5 Best Downdraft Cooktops for Every Chef

The GE Profile Series Electric Cooktop is one of the best electric cooktops due to its 4 radiant burners and hot surface indicator lights. A close second is the GE Profile Series 30-inch, which has a powerful exhaust and durable knobs.

Downdraft cooktops are ideal for modern kitchens since they reduce the hassle of installing a separate ventilation system. Instead, they have a powerful ventilation system built into the unit that keeps the kitchen grease and odor-free.

But choosing the right unit for your needs can be challenging, depending on family size and the kind of meal you want to cook. That’s why we have highlighted the 5 best units in this guide.

Best Downdraft Cooktops

1. GE Profile Series Electric Cooktop – Best with Control Lock Capability

Like all electric cooktops or downdraft cooktops from the GE profile, this unit is easily replaceable and fits in place of other units from the brand. The specialty of this electric cooktop is the 800W bridge element that helps combine all the cooking elements into a single, larger cooktop surface. 

You can place large and odd-shaped cookware on the sleek glass surface, with the 4 radiant heating elements cooking the food quickly. Moreover, the boiling element ensures you can use various pan sizes as this 3,000W element generates rapid and powerful heat.

Compared to an older cooktop, this modern electric cooktop has a powerful ventilation system to filter steam and smoke away from the kitchen. And if there are kids in the house, you can enable the control lock to prevent accidental activation for safety.

Speaking of safety, many people consider this the best electric cooktop because it further comes with hot surface indicator lights that warn users when the surface is too hot. Plus, it’s convenient to make adjustments with the knobs while adding to the aesthetics of the kitchen. 

Once you switch on the downdraft cooktop, the power light comes on, which indicates it’s time to start cooking. 

Cooktop Surface: Smoothtop | Material: Glass | Cooking Elements: 4 | Special Features: Bridge element, control-lock capability

2. GE Profile Series 30-inch Cooktop – Best with 4 Heating Elements

Another GE profile downdraft cooktop that has ticked all the right boxes is this gas cooktop unit with 4 sealed burners. They generate 5,500-11,500 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of power, which makes this one of the most sought-after gas cooktops for cooking a variety of dishes.

Added to that, the cooktop features a fit guarantee that allows you to replace other GE downdraft cooktops easily. You will especially enjoy that the four burners are suitable for all cooking purposes and offer fantastic flexibility. 

Compared to less popular cooktops with downdraft, this cooktop has a sleek, glass design for modern kitchens. Plus, the exhaust system offers proper ventilation and removes steam, smoke, and odors from the kitchen. 

And since the four burners are sealed, you won’t have to worry about spills ruining the look of the unit. The manufacturers have added knob controls for greater convenience, which are also durable. 

In fact, you can clean this downdraft cooktop in the dishwasher without ruining any of the components. 

Cooktop Surface: Grate top | Material: Stainless steel | Cooking Elements: 4 | Special Features: sealed burners, dishwasher safe

3. Kitchen Aid 3-inch Electric Downdraft – Best with Even-Heat Ultra Element

This electric downdraft cooktop has an integrated ventilation system that eliminates the need for having a separate hood. But the standout feature is the 10-inch EVEN-HEAT Ultra element that delivers greater flexibility for cooking at low and high-temperature settings. 

You can also use the adjustable simmer setting for greater temperature control, one of the key factors that make this downdraft cooktop hard to beat. It delivers consistent power and heat output, while the 3-speed exhaust fan has a 300 CFM rating to meet various cooking needs.

Steam, odor, and grease are removed from the kitchen effectively, allowing you to use the 4 cooking elements at maximum capacity. There are two 1,500W and 2,350W elements each, with the 6-inch round element reaching a total output of 1,200W for daily cooking. 

Compared to other appliances, this downdraft system comprises a CookShield finish on the glass surface, which makes it scratch-resistant and keeps the cookware in top condition. Moreover, the stainless steel knobs give this electric downdraft cooktop a sophisticated appearance, complementing the saturated colors of the ceramic glass.

The hot surface indicator light and power-on lights are useful additions that keep users safe. Plus, using a duct-free conversion kit, you can change this downdraft cooktop into a ductless ventilation system but keep it near the kitchen window.

This home appliance could be ideal for spaces with space or installation restrictions since it filters and helps recirculate the air without adding a duct pipe. It even comes with an ultra-power double-ring element, owing to which you can use saute pans and large stock pots for boiling or searing.

Cooktop Surface: Radiant top | Material: Glass, ceramic | Cooking Elements: 4 | Special Features: indicator lights, integrated ventilation

4. JennAir JX3 Euro-Style – Best for Perimetric Extraction Design

The Jenn Air Euro-style sleek cooktop is one of the best electric cooktops going around, as it has 5 radiant elements for responsive cooking. It has the edge over most downdraft cooktops, and even without a ventilation hood, the downdraft ventilation system quickly clears the air from the kitchen.

You will find this electric downdraft cooktop has a 3-tiered element, and at the highest setting, it produces power equivalent to 3,000W. Even the lowest setting produces 1,050W, ensuring you can change the heat settings and power level depending on the menu.

Particularly eye-catching is that the downdraft ventilation system has 3 changeable speeds. This helps users capture steam, smoke, and odors from the cooking surface and filter them out of the kitchen through the downdraft vent. 

But what sets this downdraft system apart is the perimetric extraction design, which is responsible for the smooth functioning of the ventilation system and results in quiet operation. Additionally, it comes with die-cast metal knobs that are color coordinated, proving robust and guaranteeing precise control. 

Further adding to the durability is the solid glass surface, made from ceramic, which keeps the downdraft system in top shape and resists scratching. You can even convert it into duct-free ventilation by using the optional kit and opening the kitchen window to enhance your cooking experience.

Cooktop Surface: Smoothtop | Material: Glass, ceramic | Cooking Elements: 5 | Special Features: color-coded knobs, duct-free ventilation

5. GE Profile 30-inch Stainless Steel Downdraft – Best for Powerful Exhaust

We have included another GE electric downdraft cooktop because all GE units are easy to replace and form an exact fit. This downdraft system has a sleek, black surface with 4 radiant cooking elements on the cooktop surface that makes it easy to cook various meals quickly. 

Moreover, the electric cooktop runs on 800-3,000W of power and has heat rotatory control to manage the temperature changes on the cooking surface easily. You will find 4 cooking zones on this induction cooktop, comprising 7-inch and 6-inch burners.

Best of all is that the cooktop features a bridging element that connects the burners and combines cooking elements to increase the cooking area. Plus, the manufacturers have added hot surface indicators that light-up warm areas to keep you safe.

And, thanks to the power boil element, you have the option of using different pan sizes since the flexible heating element produces rapid heat. Having used it ourselves, we love the stainless steel knobs and trim that delivers a modern look.

You will especially like the exhaust system of this downdraft unit, which keeps the kitchen free of steam and smoke for a comfortable experience. If it’s your first time using electric cooktops, lock the controls to prevent accidental activation.

Added to that, when you start cooking, the electric cooktop light comes on, which indicates that the heating element is active. You can see why many regard it as the best electric cooktop for their needs. 

Cooktop Surface: Smoothtop | Material: Glass | Cooking Elements: 4 | Special Features: Surface light indicator, child lock

Top Downdraft Cooktops Comparison Table

Downdraft Cooktops Cooktop Surface Material Cooking Elements Special Features
GE Profile Series Electric Cooktop Smoothtop Glass 4 Bridge element, control-lock capability
GE Profile Series 30-inch Cooktop Grate top Stainless steel 4 sealed burners, dishwasher safe
Kitchen Aid 3-inch Electric Downdraft Radiant top Glass, ceramic 4 indicator lights, integrated ventilation
JennAir JX3 Euro-Style Smoothtop Glass, ceramic 5 color-coded knobs, duct-free ventilation
GE Profile 30-inch Stainless Steel Downdraft Smoothtop Glass 4 Surface light indicator, child lock

Buyer’s Guide

Here’s a list of things we gave importance to when choosing the best electric cooktops. This will help you determine how we narrowed down the best downdraft cooktops. 

1. Durability

One of the first things you must check when choosing a downdraft cooktop is the durability of the unit. We have picked only the best appliances, featuring sturdy construction that allows you to cook multiple meals.

Most of these units are made from stainless steel, glass, or ceramic, complete with equally durable components to withstand bumps or scratches. 

2. Number Of Burners

The next thing you must consider is the number of burners the downdraft or electric cooktop has. Most units have four burners but some high-end models also come with five burners to cook food faster. 

Depending on your daily cooking needs and the number of family members, you can choose a suitable unit with the required number of burners. 

3. Ventilation

Ventilation is crucial to have a smooth cooking experience, and compared to vertical draft cooktops, downdraft cooktops feature a built-in vent for keeping the kitchen clean. Thanks to this design, there is no overhead hood or vent hood, while odor and smells from the kitchen are filtered out through the vent duct. 

This provides a hygienic cooking space, especially if you spend long hours cooking meals. But some units come with an optional duct-free kit that allows you to opt for ventless operation. 

In this system, there are no pipes or ducts, and the unit is installed close to the window for proper airflow. 

4. Size

For most situations, you will require a 30 to 36-inch gas or electric cooktop to take care of daily cooking needs. It is also possible to opt for a smaller unit, but your choice will be determined by the number of family members and the dishes you want to cook. 

A smaller unit takes up less space per cubic foot, while a bigger unit will need more floor area. Hence, you will have to consider space restrictions in the kitchen to choose the right model. 

5. Controls

Adjustable controls are crucial when going with gas or electric cooktops. Without user-friendly controls, you won’t be able to make the necessary temperature changes or manage the heat to cook the food just right. 

But overall, working with a downdraft cooktop is easier compared to a gas stove since you won’t need to spend money on fuel, like propane gas, or have difficulty controlling the flame. Modern units even have a timer and sensor for efficient energy use.

6. Maintenance And Safety

Maintaining an electric stove is easier and hassle-free compared to traditional units since an electric cooktop often has sealed burners. This protects the surface and components from spills, like sauce, helping maintain the unit in top shape. 

Moreover, you can enable the child lock to prevent accidental operation and reduce the chances of an injury. The control is present on the body of the unit, next to the simmering or speed switch, for greater convenience. 

But remember to place the downdraft cooktop on a stable countertop and out of the reach of children, if possible.

7. Price

The final thing you must check before deciding is the price of the electric cooktop. The best brands, like Frigidaire and JennAir, have models that are priced slightly higher thanks to their more advanced features. 

This is better than opting for cheap units that are likely to break down sooner and can’t offer the same reliability. From experience, we suggest spending a bit more on the best downdraft cooktop rather than compromising on quality.

Also, choose the best cookware and bakeware for induction cooking, and we guarantee that these investments will pay for themselves in the long run. You will save on electric bills, combustion fuel, and unnecessary maintenance costs by opting for slightly high-end models with all the features.

What is the importance of a downdraft cooktop?

A downdraft cooktop reduces the need for an overhead vent and integrates the ventilation system into the cooking surface.

This makes them highly effective for trapping and dispersing steam, odor, grease, etc., from the kitchen to keep the cooking area clean.

Are downdraft cooktops effective?

Downdraft cooktops are effective and powerful when it comes to keeping the kitchen air clean, but traditional cooktop ventilation is still better.

A downdraft cooktop may find it challenging to move a large amount of air without extinguishing the gas burners, which may cause the flame to flicker.

How much space should be between cooktops and downdraft?

There should be a space of 30 inches between the bottom of the cabinet and the top of the cooktop, depending on the dimensions of the cooktop.

In most cases, the hood of a downdraft cooktop is installed behind the cooktop and is most suited for cabinets that are 24 inches deep.

What are the advantages of a downdraft cooktop?

Some of the advantages of downdraft cooktops are –

– Easy to clean
– The range hood is sleek and compact
– Downdraft is only visible during cooking
– Features in-built exhaust

How much space is necessary for a downdraft extractor?

You will need 300mm of space for a downdraft extractor, though this can be lower in some cases based on the size of the unit. But it will never be more than this and can accommodate extractors of all sizes.


Those were our top picks for the best downdraft cooktops, and it’s your turn now to make a decision. 

The GE Profile Electric Cooktop is the best unit available on the market, thanks to its 800W bridge element and powerful ventilation system. In second place is the GE Profile Series 30-inch Cooktop, owing to its 4 burners and dishwasher-safe design.

Another worthwhile option is the electric cooktop from KitchenAid with an EVEN-HEAT Ultra element and high power output. This gives it the edge over other electric cooktops.

If you are still confused, refer to the buyer’s guide, and you will be able to make the right choice! 

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