Why are wall ovens popular if they're not vented

jenny1963May 15, 2014


I moved into a house with wall ovens, and there's a cook top with a vent hood that is probably 12 inches to the side of the wall ovens.

With all the talk about the specifics of a range hood over a range, I definitely see that my vent hood could never vent my oven.

But we love roast chicken, which puts out a lot of smoke, even in a sparkling clean oven.

So, I don't know if I should get one of the few wall ovens that actually vent outside, or get a range instead of a cook top, so that the roast chicken smoke can be sucked up by my hood.

Truly, I'm so surprised this isn't a bigger problem for people.

Thoughts? Help!!!

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I can't offer any help, but I do agree with you that more wall ovens should offer outside venting. We had a wonderful Thermador wall oven for 27 years that had an internal exhaust fan, and a duct to an outside vent. In addition to not smoking up the kitchen, it also helped keep the oven externals (and kitchen) cooler. An added plus was that all the good aromas wafted outside, and when our kids were young and playing outside they new dinner time was soon :)
I now have a range with hood above, and it vents the oven as well.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Sophie Wheeler

How do you roast your chicken that you get smoke????? I've been doing it for 50+ years and there is no smoke unless you're somehow letting the drippings overflow the roastng pan, which should never happen.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Well I should think it's obvious why many prefer wall ovens. It's called no stooping to lift heavy, hot items from the oven.

As for wall ovens that vent to the outside, there aren't any. To the best of my knowledge, Thermador made the only exterior vented ovens and they were discontinued years ago.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Fori is not pleased

That's one reason I'm getting a range (and a wall oven). Some stuff I just burn. I long ago stopped trying to broil, well, anything. I'm just not that good.

I like to do chickens (and turkeys) really hot and the spatter does escape and smoke sometimes. Or maybe my ovens just aren't clean. Cuz they aren't. :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:19PM
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I think the OP might have been referring to "airborn waste" when saying "smoke".

There used to be a lot of ovens that vented to the exterior, but more and more people live in multifamily buildings where they're danged lucky if they're able to vent their cooktops, so the appliance makers try to make what they offer fit more circumstances. Some newer ovens have air filters.

They also used to make special little hoods for wall ovens.

I have a very powerful hood over my cooktop area. It's about five feet from the ovens. It will pull the smells from the ovens that the filters don't get, including what is released when one opens the oven doors.

I don't have residue on my cabinets, so I assume that the filters are doing their jobs.

As it is, my waist level oven is too low for heavy things. I have a small wood folding table I put between the oven and the island. We heave the turkey onto the table and then up another eight inches. I could never manage with a lower oven.

To each his own. There's no dearth of ranges out there. :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:35AM
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This issue is one reason I will always have a range. No matter how careful you are things drip, things smoke. If this doesn't happen to you sometimes then you must be a perfect cook. Sometimes I have smoke and I can't even determine why. I rarely if ever have actually burned anything in the oven.

I also sometimes get steam. It comes out of the oven vent on the top of the range. Thankfully I can turn on my rangehood.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 7:24AM
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One can put in a vent for a wall oven, and in fact there was a vent for our wall oven, when we redid the kitchen, but we closed it off.

In the 8 years we have had the wall oven, I've yet to see it "Smoke up the kitchen", We do cook turkeys in it but not chickens.

We went from a range to separate cooktop and oven as we were tired of all the stooping to get into the oven and since we both like to "Do our Thing" in the kitchen, @ the same time, we aren't "tripping" over each other when accessing both the oven and the cooktop.

I will never have a range again~~~but~~~~your "Mileage May Vary"!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:49AM
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I am with Gary (Dodge) on this one, the advantages for us of the wall oven's over a range are great. We use it often and the little bit of smoke it might create is very small and never is a bother in the kitchen. If you are roasting things to the point of it always smoking maybe you might want to add some water to the bottom of the pan you are roasting in before starting. This will capture the juices in the water and they won't hit the hot bottom of a roasting pain to create smoke.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:54AM
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I always put a little water in the pan when I'm roasting a chicken for that very reason. I have never in my adult life had a "stove" or "range" and also never in all my years had a problem with this.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:32PM
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This is a big unsolved problem for kitchens, in my view. To capture and contain the effluent dump that occurs when opening a oven door under some conditions, such as broiling, one would require a massive hood above the oven stack. I don't see these being adopted any more than I see take up of perforated ceilings with UV flooded plenums above them by renovators.

I have a pair of registers in the ceiling above my ovens that connect to an upblast blower on the roof. They help remove effluent that rises to the ceiling, but they cannot deal with the initial dump that floods the kitchen. The best one can hope for is to have whatever ventilation is present clear the kitchen air before there is significant grease condensation or spread of odor through the house.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

I titled this post provocatively to get you to respond; of course I know why wall ovens are popular, but I still cannot get over that they're not vented outside or that more brands don't have the catalytic converters (that I can afford.)

I'd love to get a range (which is what I had in my old house,) but it'll require a more extensive renovation right now, that we're not quite up for yet.

Putting water in the bottom of the pan is a great idea; I'll try that next time.

My roasting chicken at high heat (a la Thomas Keller) yields a crisp and tender chicken that makes my husband swoon, however the "airborne waste" or "effluent dump" makes my 9 year old's eyes tear and she must leave the room. I'm happy with my roasting technique, other than the water in the pan technique, which is brilliant. Thanks so much!!

There are actually the outdoor venting Thermador wall ovens on Ebay right now, but they're white! Haven't decided on that one yet.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I put wine in the pan with the chicken. :) Tastes good. :)

BUT it is not appropriate for the Thomas Keller recipe. "The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better." He says not to even use fat because of the steam it causes. He liberally salts the skin to dry it out. You don't want it to go all moist with water in the pan if you want it to come out right. I get why he slathers the poor bird with butter after it's cooked because if you can even get it, a little 2-3 lb. farm chicken doesn't have much fat anyway, and it'll all be gone gone gone with this recipe.

A dry little trussed chicken roasted at 450 degrees for an hour is going to make smoke. Trussing the limbs close isn't just so they won't "dry out", but to keep them from actually burning! You definately had the right word in "smoke". :) And opening the oven door is going to let it out.

You might try putting an electrostatic air purifier near the oven, or even some kind of solid air filter inside. Try putting some charcoal in a Pyrex pie plate while you're doing the chicken recipe and see if it can absorb some of the smoke.

I don't think the outdoor venting old Thermador oven would really make a big enough difference when you still have to open the oven door.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:10PM
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The reason I like my wall oven is that I can roast directly on the oven rack with the oven's drip pan below. On one of my convection settings I get a to sear and the convection heat. I will put that chicken up against any one. I roast at 425F.
Tom Keller is a great cook and a great guy but the high heat roasting method that's suitable for a restaurant isn't always practical at home.

I had those great Thermador double ovens with the direct vent described upthread. To this day they are still the best ovens all around even though they had an exposed element. They also self-cleaned like champs and all the stuff went outside.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:46PM
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