Venting Hood Guide for Outdoor Kitchens

Choosing a vent hood for your outdoor kitchen is different from choosing an indoor hood. Experts specifically design these hoods to withstand the heat and moisture of the outdoors. Use our guide to help you choose an outdoor vent hood that’s perfect for your lifestyle, adds style to your home, and takes care of all that smoke that may build up over your grill.

What should I look for?

Outdoor vent hoods come with various specifications, from internal blower speed to CFM’s. It isn’t always easy to make sense of all the jargon, so we’ve created some guidelines to help you choose the perfect item.

Size matters

  • To catch the smoke on a breezy day, choose a vent hood that is larger than your grilling surface. This will prevent smoke from building up and escaping around the vent hood. Most grill manufacturers suggest a minimum size. You can stick to their specification, but avoid choosing a smaller hood than the manufacturer recommends. If you can’t find a manufacturer recommendation, our experts suggest choosing a vent hood that is six to eight inches larger than the grill surface.

What are CFM’s?

  • CFM’s measure how much air a fan moves. It’s important to choose a powerful fan for your outdoor kitchen, because it has to overcome wind speed and the smoke produced by your grill. Hoods with a higher number of CFM’s have a more powerful fan. We recommend a hood with a minimum of 1200 CFM’s, but you won’t regret selecting something more powerful for an outdoor kitchen.

Internal blower speed

  • Many ventilators offer adjustable speeds for the internal blowers, so your vent hood accommodates various conditions, wind speeds, and smoke levels. Look for this feature if you have variable winds or want more flexibility with your ventilation system. This feature isn’t required, but it might be helpful depending on your individual preferences.

Roof cap and airflow

  • A roof cap is essential to protect the duct work if you use a roof top vent. If your hood doesn’t come with a roof cap, have one installed by a professional. Duct work makes a huge difference in airflow, so it’s important to assess how easily air can flow through the duct system. Be sure to use metal HVAC for the duct work, and clean it when necessary.

Positioning of the hood

  • We recommend about 36” from the base of the counter to the base of the hood. You don’t want it too high or it won’t capture the smoke.  If it is too low, you will be bumping your head.

Vent size

  • If you’re cooking outside, the vent size is very important. If it’s too small, it won’t catch enough smoke. Choose a vent that is at least 10″. For larger grills, you might want to look for dual vents or other features that increase the total vent size.

Roof top vent or outside wall?

  • Before you buy a vent hood, decide whether you’ll use a roof top vent or an outside wall to let the smoke escape. If you’re not sure which is best for your set up, talk to an expert about your options. Roof top vents are usually a more direct way to allow air to escape, but an outside wall might be a better option for your outdoor kitchen.

Warranty issues

  • It’s important to consult a professional when installing your outdoor kitchen. Excessive heat from an outdoor kitchen could cause premature wear and fading on your shingles. Improper venting may void the warranty on your roof, so be sure your vent follows the guidelines above.

If you need help choosing the vent hood that’s best for your outdoor kitchen, our experts are here to help. Contact us and talk to a professional about your outdoor kitchen today! We’re always ready to help you make decisions that will create the perfect outdoor kitchen for your home.