What to look for when buying an extractor hob

That smell of freshly baked bread, straight from the oven – heavenly. The fish you had for dinner last night – not so much! Getting the right extractor for your kitchen is, in my opinion, crucial to your design (as well as aroma of your kitchen).

Not only to sweep away those nasty lingering food smells but also to draw the grease out of the room. The results: cleaner air, less condensation, a sleek look and a mesmerising view of steam being sucked straight from a pan into this rather nifty modern appliance. Want to know more? Read on.

So it’s no doubt that an extractor will be an essential item on your kitchen checklist, as I’m sure an induction hob will be too. Induction cooking is different from any other hob on the market using a magnetic field to heat the base of the pan, efficient and safer than traditional hobs. And their popularity is growing – and fast.

But what about if these two items were incorporated into one?

Enter the extractor hob.

The extractor hob, or vented hob, is the latest innovation on the market, uniting the power of  cooking and extraction into one product. Incorporating a central high-performance fan within the hob unit eliminates the need to have both appliances separately in your kitchen.

One product rather than two, no need for a hood or pop-up and sleek in design, are you sold yet?

For a bit more insight, I’ve put together my top tips and a few of the latest models so you’ll have everything you need to know before making your purchase.

Bosch extractor hob

The PerfectAir sensor continually monitors the level of odour during cooking and automatically adjusts the power to ensure optimum extraction performance, with no need to manually select a setting. PXX875D34E induction hob with integrated ventilation, £3179, Bosch.

So, why should you have one?

They are incredibly efficient, as any odours are taken care of at source. The extraction unit is positioned in the centre of the hob, drawing the steam and cooking smells directly from your saucepan by pulling the air down through the extraction unit. “Essentially, the benefits are about design as you can keep the space above the hob completely clear,” says Howard Bogod, managing director at DR Kitchen Appliances, Elica’s exclusive UK distributor. “And if you’re tight on space, you can have a cabinet above the hob that isn’t half-filled with a cooker hood.”

Caple extractor hob

This model features 13 state-of-the-art power levels for keen cooks, alongside a high-performance downdraft extractor with four speeds and a boost function with an automatic timer. DD935BK all-in-one downdraft extractor hob, £3314, Caple.

How do they work?

The purpose of theses appliances is to draw off odours and grease particles directly from your saucepans while you are cooking at the hob, preventing any smells rising up and spreading throughout your kitchen space. “The grease particles released during cooking are effectively trapped in the stainless steel grease filter,” says William Bruckbauer, chief executive officer at Bora.

A central grid, generally sitting flush within the induction hob, conceals a powerful extraction unit. You will need to use some space beneath the hob to house the appliance’s motor. Most brands have adapted the design to allow for a sink drawer – a partial unit utilising space on either side of the hob’s motor, for example to store spices – to be installed below.

Elica extractor hob

This Italian glass hob features an elegant cast-iron grill concealing a powerful extraction unit. The system automatically adjusts based on the number of cooking zones you have in use, while a Power Booster function allows you to speed up the appliance’s heat-up time. NikolaTesla Prime induction hob with integrated extraction, £1745 for the ducted–out appliance or £1895 for the recirculating model, Elica.

 

Siemens extractor hob

The ClimateControl sensor monitors steam and smells during cooking and adjusts the extractor’s power level automatically to ensure it is always working efficiently while keeping noise to a minimum. EX875LX34E InductionAir venting cooktop, £3239, Siemens.

What are the options?

Just as with overhead extractor hoods, these combination appliances come as ducted out or recirculating models. A recirculating kit is installed within your kitchen cabinets’ kickstand, to make changing the charcoal filters easier. Venting hobs should always be installed by a kitchen fitter and wired by a qualified electrician to ensure best performance. Units may also need to be adapted, depending on the appliance’s size.

Faber small extractor hob

The small one The compact motor design only sits 21cm beneath the worktop and can incorporate a sink drawer unit or shelves installed underneath the hob. Galileo 340.0540.965, induction hob with integrated extraction, £2595, Faber.

Any buying tips?

Extractor hobs are designed to be installed in standard-sized kitchen units, but it is worth checking your specific appliance’s dimensions, as brands’ sizing will vary. “Make sure you know how close your hob will be to the wall before you start shopping,” advises Maurizio Severgnini, managing director at Bertazzoni UK & Ireland. “For every bend between the extractor hob and the outlet, you will lose one meter of ducting, which reduces the performance of the extractor.”

Gaggenau extractor hob

This efficient ventilation system is fitted close to the hob for a flush finish. When the extraction unit is pulled up and open, it is controlled by sensors that will automatically up the power as cooking odours increase. 400 series Vario VL414111 downdraft ventilation with C14101 induction wok cooktop and C1422101 Flex induction cooktop, price on application, Gaggenau.

Future maintenance?

This type of appliance is fitted with a safety tray that collects any spillages while you are cooking, so no debris will fall through and end up in the extractor mechanism. “There is a spill-catching reservoir beneath the cast-iron grid that is easily accessible to clean and the motor will continue to work even when wet,” explains Vicky Harris, director at KitchenEX. All moving parts can be easily removed by hand and usually be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Neff extractor hob

With two flexi-duction zones, this hob allows you to place saucepans anywhere on its surface to heat. The magnetic, illuminated TwistPad Fire dial gives you maximum control over cooking zones as well as the temperature. T58TS6BN0 FlexInduction venting hob, £3179, Neff.

How much do they cost?

These high-tech designs are expensive – but as their popularity increases, more brands are producing ranges of increasingly affordable models. Costs range from £1700 to £6000.

Bertazzoni extractor hob

This combined ceramic glass hob provides nine extraction power levels and six cooking areas, as well as two flexi zones to allow for larger pans and multiple pots to be used on the hob at once. P904IBHNE 90cm induction hob with integrated extraction, £3699, Bertazzoni.

Featured image: With a depth of 54cm and width of 37cm, it offers more cooking space than a standard-sized hob. As it is a modular appliance, you can combine a variety of different cook tops and ventilation components. Professional 2.0 cooktop system with integrated extractor, £6000, Bora.

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