Monthly Pick – Are Professional Range Hoods Worth The Cost?

Photo: Schweigen

Have you been drooling over that professional-grade range hood your local home hardware store has out on display? Oh yeah. I do that all the time. How can you not? They’re absolutely gorgeous! And no doubt it would look absolutely amazing in your kitchen.

The question though is whether spending the extra money on a professional-grade range hood is really worth it. I mean, when was the last time you cooked a sit-down meal for 50?

Professional-grade range hoods are definitely more expensive than regular home range hoods, so how you use it must be an important consideration. But, before you cross that beauty off your list forever, let’s look at some other criteria you might use to convince yourself to buy it.

Professional hoods tend to be larger than regular home hoods – typically 18 inches tall and up to 27 inches deep. So, the first thing you should do is measure the existing space above your stove. The worst thing that could happen is that you buy that pro hood only to discover that you’d have to rip out a line of cabinetry in order to make it fit.

So, let’s assume that professional hood you’ve been admiring will fit. (Or that you’re willing to renovate to make it fit!) Next, consider the hood style. Given that it’s going to be large, you don’t want it to be the only thing people see. Choose a material (stainless steel, copper, mixed steel and glass, wood) that matches your decor.

How about accessories? Every home range hood comes with a fan and lights. But some professional hoods come equipped with warming heat lamps. These are a great option if you find you’re often keeping food warm for family. Instead of turning on the oven to its lowest setting (which also ends up drying out the food), I’d love to be able to just turn on the heat lamps.

Some professional range hoods take extra steps to remove the guess work from cooking. While you’re in the midst of preparing a dish, how often do you think about which speed your range hood should be set to? Is the pan generating a lot of smoke, steam, grease, or odor, or just a little? Do you set the fan to high, medium, or low? Do you remember to change that setting on the fly? Some professional hoods function on automatic. You turn on the fan, then as you cook, the hood determines what speed to run at depending on how much smoke, steam, grease, or odor it sense.

If you’re still not sure whether you should splurge on that great professional hood, consider how well your existing range hood functions. Do you find yourself wiping down the ceiling or countertops after cooking because so much of that smoke, steam, and grease has evaded the fans? If that’s the case, then you should probably start shopping for a better and bigger range hood.



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