How Can Downdraft Ranges Save You On Renos and Are They Worth Investing In?

Downdraft Ranges

Cooking a great meal is a delight to the senses. Mouth-watering fragrances waft throughout the house as your mouth salivates in anticipation of yet another culinary delight. Yet the odors, grease, and steam generated from a stove all take their toll if you don’t have a proper ventilation system. Downdraft ranges are a great way to help keep the air in your house clean.

We will review some of the most popular downdraft ranges on the market and provide you with an honest assessment of their performance.

What is a Downdraft Range?

A downdraft cooktop or range (also known as a retractable unit or downdraft range hood) integrates the ventilation system into your cooking surface. It eliminates the requirement for an overhead vent. It captures steam, grease, smoke, and odors from the cooking surface. Then, it pulls all these things down and out of your kitchen prior to them escaping into the air.

Odors and smoke are vented outside using ductwork, or air is filtered then recirculated inside using a duct-free vent accessory. Ductless vents can be used in conjunction with a cooktop to filter air prior to it re-entering the home. These kits can fit various cooktops and aid in preventing costly kitchen renovations.

Downdraft ventilation systems remove the need for an overhead vent. They provide a wonderful option for houses with kitchen island cooktops, open floor plans, or that lack a capacity for a range hood. They are great at eliminating pungent smells from the air, allowing you to cook with confidence.

Slide in Ranges with Downdraft

A slide-in range with a downdraft is available in gas, electric, and dual fuel. The best model to purchase is a dual fuel system since it offers the best of both worlds: gas and electric. Ranges that have one or the other types will have differences in cooking. 

Gas cooktops provide better temperature control and immediate heat. Energy is not wasted and food is cooked evenly for the best taste. Electric ovens will distribute heat evenly which makes them perfect for baking. Gas ovens tend to have heat that rises, so when baking, it is common for the food to be a bit dry. This doesn’t happen as much in an electric oven.

In terms of cooktops, an electric cooktop takes a while to heat up and is less efficient than a gas one. Additionally, gas burners cool quickly.

A gas oven would be the second choice. It is great for everyday use, and if you don’t do a great deal of baking, it will produce good quality food. In fact, most people do not notice the difference in taste between an electric and gas oven. Those with discriminating palates, may.

Electric tends to be the third choice, and it is mainly due to inefficiency. It costs more to run in terms of electricity. However, most studies indicate the differences are nominal. The largest downside is that it takes longer to cook a meal because you must wait for the cooktop to heat up. It also takes longer to cool down.

Slide in Dual Fuel Range with Downdraft

This type of range will provide you with the best electric and gas ovens in terms of cooking capabilities. They often have a steam rack and cook very evenly. They are the most preferred out of all the downdraft systems.

Best Overall: KitchenAid 30” 4 Burner Dual Fuel Downdraft

KitchenAid 30” 4 Burner Dual Fuel Downdraft

The downdraft for this system integrates the ventilation system. No separate hood is required. Grease and odors are quickly moved outside, or the filtered air can be recirculated. Users can cook flawlessly due to the even heat true convection system since the oven heats evenly. 

The steam rack adds moisture to the oven to improve cooking results. 


  • Enhancing cooking results
  • Comes with four burners
  • Cleans in less than an hour without odor


  • Grills may scratch
  • Oven temperature may trend to cooler side

Slide in Electric Ranges with Downdraft

When it comes to options for a slide in electric range with a downdraft, options can be limited. Most people are purchasing ones that either mount to the back of their stoves or rise up from a countertop if they have an island. The ones that are installed on an island are a little sleeker and more modern looking than the back-of-the-oven variety.

Best Overall: GE Profile Series

GE Profile Series

This downdraft electric cooktop has four radiant heat elements which allow food to be cooked evenly and quickly on a sleek surface. It comes equipped with a 6” and 9” power boil element that provides rapid and powerful heating.

The downdraft exhaust system pulls steam, smoke, and odors out of the kitchen area, plus the control lock protects the stove from accidentally being turned on. 


  • Quick heat up
  • ON indicator light if element is active
  • Learn at a quick glance if an element is too hot
  • Comes in stainless steel, black, and true white


  • May be difficult to match ductwork
  • Downdraft is rectangular as opposed to the previous circular models so you may need to buy a separate connector

Best Alternative: Jenn-Air Euro-Style 30” Electric Downdraft Range

The Jenn-Air Euro-Style has a variety of element sizes along with a convection oven which provides perfect heat distribution. It installs easily into any standard opening. The downdraft ventilation system allows steam, smoke, and odors to be captured at the cooking surface. It quickly takes them outside for a fresher-smelling kitchen.


  • Telescoping roll-out rack allows users to efficiently position dishes
  • Aqualift self-cleaner minimizes temperature, time, and smells that come from standard ovens.
  • Has element to match cookware size


  • Takes longer for elements to heat up

Best Alternates: Viking VDD5300SS

This downdraft system has a filter clean indicator which takes the guesswork out of when to change it. It has a touch control on the front and top of the unit. Two LED lights provide superior surface illumination. 


  • Stainless steel construction makes it durable
  • Modern look
  • Filters are dishwasher-safe
  • Four speed blower
  • Heat sensor adjusts blower’s speed when high levels of heat are detected.


  • None that we could find!

Tied for Best Alternate: Broan NuTone

This downdraft range hood is made of stainless steel and blows at 500 CFM. It quickly removes odors and smoke from the kitchen. It is fully compatible with all self-contained cooktops. The sleek design with a low profile will save you space and install very easily.


  • Adjustable speed: located on the side, it is flush with the system and discharges right, down, and left
  • One-year limited warranty


  • Little noisy
  • Raises and lowers a bit crooked

Best for Drop In Units: Broan Elite Rangemaster

The Broan Elite comes in stainless steel for added durability and easy cleaning. Its compact design installs behind your cooktop and is quite unobtrusive. The thin profile will save you space under a cabinet chimney.

It is perfect for large pans and pots and comes with an adjustable control that determines the blower speed.


  • Quiet operation
  • Remote control activates downdraft
  • Filter is dishwasher-safe


  • Best for drop in style cooktops


Who makes downdraft ranges?

The three most prominent manufacturers are Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, and General Electric.

Who makes downdraft slide in gas ranges?

Very few gas ranges are available. Jenn-Air makes most models in this fuel type.

Who makes downdraft electric ranges?

General Electric and Jenn-Air are the most well-known manufacturers. Range hoods from Viking and Broan are available as well. Viking tends to be the preferred option by design, but Broan does have a quality range hood.

Downdraft ranges are great for removing grease, smells, and smoke from the kitchen. They prevent unnecessary kitchen renovations by keeping the kitchen hygienic and clean.

They are not widely used anymore, but they are handy if you are unable or unwilling to install a ventilation system. Some users complain that, since heat rises, downdraft ranges are ineffective, yet most users appreciate the technology. 

Downdraft systems are great if you have a range installed in an island as they can rise and retract from the countertop. They are also sleeker and more modern in design.

The best type of downdraft range is still a dual fuel range. It provides superior cooking results on both the range and oven. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the oven, providing an even baking temperature. The gas cooktop heats up efficiently and readily. It also creates an even cooking surface.

The other models do cook equally, and most people are unable to tell the difference in taste. Electric ovens tend to be preferred by those who enjoy baking because of the even heating portion. 

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