All you need to know about buying an extractor hob

Novy panorama extractor hob

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

It doesn’t have to only sweep away lingering food smells, after all, but also draw the grease out of the room. The results? Cleaner air, less condensation, a sleek look, and the mesmerising sight of steam being sucked straight from a pan into this rather nifty modern appliance.

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 which is efficient and safer than traditional hobs.

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

Enter the extractor hob.

Also called a vented hob, it is the latest innovation in kitchen design, uniting two key appliances into one – that fact alone was enough to sell it to me,

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.

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?

An extractor hob draws off odours and grease particles directly from your saucepans, preventing any smells rising up and spreading throughout your kitchen. “The grease particles released during cooking are effectively trapped in the stainless steel grease filter,” says William Bruckbauer, chief executive officer at Bora.

Bora Pura induction cooktop and extraction system, £2028, 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.

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 . “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 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.

The pros and cons of 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, which makes them ideal for use on an island or in small spaces where every cabinet counts.

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They are also ideal for open-plan spaces, as extracting grease and smells right at the source prevents them from straying into the room and lingering long after dinner. Not to mention that, 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.

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Oh, and one small additional bonus? Since they’re not overhead, you won’t need a ladder to properly clean them. How handy is that?

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

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On the downside, however, an venting hob often needs a fair bit of space below the appliance to store the motor – and, if you have a design with an extractor that rises up when in use, a place for the actual venting unit.

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

Often shaped like a horseshoe or simply consisting of two compartments – one on the left, one on the right – are designed to fit around an obstruction such as a sink or a venting hob’s motor.

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

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?

Venting hobs are fitted with a safety tray to collect spillages, so no debris will end up in the extractor. “These reservoirs are 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 are usually okay to go in the dishwasher, too.

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: Novy‘s Panorama Pro hob and downdraft extractor, £3899, creates a seamless finish for the design-conscious home chef. And it’s smart, too: a bridging function turns four zones into two large ones, ideal for big casseroles. 

Post updated on: 20/08/2020

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