Makes sense? The conclusion from Tænk (the Danish Consumer Council, equivalent to ‘Which’) is …
quite unequivocal in its findings.
Tænk’s cooker hood test (November 2018)
No surprise to me: The 5 downdraft cooker “hoods” all rank among the bottom 10 hoods!
You are paying for (inefficient) design! The five table-top extractors tested are the five most expensive in the test, costing on average four times as much as the other far more effective hoods.
In this test, Tænk tested a total of 33 hoods using IEC61595 and IEC60704 as the basis of its testing and rating. Let the NeutraTEST Score guide you and help you find the best cooker hoods here:
Why are downdraft extractors inefficient?
Firstly, a normal cooking extractor fan captures polluted air mechanically, and naturally, by virtue of its hood shape.
- A hood-shaped extractor is your best choice, especially with an adjacent wall as the wall contributes significantly to guiding the air in the right direction.
- Once inside the hood the dirty air is then filtered and extracted (or directed back into the kitchen).
Secondly, the extraction power of the hood should be merely reinforcing the natural airflow.
- If the air pressure is slightly lower in the kitchen area the hood becomes more efficient.
- If you switch on the hood a few minutes before cooking, the air flow will be better.
- An important limitation is that since 2015 extraction power has been limited to 650 m/3 per hour.
Hot air rises, naturally. So, when choosing a cooker hood, just go with the (air) flow! Trying to force air downwards isn’t likely to work very well!
Why do induction hobs and down draft extractors make a bad combination?
I should tell you that hob steam and greasy air produced on an induction hob rises in a fan shape.
As this makes it difficult to control the direction of the airflow, you need a very wide hood.
This is even more the case where an induction hob is on a cooking island, since there is no wall to guide the air. In such cases you need to go for hoods that are at least 1.5 times wider than the induction plates.
See these examples of how hot steam rises upwards:
- Induction cooker (in a fan shape)
- Electric cooker (as a vertical column)
- Gas cookerGas cooker (as a vertical column - until the cooker burner is turned off).
Be realistic: Downdraft extractors do not work as effective replacements for cooker hoods!
I want to stress that these five table-top extractor models all come from manufacturers with good reputations, whose hoods are usually of excellent quality.
Click here to see the test winners in Britain, where the NeutraTEST Score rates the performance of each hood.