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Why You Need an Outdoor Vent Hood

During the process of a building an outdoor kitchen, you'll probably ask yourself, “Do I really need a vent hood if I'm already outside?” The answer is maybe not-so-simple. If your new outdoor kitchen is out in the open space, with no roof structure directly above it, then you may be able to get away without needing one. However, if you're planning to put your cooking equipment beneath under a covered area, then you could definitely benefit from outdoor ventilation.

Outdoor cooking has now become outdoor living.”
- Nick Aucoin, Blaze Outdoor Products
Blaze Vent Hood

Blaze 42-Inch Outdoor Vent Hood

The Main Benefit

Much like the range-hood that you will find inside your home, an outdoor vent hood draws in the heat, odor, smoke and grease that is typically produced through cooking and moves it away from your cooking area. Gone are the days of a small grill sitting on the edge of a patio, with one lucky person having to go outside to check on the food. In a recent interview with Nick Aucoin from Blaze Outdoor Products, he said, "Along with the recent trend of having a completely functional kitchen outside, you are seeing full outdoor furniture sets and people are now doing much of their entertaining outside. Outdoor cooking has now become outdoor living. With guests in such close proximity to the cooking equipment, the smoke that doesn't get out has become a bigger issue." Having an appropriate-sized vent hood positioned above your grill will prevent your guests from getting billows of smoke in their faces and will lessen the chances of their clothes holding on to odors.

Other Considerations

We've also seen that walls and ceilings that are subjected to excessive smoke and grease exposure are more likely to discolor or even peel paint over time. You should also check your local codes, as some areas require a vent hood if your cooking equipment is placed under a combustible structure. Another great thing about outdoor vent hoods is that they are usually equipped with halogen lights, which can provide extra visibility of your cooking surface during evening grilling. Even if your grill has lights on it, the vent hood can usually hit a different angle that your grill's lights may miss.

The Verdict

Vent hoods in an outdoor application are a fairly new concept, and can often be overlooked. We know they aren't really something to get excited about when building your outdoor kitchen, they aren't very attractive and they can potentially be expensive, but we feel they are very necessary in certain situations. For those who are on the fence, we've found that it's much more affordable to plan for it in the beginning of your outdoor kitchen process than to try to install it after the fact.

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