Indoor Grilling - downdraft - jenn air

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by thegallery, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. thegallery

    thegallery Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Philly, Europe
    I've always heard that indoor grilling needs to have a downdraft vent; is there a particular reason why? Jenn Air has pretty much dominated the market for indoor grill options and all their cook tops have downdraft vents.

    Mine doesn't seem to suck out the steam down that great. For all I know it's getting the dangerous stuff but visually it looks like 20% is going into the air. It doesn't smoke me out, but it does set off the smoke alarm every so often just like if you burn something on the stove. I'm going to have a pro check the vent, but if any of you have thoughts on downdraft in general I'd be interested.

    I'm also surprised that with Jenn Air being around for 30+ years with their indoor grill tops there's not a lot of reviews or discussion about them.
  2. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Wealthy homeowners have been known to discuss this. Gardenweb started out for gardeners, years ago, and built forums for the homeowner side of things. Been going many years. appliances kitchens
    The tools are not as good as here. How to search one specific forum is not obvious at first.
    68 threads on grilling in the Appliances forum.
    8 on grilling+downdraft
    One about dysfunctional JA downdraft. Search on "disfunctional" if this thread's URL is cut when displayed above.

    - Other manufacturers say that grilling makes the most fumes possible so you need to oversize your vent motor for this.
    - Other manufacturers say not to try downdrafting grilling fumes.
    - In other threads in other forums it says not to downdraft for optimum performance.

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  4. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Aug 18, 2008
    Grilling produces greasy smoke, not just smoke and steam. What is needed is a "grease removal exhaust fan". Commercial cooking establishments have exhaust hoods over the cooktops to handle this. They're expensive but work well. They bring in fresh air behind the cooking equipment, and have filters to catch the grease. If money is not an object, you will be much happier with something like this installed over a cooktop.
  5. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Aug 17, 2008
    Hand copper part cleaned ready to go
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon b
    It wouldn't hurt to make sure your duct run is adequate and not restricted. The specs for JennAir downdrafts are pretty specific about runs, turns etc. They are in the installation manual.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Hot, smokey fumes from grilling contain various sized particles. Some won't float far, some will go a long ways. Trying to pull hot, light components down a downdraft is very inefficient, but it may get more of the heavier particles to be pulled in than an overhead unit.

    Routing the ductwork will have a huge effect on how well a system works or not.

    In either case, not using a duct (and filter system) while grilling will quickly make the kitchen a health and appearance disaster. Grilling is best done outside, or be prepared for a lot of cleanup before everything in encased in grease.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    IF I made downdraft cooktops, I would be sure that all the literature specified it was the best way. IF I made overhead hoods, then I would reference literature that showed that it was the best for removing lighter than air odors, heat, and smoke, rather than try to force it to be drawn down into a downdraft unit. Either way has its advantages and disadvantages, but if you have a preference for a particular make and model, you will use whichever it has. My wife cooks with induction and has neither.
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