Jenn-Air's duct-free downdraft: hot news for apartment dwellers

Live in an apartment with no outside venting? You probably keep your cooking to a minimum. But Jenn-Air doesn't think you should have to, so they cooked up a duct-free downdraft.

Abbi Perets
Abbi Perets has been writing about technology and family and consumer issues for over ten years. Her work has been featured in print and on the Web, and she has taught courses on consumer and business electronics for HP, Sony, AOL, and other companies. Abbi has also written extensively about business technology for Tech Republic, Gantthead, and other tech sites. Abbi's passion for home appliances stems from the kitchen remodel she managed in her new home in Houston, TX where she lives with her husband and four children.
Abbi Perets

Duct, duct, goose. Jenn-Air

It's been many years since I lived in an apartment, but I do remember the frustration that goes along with not being able to incorporate an appliance that needed ductwork. Fortunately, Jenn-Air recognizes that high-rise dwellers don't necessarily want to compromise on their cooking, so it has created a duct-free downdraft cooktop that lets cooks fry, sear, and even burn their food without filling the air with smoke.

The system uses a new filter that captures smoke and steam, which means no ducting is necessary. Hello, open-plan kitchen and island cooktops! A side effect, if you will, of the system is super-quiet performance. That's the kind of side effect I like to see.

The cooktops that work with the duct-free system come in 30- and 36-inch sizes, and offer different finish options for gas and electric configurations. The line also features touch controls, for that sleek look we all love. But convenience comes at a price: Jenn-Air sells the duct-free conversion kit--only available for specifically designated downdraft models--as a $200 add-on.