Cooktops are an important kitchen appliance that is used from simple tasks, such as making tea, to complex endeavors such as grilling a piece of steak. Most households’ cooktops are a range that connects to an oven below.
Whether you’re experimenting with new recipes or making a simple meal, you need a solid set of cookware. Consider buying a stainless steel cookware set which is considered top-of-the-line in terms of cookware for great reason. Stainless steel is resistant to tarnishing and rust. It’s also ideal for virtually any kind of cooking.
These are a great option if you have space and use the oven frequently. If you lack the space however or do not intend to use the oven, a built-in cooktop is your best option.
Cooktops provide flexible design options in providing both aesthetics and convenience in the kitchen. Downdraft cooktops will aid in reducing the heat in the kitchen and allow more storage space at the same time.
The extra space can be used to store other crockery and cutlery. In this guide, we’ll review top rated downdraft cooktops and compare the features of each model.
What Is The Best Downdraft Electric Cooktop?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best Downdraft Electric Cooktop?
- 2 What is a Downdraft Cooktop?
- 3 Are Downdraft Cooktops Effective?
- 4 Comparing The Best Downdraft Cooktops
- 5 1. Frigidaire RC36DG60PS 36″ Built-In Downdraft Gas Cooktop – The Most Powerful Cooktop
- 6 2. DCS CDV304N 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop – Downdraft – Best Ergonomic Dials
- 7 3. Bosch NGM5655UC500 36″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop – Best Constructed Cooktop
- 8 4. GE Profile 30″ Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop-White PGP9830TJWW – An All-Purpose Burner
- 9 5. Kitchen Aid KCGD500GSS 30 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Downdraft Cooktop – Best for Professionals
- 10 6. GE PP9830DJBB
- 11 7. KitchenAid KCED600GBL
- 12 8. KitchenAid Architect Series II KECD807XBL
- 13 9. GE Profile 30″ Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop PGP9830DJBB
- 14 10. KitchenAid KCGD506GSS
- 15 Features of the Best Downdraft Cooktops
- 16 Most Common Issues People Have with Downdraft Cooktops?
- 17 Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Downdraft Cooktops
- 18 Ready To Buy The Best Downdraft Cooktop?
The Frigidaire RC36DG60PS Downdraft Cooktop is a gas-powered 36” stovetop. It boasts 17,000 BTUs making it particularly powerful and employs an effective downdraft ventilation system that minimizes grease, oil, and steam. It comes with four burners, continuous grates, and a dishwasher-safe filter.
What is a Downdraft Cooktop?
When cooking at home, one thing which you need to keep under control is the steam and smoke. If you get a nice cooktop, it will have built-in features for handling the smoke.
In downdraft cooktops, the fumes and smoke are all sucked down underneath the cooktop. To do this, there is a ventilation system which is installed underneath the cooktop.
Whether you are looking for a face uplift or just want the convenience of a downdraft cooktop, finding the best one that bodes with your kitchen can be a bit of a task. Read our review further to learn more.
Are Downdraft Cooktops Effective?
Downdraft Cooktops are arguably just as effective as ventilation hoods, as both are installed using the existing ventilation systems in your home. The only difference is that airborne contaminants are sucked up from below the stove rather than overtop, meaning less mess and more space.
Comparing The Best Downdraft Cooktops
|Kitchen Aid KCGD500GSS|
|KitchenAid Architect Series II KECD807XBL|
|GE Profile 30″ Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop PGP9830DJBB|
1. Frigidaire RC36DG60PS 36″ Built-In Downdraft Gas Cooktop – The Most Powerful Cooktop
If you happen to be an impatient cook, you will appreciate the PowerPlus Boil feature. This comes with a 17,000 BTU which makes is quick and easy to boil anything super-fast. In addition to the above cookery essentials, the cooktop is easy to regulate thanks to the Pro-Select controls.
For professional chefs, the continuous grates are always a plus because they enable you to move pans and pots without necessarily having to lift them. With a dishwasher-safe filter, this cooktop is also easy to clean.
2. DCS CDV304N 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop – Downdraft – Best Ergonomic Dials
On the lower spectrum, the burners are also capable of simmering sauces at a constant 3,000 BTU. The cooktop comes with a great stainless steel finish that ensures you can easily clean the cooking surface.
The cooktop has a good portable size that makes it ideal for any sized kitchen surface. In addition, the deep platform full coverage style makes it easy to move kitchenware around with ease.
To enhance control the cooktop has metals dials that are ergonomically placed and are easy to read.
3. Bosch NGM5655UC500 36″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop – Best Constructed Cooktop
The five burners are well spaced out to enable the cooker to use all of them simultaneously if need be. The industrial class metal knobs set this cooktop apart from the competition. This makes the cooker durable and almost not needing a replacement.
Bosch is also geared to making this cooktop the only one you will ever need by providing a comprehensive warranty. The warranty covers coverage from defects and will offer replacements and repairs within the stipulated time.
4. GE Profile 30″ Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop-White PGP9830TJWW – An All-Purpose Burner
To accompany the high-temperature burner, the cooktop has convenient edge-to-edge grates that are heavy enough to support heavy cookery. The knob controls are also durable and come with LED lighting to let you know when they are switched on. These also add to the aesthetics of the cooktop.
The 30- inch GE Profile has a sealed cooktop burner that assists in containing any spills that may come about when cooking. Most people don’t enjoy cleaning cooktops, and GE’s inclusion of dishwasher-safe grates is set to make your cleansing job stress-free.
5. Kitchen Aid KCGD500GSS 30 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Downdraft Cooktop – Best for Professionals
The burners are electric and can light up with an electric spark. Professionals love and adore the re-ignition feature that relights burners if the flames run out. The burners can be transformed into a gas cooktop as it allows LP gas.
The centrally grouped control knobs have a nice control lock safety feature to prevent accidental activation of the heating surfaces.
However, as the knobs are located so close to the powerful and very effective downdraft exhaust vent, they may attract more grease and food particles than if they were located along one of the cooktop edges.
The GE PP9830DJBB is highly reviewed and is commonly used as a replacement for older Jenn-Air models as their similar size makes installation relatively easy. However, the exhaust system can be somewhat difficult to line up for DIY home owners.
Like other downdraft models, this cooktop pulls smoke and odors into the cooking surface so that it does not need a separate hood overhead.
But with this unit, a duct-free kit is sold separately to allow for the air to be filtered and recirculated inside the cooktop itself. This eliminates the need for any additional ductwork, and allows the cooktop to be installed nearly anywhere in a kitchen.
But even without the duct-free kit, the 3-speed fan has a 300 CFM exhaust rating can handle any high temperature cooking techniques like stir-frying or pan-searing. With its adjustable speed control, it can easily handle any steam, grease or odors you can cook up.
The glass top has a tendency to crack from heating and cooling stress. The glass is also very difficult to clean and often requires food particles to be scraped off with a razor blade and heavy-duty cleaners, which leaves small scratches and imperfections.
Less commonly, users have complained that the burners do not heat evenly, which could be isolated to a few individual units.
But even if the burners are working properly, the exhaust fan is notoriously loud and can vibrate the cooktop to the point that pots and pans will slowly migrate away from the center of the burners.
The gas cooktop provides a wide range of heat outputs and cooks evenly and quickly with four versatile all-purpose burners.
The cooktop is easy to clean as the grates and knobs are easy to remove and both are dishwasher safe. However, if you are not careful when cleaning the glass top, a washcloth can leave water marks.
This cooktop is well-rated, but it has a few drawbacks. Because the burners are elevated above the countertop level unlike many other gas cooktops, the area surrounding the cooktop can get very warm.
Also, the exhaust system takes up more space some competing cooktops, reducing storage space beneath the unit.
The addition of the isolated fifth burner allows for the use of much larger pots than a four-burner cooktop. All of the burners are covered with continuous cast iron grates which are easy to remove for cleaning and the stainless-steel surface is sunken below counter level to help contain spillover.
As with other KitchenAid downdraft cooktops, the KCGD506GSS is compatible with the KitchenAid duct-free conversion kit, which is sold separately. This allows the cooktop to be installed virtually anywhere in the kitchen as it filters and recirculates the air without ductwork.
Features of the Best Downdraft Cooktops
Getting a downdraft cooktop is not a simple one-stop process. If you purchase a downdraft cooktop spontaneously without doing enough research, you likely won’t end up with one of the best downdraft cooktops.
To help you make a good decision on your first attempt, let’s take a look at the top features to keep in mind.
High BTU Rating
The British thermal unit (BTU) rating is the first thing which you need to look at when you are shopping around for a downdraft cooktop. This is a commonly used unit for measuring heat output.
The higher the BTU rating is, the more heat your cooktop provides. The more heat it provides, the faster it will boil water, cook your food, and so on. For best results, make sure the maximum BTU rating is at least somewhere between 10,000 – 20,000.
Convenient Power Source
Any of the best downdraft cooktops will use gas or electricity. There is an ongoing debate among culinary experts as to whether gas or electric burners are better. Both power sources have their advantages and you should decide which one you prefer.
Gas burners are nice since they create real flames and are efficient for high-heat jobs like frying. Electric burners may not heat up as quickly as gas burners but are much better for simmering and having consistent temperature.
Fits Your Counter Space
Downdraft burners come in different sizes and shapes. In order to avoid problems, you need to check the size of each model and make sure you have enough space ready. You also need to have space reserved underneath the cooktop slot for the ventilation system.
At least Four Burners of Different Sizes
There is no sense in trying to get one of the best downdraft cooktops if you don’t expect there to be at least 4 burners. While you are cooking, it is common to use multiple pots and burners so that you can simultaneously prepare multiple parts of your meal.
This is why any of the best downdraft cooktops will have at least four burners for pots of different sizes. If this isn’t enough, you might consider a model like the BOSH NGM5655UV500 with 5 burners.
Easily Cleaned and Maintained
Usually, all you need to do is look at a cooktop and you will have a general idea of what the cleaning process will be like. Cooking is a messy task which comes with responsibilities.
Look at the design of each cooktop and imagine cleaning it. If it has hard-to-reach crevices and spots which won’t be easily cleaned, and so on, it might be best to look at other options.
Most Common Issues People Have with Downdraft Cooktops?
- Using Tall Pots: When using tall pots, downdraft cooktops can start to have their limits tested. Keep in mind that the fan system is only so strong. If you like to use tall pots, keep in mind that the fumes might not get sucked down as well.
- Cooking Efficiency: Most people don’t want to spend all night cooking their dinner. The time you should expect to spend cooking has a lot to do with the BTU rating of the device. Those who simply buy the most affordable option are more likely to
- Grueling Installation: One of the most common problems people have with downdraft cooktops comes from the installation process. Downdraft cooktops are not easily self-installed in most circumstances. If you don’t know you are doing, it is usually best to just pay the extra money for a professional installation.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Downdraft Cooktops
Your cooking habits, budget, and personal preferences all play a major role in determining what type of cooktop suits you. Without any further ado, here are some of the major factors to consider.
Gas or Electric
Gas was once the darling for many professional chefs worldwide, but this has quickly changed since the advent of smooth top surfaces and induction cooktops. This is not to say that gas cooktops are inadequate.
They still provide the quickest reaction times and also provide an option to regulate the heat level via a visible flame. Gas burners are particularly excellent at executing high-heat tasks like stir-frying but fall short when it comes to low temperatures activities like simmering.
If a gas burner is at the top of your priority list, make sure to get one that can output 9,000 BTUs per burner. Electric cooktops, on the other hand, have a bad reputation for slow response times but hold their own when it comes to producing consistent temperatures for simmers and delicate cooking activities.
Albeit a bit expensive, smooth-top electric cookers are the best. Avoid electrical cookers with coil burners because they can be tiring to clean. The latest electrical cookers, however, make use of induction technology making them more responsive to temperature control and the safety of a cooler surface to touch.
Most cooktops in the market range between 30 and 36 inches and have four to five burners. For professional chefs looking to make complicated meals at home, a 48-inch burner would do, but that would cost a few dollars extra.
It’s important to understand that the cooktop will take up space on the counter and you will have to calculate the space that will remain before getting a sizable cooktop. If you are replacing your old cooktop, take the measurements when searching for a new one to make the installation as easy as possible.
It’s important to consider the venting of your cooktop especially if your cooktop is installed without an overhead exhaust. Ventilation is important as it helps release odours, fumes generated while cooking. Vary hoods, or over-the-range microwaves can be of use if the cooktop is beneath a cabinet otherwise a downdraft cooktop is your best bet.
Downdraft exhaust systems are not as effective as overhead systems but are very useful in pulling grease, smoke and steam down to the outside.
Ease of Cleaning
When it comes to ease of cleaning, smooth top and induction cooktops win this category hands down. Unlike coil burners that allow spills to go beneath the elements, flat surface cooktops are fairly easy to clean thanks to the ceramic top that you can wipe in seconds.
Whether you pick a gas or coil cooktop, they both have pieces that you have to take apart while cleaning which can be tedious. Most gas grates are dishwasher safe but will vary from one model to another. If cleaning is a top priority for you, induction cooktops are the best option.
They are easy to clean without the risk of burns otherwise the other cooktops will also come with cleaning instructions nonetheless.
Gas cooktops use open flames and are therefore the most unsafe options available. This means that your dishtowel can easily catch fire when you are not paying attention. Electrical cooktops are next in line in terms of safety as they change colors to show when they are hot or not.
The safest, however, are induction cooktops. These have the ability to warm food without ever getting hot to the touch. This means that both gas and electric cooktops can be dangerous if not careful with their use.
If you happen to have kids around the house then induction cooktops are obviously your safest bet otherwise the safer of the other two will depend on your familiarity with them.
Gas-powered cooktops will mostly feature knobs for control, but electrical models can vary from one to another. High-end electric cooktops tend to do away with knobs in lieu of digital controls. Touch controls are intuitive because they offer one-touch controls and are also easy to clean than their counterparts.
Both knob and digital controls work perfectly fine, and the better one is a matter of personal preference. If you would like something a bit user-friendly, however, a digital controls model will serve you best.
Despite being of the inexpensive option, electric cooktop actually perform better in longevity than smooth tops. As always the brand and quality of the cooktops are always a telling factor if you intend to use your cooktop for many years.
To land a durable cooktop make sure figure out the reputation of a product. While these play a major role, your maintenance also enhances the durability of a cooktop. Regular cleaning will make your cooktop last longer.
For most people, a simple four-burner cooktop should suffice, however, if you are a serious inventor in the kitchen, then you will need a bit more convenience and functionality.
Some features to look out for include:
- Warming Zones: some electric cooktops come with a nifty warming zone that keeps your cooked food warm. This feature maintains your food at ready to serve warm but never overcooked.
- Power Boil Burners: If you’ve ever felt impatient while boiling water or soup then this is geared for you. Power boil burners help in getting your food hotter faster.
- Cooking Modules: Cooktops from leading brand manufacturers come with modules that expand the type of cooking you can do. Such modules include the grill, deep fryer, or a steamer.
- Control Lockout: if you are paranoid about safety say due to kids in the house then a control lockout can be something of very high worth to you. A control lockout helps limit the person who can use your cooktop via a control lock mechanism.
If you are using induction, consider buying induction cookware sets. A major benefit of induction cookware sets is quick temperature adjustment. The cooking heat increases and decreases extremely fast and with great accuracy.
Ready To Buy The Best Downdraft Cooktop?
To have the best kitchen experience with a cooktop with downdraft you inadvertently have to go for the best. Get an affordable model that is well designed with good power levels and a host of features that will ensure you cook amazing meals.
In this guide, we consider each model’s cost, controls, burner power, size, and the number of burners. Regardless of your preferences and or your kitchen space, one of these downdraft cooktops will suit your needs.
Also, remember that you need proper ventilation throughout your kitchen to maintain a safe environment. We recommend the top-rated ductless range hoods as such hoods can have a big impact on air quality.