The virtues of venting

The vented hob, also known as an extractor hob, is the latest innovation in kitchen appliance design; merging two key appliances into one – a downdraught extractor with an induction hob. We speak to Mercia de Jager from leading kitchen appliance manufacturer, Miele, about these incredibly efficient and industry-changing appliances.

miele hob vents

There is nothing quite as inviting as the aroma of freshly baked bread in the oven. However, the leftover aroma of the fish you fried for dinner is not as appealing. This is why investing in the right extractor is so crucial, as it eradicates unwanted odours in the kitchen, and also draws out any excess grease and steam from the room – resulting in cleaner, fresher air, less condensation, and of course, less greasy surfaces to clean. But what if you could have the best of both – an extractor and a hob – all rolled into one appliance? With a vented hob, like the TwoInOne from Miele for example, you can – it offers the best in downdraught extraction, with state-of-the-art, energy-saving induction technology to cook on.

Says Miele’s Mercia de Jager: “A vented hob, such as the TwoInOne from Miele, is a wonderful addition to any kitchen design. It offers super-efficient and fast-operating induction cooking, together with downdraught extraction that pulls the steam and fat directly from the source; filtering out any bad smells, smoke or grease and preventing them from straying into the room and lingering after all the cooking is done. It is a sleek, stylish and functional solution that is ideal for small kitchens, or for installation in a kitchen island, where a cooker hood would ruin the open-plan feel of the space. Also, the compact nature of their design allows for more countertop space to be allocated for cooking and prep, and for other elements such as under-counter drawers and units.”

How do downdraught extractors work?

Miele’s TwoInOne allows you to focus on the pleasure of cooking due to built-in state-of-the-art Con@ctivity technology, which enables automatic fan power regulation. Mercia explains: “The hob transmits information about its settings to the extractor’s electronic system, which automatically adjusts the extraction levels accordingly. So you never have to worry about switching the extractor on, adjusting it while cooking, or switching it off once you have finished.”

miele hob vent downward draught extraction diagram

Once operating, the TwoInOne efficiently draws any unwanted airborne overflow directly from the pan itself, preventing any smells, smoke, steam or grease from ever rising up and spreading throughout your kitchen. This is an incredibly efficient means of extraction, says Mercia: “The grease particles are trapped in a 10-ply stainless-steel grease filter, which can easily be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher. The air then travels through durable honeycomb active charcoal filters that absorb all odours. Made from bituminous coal, these filters can be conveniently regenerated in the oven.”

You can choose between a vented or a recirculation extractor, notes Mercia: “A vented extractor is connected to a duct or pipe that runs to on exterior wall of the house and expels the air outdoors. These work well, but the location of the extractor is important, as it will either need to be installed alongside an exterior wall, or ducting will need to be installed under the floor. If this is not possible, then you can select a recirculation extractor. These extractors remove any grease, odours and steam from the air that is drawn in, and then releases the purified air back into the room. Recirculation models are exceptionally easy to install, and can be installed anywhere in the kitchen.”

Since most vented hobs will be installed into the kitchen island, which is usually part of an open-plan design, Mercia says that it is essential to take note of how much noise the extractor will make when it is operating: “Obviously, the quieter, the better. Miele’s TwoInOne features an ECO motor that operates with DC current, making it up to 70% more energy efficient compared to conventional motors, and also ensuring that it operates exceptionally quietly.”

How do induction hobs work?

An induction burner consists of a ceramic plate with an electromagnetic coil beneath it. When you turn the burner on, an electric current runs through the coil, generating a fluctuating magnetic field, but no heat on the burner itself. Only once you set an iron or stainless steel pan on the burner, then the magnetic field induces many smaller electric currents in the pan’s metal. Thus, on an induction hob, the heat is not coming from the burner, but the pan itself.

prawns, tomato sauce and pasta on a miele hov with extraction vent

Says Mercia: “Induction hobs are incredibly energy efficient. For example, a pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove in almost half the time of a standard gas stove. Miele’s TwoInOne boasts an impressive A++ energy rating. This is further boosted by innovative technology, such as Miele’s exclusive TwinBooster function for extra fast heat generation when it is needed most. With induction hobs, you’re also less likely to have hot spots in your pan, where food gets scorched because it has more contact with the heat source below. And, once you remove the pan, an induction cooktop cools off much faster than a conventional burner, because it was only hot from contact with the pan – making it a far safer option.”

Mercia notes that there are a few added extra features to look out for, as they can play an enormous part in the overall functionality and usability of the hob: “Safety features are important – Miele’s TwoInOne, for example, offers a lock function that protects from an accidental or unauthorised operation, and every cooking zone is equipped with overheating protection. It also features a Stop&Go function that allows for all cooking zones to be powered down to level one, and then reactivated on your return, all with a single touch of a button. This allows you to leave the food unattended for a short period of time without it overcooking or burning. Also, bearing in mind that since the downdraught extractor is usually positioned in the middle of the hob, there are usually only four cooking zones. As a result, features that allow you to combine two cooking zones into one large single zone are exceptionally convenient.”

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