Today, KitchenAid introduced two new slide-in downdraft ranges. Not only can the new ranges replace any existing 30-inch model, but neither of them requires external ventilation.
Downdraft ranges have built-in vents between the burners, and suck smoke and steam through an exhaust pipe or filtration system. That means they don't need an external vent hood—a trait that makes them popular in open kitchens, and kitchens with cathedral ceilings.
The new KSDG950ESS (MSRP $3,150) 30-inch dual-fuel range and KSEG950ESS (MSRP $2,790) 30-inch electric range are among the very few downdraft ranges on the market. And, of course, both feature KitchenAid's new design language.
The concept was popularized decades ago by Jenn-Air, which kept manufacturing the design long after other manufacturers abandoned it. Both Jenn-Air and KitchenAid are now part of Whirlpool Corporation, so it makes sense that KitchenAid would take advantage of some in-house technology.
The KitchenAid downdraft ranges can be installed with a duct-free kit for true ventless installation. They're also designed to fit in the same cavity left open by any conventional-depth freestanding range. That gives homeowners and remodelers real design freedom.
They also conceal a clever feature: A small tray that holds water clips to the bottom of the oven rack, and allows for a basic kind of steam cooking. That keeps foods from dehydrating while baking or reheating.
An MSRP of around $3,000 may seem steep, but consider that the cost of buying and installing an upscale range hood can be upwards of $500. That makes KitchenAid's downdraft ranges seem like a good value, especially if you've got a kitchen where traditional venting isn't practical or just doesn't look good.