Like so many hoodlums wearing hoodies in the ‘hood, many commercial cooking devices masquerade as ventless appliances.
In breathless whispers, their marketers try to hoodwink us into believing that all are altruistic Robin Hoods – removing effluent from the bad air and giving forth good air (“just follow the blue arrows on the diagrams”).
An exhaustive search of the available technologies would yield relatively few that truly could be classified as a Ventless cooking apparatus in the first place. Many perform the heating function, rethermalizing pre-cooked foods with conducted energy, microwaves, steam and the like. Others can finish par-cooked products – melting, toasting, and/or caramelizing.
Typically only electric-powered equipment – with their lack of attendant products of combustion – can respire comfortably in this space. Grease-laden vapors, effluent, odors, particulate and condensate all must be mitigated through mechanical means. Mandatory too, fire suppression must be addressed. Catalytic converters, charcoal and specialty filters, precipitators, ionizers, et al provide the mojo “under the hood” of many of these modern marvels.
Now, take a deep breath: duct-season is over.
Certain mini combi ovens use a blend of the above technologies to provide bona-fide ventless primary cooking, allowing operators to prepare a varied menu including whole muscle proteins (from raw to finish)!
Deep fryers with mechanisms that automatically dispense product are self-contained, with fire suppression and extensive filtration on-board.
Slow cookers such as cook and hold ovens and water circulators for sous vide (due primarily to the low temperatures involved) require little attention to ventilation issues.
Varied operations can benefit from these new and emerging technologies including, but not limited to airports, sports venues, casinos, shopping malls and bars.
Many municipalities may require a hardship waiver to allow for their installation and operation, but I suspect this will fade as Ventless cooking becomes more ubiquitous.
In the coming months, trade shows, trade publications and internet chatter will be extolling their virtues.
There are several national restaurant chains already employing the concept of ventless and ductless. We expect this trend to intensify as competition to shrink footprints, environmental impact, and build out and operational costs intensify with the onslaught of the Millennial generation’s perceived needs.
“We’ve always done it this way” will no longer be tolerated, particularly when so much is at “steak”.
OK, now exhale a sigh of relief, from Hood Brook ME to Mt. Hood OR, you can find opportunities for ventless commercial kitchens.
Now I’m exhausted.
The Right Way to Do Ventless
The Wrong Way to do Ventless