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Outdoor Grill Ventilation: When Do You Need An Outdoor Vent Hood And Why Is It Important?

Outdoor Grill Ventilation: When Do You Need An Outdoor Vent Hood And Why Is It Important?

Outdoor Grill Ventilation (When Do You Need An Outdoor Vent Hood And Why Is It Important)

Grilling steaks, burgers, and ribs does create a lot of smoke and excess grease that you could really do without.

For some, a smoky barbecue is the way to go but it makes sense to ventilate that smoke away from your outdoor kitchen area. While your guests will still enjoy your barbecued food, they probably won’t enjoy the smoke.

If you are considering an outdoor kitchen area, you should also consider an outdoor grill ventilation. An outdoor vent hood, also known as a barbecue hood, is a kitchen exhaust fan that is used outside.

Buying one will create a more pleasant experience for your grilling and your guests at a barbecue.

If you desire a smoky set of ribs then simply marinade them properly. Excess smoke can be harmful to you and your guests so controlling it should be considered.

An outdoor vent hood can be mounted on the wall or appended to the roof. Either way, you should really consider one if you want to fully enjoy using your outdoor grill.

Why An Outdoor Vent Hood Is Important

When considering an outdoor kitchen, the focus will likely be on the grill and the furniture. While the ventilation may not seem very exciting, having an outdoor vent hood is crucial.

Unless you can rely on the area being totally open, you should look into investing in outdoor grill ventilation.

That would be if your outdoor kitchen is to be installed underneath a patio, porch, pool house, pavilion, or any structure with a solid ceiling. You may not notice the vent hood when it is operating, but without it, your outdoor kitchen area could become so smoky you will not want to use it.

Ensuring that you can control your smoke output is really important, even when you are grilling outdoors.

If you want to host a great barbecue, or simply make sure you and your guests do not inhale too much smoke, invest in some outdoor grill ventilation.

An outdoor vent hood is also especially important if you are using natural gas and propane-fueled grills. These need to be properly ventilated to maintain enough air for combustion.

Having that ventilation will also dilute those combustion products like smoke and gas emissions to a safer level. An improved airflow will also help deal with undesirable toxins and grease, as well as the heat.

More so, that improved airflow will prevent your guests from suffering from smoke inhalation and make it a more pleasant environment in general to enjoy. You should not have to ask them if they suffer from asthma or lung issues, those conditions should not stop them from enjoying your social event.

Everything that you grill should be delicious but it will also produce smoke and oils while you grill them. That includes steaks, burgers, ribs, even hotdogs. Even if you only grill outside on the odd occasion during summer, it is still ideal to grill without the air being full of smoke.

There may be a reason why no one decides to return to your outdoor kitchen area for a barbecue, it may be the smoke they endured last time.

A lot of people want to enjoy their outdoors and that includes grilling. For those without a huge amount of outdoor space, ensuring that the area is well ventilated is pretty much essential.

If the grill is in an enclosed area and smoke will easily drift over the neighbors it may not be long before they complain. If you want to protect your grill, your patio, and the health of your guests and neighbors then you should consider buying an outdoor vent hood.




Factors To Consider When Buying Your Outdoor Vent Hood


The first factor to consider is how big the outdoor vent hood is. To offer the best ventilation, the vent hood should be bigger than the grill itself. This is so it can capture and remove the smoke that drifts to the side and provide overall coverage.

If you needed a measurement to go by, look for a vent hood that is around six to eight inches larger than the grill head.

That should ensure most, if not all of the smoke, is caught and carried away. With the bigger coverage, you should mitigate any smoke and grease buildup.

Also, consider the depth of the outdoor vent hood. The depth should also exceed that of the kitchen countertop. Any smaller and the vent hood may struggle to keep up with the amount of smoke coming from the grill.


The best outdoor vent hood will have a suitable CFM. That is the measurement for the blower speed in the amount of cubic feet of air that the hood will move per minute. When selecting your outdoor vent hood, try to ensure that the fan has a CFM of at least 1200 and ideally up to 2000.

That should be enough ventilation to move the smoke away and keep the air circulating. You can also consider a multispeed fan to control the CFM depending on what you are grilling. A few hot dogs should not be too smoky so you can get away with a lower CFM.


When your outdoor vent hood is operating, it may make a considerable amount of noise. The higher the CFM, the higher the noise is likely to be.

Try to find an outdoor vent hood that has a desirable CFM, yet promotes the fact that it is not too noisy. While the area is being ventilated, you still want to be able to hold a conversation with your guests.


Unless you have some hired help in redesigning your outdoor kitchen, you may want to check the design of your outdoor vent hood before installation. The instructions should be relatively simple to follow too and you should only need a few easily available tools.

The vent hood should be simple to install and easy to maintain. Finding a vent hood that is easy to clean will save you having to deal with a build-up of grease which could prove to be a fire risk.

Ideally, you should clean your vent hood within 24 hours of each use. A filter that can be removed and washed in the dishwasher is well worth considering.

When You Need An Outdoor Vent Hood

There are several occasions when you need to consider an outdoor vent hood. One obvious scenario is if you are planning to upgrade your kitchen to lead to an outside barbecue area with a solid roof overhang.

While the barbecue grill will obviously take precedence for your plans, the ventilation should be included too.

If the outside barbecue area is a big project then ensure that you overestimate how much space you need. Barbecuing outside obviously requires space for your grill, for your ingredients, a separate area to prepare, and your furniture.

The last thing you want is to get halfway through the project only to realize that you do not have enough space for everything you want.

That includes your outdoor grill ventilation and the vent hood will need to be larger than the grill. If you were looking to size it up then the vent hood should be at least six inches larger than the grill head.

The grill will take pride and place in your new outside area and you will want an outdoor vent hood built if you consider entertaining and grilling outside. Without it, the patio will get smoky very quickly and surfaces can quickly blacken.

Not only that, without an outdoor vent hood, the grease will quickly build up on your surfaces.

An outside kitchen in your backyard should include outdoor grill ventilation and a range hood could look great. It may even become a talking point while you enjoy a smoke-free environment.

That vent hood will also save you time and effort from cleaning too. If you are consulting with a designer then ensure you mention an outdoor vent hood in your plans.

What Options Are Available For An Outdoor Vent Hood

Wall Mount Vent Hoods

If you are grilling against a wall then a wall-mounted vent hood is your best choice. This can be attached directly onto the wall and then extend over your grill to vent away.

Island Mount Vent Hoods

If the roof is at an appropriate height you could use an island mount vent hood. These are appended to the roof and are ideal in grilling spaces that are not against a wall.

Final Thoughts

Everyone should be able to enjoy a barbecue in an outside kitchen area and that means not having to deal with a smoke-filled environment.

While grilling certainly produces a lot of smoke and grease, having outdoor grill ventilation can control that. You may not notice your outdoor vent hood at work, but you certainly would miss it.




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