Jenn-Air is best known for two things: innovative designs and downdraft ventilation. The company’s latest product combines both in a single, sleek package.
All cooktops require ventilation, but not every kitchen can fit a dedicated vent hood above the burners. That’s where Jenn-Air’s downdraft design comes in. Instead of pulling air up into a hood, it pulls steam and odors down through a vent in the middle of the cooktop. From there, they’re either exhausted or filtered and recirculated.
Jenn-Air has been building downdraft gas ranges since the 1970s, but this is the first time its been offered on an induction cooktop (a redesigned radiant electric cooktop will also be available soon.) It has a 350 CFM blower, which isn’t tremendously powerful but allows more versatility for installation. (Some jurisdictions have building codes that limit how much air a kitchen vent can move without requiring make-up air.)
Overall, the downdraft design is generally less effective than traditional venting—especially when it's set up for recirculation. But if you have a kitchen with a cathedral ceiling or simply hate the look of a dedicated range hood and still want the power of induction, it may be your only option.
The Jenn-Air 36-inch induction cooktop with downdraft ventilation debuted at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City in March, and will be on sale for $6,999 by the end of 2016.