Wolf Downdraft - Old 9 inch at significant savings or new 14 inch

hypolytaMarch 1, 2014

We are in a price vs. functionality quandary over a new and old model of the Wolf downdraft system and would love the feedback of some folks who have used similar pop-up downdrafts (it doesn't have to be Wolf brand). We have a local outfit that would like to sell us the older model 9 inch pop-up Wolf cooktop downdraft system at about a substantial floor model discount over the new Wolf model that has the 14 inch pop-up. I went into the store convinced I wanted the 14 inch as I cook often in a 7 inch tall pot and use high heat to sear and saute often. However, the $800 discount is very enticing as we weren't even planning for this change at all but our old cooktop broke. Going to a hood is not an option as we can't afford the major remodeling to do that right now. So overall, I would love feedback from people on how well either height has worked for them and if anyone has experience on both heights, that would be extra helpful. Thank you!

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They are both next to useless.

Particularly, if you are going with a gas cooktop. If it is on high and sucking enough air to make a marginal difference it pulls the flames and may turn them off.

If going with an induction cooktop they work marginally better.

I know that is not the answer you wanted but that is the reality.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:51AM
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I was vacationing in Florida w my husband n girls. They had a Thermador downdraft. I was not impressed.. I was frying potato latkes, boiling water for pasta in a tall pot. The down drafts may look appealing for island cooking setups, but if I'm spending my $. I would go with a real hood. If you are a RAW vegan, won't be using burners, then ok. If you use skillets and pots, then consider if its the right choice for you and your family. I have 4 daughters, and a husband in my kitchen, since the remodel. I thank that hood on a daily basis

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:08AM
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In another home, we had a 30" Kitchenaid pop up downdraft paired with an electric radiant cooktop. Like your kitchen, there were no other venting options. That said, I found the retractable downdraft system to pretty darn good. The fact that is disappeared when not in use was nice too.

For steamy and smoky cooking, the rear cooktop elements were used. This way, the vapors, steam etc., were quickly drawn into the vent system. Cooking such things on the front elements, decreased the vents ability to pull because of the distance. However, you can place lids on your pans to help guide the steam towards the downdraft airflow. Not a big deal.

Again, when you have no other option, the retarctable downdraft really a blessing. At least that was how it worked for me.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:15AM
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We moved into a house last year with an existing downdraft set up and no near-term option to gut and re-do the entire kitchen (and also no near-term option for a hood). The existing downdraft was 8" and it was completely useless in my opinion. It was an older Viking model, as I recall. We replaced it with a 14" Thermador downdraft and a 1000 CFM blower. On the back burners of our cooktop the downdraft almost always captures everything - it is quite effective. In testing, I have never seen any discernible difference in the gas flame or in cooking b/c of the downdraft. However, on the front burners, even on the highest fan speed, there is much reduced capture of steam/cooking fumes. I can also see a small pull on the gas burners, just a little bit, but no effect on my cooking. If you are using a downdraft, get the tallest one possible - it is worth the extra $$ and the only way you can get reasonable performance from any of the burners. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:48AM
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