If you are having your kitchen remodelled or even building a new home, finding the perfect solution for your extractor fan isn’t easy.
Hood type extractors, while they work well, can be unsightly, particularly if you are looking a modern and clean aesthetic.
So, many people start looking into downdraft extractors and suddenly come across a minefield of conflicting arguments!
We’re going to explore the topic of downdraft extractors here and find out whether they are as good as their manufacturers claim, and whether or not they can be used with a gas hob.
What is a downdraft extractor?
A downdraft extractor is an extraction unit that can be installed flush with your hob.
They are excellent from a design standpoint as your hob won’t have a big old extraction unit above it. This makes a downdraft extractor perfect for islands, for example, or a kitchen that is open, clean and modern.
A downdraft extractor works by pulling the air towards it. So, unlike a conventional extractor that sucks the air into it as it naturally rises from the hob.
A downdraft extractor pulls it from the hob into the system and out of ducting that exits your home through the flooring of your kitchen.
Can downdraft extractor be used with a gas hob?
Yes, downdraft extractors can be used with gas hobs. However, they do come with a few challenges.
Firstly, as physics tells us, heat rises. So, a downdraft extractor needs to be extremely powerful to remove the air that you want it to.
A gas hob also has a more significant air than an induction hob, for example, due to the naked flame. This means that a downdraft extractor on a gas hob needs to be even more powerful.
So, with a downdraft extractor that is mounted flush with the cooktop, removing smoke, steam and air from the brim of a saucepan can pose a challenge.
While there are plenty of downdraft extractors on the market, they rarely work as well with gas hobs as with induction hobs.
Many induction hob owners use downdraft extractors with excellent success, but gas hobs are very different from induction hobs. The way that gas hobs create their heat means that an extractor hood that goes over the hob tends to work better.
Are downdraft extractors safe for use with gas hobs?
This is an important question if you’re thinking about using a gas hob with a downdraft extractor—are they safe? Will the extractor pull the gas flame away and pose a fire hazard?
The straightforward answer is: If a downdraft extractor is being sold on the market for use with a gas hob, it will be safe to use. Of course, there is the potential risk of grease catching on fire on its way to the extraction unit, but a lot of tests have been done with downdraft extractors to ensure this doesn’t occur.
Gas hobs with built-in downdraft extractors
Downdraft extractors tend not to be very effective on gas hobs. This is because many downdraft extraction units are only on one side of the hob, typically at the back of the hob.
So, the back rings of the hob tend to have brilliant extraction, while the front rings tend to suffer greatly.
If you are like most people and tend to use the front rings more, this is frustrating to say the least.
One solution is to get a gas hob like the NikolaTesla Flame from Elica (shown above), which has a downdraft extractor built into the centre of the hob. This powerful unit forces steam and air straight down and out of your home with any issues at all.
The air also passes nowhere near the flames of the gas hob, meaning it is extremely safe. It also comes with accessories that can be used with taller pots to improve extraction in these circumstances.
This gas hob also looks beautiful and so it would be fantastic for a kitchen island and makes a brilliant focal point. If you are set on cooking with gas but want the best extraction too, agas hob like this one from Elica is your best chance at getting the best of both worlds!
I hope this look at downdraft extraction for gas hobs has been helpful. Most people agree that hobs like the one from Elica NikolaTesla Flame are pretty much the only way of getting excellent downdraft extraction with a gas hob.
Induction hobs are a totally different animal—downdraft extractors are a great choice for those! Please explore our website for more info about gas hobs, extraction hoods and loads more. Happy cooking!
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.