Cooker hoods: How we test cooker hoods
Which? tests the best-selling cooker hoods and we also look for newly launched or interesting hoods, particularly if they have innovative features. Chimney hoods are very popular, so you'll find more chimneys on the site than other types.
What makes a Best Buy cooker hood?
Check out our video to see why a Best Buy cooker hood will make a real, practical difference to you.
Cooker hood steam removal test
We test how well cooker hoods will remove steam from a kitchen by boiling four pans of water on the hob until humidity levels in our test chamber reach 90%. We then switch the hoods on and record how quickly they reduce the humidity by 30%. The best hoods have no problems with this, but the worst simply aren’t powerful enough to clear the steam.
Cooker hood grease removal test
We see how well hoods can clear the kind of grease produced when cooking on the hob by dripping vegetable oil and water into a hot pan on the hob. This creates a horrible, greasy atmosphere and is a tough-test for any hood. We weigh cooker hood grease filters before the test, and again afterwards and record how much grease has been captured.
The best hoods are excellent at this and will be able to capture around 95% of the grease. But the worst struggle to remove more than 40% and this means you could be left with greasy kitchen surfaces.
Cooker hood smell removal test
To test for effectiveness when removing smells, we use the pungent chemical methyl ethyl ketone, which smells like nail polish remover. This is dripped with water into a hot pan to make our test chamber very smelly. We record how smelly the chamber is at four points around the room before the hood is turned on, and again after the hood has been on for 30 minutes.
A powerful hood, set up and installed correctly, should have no problem in removing smells. But less powerful hoods will struggle to get rid of smells.
Cooker hood noise test
We record how noisy each cooker hood is in our noise chamber and we also use a panel of experts to listen for any strange noises, rattles or vibrations. The quietest cooker hoods we’ve tested make around 54 dB of noise, the noisiest are around 20 dB louder, which will sound four times as loud.
Cooker hood build-quality
Cooker hoods need to be attached to a wall, hang from the ceiling or be built-into a kitchen cabinet, so they need to be well built. Because of this we check for build-quality in our tests. The best cooker hoods are solid feeling on the outside and when changing the grease filter. The worst have a more flimsy feel.
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