Extractor hob on your radar? Here’s how to find the perfect model

an extractor hob

An extractor hob is essential. 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 crucial to its design, as well as its aroma.

Your extractor hob doesn’t just have to sweep away lingering food smells. It also needs to draw the grease out of the room. As a result, you get cleaner air, less condensation and a sleek look. Plus the mesmerising sight of steam being sucked straight from a pan into this swish modern appliance. But what is an extractor hob?

Extractor fans are a must-have item on your kitchen checklist, as I’m sure an induction hob is too. Induction cooking is different from that of any other hob on the market. It uses a magnetic field to heat the base of the pan. This makes it more efficient and safe than traditional hobs.

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

Bosch cooktop
The Serie 6 PVQ731F15E has an intuitive control panel and a CombiZone, which lets you link two different cooking zones. £2259, Bosch.

Enter the extractor hob

Also called a vented hob, the extractor hob is the latest innovation in kitchen design. It combines two key appliances in one.

Here I’ve put together my best tips along with stunning pictures of a few of my favourite models. So you’ll have everything you need to know before making your purchase.

Caple extractor hob
This model features 13 state-of-the-art power levels for keen cooks. It also offers a high-performance downdraft extractor with four speeds and a boost function with an automatic timer. DD935BK all-in-one downdraft extractor hob, £2584.99, Caple.
CDA cooktop
The HNE8 extractor hob features front control, an LED display, 9 power levels, a booster on all zones and a 19 minute timer. It also features residual heat indicators, a keep warm function, simmer, left zone bridging, right zone bridging, an easy clean surface, overflow and overheat detection. Plus it has an auto safety switch off and a temperature limiter. The extractor has three speeds plus intensive and can be ducted or recirculating. £2199, CDA.
Pando extractor hob
The E-391 extractor hob has 14 power settings, 4 touch slider controls, 4 zones and 2 bridge flexizones. £2790, Pando.

How do they work?

An extractor hob draws odours and grease particles directly out of your saucepans. This keeps any smells from rising up and spreading throughout your kitchen.

Bora S Pure extractor hob
The S Pure extractor hob allows you maximum storage space. Its 60cm cooktop features four asymmetrically arranged cooking zones suitable for standard pot sizes. The air inlet nozzle comes in six different colours. Prices start from £1,704, Bora.

A central grid sits flush within the induction hob. This conceals a powerful extraction unit. You’ll need to use some space beneath the hob to house the appliance’s motor. Most brands have adapted the design so you can install a sink drawer below. This is a partial unit utilising space on either side of the hob’s motor.

Bosch hob
The PerfectAir sensor continually monitors the odour level during cooking and automatically adjusts the power to ensure optimum extraction performance. There’s no need to select a setting manually. Serie 8 PXX875D67E induction hob with integrated ventilation, £3199, Bosch.

So: why should you buy one?

An extractor hob is incredibly efficient. This is because it takes care of any odours at source. The extraction unit is positioned in the centre of the hob. It draws the steam and cooking smells directly from your saucepan by pulling the air down. “Essentially, it’s 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.

Elica cooktop
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.

The pros and cons of getting an extractor hob

As mentioned before, one of the biggest upsides is the design freedom these appliances give you. Venting hobs completely eliminate the need for big overhead extractors or cooker hoods. This makes them ideal for use on an island or in small spaces where every cabinet counts.

The 400 series CV492100 Flex extractor hob lets you combine two cooking zones and is easy to clean. Price on application, Gaggenau.

They are also ideal for open-plan spaces. Extracting grease and smells right at the source prevents them from straying into the room and lingering long after dinner. And when placed on an island, they allow you to easily keep conversation with guests flowing if you’re cooking, instead of leaving you facing the wall.

And in addition, since they’re not overhead, you don’t need to use a ladder to clean them. How handy is that?

Miele cooker
KMDA 7774 FL induction hob with integrated extractor, £3169, Miele

However, there is a small downside. A venting hob often needs space below the appliance to store the motor. And if you have a design with an extractor that rises up when in use, you also need a place for the actual venting unit.

This could limit your available storage space by taking up valuable drawer space. However, a lot of companies now offer something called sink drawers.

These are often shaped like a horseshoe or simply consist of two compartments. They’re designed to fit around an obstruction such as a sink or a venting hob’s motor. You can use the extra space to store spices, for example.

Siemens venting cooktop
The climateControl sensor monitors steam and smells during cooking. It then adjusts the extractor’s power level automatically to ensure it’s always working efficiently while keeping noise to a minimum. iQ700 EX877LX67E venting cooktop, £3269, Siemens.

What are the options?

Similarly to overhead extractors, these combination appliances come as ducted out models. They funnel the air out of the room, so need to be close to an external wall or those that filter and recirculate air. 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. 

Faber small extractor hob
The compact motor design of this hob only sits 21cm beneath the worktop. So it can easily 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?

Most extractor hobs fit in standard-sized kitchen units. However, it’s 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’ll lose one meter of ducting, which reduces the performance.”

Siemens extractor hob
The iQ700 EX807LX67E has a flexible cooking zone which automatically extends to accommodate extra-large cookware. This extractor hob is also wifi-enabled, so you can access it from the corresponding Home Connect app. £3299, Siemens.
Gaggenau extractor hob
This efficient ventilation system is fitted close to the hob for a flush finish. The 400 series Vario VL414111 downdraft ventilation unit is designed to be used with other Gaggenau Vario cooktops, such as the flex induction cooktops, Teppan Yaki, electric grill or gas cooktop. Price on application, Gaggenau.

Future maintenance?

Venting hobs are fitted with a safety tray to collect spillages, so no debris will end up in the extractor. The reservoirs are easy to access and clean, and the motor still works while wet. You can remove moving parts by hand when the unit is off, and the parts are usually okay to go in the dishwasher, too.

Neff extractor hob
This hob features easy-access filters – just take the metal grease filter out with one hand and pull it out, then pop it in the dishwasher for hassle-free cleaning. The touch controls are simple to operate with one touch, and also require only a wipe over the top to keep them clean. N 70 T47TDBN2 induction hob with integrated ventilation, £2269, Neff.
Franke hob
The new Maris 2gether extractor hob is frameless. Its stylish black glass features a fully-integrated extractor positioned between induction hobs with four cooking zones. These are all operated via a discreet touch panel. The 830mm wide x 520mm deep-integrated extractor can be installed flush with the work surface for a seamless aesthetic. The extractor hob has four power levels plus two intensive levels. It has an energy rating of A++. £2,247, Franke.

How much do they cost?

These high-tech designs are expensive. However, 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. It has two flexi zones to accommodate larger pans and let you use multiple pots at once. P904IBHNE 90cm induction hob with integrated extraction, £3699, Bertazzoni.
Neff cooktop
The N 90 T58TL6EN2 features the TwistPad Fire: a removable, magnetic, illuminated control knob that gives you precise, convenient control over all cooking zones. It also has a FlexZone, which heats pots and pans anywhere you place them. £3199, Neff.

Want more? Check out our feature on the pros and cons of induction and gas hobs. Which should you choose?

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