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Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

Posted by melkel31 (melanie_kelly@hcpss.org) on
Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 15:59

hi everyone! Hoping someone can shed some light on this for us.... We just purchased this commercial style range today due to be installed when we remodel in may! :)
http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/major-appliances-1/ranges-2/ranges-3/-[KDRS407VSS]-402104/KDRS407VSS/

My ? is about proper ventalation. We have heard differing opinions on whether or not we need a HOOD or if an OTR microhood will suffice. The guy at the appliance store (working on commission so i tend to beleive him) said we DON't need a hood other than the OTR bc it's only a 30" 4 burner stove and has the same amt of BTUs as any other gas range they were selling...Yet Another guy said he thought it would not be up to code and needed a hood... because of space constraints we are REALLY hoping we can use the OTR and vent that way. any advice is much much appreciated asap!! :) thanks in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

If you have the opportunity to vent to the outside, do it. It's not just the btus, it's the steam and odors of anything you cook. An OTR microwave usually has poor air flow, even if vented outside.

The other disadvantages to an OTR MW is that it's a pain to use it if someone is at the stove; the height makes it difficult for short folks like me to see what's inside, and it's more dangerous to take hot things out.

Unless you are really tight on space, I would put in a decent hood, especially with a gas range.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

When we moved into our home a microwave was already in place over our pro style dual fuel range. Several years later when I discovered the appliance forum and this one, I was amazed that the high end appliance store where the range was purchased would have recommended this combo. I later discovered that the previous owner had gone against their advice. She wanted to save counter space.

I've had problems with this range's electronics (we've finally given up & are replacing it). I've often wondered if, in part, some of these troubles arose due to improper ventilation. Maybe not at all. But I would definitely go for the exhaust vent instead of an OTR MW for many reasons, some of which have been cited by posters above.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

Get the hood. It makes no sense to spend $$$ on a commercial-style range, and then skimp on the hood. The OTR MWs are the worst. Noisy, ineffective, break easily cause they are exposed to heat, and way too expensive. And if you are height-challenged you can't see inside them, and how 'bout that pulling a boiling-hot something out that high-up MW? Love that!

Just get a cheap $100 MW and put it on the counter or shelf, somewhere. Also aesthetically, hoods look nicer than an OTR MW. So get a good hood; get one that is 600 cfms for your commercial-style range. The salesperson you mentioned is either untrained/uninformed, or has a bunch of OTR MWs that he needs to sell.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

I just checked out the KA range you've purchased (link below). It has three 15,000 btu burners! WTH was your salesperson thinking by saying an OTR MW would be OK?! That amount of btu's will melt the underside of an OTR MW. OTR MW's are absolutely positively not meant to go over that kind of btu power.

With that amount of btu's you do not have a choice. You cannot have an OTR MW. You must get a hood. And it should vent to the outside.

That your salesperson recommended an OTR MW for you with that range is crazy. You should complain to the manager of the store.

Here is a link that might be useful: OP's KA Range

This post was edited by Sahmmy on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 17:46


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

I too was told that years ago by an appliance salesman and I believed him. What was I thinking??? It vented to the outside but seriously, it might not have been there at all. Go back to the appliance store and remove the screen under both a mw and a hood, you will see a wide screen across the bottom of the mw but if you take it off you'll see the vent itself is tiny by comparison to the vent in the hood. I have to cook anything that might have a strong smell, like shrimp, outside on the side burner of the grill. Otherwise I would smell it in the house for days. No question there will be a hood in our new kitchen and I am going with induction. Don't shortchange yourself, with a gas range, go for a hood now while you can. You won't be sorry.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

i was opting for the OTR convection microwave/hood bc i really want/need an extra oven!! :) hmmm..... as we are looking at the GE Cafe it also has high BTUs so why is that not a range that needs a hood?? unless we are reading wrong CAFE has a total of 53,000 BTUs and this one has possibly 55,ooo BTU- thoughts??also space is an issue but not a MUST if we can't do it we can't do it...


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

I have my first OTR mW and it is not as awful as I thouht it would be. I am prone to opening the window above sink if I am cooking something nasty, but today I made chicken soup and the house smelled lovely. i haven't yet been in a situation to have all 4 burners going and also tried to use MW.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

@bookworm4321 thanks for your reply. Is your range gas and is it commercial grade/style?


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

Why don't you post your layout and we can help you find a nice spot for the mw?


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

The GE specs and info indicates that the microhood is just fine over the GE Cafe. I still opted to do a hood instead because I had a place for the MW elsewhere, but still, it's not just the salespeople at the store...the manufacturers say it's okay, too. My MIL had a microhood over here Thermador (high BTU) and she never had a problem. I think you'll be fine.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

thanks so much debrak2008. We actually as another option are thinking of putting a "countertop style" convection microwave oven (not an OTR) in a built in customized area next to the refrigerator, so we do have options just don't have the space to have it on the counter.

Here's a link for what we are thinking! :) - probably without the door bc of venting- anyone know if you could still keep the door style but just keep it open when using the convection or micro. for that matter?

Here is a link that might be useful: microwave


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

mel - do you truly NEED the convection MW? I ask because in my readings on MW lately, I've found that many who have the convection feature don't find it very useful - it takes forever due to the low amount of electricity that can be pulled into it. Now, a speed oven is a different story...but that gets mounted in cabinetry like an oven....there is a speed oven that is counter mounted, alas, it sounds as if it's not really up to the job either, again, due to the low electricity flow into it.

Curious as to your plans with the convection part of the MW as it may not do what you're hoping.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

Melkel31 - Note that the Kitchenaid range you linked to on your OP has instructions in its installation manual. Page 5 says, "It is recommended that a 600 cfm or larger range hood be installed above the range". Do you know how many cfms are in an OTR MW? Typically they say 300 cfms, but they are really much less, because they are so ineffective. The Kitchenaid installation instructions go on to say "It is not recommended that a microwave hood combination be mounted above the range".


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

My Zephyr recirculating hood (we have no choice - outside venting is not possible) is more effective than my previous GE OTR micro-hood! (the evidence is the fact that the smoke detector used to go off regularly and now it doesn't :-) )


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

I actually like using OTR MW for the micro option but chose a range hood with a tiny MW on the counter. I did so because (a) no OTR MW today lasts very long. My GE stopped working because boiling pasta under the electrons side got moisture into that area. I let it dry out for some weeks and then was back in business. However, that was a painful lesson, and I don't want to have to replace OTR MW every 2 -3 yrs. in the future. (b) If you stay in your home very long, grease will build up on cabinets with the ineffective venting of an OTR MW. (c) In your case, no professional gas range should ever have a MW above it due to the factors already listed by others.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

I have electric heat. What I've learned from reading GW is that I use the 2 front burners for all my cooking.

I'm 5'2", and have no trouble using MW. All the controls are on the bottom. Since this is my first OTR MW, I do not know how long it will last. I bought the Sanyo, which was new model last summer. It was rated #3 by CR, was under $300. The top 2 models were considerably more expensive.

If I had young children, I would have stuck with a counter model or drawer, but as it is, I'm the shortest person in family.


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RE: Do we need a hood or is an OTR microhood ok?

thanks so much everyone! I think after reading your posts and conferring with KA themselves we are going to get a hood. I think it's a blessing in disguise bc it will be a better functioning kitchen for it. ;)


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