Kitchen Hoods: Make it a Venti

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Hoods. You gotta’ have it, so you must love it! The kitchen hood does an important job. They should supply the proper ventilation to remove steam, smoke, grease, and more from the air to make your kitchen comfortable and clean. And of course, it has to look good while doing it.

According to Vent-A-Hood, there are three major components to an effective kitchen ventilation system:

a. Hood Canopy

Your holding capacity, overlap, and projection must be considered when sizing your canopy.
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  • Hoods do not pull or draw, they only collect. Holding Capacity is needed to collect cooking vapors so the blower units can exhaust them to the outside.
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  • Whenever possible, the hood should overlap the cooking equipment by 3″ on each side.
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  • The hood should project out to the front edge of the front burners in order to properly capture cooking vapors.

b. Blower System

While the canopy captures the vapors, the blower system moves them out of the house. You must consider what kind of cooking area you have to figure out what kind of blower system you need and the appropriate amount of CFMs you will need. According to Today’s Homeowner, the basic rule of thumb when determining the fan size, is that it should move a minimum of 100 CFM of air for every 12″ of stove width. So if you have a 30″ wide stove, you need a fan that moves at least 250 CFM of air. But, you will need more if it is a gas stove.
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c. Ducting

Never restrict the duct size. A single blower unit requires at least 6″ round duct or equivalent, and a dual blower needs at least 8″ round duct or equivalent. And it is important to make the duct run as short and as straight as possible with as few turns as possible. 
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Now when it comes to the style and design of the hood, you can either have it blend in with the cabinetry or you make it stand out! Here is a great selection of hood styles that are trending today.

a. Blend It With the Cabinets

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b. Make It Stand Alone

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c. Box It In

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d. Put Some Wood On It

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e. Make It All Wood

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f. Just Keep It Simple – Match Your Stainless

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g. Get Custom With The Metal

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History of the Stove

History of the Stove

Following our History of the Kitchen, we thought we’d take a look at the history/evolution of the various aspects and appliances of what now constitute the modern kitchen. This week we are following the evolution of the modern stove.

Your basic gas range
 
…or a $100,000 range, which might be out of your range…it’s made of gold and it cooks gold

 Earliest Stoves

Asian civilizations created ovens that totally enclosed the cooking fire much earlier than Western civilizations; China, Korea, and Japan had clay stoves by 200 BC:

ancient clay oven

Europeans, on the other hand, were using open fires to cook, from the dawn of man up until the Middle Ages, which was less advantageous than using an enclosed stove (open fire cooking is dangerous – you can easily burn yourself, a lot of the heat escapes so you need more fuel to cook, and the food does not cook as evenly as in an enclosed oven).

Then in the Middle Ages, the hearth started becoming the center of peoples’ home and family life. The hearth was usually waist high and made of stone, with a chimney, or simply a hole in the ceiling, above it to funnel out the smoke from the fire. As Europeans attempted to improve their hearth stoves, they built brick and mortar walls on three sides of the fire, and covered the front with an iron plate.

Enclosing the Fire

Enclosing the fire had the additional benefit of containing the smoke (at least to some extent). Inventors continued to improve wood burning stove, and by the mid-1700s, cast-iron stoves started to become popular, the first of which may have looked something like this:

note the smoke pipe on top, pots and skillets could be placed on top

These stoves all still burned wood; coal didn’t become a viable fuel source until 1833, when Jordan Mott invented the first practical coal-burning stove.

practical!

Gas, and Electricity

Gas stoves were invented in 1826, but it wasn’t until the 1920s when enough houses had gas lines that gas stoves could really catch on. Similarly, electric stoves had been available since 1890, but did not catch on until the 1920s and 1930s.

funky gas stove

retro electric

The stove, now

Every modern dog breed, from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, was bred from domesticated wolves (or, speaking contentiously, dogs came from a ‘wolf-like common ancestor’):

we are the same, You and I

Similarly, today there is a myriad of stoves derived from our early ancestors cooking over a campfire. There are giant ranges for industrial kitchens, and there are tiny propane camping stoves that fit in a backpack.

industrial range
camping stove

I’ve cooked deer sausage in a duck blind in the winter, and we have all grilled outside on a BBQ grill, powered by coal, propane, or even wood. In Mexico, they cook tortillas outside on a Patsari stove:

fueled by wood, coal, or dung

There are solar ovens that you set up outside, and they focus light form the sun. They get hot enough to cook a pizza:

this pizza is powered by the stars

A hamburger place in Boston, Louis’ Lunch, has been open since 1895, and has been credited by some as possibly having invented the hamburger. They are open to this day and still use 3 upright stoves from the 1890’s to cook their burgers:

Louis’ Lunch broilers

Nowadays, most peoples’ (well, people in America) stoves look like this:

this is a stove

But, like all the diverse breeds of dogs, there are countless unique stove designs and models. We have come a long way from cooking food on sticks over a camp fire, but our stoves and ovens still are essentially designed to meet our basic needs: to cleanly and efficiently cook our food in as safe a manner as possible.