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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.

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.