Last updated: September 9, 2021

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Many people love cooking but avoid cooking things they like if they create too much smoke or bad smells. Even if people don't mind paying this price, we would still all rather avoid it. If you want to be able to cook whatever you want in your kitchen without worrying about smells, you need a cooker hood.

While a cooker hood won't completely get rid of odours, they help a lot. Even if they don't eliminate all kitchen smells, they are worth having. If you don't have one, you will end up dealing with bad smells often. To help you buy the best cooker hood possible, we have put together the following guide.




Key facts

  • A cooker hood is designed to get rid of or cut down on kitchen odours. They can be found in most homes and help keep houses and kitchen smelling good.
  • The modern market has a wide cooker of products. They aren't just made for kitchens in private homes, but industrial and commercial purposes as well.
  • When you get a cooker hood, you have to have certain things in mind, including the main features of your model of choice. You need to consider your budget and what kind of ventilation system it has.

Our selection: The best cooker hoods

When you buy anything it pays to do your homework first. Below we have compiled a list of of the best cooker hoods on the market and included their most salient features to help you make your choice.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about cooker hoods

Now that you have a better idea of the primary features of a cooker hood you are ready to dive a bit deeper. Below you will find out more about some of the most successful models out there as well as the thoughts and opinions of previous buyers. All of this will make your purchasing decision that much more informed.

What is a cooker hood exactly?

A cooker hood's most important feature is its fan and ventilation system. It goes above the stove to suck up smoke, grease and dust. There are a variety of models on the market and they all do things slightly differently. You need to know what you are looking for and what is best for your kitchen when buying one.

A cooker hood is a kitchen appliance with an internal fan.(Source: Famveldman: 34007165/ 123rf.com)

What types of extractor hood are there?

As we mentioned before, there are several different cooker hood styles out there. Each one functions and is installed differently. You need to know the major differences between them so you get the right appliance for your kitchen.

Below are some things to have in mind when selecting a cooker hood:

  • Recirculation: Recirculation cooker hoods use carbon filters to clean the fumes and smoke and produce only clean air. It is great for kitchens that don't have ventilation connected to the outdoors. It is not as effective as some other models.
  • Suction: Suction cooker hoods take in fumes and odours which are then expelled outside of your home via a duct. These work very well and leave behind very little smell or smoke.
  • Roof: These go on top of the roof. They are highly effective and easy to use.
  • For island: When the stoves are placed on a kitchen island, a different bell is needed. Some extractor hoods have these bells and work best for kitchen islands.
  • Wall: These appliances are wall-mounted and come in a variety of shapes. They are common and do a great job.
  • Integrated wall: These are built right into kitchen cabinetry. It is the most modern style and the one that tends to look the best in new kitchens. It's nice because it is almost completely hidden from view when not in use.
  • Countertop: A great way to modernize any kitchen is to get one of these cooker hoods. They sit on the countertop and recede into it when not in use, much like the integrated wall models.

How do cooker hoods work?

Now that you have a rough idea of how a cooker hood works, we are going to get a bit more in-depth. You need to know how they work so you get the right one and don't end up with something you can't use. Basically there are two main categories of cooker hood: extraction and recirculation.

Type How it works
By extraction They suck up smoke and odours which are then passed through a grease filter. They are then expelled through a vent to the outside. They come with anti-return valves which prevents any odours and smoke from reentering the kitchen.
By recirculation These are good for when there is no duct connecting the kitchen to the outside and works by cleaning and recirculating the air. The cooker hood absorbs the air, which passes through a filter and comes out clean.

How should you clean and maintain a cooker hood?

In order to maximize your return on investment, you are going to have to keep your cooker hood well maintained. If you are using it every day it is going to be capturing a lot of grease and dust in the filters. If you leave the filters too long, they will end up not working properly.

What should I do? Why?
Turn on the filter Turn the cooker hood on as soon as you start cooking. This allows it to absorb some of the stove's heat and minimize overcooking.
External cleaning Use only the gentlest products on the exterior. Warm water and some mild soap is the best way to do it. Dry it well.
Clean the filters You typically have to clean filters once per month. Some can be put in the dishwasher. Others require handwashing.
Change the filters With re-changeable filters, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Turn off the cooker hood You shouldn't turn off the cooker hood as soon as you finish cooking. Leave it running for a few minutes to clear all of the smoke and odours from the kitchen. Then you can turn it off.

How big is a cooker hood?

You need to make sure you are buying the right size cooker hood. It needs to be the same size as your cooking plate, at a minimum. Cooking plates are usually 60 or 90 cm. Getting the right size cooker hood is essential or it won't do what it's supposed to.

What are the best kind of motors for cooker hoods?

Make sure the product you select has an iron-armoured engine. Plastic ones trap more grease and dust which makes them harder to clean. It should also have a non-return valve that ensures no odours or smoke it collects is returned to the kitchen. A good suction capacity is also important.

Journal of Positive Psychology
"People who cook feel happier".

How much noise should hoods make?

Older cooker hoods use to make a tremendous racket that could be heard throughout the house. Modern hoods, fortunately, are much quieter and less invasive. The average cooker hood emits sounds while running at maximum power of about 70 to 80 decibels. Some models are even quieter and emit only around 60 decibels.

Knowing the difference between recirculation and a suction cooker hoods is vital.(Source: Alexandre Zveiger: 24933941/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of extractor hoods?

By now you undoubtedly understand how important it is to have a cooker hood in your kitchen. You know that different models do different things and how to keep them clean and working properly. Before going any further it is important for you to know the pros and cons of this appliance. The below checklist lays them out for you.

Advantages
  • Gets rid of cooking odours
  • Ensures your kitchen and house don't' fill with smoke
  • Traps grease and dust
Disadvantages
  • Can by noisy
  • Require regular maintenance and clean to keep them working well
  • Suction models require a duct with access to the outside.

Shopping criteria

As we get nearer to the end of this guide, there are some important purchasing criteria you need to be aware of. If you want the best cooker hood for your needs, know how to apply the below shopping criteria to any potential purchases.

Smoke output

This is one of the most important considerations when buying a cooker hood. Suction models require a duct with access to the outdoors, and won't work with a kitchen that doesn't have that. Most kitchens do, but many still do not. If yours does not, you are going to need a recirculation cooker hood.

Cleaning

Just like all your other kitchen appliances, cooker hoods require regular cleaning. Before buying one, check how easy it is to clean. Understand the cleaning requirements of the different materials and pieces, as well as how easy the cooker hood will be to disassemble if need be.

Filters

In keeping with the above criteria category, filters are another very important consideration when buying a cooker hood. You need to know whether you will be able to remove the filters and put them in the dishwasher. Since you will need to replace them somewhat regularly, you should also know how much replacements cost.

Always try and find a cooker hood with an iron-played motor.(Source: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz: 42293320/ 123rf.com)

Aesthetics

Since cooker hoods tend to be one of the central features of a modern kitchen, they need to look appropriate for your kitchen in addition to being effective. There are so many models out there, and many of them look very nice. It should fit well with the theme and decor of the rest of your kitchen, including your other appliances.

Extraction capacity

There is a formula you can use to calculate the extraction capacity you will require. It can be used for either recirculation, without smoke extraction, or extraction, with smoke input. The surface refers to the surface area of the kitchen (in m2). The following are the formulas:

  • Recirculation bells. The extraction capacity (m3 / h) = surface x height x 20
  • Extraction hoods. The extraction capacity = surface x height x 10

For example, if you have a kitchen of 16 square meters with a height of 2.25 meters and have a smoke vent, the formula will be as follows: 16 x 2.25 x 10 = 360 m3 / h

Summary

A cooker hood is a kitchen appliance you simply can't do without. If keeps your kitchen and surrounding rooms smoke and odour-free. There are two main types of cooker hood: suction (which expels smoke and odour outside) and recirculation (which clean the air and send it back into your house).

When deciding on a product, there are several things to keep in mind. You have to consider suction capacity, how loud they are, their size, whether they will work in your kitchen and how stylish they are. There are many models out there that will have everything you are looking for, you just need to make sure you are getting good value for money. Lastly, it is important to know how much replacement filters cost.

If you like the above guide to cooker hoods and found it helpful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

(Source of the featured image: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz: 42293659/ 123rf.com)

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