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Ventless Commercial Cooking Equipment Buying Guide

Ventless Commercial Cooking Equipment Buying Guide

Ventless alternatives to traditional equipment can help restaurants operate in unique or small spaces where having a kitchen hood isn't possible. This guide goes over the types of ventless cooking equipment available, their benefits and limitations, and which locations are best suited for them to help you decide if ventless cooking equipment is right for your kitchen.

Types of Ventless Commercial Cooking Equipment

A ventless piece of equipment does not require a venting system to remove grease, smoke, or other cooking vapors.

Halifax VHSNF35FT ventless hood system

Ventless Hoods

Ventless hood systems are a great way to filter the air and keep your commercial kitchen up-to-code without the need for ducted hoods. Using a ventless hood gives operators the ability to mix and match different electric cooking equipment under the unit.

  • Self-contained filtration is designed to trap grease particles, remove smoke and condensation, and reduce cooking odors
  • For use with electric equipment only
  • Available in fire suppression ready (for field installation by a licensed professional), with fire suppression, or condensation-only models

Perfect Fry PFC187 semi-automatic ventless countertop deep fryer

Ventless Deep Fryers

Ventless fryers are great for kitchens, food trucks, and concession stands that are short on space or ventilation. They are virtually odorless and even feature a self-contained oil drainage kit that allows operators to empty oil even when it's hot.

  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Fast heat up and cook times
  • Intuitive technology ensures accurate cook times by monitoring temperature levels
  • Feature a built-in filtration and fire suppression system
  • Can be used to cook other menu items such as spring rolls, chicken wings, and shrimp
  • Semi and fully automatic models available

ACP XpressChef 3i MRX1 black high-speed countertop oven

Ventless Ovens

There are many types of ventless ovens, including ventless rapid cook ovens, ventless cook and hold ovens, ventless pizza ovens, and ventless conveyor ovens.

  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Intuitive technology ensures accurate cook times
  • Can be used to cook a variety of menu items with one unit
  • Many are designed to be used on countertops

Alto-Shaam CTX4-10EVH Combitherm CT Express electric boiler-free 5 pan combi oven

Ventless Combi Ovens

Ventless combi ovens use integrated venting systems to safely draw steam and heat out of the oven and into a top exhaust vent. They feature steam, convection, and combination cooking modes to cook a variety of products in one unit.

  • Able to steam, roast, smoke, bake, grill, and broil with one unit
  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Intuitive technology ensures accurate cook times
  • Features an integrated venting system
  • Can be used with compatible ventless hoods

Pros and Cons of Using Ventless Cooking Equipment

There are many profitable benefits to using ventless cooking equipment in your kitchen, including flexibility in location and application and reduced installation costs. However, there are also limitations associated with a completely ventless kitchen that you may need to consider. Below we've highlighted some of the major benefits and drawbacks of owning and operating ventless cooking equipment in your kitchen.

  • Versatility in application provides more menu options with less use of space
  • Eliminates the need for costly kitchen hood costs
  • Portability allows operators to add ventless equipment to their existing operation, without being limited by its placement under an exhaust hood
  • Designed to be as compact as possible to accommodate small kitchens
  • Less of a learning curve makes it easy to train staff on how to use
  • May face menu limitation as a direct result of equipment limitations
  • May be harder to accommodate high-volume use
  • Limits the fuel types that you can use - operators cannot use gas-powered equipment and instead can only use electric equipment
  • Increased ambient heat throughout the kitchen will require the HVAC system to work harder

When to Use Ventless Cooking Equipment in Your Kitchen

Below are some locations that are ideal candidates for using ventless cooking equipment. In some cases, using a ventless system is a necessity due to building conditions, whereas in other cases, ventless equipment can be a great addition to your kitchen to expand your current menu.

Chef putting a sandwich into a ventless oven

  • Sites that may not allow fans, fire suppression systems, and traditional ductwork to be installed such as historic buildings, stadiums, and arenas
  • Areas with space constraints such as kiosks, food courts, and food trucks
  • Temporary or seasonal locations such as pop-up restaurants, fairs, and resorts
  • Leased spaces that need portable equipment
  • Kitchens looking to optimize unused counter space in their front- or back-of-house for new menu additions

Expert Tip
Even if a product is rated ventless, your local health inspector still has the final say on whether it needs a hood. If this is a concern, contact your health department prior to purchasing the product to ensure it complies with local codes.

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