416 Comments

  1. Kay
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

    The reason I need a range hood is that I cook meat on top of the stove. You don’t. If I were a vegan, I wouldn’t bother either. The amount of grease generated by vegan cooking is minuscule, unless you’re deep fat frying your veggies and thereby ruining your nutrition. The pics without hoods are gorgeous. One of the best things I did in my kitchen remodel is to install bars over and to the sides of the stove and hang my pans on them. Looks great, and so convenient. A high shelf would also work for you, with your height.

    If you think you might sell your house at some point, I would install cabinets over the stove, not too low, with a hood hidden inside. My sister hates the look of a range hood, and that’s what she did. You don’t know it’s there, and because the projection is standard upper cabinet depth (15″?), you don’t bump your head against it when you’re cooking.

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  2. Amy Chalmers
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

    I think you should NOT get one because your first instincts will kick in and you will hate yourself for going along with the crowd. We had a house that had the cooktop on an island and it had the pop up down drafting vent which worked perfectly fine. You could go with that. I love the European country cottage kitchens without massive hood vents.

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  3. Sue Scully
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

    My husband and I built our house 26 years ago. I too dislike hoods so much that we just didn’t put one one in. We have a gas stove. No smells or grease deposits. I do have the tendency to burn food once in awhile, but then I just open the windows and light a candle. We live in Canada so in the winter, we have chilly weather (-24 C) at the moment. God invented windows and doors for that exact purpose. Go for it. Buck the system. Don’t put one in. Also no one has ever noticed that don’t have one. I have a lovely rod over the stove where I hang some pots.

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  4. Dorothée
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    Hi Victoria!
    I don’t have a direct vent hood, I don’t even have a hood. I cook for a family of 8 every night and never once have I lamented not having one. This was not a design choice, when I moved into this apartment the kitchen did not have one. We open the windows if we need ventilation. How barbaric am I? God speed and do not put a hood in your kitchen! Ps: I’m an interior designer!

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  5. Alice Blackmer
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    Great post. I so agree. I’m 5′ 10 and the first thing I did when bought our early 80s house was rip out the range hood AND the upper cabinets! Now, I do have a fantastic pantry and a husband that likes to grill outside…even in winter so that does help the situation. I’m a designer and my contractor really fought me. He came around and everyone loves our little (by NoVa standards) kitchen. I was going to post a picture but couldn’t figure out how to in this comment field. Happy Holidays. I LOVE your posts! Alice Blackmer

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  6. B
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    We don’t have one. Over time, you’re going to accumulate grease splatter on your walls, ceiling, counters, and other nearby objects, but I have a pro tip for you. Baking soda and water. Put a spoonful of baking soda in water, stir til dissolved, and then scrub mixture on grease. It doesn’t even take that much scrubbing. That grease will come right off and your stuff will be white and sparkly again. You don’t *need* a range hood.

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  7. Zaoli
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    I’m fascinated with the lady who had to throw away everything she owned after one month of no hood. They were doing some good eating at her house, I guess? Or not.

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  8. Nathan
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    I have had hoods, no hoods, and the microwave/hood combo. In my small kitchen I currently have the hood/microwave combo which I HATE, but because the kitchen is small the hood/microwave was/is necessary as the room gets very hot with the stove and oven on and for space constraints. If you don’t want a hood and don’t have to have a hood per code then do what you like. I would prefer no hood.

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  9. Wendy Mathews
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    I would comment about this topic, but I’m still laughing about the woman who HAD to throw all of her crap away because of a month’s worth of food odors!! What WAS she cooking….7 day old road kill??!!? Hahahahaha!! Good grief!!

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  10. Rose
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    I could care less what you do or don’t do, it is your kitchen and you have to live with it. I personally like stove fans and mine is non venting but does have the grease catcher screens that everyone seems to think are so gross. That tells you one thing. If the grease were not in the screen, imagine where it would be…walls, ceilings, etc. Personally I don’t think they are that ugly and I didn’t buy a cheap one, I bought one that I liked the look of but it does not make a statement nor draw attention to itself.

    Suit yourself, it is your kitchen, but one thing I know for sure is that whatever you do it will be lovely and you are the one who gets to clean if the treasures above the stove get greasy.

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  11. Jennifer F.
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    Although I do have an over the stove vent, I don’t care for it. It came with our kitchen, and I may do away with it when we remodel in the future. That being said, the most I use the vent for, is for ambient background noise to drown out the city noise or if the neighbor is having band practice in the garage.

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  12. Amber
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:10 pm

    I rarely every use my vent hood either, only when I’ve burned something, and even then I think it has only been the stupid fan kind which basically do nothing, so yeah, if you don’t want one, don’t get one. I love that big fancy mirror above the stove in one of the pictures. Also as long as you have at least the mini freezer that is attached to the fridge (you need somewhere to keep ice and ice cream lol) then yeah you can probably do without a freezer too!

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  13. Marian
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

    I do have a range hood – don’t ever use it. However, my better half (?, questionable here) does use it. He also burns quite a few things that he cooks! We’re getting ready to make a few changes in the kitchen and he insists on a super-duper hood. Well, it will make things better when he burns his things and I will continue to ignore it. Works for me.

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  14. Krissy Clark
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

    I recently did a full gut remodel to my kitchen, and chose to NOT get a range hood. I do have a Jenn-air stove with a downdraft exhaust, which I occasionally use. It is in the middle of the stove, between the burners, so does not create extra space at the back. I chose to put open shelves above my stove to display pretty pottery that I have started collecting. Why would I spend my money on an ugly exhaust fan thingy when instead I can continue to collect pretty, antique pottery which I may or may not ever use? (BTW – love my Jenn-air stove. It came with the house and is literally the only thing I saved when the kitchen was gutted.)

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  15. Jacqueline
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:14 pm

    Joining in on the rebellious fryers and high-heat sauté freaks – I do not have one, made a conscious choice to not add one (after making certain it was not required by code) and have survived just fine. You know somewhere people are taking down our names to report us all, right?

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  16. Rebecca
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:14 pm

    Truly, unless you could some of the really spice laden ethnic foods, you don’t need a bent unless you do a lot of high heat cooking or grilling that creates smoke. That’s it! I would ask several local chefs their opinion. That’s what I did! My choice was strictly based on my cooking style and that of my family. Cooking is like cars…. some need to go fast on the highways or weekend racing , while others just need something small and efficient for town. Your cooking style will dictate what you need and the fact that you never used one on the past is kind of telling..😃 As a real estate agent, the only caveat to that would be resale, a different type of cook may need that and it might be a deal breaker. But, like bathtubs, it’s a personal choice. You can’t please everyone, so do what fits your lifestyle!👍🏻

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  17. Carolyn H
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:15 pm

    I think it comes down to, how much do you cook and how?
    I also have and old house, do not have a hood and hate the look of them. BUT when we remodel our kitchen to get rid of 1960s linoleum/cabinets etc in the 1860s house, I will ABSOLUTELY put one in my kitchen. Why? Because I love to cook. I live in New England and pan searing porkchops in Jan means doing it with the windows open. Boiling pasta in July heats up the whole house. I can my garden produce- and every d$&n time I fantasize about having a vent hood. Cleaning a hood is a pain, but the smoke and grease is going somewhere and you’ll have to clean it off of other stuff. (But people claiming you’re in for smell-agedeon are ridiculous.)
    In the end, do what makes you happy and works with how you want to use your kitchen. Ignore the opinionated fools.

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  18. Suzanne
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

    If you don’t NEED a range hood then don’t get one! PERIOD! I hate the look of them as well, and the only thing that has prevented me from taking it out is the brown greasy substance that accumulates on the metal mesh filters of my range hood. I’m not sure I want to clean off the ceiling. Bad enough cleaning the filters, without having to clean the ceiling if there are no filters there to catch it. I have actually thought that not using the stove it all is a viable alternative to having to have a range hood. So I’m looking forward to being reassured that I don’t need one.

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  19. Laura
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

    I have had 20years cooking with kitchens without a vent. I’ve always had windows to open if needed. I’ve never had anyone tell me my house smells bad. In fact I’ve had many people tell me that my house smells really good, smells like home. I say if you’re going to put a hood in your home make it fabulous and fancy over your fireplace and not your oven

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  20. Janet M.
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

    If it won’t affect the resale of your house, do what you want. We are in our sixth house and I have never been burned by this line of thinking. Your home really is your castle!

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  21. Kate
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:19 pm

    I don’t like them. There, I said it. I think they are pretentious crazy making things. And expensive as all get out. When we put in our kitchen two years ago I didn’t have one put in. When I had one, I never used it and I cook daily. The smell never bothered anyone. Yesterday I was making soup and the furnace guy came down to tell me he was done and, oh, by the way, what was that amazing smell?
    No one is the boss of you but you. Who cares what everyone else things? It’s up to you and the husband.

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  22. Carol
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

    Well, I have lived WITH vents that vent to the outside and with vents that run the gunk through a carbon filter and back into the house. Personally, I found that the ceilings stay cleaner and the kitchen is cooler when the vent runs to the outside. As far as filters go, that’s just one of the choices in life. Do you want to periodically clean a filter or every few years or so, wash down your ceiling and walls? Your choice. It’s like cleaning / replacing the filters in your vacuum cleaner and FAU. I know people who run their FAUs without filters and their vacuum cleaners without filters. they just have to dust more. Your choice.

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  23. Stephanie Croquez
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

    You don’t need one. I grew up in France and we never had them in any house. Heck if you ever went to the Biltmore in Asheville NC…they don’t have one either. Ok so the kitchen is in the basement and the servants used it so I guess no one cared for them but I think this whole hood thing became just another item to force people to buy. Since you don’t HAVE to have one…don’t.

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  24. Ginny
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

    Victoria, do what you want. You have our permission. I design remodels for a living and my mantra is “Your home should give you joy!” I have not had a vent hood for 23 years…so what? My house does not smell like cooking odors. (My guess is that woman cooked fried foods every night of her life) As a matter of fact, people often enter my home and say “It smells so good in here.” Our home is OUR sanctuary….your home should be yours. I recently had a client that was so worried because he wanted a bead board ceiling in the kitchen and his family and others told him it would be awful. I kept telling him we would make it work, and we did! It is beautiful! Everyone that walks in loves it, including me. I want my clients to walk into their home everyday, sigh contentedly and feel joy. Follow your gut sweetie, it has led you in the right direction so far. And remember, if you find you want a hood later you can add one. A great big monster of a hood…..Paul will understand.

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  25. Valla
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

    OMG I love you. Seriously, you should NOT put in a hood vent, what a waste of space and money. I have redone several kitchens and taken great delight in closing over the old vents with nothing to replace it with, other than a fabulously open ceiling with great lighting! I have never missed having one, unless I burn the bacon, and that my friend, is completely my fault for leaving it unattended in the first place.

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  26. Alena
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

    I don’t really share your taste of all things Victorian but I read your blog because it’s fun. (Not really where I am going with the previous sentence or why I even mentioned it in the first place LOL). I reno’d my kitchen two years ago (on my own) and if I could there are things I would have differently:
    1. I would have leveled out the floor but it’s different story, different topic for another day.
    2. I would have bought the more expensive exhaust fan that has better suction and is less noisy.

    I should have, most likely, given more thought to what exhaust fan to get, but I didn’t. I walked into Home Depot, they had 3 models (I think) and I thought the priciest one (with the best suction / noise specs) was too much money…. because it was just an exhaust fan.
    I regret it now (it was only $125 more than the middle-of-the-range model). First of all, just like you I live in northern climate (I am in Canada). It is not much fun to open all windows to get the smell of salmon (I think that one dwells the longest) out of the house when it’s -2o Celsius. So think about all the above pics – although lovely – where they came from.
    If I lived in Spain or in Cali, I would just open the door/windows but we have tons of mosquitoes in summer and really crappy cold weather for 5 months of the year.
    I am guessing the woman in the nightgown (to me it looks like a nightgown) but maybe it’s a summer dress doesn’t have to worry about weather as much as I do.
    Also, the last pic, with all the utensils hanging right above the stove/the open shelves – I really can’t imagine that people cook real food there without getting the kitchen grime on everything. Maybe it depends on what kind of food you make. Or how much take out you get. Sometimes I suspect that some of those kitchens are just for show (because they sure are pretty).

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  27. Stacey Ballis
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

    Hoods are directly related to how and what you cook, and the type of range you have. I cook a lot on a commercial level range, and without the hood my house would stink and I’d be constantly setting off my carbon monoxide alarm. But if you make mostly scrambled eggs, and don’t have powerful BTU burners, you likely don’t need one if you don’t want one. I do recommend running power to the location in case you decide later that you need one, or for resale value, but it is your kitchen. So as long as you aren’t planning weekly fish frys or installing a jet engine for burners, you’ll likely be fine without.

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  28. Jenfleur
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

    Victoria! I have not had range hood in my last two kitchens, not really on purpose, and i have gotten rid of absolutely nothing due to foul food odors. My contractor messed up the first vent, and my current kitchen has a down draft that I rarely use. It would be wise to have some kind of venting fan in your kitchen, but it certainly doesn’t need to be over your stove. It could actually be unobtrusive! Since you’ve brought this up, I now hate vent hoods too! Never again!

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  29. Rebecca
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    I don’t have a vent hood. I haven’t killed my family in a cooking fire yet. I haven’t sickened anyone with the smell of food yet. I have a brick arch around my cooktop with a wood shelf above it. There are electric cooktops you can get with built in fans in them. Maybe all the internet trolls are not aware of these. Maybe they should all get a life.

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  30. Edith
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    During the 70’s I lived in some houses without a vent. I guess they just weren’t considered a necessity back then. But once I got used to having one I wouldn’t want to be without. I think it all depends on what you cook. If you never sear meat or fry bacon or have anything fragrant, spicy, or steamy on the stove for any length of time I suppose that would work for you. Even with my vent, I sometimes smell the meals I’ve cooked for a day or two afterwards and I don’t like that. I’m only 5’2″ so my hood is never in the way.
    I suppose if I had an appliance that was always in my face and irritated me I wouldn’t use it either. One of my neighbors has her stove right below her kitchen window …which has 2″ wood blinds. She hates it because it’s incredibly difficult to keep the glass and blinds clean.

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  31. Stephanie Chipley
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    I recently had the same experience – I had 14 foot ceilings in my historic remodel. Do I really need a hood? We are vegetarian not really cooking fish or turkey. Also, I hate how loud they are! And unless they actually vent outside they don’t seem to work. However it is building code where I live, so these were our solutions. 1) telescoping downdraft vent. – look it up. It pops up from behind your hood when needed and then disappears back into the countertop! 2) you can get direct vent ranges where the fan/ blower is actually installed outside the house. So it’s super quiet. Therefore having a chance to actually get used! Hope this helps.

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  32. Susan Zajonc
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    No hoods for me. In fact, no stove or oven, either. Dumped the dishwasher, too. FREEDOM from food! Ah, the simplicity and HEALTH of being a raw vegan!

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  33. Jeannie
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

    “To thine own self be true” – William Shakespeare

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  34. Jeanne
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

    You are right in that the national codes do not require a hood – I learned that from Fred, the guy who knows all the codes on the Houzz forum. If you do have a vent – then there are regulations about air flow rate and air uptake requirements if you have the big stove top / range. If you have a smaller range – like most people, the hood regulations are mostly about being high enough up that it doesn’t catch fire if its wood.

    All those fancy kitchens have the fancy stove / range. The fancy stove /range in my opinion is where the real question starts. I personally do not want or need the fancy range. I say that about all things I cannot afford:) I cook a family dinner for six just about every night and rarely need more than two burners and I can’t imagine needing six. Of course, everyone who owns the big range comes home from work and side by side with spouse prepares gourmet dinner while children, if any, do homework at the huge island. As you said once in a post – advertising 101 – this could be your life if you just buy…

    So I have the ordinary 30 inch range and a 30 inch hood (and now over on Houzz they are saying it is best for hood to be bigger than the range…) I like my little wood hood which is not high enough, but grandfathered in because I have an older kitchen. I do use it. I do think it helps keep grease off my cabinets which I spent 6 months refinishing. I do not have any cool island made out of a piano and my little wood hood adds to the vintage look of my kitchen – which has oak cabinets, embraced as you suggested, and also a Whitehaven sink:)
    The vent is supposed to be something that makes your kitchen work better, not a status symbol. Do whatever you wish.

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  35. Lauren
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

    We don’t have one and even though we are fixing up the house to sell it we have no intention of adding one. My convection oven tends to set off the smoke alarm if I turn up the oven to 400F+ but my house doesn’t smell like food (heaven forbid). Any potential buyer who comes through my house, pearls clutched at the sight of my non-existent hood, is more than welcome to add one.

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  36. Anna
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:28 pm

    It is so hilarious that you made me remember about my grandma’s issues with this “kitchen appliance”. She was absolutely against range hoods in kitchens, all kinds of them. Not because of the space they steal from you, or the noise, or aesthetics, I have never understood the reason why.
    I have always thought it was because the housemaid always broke something off this thing when cleaning it every.single time. at her place. After changing the range hood like 4 times (at least this is what I remember), she decided to leave the spot empty. So she had none for years and years, until she passed away.
    Last year I could know the actual reason why she never bought that again and why she hated range hoods so badly: it was because she was so deaf she never heard anything whenever she was cooking with this on. I admit that she never had grease or stinky issues when cooking. Despite the fact that her kitchen was small as a punch in the face, if you are lucky to have a well-ventilated area, it should be OK!! Thanks from Barcelona for this post!! 😉

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  37. Grandma Ruth
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

    Don’t do it!! Please yourself!

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  38. Linda D.
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

    Pros: It vents smoke and cooking odors from the kitchen.
    Cons: 1. It’s in your face
    2. It requires CONSTANT cleaning (even if you just boil water beneath it).
    3. Those ^&*(^&* light bulbs are expensive and tough to reach.
    4. They become the inadvertent focal point of the room.
    5. They require CONSTANT cleaning. (yes, this deserves to be noted AT LEAST twice.)
    6. I really only need them if I am frying smelly food. (NB I never fry smelly food.)
    7. I’m Italian, so I ENJOY the aroma of what I cook in the kitchen. As do my family and guests.
    8. If you do want to get rid of unpleasant cooking odors (and really, is there even such a thing? If so, WHAT are you eating??? ) Anyway, if you do want to get rid of odors AND the hood isn’t vented outside, they are completely useless.
    9. If they do vent outside, I have to check for bird’s nests and the like. Often.
    10. If my kids accidentally burn the stove top popcorn I can easily open a window for a few moments.
    11. I HATE them. (This is not an idle expression of dislike. This is a full blown, ‘I am not buying this house because of the vent hood’ hatred. I have endured them in spaces I have rented the way the Count of Monte Cristo feverishly chipped his way out of Devil’s Island, and I will not have one in MY kitchen.

    I could keep up this list indefinitely, but I think eleven reasons is more than enough to skip the hood. So I did. And she lived happily ever after. So there, internet!

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  39. Joy
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

    Unless you fry a lot, not necessarily deep-fry, but things like bacon, or sauteeing chicken in oil, you probably don’t need a range hood. We have one of the down draft kinds. Whatever you do, don’t get one of those. The food falls in, they’re IMPOSSIBLE to clean, and we still have to open a window to ventilate the kitchen. Frankly, we’d be better off with a fan blowing towards an open screened window. In our configuration it would be impossible to add a range hood, but if we ever get a new stove top, I will skip the downdraft or any kind of “hood” at all.

    And, whatever you do, do NOT carpet your kitchen. We live with my parents, and the carpet is impossible to keep clean. The whole kitchen is, really, but the carpet is the worst.

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  40. Fern Benson
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

    we have a Jenn-Air with a built-in vent………and while I do not use it very much, boy oh boy my husband HAS to………..high-fire-all-the-time Paul
    so, vent or no vent……………who does the cooking? and what do you cook? and no offense Victoria……..are you a sloppy cook? No? you are a wonderful, careful and don’t-burn-the-crap-out-of-everything kind of cook? well then no vent for you!

    p.s. vents are for the smoke one can create………not the grease………..I use portable/foldable things to surround the bacon cooking to prevent grease spreading throughout the kitchen

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