Advice From The Experts On Ventless Cooking Equipment

Ventless cooking equipment can help solve a wide range of challenges in commercial kitchens. Before we dive into the details on problems and solutions, though, it’s important to understand what ventless commercial kitchen equipment really is by dispelling many of the myths.

Dispelling the Myths about Ventless Equipment

1. Can ventless equipment execute my menu?

There once was a time when ventless equipment was limited on some of the proteins it could cook.  Fortunately, that issue has been totally resolved. Complex menus can be executed flawlessly and just as quickly with a ventless kitchen.  With ventless combi ovens, rapid cook ovens, ventless fryers, impingement ovens, ventless griddles, and more, it’s possible to deliver on any culinary requirement or menu, in any location.  Ventless cooking equipment can open up design and concept possibilities that otherwise may not exist – or at the very least be cost-prohibitive – making Type I Hood constraints and restrictions a thing of the past.

2. Can ventless equipment keep up with demand?

Another myth associated with ventless cooking is that throughput levels aren’t as high as standard cooking equipment.  A perception that electric-powered units are slower to recover. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, there are over 50 stadiums and arenas using ventless action stations designed to handle the high volume cooking demands, required by the giant foodservice operators.  And, ventless action stations are appealing to more than just Arena & Stadium operators.  Middleby has successfully installed over 340,000 ventless units in restaurant locations globally.

3. Is compliance an issue?

Many consumers think ventless cooking equipment is hard to get approved due to compliance issues, but the reality is AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction) in 98 major metro areas throughout North America have formally approved ventless installations.  These cities are generally the most diligent and challenging in terms of permitting too.



4. Does it cost more?

When operators talk about ventless cooking being too expensive, they probably aren’t asking all the important questions:

    • Can you take advantage of unused or unproductive spaces in a restaurant environment?
    • The Type I hood exhausts grease and smoke externally, pulling air-conditioned or heated air out of the restaurant and through the roof all day and all night long. Couldn’t the utility bills be reduced?  Couldn’t the cost of make-up air be dramatically reduced?
    • Can front-of-the-house and open kitchens be designed with clean and clear sightlines to the cooking process? Couldn’t ventless cooking equipment help reinforce the freshness message and food safety too?

It’s important to compare apples to apples when it comes to expenses by reviewing everything from the cost of the Type I ventilation hood, ducting, flashing on the roof, fire suppression, and compressors on the roof.  And each additional vertical story adds $7,500 to $9,000 to the hood and ducting costs.

5. Is electric vs gas a concern?

Ventless foodservice equipment is electric only.  That might sound alarming to some, but it shouldn’t. It’s no secret that gas has long been favored, but the truth is that chefs can execute with as much precision and recovery efficiency as any gas option. Electric-powered equipment is often more energy-efficient than gas and with utility costs rising, is something to consider. Plus, electric equipment legislation is emerging all over the country, setting a precedent that can’t be ignored.

Why You Should Consider Ventless Restaurant Cooking Equipment

Now that we’ve removed some of the rumors that are often associated with ventless cooking solutions, let’s dig into the real reasons why ventless cooking is appealing in the first place. In many cases, they stand in direct opposition to the myths we listed above.

Creating Opportunities In New Areas

EVO EVent under escalator

Ventless equipment allows operators to select their ideal location to serve a target demographic regardless of HVAC infrastructure and without compromising on menu items. Unlike cooking equipment that requires ventilation, operators are not limited by the real estate in which they are operating. This means buildings that do not have current HVAC capabilities can still be considered for foodservice operations, and when it comes to older, more urban buildings, it means a wider range of options when determining where the brick and mortar will exist.

You Can Move Ventless Cooking Equipment For Maximum Use

Versatility is a key component to successful foodservice operations. The ability to move cooking locations from one place to another provides a level of versatility that can help operators make the most out of an existing space, but if an operator decides to change spaces, ventless cooking equipment can make the move, as well. With expensive ventilation systems, those investments stay at the original location and cannot be moved. Consider an operator who has a great menu in a less-than-ideal location. If that operation utilizes ventless cooking solutions, they can be moved. If that operation spent $15,000 on a capture hood, that investment is staying put.

Cook Whatever You Want

As we said, rumors of ventless cooking equipment not being able to execute on full menus have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, they’re flat wrong. With ventless cooking equipment, it’s just as easy to cook any menu item you want, even raw, fatty proteins that will find their way to the center of the plate. The only requirement is an electric hookup.

Ventless Is Widely Adopted Across The Country

Ventless Setup in Newark, NJ Airport

There’s a huge movement in foodservice right now away from gas-powered equipment. In fact, many cities and major urban centers are banning the use of gas pilot lights on any new kitchen builds, whether commercial or residential. Because ventless cooking equipment is powered by electricity, there’s never been a better time to consider the benefits. As you can see here, ventless approval has been gained in the most diligent jurisdictions across the country.

Middleby offers a full suite of ventless cooking equipment that can help deliver full menu capabilities in spaces where ventilation is normally required. All you need is electricity. Download the ventless guide to learn more about the solutions that can provide ventless cooking capabilities for you.


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Topics: Ventless