KitchenAid KIRD861XSS-3 Retractable Downdraft Vent Reviews
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Comments about KitchenAid KIRD861XSS-3 Retractable Downdraft Vent:
Venting the cooking area of a kitchen island can be a challenge. During a remodel I removed an old cooktop that had a built-in grate-style downdraft. It was quite ineffective because it was low, and well below the pot rims. An overhead vent was not an option so I decided on a telescoping downdraft. The Kitchenaid KIRD861XSS-3 Retractable Vent is well made and works great. It is much quieter that our old downdraft and I have to admit that the novelty of the downdraft vent rising from the behind the new sleek glass cooktop is part of the appeal... but the functionality is a major reason this vent is great. The vent raises high enough to be either above or at least even with most of the pots and pans used on the five-burner stove. The infinitely adjustable fan speed allows for moderate (and less noisy) operation for less vigorous cooking or a full 600 CFM to deal with greasy, smoky challenges like frying bacon. The fan can also be turned off completely. When the vent is lowered, the fan automatically turns off.
The button that raises and lowers the vent is located on the top right side which can be inconvenient since you need to reach over or around the cooktop to press it. A remote switch located in an easier to reach location would be much better.
Cleaning the vent is also quite simple. The grease filters can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher. Note that the vent is unable to be lowered with the filters removed so it will be in the raised position while the filters are being cleaned. The vent itself is stainless steel and cleans up accordingly. The only possible problem would be from grease hitting the vent and dripping down into the downdraft enclosure... there is no way to easily prevent that from happening and no way to clean up if it does happen. All telescoping downdrafts seem to share this same possible design problem and it's an educated trade-off for going with a telescoping downdraft design.
The Kitchenaid KIRD861XSS-3 is solidly built, works great... and it has solved my kitchen venting dilemma.