412 Comments

  1. Kitty
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:27 am

    I think part of this issue depends on your kitchen. I need that fan when I’m browning meat or making some smoke (cooking, that is). Without it, our fire alarm shrieks to kingdom come. At our old house, a jewel box Victorian (e.g. Small but fabulous), no vent was needed in that kitchen. And nothing smelled.

    Reply

  2. Alison
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:28 am

    My mom just installed a vent that is stored in the counter top and then when you need it you simply hit a button and it raises up out of the counter to vent from behind. It’s great because there isn’t a giant hood anywhere. And unless you actually NEED it, you aren’t inconvenienced by it. It also works very well when needed.

    I don’t know the exact brand, but something like this:
    http://www.houzz.com/pop-up-vent

    Now, her house is very modern, but since this is something that essentially disappears I imagine it would work with more traditional styles.

    Reply

  3. Victoria
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:28 am

    Duh. Your house=your opinions. I cook like a fiend and have an above range microwave with a useless fan attached. I use it when I need an excuse to complain about how incredibly useless it is at venting odors or steam. Gratefully, smoke is not an issue because I am a rock star cook who basically never makes any mistakes. Ever. Under any circumstances.

    Ha.

    Anyway, skip the hood. And also hurry up and finish your kitchen so you can show us pictures. *smooches*

    Reply

  4. Chad
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:29 am

    My parents’ original kitchen had the range on a peninsula with a NuTone fan flush with the ceiling. The ones from the 50’s with the round chrome grilles. My grandparents had a range with a small recirculating vent hood above it and it wasn’t enough so they put one of those NuTone fans in the wall next to the range, and they were fine. It would have been a similar distance from the wall to yours. My other grandparents had no vent hood and open shelving on the stove wall and things got greasy there, but that’s because my grandfather didn’t clean very thoroughly after my grandmother died.

    If you don’t want the wasted space the low profile hoods are probably fine, or the side-vent, or nothing. I don’t turn my vent fan on all the time anyway.

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  5. Dianne Averill
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:30 am

    I have a microwave over the range. It has a vent. Sometimes I use the vent. I love to fill my house with cooking smells. All is good!

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  6. Debby
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:31 am

    You’re very brave. I applaud you for naming things that shall not be named. Such as internet warriors taking a bold stand behind their tiny phone keyboards about other people’s lives. I love my range hood “con un passion” as they say in hotter climates because my cooking tends to fall victim of Words With Friends. My hooded friend prevents embarrassment from hungry family members’ comments. The only argument I could make regarding a hood in YOUR darling house is if you randomly decided to sell it to me as is. And then I would buy it regardless of hoodedness. And so I hereby grant you my permission to enjoy your home in the way that suits you best.

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  7. Melissa
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:32 am

    I am with you! YOU DO NOT NEED A RANGE HOOD! our kitchen is on the list to be remodeled but until we get there we have a beautiful pot rack that we made hanging above our stove. I love it and I want to keep it when that remodel does happen. DO NOT CAVE TO ONLY ONE GOOD WAY ACCEPTABLE-rs! Don’t let them win!

    Reply

  8. Kristin LeVangie
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:32 am

    If you’re not already set on a range, they do make them with their own vent in the range itself. Called a “downdraft range”. So no big range hood hanging in your face. A link that explains and has a few examples.
    http://ovens.reviewed.com/news/no-vent-required-kitchenaid-offers-new-downdraft-ranges

    Reply

  9. Janet
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    I have a 66″ x 36″ one (brand new, never installed or used) sitting in my garage, as I have been cooking without on a 6 burner commercial Vulcan Stove for 23+ years without one. (will probably donate it to Habitat Restore but hesitating because I paid $3500 for it!) I did purchase two slim ones (30″ each) that I plan to mount under a cornice over the stove, side by side, because I am going to be selling my c.1799 home in the near future and I figured the buyer would want one. I have an 8 burner 5 star stove in my other house with a matching hood and have used it a few times. The draw is so strong it sucks in the smoky air from the fireplace, LOL! The choice is yours.

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  10. Bonnie
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    Oh, please…….forgo the range hood. They are ugly and ridiculous. I far prefer the “subpar” kitchens without them! I will confess that I have lived without a range hood and do not have stinky furniture throughout the house. OMG! People are ridiculous and that is why WE LIKE YOU!!! Open a window people! For god’s sake! Do what you like and do not follow the internet herd!!!!!!!

    Reply

  11. Garden, Home and Party
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    Now I’m wondering if I blindly installed a hood because I assumed everyone had to have one. I never use it although Viking installed in their hoods an auto feature that comes on if the heat or smoke are too much. I would love to not have one. I’m saving most of the pictures you’ve shared because I hope, one day, I don’t have to have a hood.
    xo,
    Karen

    Reply

  12. shenn
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    I live in an apartment with a windowless kitchen. I have a self venting stove and the vent is pretty useless. If- like you- I had windows and a door that would open if it got smokey- then I would not worry about a hood. So there.

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  13. Kelly
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:36 am

    You do you! You’re the one who is going to have to live with the useless monstrosity every day. Particularly since you had one before and never used it, it would likely be the same with any new one you install. I don’t have one in my rented place. There only seems to be a tiny amount of grease that settles on things around the kitchen (it might even be the same with a vent – who can say?), and it’s nothing that a little extra vinegar/water wipedown doesn’t fix 2x a year. I’d be more worried about it if I had open shelving. However, it’s really a personal choice. Either it fits in with your glorious kitchen vision and lifestyle or it doesn’t.

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  14. Shelly
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    I can’t say if you should or shouldn’t. I can only tell you about my kitchen. I have one great room. Kitchen, dinning and living room. I do not have a vent hood (by choice during a remodel). I really regret it. I cook a lot. Breakfast? Yes the smell of fried eggs last until lunch. Lunch? Eat cold food it has less odor.Dinner last night? Homemade spaghetti. Lots of garlic and spice’s. Served at 5:30. Even though I opened the kitchen window while cooking and clean up, I could still smell it faintly this morning. Did I mention it was 18 degrees here yesterday? With the wind chill it was below zero and yes I had the window open. I have it open a lot all winter long. I have spent two years trying to get my husband to put in a vent. He refuses to rip out the custom cabinets above the stove and beside those really. To reconfigure it for a vent. Some things sound good in theory but don’t work in real life. Did I mention I am teaching my 14 year old son to cook so he doesn’t leave home totally clueless? We need that vent.

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  15. Colleen Cacace
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:38 am

    I vote NAY! We have a tiny kitchen that we IKEA remodeled several years ago. We skipped the “required” hood because if we had one we would be left with only 2 upper cabinets. Ridiculous. It’s been 2 years. Yes, we occasionally have to crack a window when cooking. Yes, we have to wipe down the cabinets above the stove on a quarterly basis (though I’m fairly sure I’m the only person that notices anything.) Our house doesn’t stink. Nothing has burned down. We cook a ton and this choice has had zero negative impact on our lives. In fact, the additional cabinets have been wonderful and it allowed us to have a visually seamless design. Skip the hood.

    Reply

  16. regis
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:38 am

    I’ve had 4 houses and only one had a range hood. Hated it. My current house has none. I do have a little cottage that came with a range hood, but as soon as I get around to renovating, it’s gone. Although I admit on rare occasions, it does keep the smoke alarm from sounding.

    Reply

  17. Suzanne Forbes
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:39 am

    This post is RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS.

    I thank you for it. I very much enjoyed it. I also enjoyed telling our contractor that I had no desire to have a range hood, and had not ordered one when I ordered the kitchen components, and intended to live without one forever. We even have—gasp!!!!—cabinets over our induction stovetop. It’s totally fine. Range hoods can take a flying leap.

    Reply

  18. Cyn
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:39 am

    I agree that the need for a hood is dependent on the way you cook.; maybe you don’t need one.
    I cook a variety of ways and like to be prepared, so even though I do not like them, I do have a hood. Its a simple stainless steel direct exhaust hood, set higher up- to avoid head bumping and claustrophobia, with 2 good lights, a variable speed motor, and I use it sometimes.

    I have always hated the noise of a hood, so I found one that has adjustable speeds and is pretty darned quiet on the lower speeds. I start with it on a high speed to bet the proper air flow going, and then turn it down.

    Still, I rarely use it. I use it when cooking something I do not want my house to smell like, or something that creates a smog of steam. Certainly when frying something. Over the years, that steam will create a film of yuck on your walls, no.t to mention the rarely used pots hanging from a pot rack. (I do love my pot rack- just grab the pot you want- no opening doors, or shuffling and clanging of pots.)
    Perhaps you do not need a “hood.” There are other apparatus’ that will do the job of creating an exhaust. Some stoves have a downdraft exhaust. True, I haven’t seen one in years, but you are an excellent researcher. I’m not sure how effective they are- seemed to me they just pull the heat from under the pots on the stove.
    I have a friend who has a flat-to-the-wall, in-the-wall pull chain operated exhaust. Not as efficient as a hood, but it helps.
    I think you must remember that many of those photos of kitchens are staged- not true to life.
    Happy decision making,
    Cyn

    Reply

  19. Kelsy
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:40 am

    Our house came without a vent hood. The stovetop is on a peninsula and there is zero venting. I’ve always wished it did have a hood or even a down draft vent. Something. Anything. No my furniture doesn’t need to be replaced every month. And I actually probably do less cooking than most (it’s not my favorite thing in the world). But cooking onions…. Yeah, would be nice to have a vent. Not to mention the pendant light fixtures above the peninsula get grubby looking from grease (not a ton…. Remember my dislike of cooking) and then dust sticking to them. It isn’t horrible. But it is enough that I wish we had one. Oh and last point, cooking anything that boils or has tons of steam… Good luck seeing what you’re doing with the billowing clouds in your face haha! There you have it. My top reasons for wanting a vent hood. If none of those bother you then I say, forgo it! We’ve lived here 7 years and no major issues from it.

    Reply

  20. Brittany
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:40 am

    I say do what you want – if you’re not planning on selling your house anytime soon then there’s absolutely NO point in installing something you don’t like the look or function of. That said, I have one dimension to the hood debate that perhaps you haven’t heard…we just renovated our kitchen and we now have a “real” hood (our old one was the microwave fan variety) but I always forget to turn it on. Consequently, despite the fact that we’ve only been using the kitchen 2 months and I never fry things and rarely smoke up the room, the beautiful giant glass globe pendant lights I spent countless hours choosing for over the island are FILTHY. I didn’t have this problem in my old house because the light fixtures just didn’t show the gunk. I am not a person who cleans light fixtures, you know, ever. So, I guess what I’m saying is, while most people consider the proximity of open shelves to the stove (and the contents’ frequency of use/cleaning), I would add light fixtures to the list of considerations – some will show cooking grease a lot more than others depending on the type of glass, etc. All a moot point if you’re *really* never going to use a hood – I’m working on training myself, but it’s slow-going. Good luck with the decision!

    Reply

    • B
      December 14, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

      You can get that grease off pretty easily. Just mix a spoonful of baking soda in some water, stir til dissolved, and then apply with a sponge/scrubber to anything covered in grease. A little gentle scrubbing and it’ll come right off. I just cleaned years of accumulated grease off one of our kitchen light fixtures last week.

      Reply

      • Lisa T.
        December 14, 2016 @ 5:50 pm

        I unscrew mine and stick them in the dishwasher. I have to do that from time to time because I have a useless microwave/vent thingy that just makes a lot of noise.

        Reply

  21. Diane mansil
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:40 am

    When I moved into my house 4 years ago, I turned on the range hood to see if it worked. That was the last time I used it. It’s on the list of things to go when I get the opportunity to tear out my kitchen and redo it. It’s not coming back. Mine is part of an enormous microwave, which also is not coming back. In fact, about 95% of the current kitchen is leaving for all time, when it happens.

    Don’t give in to the pushy, opinionated trolls. Your kitchen is YOUR kitchen. Do it as you prefer. Hell, I’m taking out all my cabinets and replacing them with free-standing furniture and tables. I hate cabinets. My home’s resale value will be diminished but my kitchen will make me happy for the first time in 4 years, so…

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  22. Dorothy
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:41 am

    I have BUT I never, ever use it. As far as I know, it works. But whoever installed it put it WAAAAAY up high. Up much higher than my 5’1″ self can reach to turn it on and off.

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  23. Melinda
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    Salmon. What do you do about fishy smells when you cook salmon? I have one of those token vents that comes with an over oven/stove microwave and it is not so great. I have two Lampe Bergeres that work pretty well to kill the odor but have longed for a good real vent. Now I’m rethinking that…

    Reply

  24. Erin
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    You don’t NEED a range hood. 🙂 If you cook a lot, especially things like fish, garlic, or fried stuff, it would probably be helpful. OR! Just open a window or a door for a few minutes. Every time my mother cooked salmon when I was growing up, even with the hood going full blast, we’d have to open the kitchen door. Even in January, in Vermont. We survived just fine! Enjoy your pretty hood-free kitchen.

    Reply

  25. Katie
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    I too don’t have a hood nor see the real reason for one. I have a routine where I degrease the stovetop and any surrounding areas as my dinner is cooling and I’m good to go. 5 minutes tops. thats just me, but I grew up with a kitchen with a hood that was never, ever used so I never missed one. I have an oil painting hanging above my stove now and that makes me very happy.

    Also, they get gross. I’m an agent in Minneapolis and I see this first hand when showing homes to buyers and they look under the hood only to see years of built up grease & dust—it’s surprising common. My take is that if I have to bend to see the dirt then I won’t clean it as much. So basically my lack of a hood is in my family’s best interest.

    I have never had a buyer back away from a charming older home due to the lack of this appliance so I wouldn’t add one for the sake of resale. Older home lovers typically fall in love with a house regardless of “flaws” v.s. buyers of newer homes—these guys are more about fulfilling the Must Haves like checking off items on a shopping list.
    I say you shouldn’t do it unless you really want one:)

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  26. Claire
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    I’ve never had a range hood and I’ve never given it 10 seconds of thought until this post. Who knew it was such a thing? When was the last time you saw someone’s kitchen for the first time and a visitor whispered to you in horror, “My God, where is their range hood?!”

    Reply

    • Amanda Suzzi
      December 14, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

      Actually, I said this while cooking pasta at my friends house this past weekend. It was my first time there, I put a pot on the stove for pasta, and I promptly looked aghast at the ceiling that was getting a steam cleaning with no vent in sight.

      Reply

  27. Diane
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:47 am

    Sometimes you need a range hood (if at all possible) and sometimes you don’t. I have a little house where my Mother lived that has high ceilings and a screen door nearby. We didn’t need and have never had a range hood in that small kitchen. My house, though, has an 8×12 kitchen that is essentially closed, and I wouldn’t be able to fry my grandson’s bacon without setting off alarms if I didn’t have a range hood. I went to a lot of trouble and expose to get one there.

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  28. Ann Thariani
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    I live in a house built in 1920, with the original kitchen (which I love) and absolutely no way to add a direct vent exhaust hood. We’ve lived in our house for 17 years, and we cook very spicy food (my husband is Pakistani) and forget about smelling it in the house – you can often smell it down the block – plus over time I end up with a thick sludge of greasy dust nearby! Has anyone used the nonvented, charcoal filter exhaust hoods? I saw some at Ikea and thought I might be able to remove the modern shell and then rework them into something more interesting – say an old copper water boiler, or a funky old wooden box or shelf – basically something more fun. But I’ve never known anyone who actually had one. Do they actually work?

    Reply

    • Jennifer
      December 14, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

      I had one in my GE Profile convection/microwave that was placed above my stove, as my contractor lamely forgot about leaving room for the the vent pipe above the cabinetry. It was very loud and i didn’t use it much because of that. When I did use it, it didn’t seem all that effective. I think some kind of fan in the ceiling/wall would work better and be less obtrusive and noisy.

      Reply

  29. Melanie
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:50 am

    Your post just made me remember we don’t have a range hood. I never fry food, rarely burn anything, and we’re just fine. And if you don’t need a freezer, more power to you! If we didn’t have four kids, I might never use my freezer either.

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  30. Rhonda
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:50 am

    Oh my! Another rebel like myself? I’m another one who opted for a pretty light fixture over my island, rather than an ugly hood that would block the view of my beautiful kitchen. I do have a Jenn Air downdraft, but I don’t always use it. When we recently remodeled the kitchen, the designer insisted on a lovely hood to be the focal point of the kitchen. I poured through magazines to try to find the right one. Guess what? I finally got the courage to say that it was my kitchen, and I wanted it the way I wanted it. No ugly “lovely” hood! And I have a beautiful kitchen, in spite of it!

    It’s your kitchen! Do what you want!

    Reply

  31. Carla from Kansas
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    Heck I don’t even have a range let alone a range hood!! When I remodeled my tear out kitchen I went with a portable induction cook top and never looked back. No one’s business but my own. My house…..So do whatever you want to Victoria.

    Reply

  32. Shelley
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:53 am

    My last apartment didn’t have one and the smoke alarm went off ALL THE TIME (looking at you, perogies). The new place has one and the only time the smoke alarm goes off is when we forget to use the vent. So there’s that. Also the range hood has an open shelf built along the top of the fan whereupon I stack cookbooks and my radio and a vase of eucalyptus. And so I like it better. But I just googled down draft range fans and WOOOOOOOOOOO, those are cool.

    Reply

  33. Janice @ Curtains In My Tree
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:55 am

    I have to have a hood over my small stove in my small vintage kitchen to get rid of all the steam while cooking. Where else will all that steam and smell go ,if not up and out the exhaust. Come on now be for real

    Janice

    Reply

  34. Wendy
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:55 am

    Unless you find some sort of GFT to hide the hood, inspiring an impossible project for Paul to mount it appropriately, do what you want…but if you could find some gold leafed be-cherubed GFT to hide it we will all enjoy the forthcoming video. You are fabulous and you know what you want in a kitchen. Everyone else can go remodel their own kitchen.

    Reply

  35. Jenn C
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    Nope, you are definitely not crazy for not wanting a vent hood!

    We have not had one since our kitchen remodel in 2008 and have never once missed it. I will add that it seems to be easy to forgo the vent if you have high ceilings and/or no upper cabinetry surrounding your stove which would make the space more enclosed. Our stove is situated on a peninsula type bar in our kitchen, no back wall above the bar, no overhead cabinets.

    Who cares what the self proclaimed vent hood experts say, don’t let them impose their indefensible obsessive need for a vent hood into your design choices!

    Reply

  36. Amanda Suzzi
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:58 am

    Whenever I cook bacon it makes a smoky mess. Now that I have a range hood, no more smoke. Also, I grill it in the summer. Try grilled bacon.

    Other reasons:
    *If you make lots of pasta, the steam could ruin your cabinets and/or paint, etc.
    *If you cook indian food, or anything else pungent, the smell lingers.
    *Sometimes I just turn it on to drown out my husband’s complaining.

    Reply

  37. Betty
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:58 am

    Howdy! Love your posts! Did not read all the comments, so someone may have mentioned . . Chef Tyler Florences’ kitchen is used for production. Vent hoods too loud so he has a motorized skylight, which seems a much better option, in my opinion!

    Quoted from article:
    The kitchen is now outfitted with Viking stainless steel appliances, including a range with six burners and a griddle plate, a double oven, and a full-height wine cellar. But the biggest indulgence in the room, said Clark Florence, is the motorized skylight. It was installed in lieu of a hood, which would generate too much noise and make taping television shows nearly impossible.

    Besides, the space above the range is occupied by one of the kitchen’s focal points: a large steel rod on which a collection of copper pots and pans hangs.

    Reply

  38. Denise
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    Really, unless you fry a lot of food, sear a lot of food that will smoke up your house, or tend to burn a lot of food, you don’t need one. Let the naysayers keep their negativity. You know your kitchen and your cooking style, you know if it’s needed.

    Reply

  39. Stephanie Bray-Voorhes
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

    The only reason i ever use the hood fan is if i am trying to outwit our apartments overly sensitive smoke alarm……(its 7 feet from the oven). The only time we have ever had an issue with food odors was directly tied to how burnt our *microwave* popcorn was (and thus a hood vent wouldnt have helped anyway).

    Reply

  40. Deborah
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    It occurs to me that I also do not have a range hood, nor have I especially missed not having a range hood.
    I am feeling immense relief because I was designing my new kitchen to include a range hood (which was presenting design challenges) and now I realize I don’t need one after all!
    Thank you for the wonderful service of deprogramming me from my lockstep kitchen design conformity!!

    Reply

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