Good Question: Do I Absolutely Need a Range Hood?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A question from Tamar – if she can’t vent outside, does she need a range hood?

I am planning a kitchen renovation and looking into new appliances. My historic coop won’t let me vent outside, so I would have to get a recirculating hood, which isn’t very effective. Moreover, there are no upper cabinets over the range, so if I would have to install an expensive chimney-style hood and then not vent it outside.

Is it even worth it to look at hoods if it will be expensive and likely not do much? Should I just be religious about opening the window right next to the range? Get a fan? I am not planning on buying a professional range, but I’d like a decent gas one. I’ve been thinking about a Bosch.

Tamar, we are going to hastily turn this question over to the readers, since we have not worked much in kitchen renovation.

As cooks we can only repeat what you probably know well, which is that powerful vents with fans that suck cooking smoke and odors away to the outside are great. We do a lot of spice-intensive cooking and meat searing, and a good vent setup is invaluable. Whenever we attempt these maneuvers on a stove with a dinky inside-only fan, the smoke just gets spread around – not dissipated.

So we are curious too; if the hood can’t vent to the outside, is there any purpose to it? Protect the ceiling from grease spatters? Look pretty?

What do you say?

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