range, then go for it. Personally I would not be able to live with that as my venting solution, a range hood is more effective.

        1. I just installed a 36" induction cooktop. I don't see any diff between it and my electric range as far as needing the fan...I think if you do much cooking you need range hood. Plus...I understand that sometimes budget considerations win out, but those over-range-micros are SOOO ugly, if you can afford it, get a hood.

          1. I agree with biscottifan and Danna. One would still need a hood, but not similar to gas burners at all. It is much more like the traditional electric stoves (even less). To quote from the induction site:

            "... It seems commonly (but not universally) agreed that induction units do require less venting than most other kinds, presumably because there is so little waste heat and hence hot air. Much venting advice of a general nature derives from the need to apply universally, including to the still-common gas-fueled cooking. Since gas cooking produces especially large amounts of water vapor compared to other methods, as well as toxic carbon monoxide, it requires significantly more venting capacity than any other method (including induction)..."


            You still need to air circulation to remove hot air and to remove vaporized oil and water from induction cooking, but you don't have to worry about wasted fuel, oxygen supply, toxic gas removal as you would for gas burning.