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Home & garden.

Updated: 1 Jul 2022

Best venting hobs for 2022: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

Venting hobs cook food while ridding your kitchen of steam and smells. Read our buying advice and discover the best we’ve tested
Helena Senner
Best venting hobs

Venting hobs have two very important tasks: preparing your food, then removing all evidence of cooking from your kitchen. The best venting hobs to go through our test lab do both brilliantly.

A venting hob is an induction hob with built-in extractor functionality. Also called extractor hobs, air venting hobs, or hobs with venting cooktops, these 2-in-1 appliances do away with a separate cooker hood, giving you a sleeker look, more flexibility on where to install your oven and extraction at cooking level.

Already tempted? Read on for our expert buying advice, including how much you’ll need to spend, and our current Best Buy recommendations.

Go straight to our venting hob reviews for the lowdown on all the models we've tested.

Best venting hobs for 2022

These Best Buys induction hobs with their built-in extractors are excellent all-rounders, offering speedy heating, effective venting and easy-to-use controls.

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Best venting hobs

  • 78%
    • best buy

    If you're short on counter space, or are looking for a venting hob to replace your current hob and extractor, you might consider this model, which is smaller than the average venting hob. Small it may be but that doesn't stop it from doing a great job at both cooking and extraction. It's a worthy Best Buy.

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  • 78%
    • best buy

    This Best Buy venting hob has all the usual features you’d expect, including a child lock, a timer, boost and automatic simmer options. The contents of your pans will heat very quickly and the extractor is better than most we've tested.

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  • 76%

    This venting hob does most jobs well and only narrowly misses out on being a Best Buy. It allows you to combine a couple of heating zones into a single, bigger one which is handy when you need to cook with bigger pots. As well as the usual features, it has a couple of handy extras, too.

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Not found the venting hob for you? See all of our venting hob reviews.

How to buy the best venting hob

Your hob is probably the second-hardest worker in your kitchen (behind the trusty always-on fridge freezer), so it’s a purchase you want to get right.

If you’re after a new venting hob, starting out with these key questions can narrow down your search and help you find your perfect model.

  • How much can you spend? If you’re even considering a venting hob, the answer is likely to be ‘a lot’. But how much exactly will depend on the kind of features you want and level of extraction you need (larger kitchens will need more). These elements are likely to make up the difference between the cheapest venting hobs, which usually cost less than £1,500, and the most expensive, which can go up to around £3,300.
  • Where will it go in your kitchen? Getting rid of a cumbersome cooker hood is a great idea if you want to cook at your kitchen island. This is a neat design choice, as it stops an unsightly hob and hood from dominating the space, plus you can stay firmly part of the action while preparing food when guests come over. If you don’t mind the hob staying against the wall, though, you'll have more options for venting your appliance.
  • Can you vent the extracted air outside? The kitchen fumes sucked into your extractor have to go somewhere, and one option is to vent them outside. This means installing an exhaust air kit on to the unit and a hose through the wall, which is easiest if your hob is placed on the edge of your kitchen. If your venting hob is on a kitchen island, you can still vent outside, though (provided you’re prepared to take up your tiles), as it can run under your floor, too. If this isn’t feasible, the air will need to be recirculated. This involves installing carbon filters in the cabinet that sift out all the grease and steam before releasing it back into your kitchen.
  • How much space do you have on your counter? Venting hobs can range from around 55 to 90cm wide. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive, so you’ll need to choose based on how much space you have and the size of the pans you cook with. Bear in mind that the most heating zones any vented hob has is four, so if you’re used to the flexibility of a fifth ring on a frantic Christmas Day, you might need to choose a different type of hob.
  • How much cupboard space do you need? One of the key benefits of a venting hob is that it gets rid of your large extractor. But bear in mind that it might not save space overall, as you need to take out almost a whole kitchen cupboard below the hob for its motor and collection trays. Some brands have found a way around this, so look out for models with compartments on either side of the motor if you want to store some smaller utensils or ingredients under your hob.

Venting hob types explained

There are two main types of venting hob.

1. Induction venting hobs

Induction venting hob

The most common hobs with built-in extractors are electric induction hobs. These contain an element that reacts with your pan to heat it up, which it typically does more quickly and efficiently than any other type of hob.

These hobs tend to be the most high tech, so if it’s features you’re after, this is the type to choose. You'll have to pay for the privilege, though, as the priciest venting hobs are almost always induction.

2. Gas venting hobs

Gas venting hob

Gas venting hobs are harder to find, as only a few brands (such as Elica) have a range. 

These might tempt you if you’re looking to save some money after the huge outlay. They rarely break the £2,500 mark, unlike induction venting hobs, and they’re typically cheaper to run, too, since gas is currently cheaper than electricity (though electricity is a better choice if you're trying to be green).

With cast iron pan stands, they have a different, more rustic look than the typically sleek and modern induction venting hobs, so they will likely suit a vintage-inspired kitchen theme.

How are venting hobs different to downdraft extractors?

Both types of venting hobs are different from downdraft extractors. Downdraft extractors are separate to your hob, but sit on top of it to draw smells, steam and grease away from your kitchen at cooking level. They're much chunkier than the neat built-in extractor on a venting hob, but can pop down at the touch of a button when not in use. 

Sadly, the savings are minimal if you choose one of these instead of a venting hob. Prices often tip over the £1,000 mark.

Looking for a cheaper kitchen extraction appliance? See our round up of the best cooker hoods.

Best venting hob features to consider

The specs sheet on a venting hob can read like the Magna Carta (presumably to justify the high price). To help you make sense of the jargon, here are some of the features we think it’s actually worth looking out for.

  • Flexible heating zones A popular feature on higher-end vented and non-vented induction hobs, this gives you the option of combining heating zones for bigger pans, or setting different areas for boiling, simmering and warming. Some Neff models can also be programmed to transfer your cooking settings over when you move your pan to a different zone.
  • Adjustable venting speeds Simmering and deep frying emit different levels of steam and smells, so you’ll need an adaptable vent for the task. Variable settings can help you strike the balance between suction power and noise. And some brands, such as Miele, Neff and Samsung, adjust automatically depending on your cooking or the level of odour in the room. Look for a wifi-enabled model if you want control via an app.
  • Pause function If you need a quick break from cooking to set the table or answer the door to your guests, a pause button cuts the heat briefly, returning your exact settings as soon as you get back.
  • Delayed switch-off When you want to sit down to eat straight away, or you’ve cooked an especially smoky dinner, you can set your extractor to run for an extra few minutes before automatically turning off.
  • Safety features Most induction hobs will now come with a child lock, but it’s worth double checking if you’re worried about small hands near the stove. Cookology goes one further with ‘pan detection’, which means the hob won’t start to heat if something small like a spoon (or finger) lands on it, while Neff has a frying sensor that shuts off when the pan gets too hot to avoid ruining your morning bacon.

See how we test venting hobs to find out how we uncover the best models.

How do venting hobs work and are they effective?

A diagram showing water vapour and grease being extracted down a venting hob

Venting hobs have a built-in extractor that’s designed to capture cooking vapours before they’ve had a chance to waft around your kitchen.

Grease particles get stuck on a metal filter, while water and steam collect in a small condensation unit. Underneath the hob there’s a larger safety tank – with around 700ml to two-litre capacity – for any major mishaps (such as pasta water boiling over or a sauce explosion on the hob). The motor is designed to handle an accidental splash, so it shouldn’t stop your cooking entirely.

When we tested venting hobs, we found models that can cope with grease, steam and odours, leaving your kitchen fresh as soon as you’re plating up dinner. Others failed in one area though, either leaving you with either sticky surfaces, a damp hob or the persistent smell of last night’s cooking.

Installing a venting hob: air extraction vs air recirculation

How well your venting hob works may depend on whether you extract or recirculate kitchen vapours.

Getting rid of the air is more likely to work best, although it does depend on how well your duct is installed. If there are gaps in the sealant, or it takes a windy route to the outside, then it won’t be as effective.

If you’ll struggle to install an extractor kit, you might be best off recirculating the air. This option requires some carbon filters to be fitted in the cabinet below the hob. They will need changing every four months or so, although they’re not expensive, costing less than £10 per filter.

Why are venting hobs so expensive?

Even if you’re eyeing up a cheaper model, a venting hob is still going to take a hefty chunk out of your kitchen renovation budget.

Sellers advertise this appliance as a 2-in-1 that saves you from buying a separate hob and cooker hood. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean it will save you any money.

If you were to buy both the most expensive cooker hood and the most expensive hob we’ve tested, you could expect to pay around £3,200 – about the same as a top-of-the-range venting hob.

Buy the cheapest products we’ve tested, though, and it’s a totally different story. With a combined price of around £150, the least-expensive cooker hood and hob to go through our test lab come in at around £1,000 cheaper than an entry-level venting hob.

So why do they cost so much money? It might be because they’re still a fairly niche product. Much like a boiling water tap or integrated wine cooler, they’ve become symbolic of a luxury, no-expense-spared kitchen equipped with the latest tech.

As more brands bring out their own new models, we might start to see the price come down slightly, much like with induction hobs, which were pricier when they first became popular.

How much space do you need for a venting hob?

The main thing to measure for your new venting hob is the width. Make sure this fits the unit you’d like to place it on, with no cupboards hanging over the hob.

Can you have drawers under a venting hob?

Installing a venting hob means losing a large amount of cupboard space to a motor. If you’re really keen to save as much storage as possible, though, it’s worth asking your kitchen fitter for sink drawers. These wrap around the motor and are a decent compromise if you need all the space you can get in a busy kitchen.

Can you put a venting hob above a built-in oven?

No. You need cupboard space directly under the hob for the motor.

How do you clean and maintain a venting hob?

First, you have the daily task of wiping up any spilt sauces after dinner. This is usually easier on an induction than a gas hob due to the flatter, smoother surface. Designs with joins between surfaces can collect grease and grime and will need extra attention.

Then there are the extra tasks that venting hobs require. The grease filter and drip tray lift out of the hob and can be cleaned by hand (double check the manual to see if they can go in the dishwasher). This isn’t an everyday job, but it’s best to keep on top of it, especially if you’re a messy cook.

The larger overflow collector will need unscrewing and emptying occasionally, too, and the carbon filters will need replacing if you recirculate the air. You may or may not find this easier than cleaning a cooker hood – you’re essentially swapping reaching up on your tiptoes for crouching inside a cupboard.

Some venting hobs are easier to clean than others. Read our venting hob reviews.

Will my venting hob need to be professionally installed?

Yes, it will. You’ll need either a qualified electrician or a gas-safe engineer, depending on which type of venting hob you choose.

Check if your retailer covers the installation cost or you’ll need to pay extra. It’s worth involving your kitchen fitter, too, if you’re buying one as part of a kitchen makeover, as they might need to adapt your units to fit.

Head to Which? Trusted Traders if you’re looking for a reputable installer.

Is it possible to repair a broken venting hob?

If your venting hob stops working, or working as well, there’s not much you can do yourself beyond your normal cleaning and maintenance jobs. We recommend calling in a professional, ideally the manufacturer.

While the warranty period lasts, repairs are likely to be free of charge. Standard warranties from the big brands (AEG, Neff, Siemens and others) are two years, but others, such as Elica and Ikea, can go up to five years.