The Best Downdraft Cooktops – Reviews & Guide

Kitchen ventilation is undeniably an affair of importance when it comes to designing a kitchen. However, it is no longer a necessity for you to install bulky range hoods that tarnish the subtle appearance of your modern décor in exchange for dealing with obnoxious odors. Let’s be honest here, there can be instances where installing a traditional under-cabinet range hood just isn’t feasible. Downdraft cooktops can make for a virtuous alternative in cases like this. An induction cooktop with downdraft; for instance, allows you to ditch the range hood while the unit itself sucks in the vapors and odors released while cooking using the incorporated downdraft venting apparatus.

Similarly, the best downdraft electric cooktop or a gas cooktop with downdraft for that matter would offer similar benefits. You might consider getting a downdraft cooktop even if you don’t have a fully functional range hood or a vented over-the-range microwave to better manage your kitchen odors. These may however be costlier than their standard counterparts due to the added hardware.   

There may be numerous occasions where a cooktop with downdraft venting might save the day for you. Maybe you have a deep cabinet over your gas range or your sleek electric cooktop doesn’t quite maintain its elegance coupled with a range hood. Or perhaps, you’re planning to install a cooktop in your kitchen island. Whatever is your reason, we’d ensure that you settle with nothing but the best downdraft cooktop for your requirements and budget. The subsequent downdraft gas cooktop reviews reflect expert opinions that you may rely on without much thought. We’ve also included a concise buying at the end of our top recommendations for some additional information that you may use to select the right downdraft cooktop for your specific needs.

Comparison Table

Product
Fuel Type
Sealed Burners
Hot Surface Light
Grate Material
CFM Rating
Price
1. GE Profile PGP9830SJSS Gas Downdraft Cooktop Gas Yes N/A Medium Cast 330
Check Price
2. GE PP9830DJBB Downdraft Electric Cooktop Radiant Electric N/A Yes N/A 330
Check Price
3. JennAir 30” JX3 Downdraft Cooktop Gas Yes N/A Cast Iron 310
Check Price
4. KitchenAid KCGD500GSS 4-Burner Gas Downdraft Gas Yes N/A Cast Iron 300
Check Price
5. JennAir JED3430GS Downdraft Cooktop Radiant Electric N/A Yes N/A 310
Check Price

Best Downdraft Cooktop Reviews

  • Seamless glass cooktop surface
  • Powerful sealed gas burners make clean-up easy
  • Factory set to natural gas but is LP convertible (kit included)
  • Assured for a perfect fit in case of replacements
  • Dishwasher safe knobs and medium cast grates
  • Robust 330 CFM downdraft venting apparatus
  • Limited 1-year warranty
  • Sound perception of 7.5 sones at highest fan speed (can be a loud for some people)

If you’re someone that bets money on gas cooktops, the GE PGP9830SJSS is, in our honest opinion, the best gas cooktop with downdraft venting. As with most GE kitchen fixtures, this downdraft cooktop too, comes with an assured fit. Meaning, if you’re replacing an older 30” gas cooktop, this unit will fit in your existing cutout with zero need for modifications. The brand compensates towards modifications, if required at all.

The cooktop features a neat build with a lustrous glass surface interrupted by powerful sealed gas burners. This implies that the cooktop can be easily cleaned for spills and it is feasible to maintain the elegance of it. The cooktop has four gas burners and is factory set to use natural gas as fuel as most standard gas cooktops. However, it comes with an LP conversion kit if you prefer it otherwise. The burners are adequately powerful and provide with a fair combination for different cooking needs. Both left burners have a BTU rating of 9,100; ideal for regular cooking. The right front burner is the most powerful at 11,500 BTU while the right rear is ideal for simmering at 5,500 BTU.

Both left and right pair of burners have their respective integrated medium cast grates that rest on the glass surface held in place with sturdy rubber feet. The grates, as desired, are dishwasher safe besides the knobs. The cooktop sports electronic ignition with centrally located knobs for convenient operation.

Coming to the highlight of the cooktop, the downdraft venting apparatus is what actually sets this unit apart. The centrally located downdraft features 3 fan speeds with a peak air-moving capacity of 330 CFM. The rating implies that the cooktop effectively pulls down smoke and steam from even tall pots and pans eliminating the need of a dedicated range hood. The unit can be a perfect 30” gas cooktop for your island or even your countertop. GE covers the downdraft gas cooktop with an all-inclusive 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

  • Reasonably priced
  • Smooth cooktop finish adds to the overall aesthetics of the kitchen
  • Assured fit in case of replacements
  • Bridge element allows for a larger cooking area; compatible for elongated griddles
  • Flexible power-boil element
  • Powerful 330 CFM downdraft venting
  • ‘Hot surface indicator’ lights and ‘control lock’ features reinforce safety
  • Installing ducts beneath could be troublesome

GE has been a leading name among brands working to revolutionize the home and kitchen domain. With constantly evolving technology and reliable quality, the brand has made quite an impact. The GE PP9830SJSS is a virtuous example that puts the company’s core values at display. Despite being categorized as a premium downdraft electric cooktop, the unit is available for a very attractive price; making it one of our top recommendations for the best electric cooktop with downdraft.

The electric cooktop displays a sleek built with centrally located knobs accounting for convenient usability. The black ceramic glass surface offers the cooktop a seamless finish with no interruption excluding the knobs. However, the cooktop might require additional efforts to retain the looks. There is certain type of cookware that are to be used on a smoothtop to ensure least damage to the glass surface. To begin with, the PP9830DJBB downdraft electric cooktop is assured to fit in your existing 30” cooktop cut-out if you’re looking for a worthy upgrade for your older 30” cooktop. If need persists for some modifications, the company compensates for it and ensures that your new cooktop is seamlessly installed over your countertop or the island.

The 30” radiant electric cooktop has four powerful heating elements; of which the left pair can integrate into one large cooking area; ideal for cooking pancakes over an elongated griddle. The connecting element between the left pair of elements is termed as a bridge element and is often only found in high-end models. The bridge element is rated at 800W that if used in combination with the 7” pair of left elements (1800W each), gives an output of 4400W in total.

For more thorough heating, you could use the versatile power boil burner located at the front right. The 3000W burner is a flexible element where you could choose to heat up the complete 9” element or just the concentric 6” element corresponding to the size of your pans. Likewise, the right rear element is intended for low heat cooking with a 6” diameter and an output rating of 1500W. 

 The unit’s downdraft venting is aptly powerful for most domestic kitchens. With 3 fan speeds and a peak CFM rating of 330, the cooktop needs no assistance from an overhead range hood or a vented microwave for that matter. Further, the downdraft electric cooktop incorporates some clever design elements that are aimed towards user safety. There’s a ‘cooktop on’ light to communicate to the user if any element is actively being heated up. Additionally, there are 4 ‘hot surface indicator’ lights for each element to know if the surface is yet too hot to touch after the cooktop was shut down. It also has a control lock feature to ensure that no one beside informed users interacts with the cooktop.

  • Minimal yet elegant appearance
  • Electronic ignition
  • Sealed burners are easier to clean after spillovers
  • Powerful ultra-high output 17,000 BTU burner
  • 3 speed venting apparatus
  • Convertible to duct-free ventilation
  • 2-year parts & labor warranty
  • Not ADA compliant
  • Expensive

JennAir, besides Maytag, Amana and KitchenAid, is one of the subsidiaries of the Whirlpool Corp. Known for manufacturing sophisticated yet durable kitchen essentials, the brand is a go-to for many. The company has maintained its standards with this 30” gas downdraft cooktop. Priced marginally higher than other gas cooktops on this list, this unit packs more power to justify its price point.

The cooktop comes in black and stainless-steel finishes; both featuring knob controls on the extreme left leaving an uninterrupted access to the unit form the front. The JX3 has a wider range of burner outputs that remains unrivalled. With an ultra-high 17,000 BTU burner, you can handle all high-heat cooking while for gentle heating requisites, you can count on the 5,000 BTU Ultra-low output burner. The combination provides for a versatile range of heating for all standard cooking requirements.

The downdraft venting system displays similar performance as that of other picks on this list. The apparatus features a 3-speed fan with a peak CFM rating of 310. This implies that the cooktop can be a great addition for regular countertops where there is no scope to couple it with a full-size range hood. To put that number in context, that’s the range where most of the top-selling over-the-range microwaves lie. The cooktop is well-equipped to clear steam and odors on its own. Further, the unit is approved for conversion to duct-free ventilation. Both color options come with a protective finish that keeps the cooktop from scratching and staining ultimately easing your job to maintain the look of your cooktop.

  • Electronic ignition and automatic re-ignition
  • Dishwasher safe cat-iron grates
  • Powerful 17,000 BTU burner
  • LP convertible (kit included)
  • Ventilation can be converted to recirculate
  • 1-year warranty (parts and labor)
  • At full fan speed, the cooktop might be noisy for some people

KitchenAid doesn’t even need a formal introduction to many. The brand conveys a lucid picture of its core values with its products and has a very loyal syndicate of customers to back their claims. The KCGD500GSS is one popular cooktop from their line of products that rivals top downdraft gas cooktops in its price range. The unit has a subtle yet striking appearance besides emphasis on a functional design.

The cooktop also has a 36” counterpart with an additional 12,500 BTU burner in addition to similarly rated burners as this 30” downdraft cooktop. Both versions are levelled in terms of cooking and venting performance excluding the extra burner in the bigger variant.

The gas cooktop features a combination of 4 versatile burners to cater low-heat simmering to ultra-high heat searing and boiling. The left front burner is a 17,000 BTU professional burner and has you covered for all your high-heat cooking requirements while the left rear 15,000 BTU burner provides for a secondary option for similar cooking techniques. The right front and rear burners are ideal for regular and low-heat cooking with 10,000 and 5,000 BTU ratings respectively. All four burners, as desired, are sealed burners making the cooktop easy to clean after spills.

The gas downdraft cooktop sports an electronic ignition and automatic re-ignition. With full-width dishwasher safe grates, the cooktop makes it convenient to move heavy hot pots across burners. The downdraft venting system is convertible to recirculate air into the kitchen essentially making the whole exhaust system ductless. Also, the cooktop is convertible to use LP (conversion kit included). The unit is covered with a 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor.

  • Sleek built, looks great 
  • Flexible 6″/10″ element 
  • Power-boil 3200W element 
  • Hot surface indicator lights 
  • Quiet and effective downdraft ventilation
  • Expensive

Nothing matches the sleek appearance of a glass smoothtop if you’re planning to put together a subtle yet modern kitchen. If we’re on the same page, you must also realize that such sophisticated appliances are best bought from reliable brands. JennAir, for many is that go-to brand, when it comes to shopping home and kitchen essentials.

The black finished downdraft electric cooktop sports a beautiful exterior, a subtle yet striking built whilst maintaining top-notch functionality as its prime asset. The downdraft electric cooktop sports 4 powerful yet precise heating elements of which, the right rear is a flexible element. Meaning, the element can be selected to only heat the 6″ concentric surface out of the 10″ diameter element. The burner can achieve an output of 3000W when both elements are active (1400W with the inner 6″ active). This implies that the element can cater a variety of pan sizes with corresponding variations in cooking power. 

The pair of elements along the main diagonal of the cooktop peak at 1200 and 1300W of output each. Meanwhile, the left front is most powerful of all, rated at 3200W of maximum output, It is quite evident that the cooktop features a thoughtful combination of cooking elements that could cater all requirements of an average domestic household. Next, JennAir has brought in some innovation with the downdraft tech in this electric cooktop. The downdraft channel has a peculiar design that leads to an effective yet quiet ventilation. The downdraft ventilation can be ducted or ductless depending on your preference. Further, the cooktop has hot surface indicator lights for added safety besides a couple more safety features. 

Buying the Best Downdraft Cooktop – A Comprehensive Guide

What is a Downdraft Cooktop?

What is a Downdraft Cooktop for kitchen

A downdraft cooktop is just like any other regular cooktop with an additional ventilation system. The incorporated venting apparatus pulls down steam, fumes and odor from cooking pots to further recirculate or remove from the kitchen through ducts. A cooktop with downdraft is essentially a 2-in-1 assembly combining the functionality of a cooktop and a rangehood. A downdraft cooktop enables you to omit installing a dedicated range hood or a vented microwave for ventilation.

Just like regular cooktops, downdraft cooktops too, come in three configurations based on their working principle. These are just as efficient as their standard equivalents with the additional functionality of ventilation.

Types of Downdraft Cooktops

1. Downdraft Gas Cooktops

Standard gas cooktops; arguably being the most prevalent among other types, gas cooktops with downdraft remain a popular choice across states. These integrated cooktops function either with propane, natural gas or liquid petroleum and can often be tweaked with the help of a conversion kit to switch between fuel types. Gas cooktops are preferred for their precise temperature control, zero warm-up times and an overall convenient usability. A downdraft venting system coupled with a gas cooktop translates to a functional cooking and venting assembly.

2. Downdraft Electric Cooktops

Downdraft electric cooktops are advanced counterparts of standard radiant electric cooktops. The elements transfer radiant heat to the pots and are incorporated with heating coils beneath the smoothtop surface. The cooktop surface is smooth and streamlined unlike gas cooktops and hence are can be cleaned easily. However, the cooking surface of an electric cooktop gets heated up and hence may carry some safety concerns. To deal with this, many standard electric cooktops and electric cooktops with downdrafts come with dedicated ‘hot surface indicator’ lights.

3. Downdraft Induction Cooktops

Induction cooktops are by far the most advanced versions of cooktops as far as cooking convenience and safety are concerned. An induction cooktop with downdraft makes for a sleek, safe and efficient cooking surface besides handling cooking fumes and odors on its own. Downdraft induction cooktops maintain their inertness and don’t heat up themselves. The electromagnetic coils located beneath the heating elements transfer heat directly to the pots while the cooktop surface itself remains cool. Induction cooktops come in a rather versatile range of size with dual burner induction cooktops gaining popularity. 

Fcators to Consider While Buying a Cooktop with Downdraft

1. Size

Cooktops come in the standard size of 30 and 36 inches. While 36″ cooktops being less prevalent, their standard sized counterparts are seen The size of the cooktop also often influences the number of burners or heating elements on the cooktop. Users should compare their expected requirements with the number of elements to confirm the size of the cooktop best suited to them. The downdraft venting system is just as efficient in both size variants. On the off chance, if you still aren’t sure about investing in a built-in downdraft cookware; you could even consider getting a compact sized portable electric cooktop. These give you the liberty to be used anywhere around the kitchen, therefore giving a certain control over where you want the fumes to exhaust. If that interests you, we suggest you consider the NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop (Review) as the bare minimum standard with regards to performance. The thing is an absolute workhorse for the price, to say the least. 

2. Type

The cooktop type is undoubtedly the most crucial factor when buying a new cooktop or upgrading it. As mentioned above, downdraft cooktops can be of 3 major types; gas downdraft cooktops, electric downdraft cooktops and induction downdraft cooktops. All three types differ in their fundamental working principle and have their own pros and cons. Gas cooktops are known for their accuracy and precision, electric cooktops for their sleek and streamlined appearance while induction cooktops for their state-of-the-art safety features and provisions. Selecting one of these 3 cooktops with downdraft totally comes down to personal preferences and budget. 

3. CFM Rating

A downdraft cooktop is intended to function as an independent cooktop that doesn’t require a range hood to clear out smoke and odor. It hence, becomes very critical that the built-in downdraft venting apparatus is powerful enough to draw down smoke from tall pots and pans that is either thrown out of the kitchen through ducts or recirculated in the kitchen. Although most cooktops with downdrafts have aptly powerful venting, it is necessary to have a threshold value to watch out for. A 300 CFM downdraft cooktop is, in most cases, adequate for average households. The downdraft cooktop should feature a multi-speed fan with at least the aforementioned CFM count and your kitchen should be free from steam, fumes and odor generated from your cooktop. 

4. Convertible Venting

Most downdraft cooktops are compatible with built-in ducts that go through the underside of the countertop and release fumes outside the kitchen. But, such installation requires prior planning and hence might not be optimal for replacements. It is hence advisable to look for cooktops with downdrafts that are convertible to recirculalting venting. This provision allows you yo go ductless with installing you new downdraft cooktop. Meanwhile, it is always optimal if you plan ahead and setup a ducted ventilation system beneath your countertop beforehand; just as in case of dedicated under-cabinet range hoods. 

Conclusion

If there’s one element that makes a kitchen what it is; it’s the cooktop. It is hence of utmost importance that the your cooktop is in alignment with your needs and requirements. While standard cooktops are just fine if your kitchen allows you to pair it with a regular range hood. If not, a cooktop with downdraft is your obvious answer. Downdraft cooktops are increasingly becoming popular for their compact built, top-notch functionality and unmatched versatility. If you cognize their eminence and are out looking for one; our selections above should cater your needs across a variety of specific requirements. 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts