463 Comments

  1. Catherine W.
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    I suppose it all comes down to how you cook and how often. If you never burn anything, or cook with any type of grease — or onions or garlic or fish — you could live without a range hood. But I cook a lot and often have to clean the hood filters. All that stuff has to go somewhere! Even delicious smelling cooking aromas can overstay their welcome.

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    • Gina
      December 14, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

      I agree with you! we cook regularly at home so I included a properly vented good into our renovation and love it and use it every time I cook. If you are planning to have lots of beautiful fabrics in your kitchen I would consider it. Your kitchen WILL stay cleaner.

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  2. Carolyn Gordon
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    Victoria, please yourself. We just redid our kitchen and I caved and got one. BUT I’m an iffy cook and that vent has come in mighty handy.

    But let me go on the record and say I’m with you. They’re ugly.

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  3. Kiki
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    Oh How I Laughed…. I do need a hood because I have an open kitchen (not the fancy type where you supposedly can talk to your guests/friends/husband etc – and well NO you can’t because the hood is making such a racket!!!) – open because where the cooker is, there is no window and our kitchen is the ‘train station’ of the house, everybody finds themself using this important room to either go down to the basement, cellar, through to the veranda and garden or through to the other rooms of the house. And it DOES smell when I cook and I do not like to clean more than absolutely necessary. BUT if YOU don’t feel and see the need (as also one of my sisters does) for a hood, it’s your and only your decision. I also know that you are a very strong woman; nobody would dare questionnent any of your decisions. So far you have proven to be in the right, every single time, weren’t you?! 🙂
    Much kitchen love from a pro-hood cook who also particularly enjoys having an extra light right there and where she needs it, if she needs it. And also, nobody can hear you opening that bottle of wine and glucking a glass or three with the fan on…. because this is a girl who loves cooking with wine – and sometimes she even puts it in her food ! (As a Victorian metal board tells me every single day)
    May I ask (again) if you would reconsider to activate the wordpress or whatever service once again so that I can get ALL comments into my inbox? I’m missing out and I could read them to myself when I’m cooking 🙂

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  4. Glyniss McDaniel
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    I do not have a vent hood and I have not missed it one bit! I do have anxiety at times about grease flying around in the kitchen and sticking to things but it has not happened. I am with you on the ridiculous notion that everyone has to have one!! I rarely fry anything so it is not a big deal!! I think as elegant as your kitchen is, a vent hood would mar the beauty!! Stay strong!

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  5. Sara
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:23 am

    Now I don’t want a range hood, either 😀

    The ONLY reason I use ours (which, by the way, is the fan on the microwave just a couple of feet above the stove) is because the microwave is RIGHT ABOVE THE STOVE. If I had a bigger, more open kitchen, I would absolutely pass on a range hood, too.

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  6. Ginny
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:23 am

    I just finished remodeling my kitchen after 35 years. My theme was easy-to-clean. I scandalized the cabinet guy by choosing factory painted flat surface cabinet doors. So when it was time for the stove set up, I let them talk me into a microwave with vent over the stove. Surprise! Not only is the microwave too high for me but the nondirect vent blows moisture onto the cupboard above so we can’t use the fan. Don’t want to ruin my cabinet door! The most effective method for me is a ceiling fan and a window. When I brown the food a little too much I turn on the fan and crack the window. Works like a charm. If I were you, I would ditch the stove fan and put something useful there…or nothing at all.

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  7. Kristine
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:23 am

    Take the range hood cultists with a grain of salt – it’s possible that the ones who insist on a range hood also live in a modern, open floor-plan monstrosity where the whole house is pretty much just one giant kitchen, with couches. I rarely use our hood vent because it’s deafeningly loud, but we live in a 1920s Chicago bungalow where the kitchen is separated from the living spaces so cooking smells don’t travel that far.

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  8. Liz Holmes
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:23 am

    I feel very strongly about this topic. Here is how I feel: It’s your house; your kitchen; your range. Follow your heart — not the internet’s heart. Does the internet even have a heart? Even if it does, it is too concerned with Kardashians and whatnot, and should not be cooking while watching TV anyway — so go to the other room, internet, and let Elizabeth finish browning this roast for God’s sake or dinner will never get on the table.

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  9. JeanFB
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    Ok, here goes…. I have lived both without (earlier in life, for about 20 years) and with (presently, and for the last four years) a range hood. I cook mainly on the stovetop, with gas burners, and I am a religious olive oil saute-er. I cook lots of veggie stir fries and lots of pasta/grains etc. In my old house (sans range hood, and with a four-burner gas range), I did notice that lots of grease accumulated above the stove, on the light fixture and the surrounding cabinet. If I let it go too long it would get icky sticky and hard to get off. I now have a six burner range (cuz I rarely open an oven to cook!) and usually have two to three burners going at once. I have a powerful range hood, and I like it very much. Grease accumulates inside in the pan, where it’s supposed to, and I can actually see the steam and grease particles being sucked up into the hood. It is mounted high enough that even a very tall person would not bump their head on it. I never would have guessed that so much grease could actually be captured and prevented from going out into the room. The other consideration is that I now have a very open concept living area (whereas in my previous non-hood days I did not), and so the smells and grease particles would have lots of room to roam if I didn’t have the fan on. In fact, the smells travel up the stairway if I forget to turn it on! So… Yes, I survived just fine without one. Yes, I’m really glad I have one now. No, you don’t have to resign yourself to bumping your head. And finally…. you can fit them inside things that look like cabinets. Or maybe even, with the right clever and handy people by your talented side, you might fit one inside a GFT. If anyone can, you can. 🙂 Good luck!

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    • Katherine Tane
      December 14, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

      Yes yes yes Jean points out well the why’s and some great design suggestions. The vented to the outside range hood is not a fan venting back in the room. It does remove any odors but the primary use is to remove smoke and grease catching it in a filter and sending the air to the outside and preventing it from settling elsewhere in the kitchen. No floating grease means keeping all those shiny surfaces and shiny things on open shelves free of grease and dust a bit longer. For me it is about how much cleaning I want to do of all my lovely things I have out on my counters and shelves. But I cook a lot, nightly, and love my easy to clean grease trap in my Vent-a-Hood which means I’m not wiping counters and emptying shelves and lovelies every month or so to knock down the grease that has grabbed dust and rather am spending too much time perfecting my oak barrel aged specialty cocktails.

      Reply

    • Kiki
      December 15, 2016 @ 7:04 am

      Oh yes, you’re so right – I too, very happy with my hood, had it built-in in a cabinet-lookalike which is closed when I don’t need it. It’s also a ‘old-fashioned’ hood which was dictated by the existing kitchen furniture. Since you are doing everything as per your wishes you do absolutely what suits YOU (as everybody says) – I wouldn’t be without one and some thinking since yesterday has underlined my pro-hood position! There…

      I’m also quite surprised by the vehemence of anti-hoodists…. I never thought much about this problem until I read VEB’s article but I clearly can see and appreciate the many benefits of my hood. One downside IS the noise it makes; a conversation is difficult and since all my guests automatically gather in the (large and not v. practical) kitchen, we just have to raise our voices… 🙂

      Reply

  10. Jayne Z
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    I actually like the more decorative range hoods, but don’t care for the more industrial look. I currently have a downdraft system which is great because it’s invisible unless you need it. And, like one other poster noted, using it prevents the smoke detector from breaking my pets and my eardrums!

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  11. Bambi Mayer
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    I don’t have one and only occasionally do I wish I did. If I fry something (which is rare) I smell the grease for a couple of days when I walk into the house. I do have a vent that is basically a bathroom vent in the ceiling above my stove and it helps a bit. If I fry something (which is rare) I can smell the grease for a couple of days when I walk into the house. The smell of bacon will linger
    even longer but what’s wrong with that? I vote for no vent!

    Reply

  12. schatze
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    I cooked steak last night and my whole house still smells of it. I have one of those vents that rises up then hides back down. It’s a Wolf and worthless. It’s two years old and it isn’t used a lot, mostly because it makes no difference if I use it and already it doesn’t retract the first time I try to close it. I wish the stove wasn’t in the island and I could install a jet engine restaurant vent in the exterior wall. It would be my final attempt at a vent that truly works.

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  13. Kelly
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    I don’t have a range hood and my kitchen is considered to be pretty nice. At least just about everyone who comes compliments it. I think range hoods may be useful for those who do a lot of high-grease, restaurant-style cooking; or status symbols for those who actually don’t cook at all. I cook a lot, but I don’t cook with a lot of oil or make a terrible mess when I cook. I open windows when I do a slow-cooked meal so that our clothes, linens and furniture don’t reek of beef bourguinon for ever. Nothing terrible has happened to my cabinets and even the area above my six-burner stove is pretty darn clean. I wipe it down less than I should and yet there is no indication of oil, dirt, or heinous grime. And yes, those things are loud. And in your face. So I encourage you to join the club of Sans Range Hoods. It will be OK. Really.

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  14. Marsha
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    I have lived with hoods and without. Actually more time w/o than with as most of my homes were built in the 1918-1940 era. Then I moved to CA and hoods are a big deal. Our first house had a Jenn-air down draft. When we remodeled we did not put a hood in. Our space was large and wide open and well ventilated with tall ceilings. I only regretted once. We hosted a chefs dinner and the CHEF seared everything at about 500+ degrees and filled my house with smoke and grease odor. I cleaned well with vinegar and left shallow pans of vinegar out to clean the air and we survived. I am a great cook and enjoy cooking many things and say skip it if you have good ventilation.

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  15. Lisa
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    No outrage, just a comment. Having recently updated our kitchen, my one regret in not getting a more efficient exhaust. I am frequently wiping grease off my upper cabinets near the stove. Have you looked for a stove with a down-draft exhaust? My mother has one, and I would definitely go that route if I were to do it again. Not sure if there is a giant fancy stove with a down-draft available, but

    Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for all the smiles you have provided us!

    Reply

  16. Jennifer Jones
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    I currently have a standard, electric stove and no direct vent hood. I have the semi-acceptable fan/light only combo that does nothing but make noise and blow the cooking smoke farther around the house. I never use the fan though the light does come in handy. My house is very open concept and the only time residual smell is an issue is right after I brown meat. My coats and sweaters hang on a rack by the front door, in close proximity to the stove, and hold onto that lingering meat smell for about a day. My furniture is fine, the rugs are fine, the sheet rock is fine. Nothing needs to be thrown away. It’s all good.

    In fact, there is a window in my kitchen which could probably be opened, now that I think of it, to help with the venting of meat fumes. Yay!

    Reply

  17. MAH
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:26 am

    Well, I don’t have a vent! Don’t want one and will not be pushed, persuaded, threatened or humiliated into having one! I have open shelves over my gas range as well as a pendant light and I’ll be danged if I ruin the look! I had a mirror over the stove and another time a weather vein and an old barn door! I couldn’t do that if I had a vent. If I need to vent I open a window! I can’t believe that anyone could change your mind, if you don’t want it changed!

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  18. Shireen
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:26 am

    VEB you are a hoot! I do not like range hoods either…unfortunately our silly town requires them. Many years ago we installed an inexpensive one only to have it immediately die. We are lazy. It remained in place and we used the window to vent for many many years.

    Reply

  19. Kitty
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:26 am

    First love, love your blog!
    My husband creates custom Stainless Steel range hoods for both commercial and residential use. So I could have one of those hoods custom made for very, very little cost. However, I also HATE them!
    What we are going to do when we remodel our 1970’s (ugh!) kitchen is install a down draft range fan. We have had them in prior homes and if you get a good one – they are awesome. The beauty of them is that they are concealed until you push a button and they come up to do the job and then go back into hiding!!!

    Reply

    • Kiki
      December 15, 2016 @ 7:11 am

      Thank you Kitty; I now have learned something important (well, relatively important anyway as I’m not concerned by it) – I didn’t know about those ‘down draft hoods/fans’ (I am Swiss but live in France in a stone house from 1920) – I think I would most definitely look for something like that if that even exists here, it sounds just the thing to do! So, tks again – I was wondering what everybody was going on about.

      Reply

    • Eileen
      December 15, 2016 @ 10:23 am

      Kitty- sounds like you are in the know on these things- which brands are considered good? There are so many conflicting opinions on downdraft. My husband insists on an exhaust when we remodel but the stove will be in the island. Please share your thoughts on the good ones. Thanks!!

      Reply

  20. Stacie
    December 14, 2016 @ 11:27 am

    Oh. My. Stars. So much outrage, I am outraged over it! I have no idea what you should do with your stinkin’ hood dilemma, I’m just along for this crazy ride. But I do enjoy watching someone buck the system, I tend to run toward what everyone says is a crazy-stupid idea….long bridesmaid dresses in the summer! Iced coffee in the winter! Rebellion!!

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    • Alana Karam
      December 18, 2016 @ 10:38 am

      I had an enormous hood, but didn’t use it much because it contained the smoke and kept the alarms from going off. So when I left the kitchen to “throw in a quick load of laundry” and got sidetracked by the kids painting the dog green or whatever, I never knew I was incerating our dinner until after the pots and pans had actually melted. I found this more inconvenient than cleaning grease off the backsplash.

      Reply

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