How to better direct smoke from stove to microwave vent??

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Joined Feb 12, 2016
Cooking wasn't something I thought about when I purchased my appliances.  Now that I am enjoying it more, and cooking often, I realize the shortcomings. 

One of the main shortcomings being ventilation.  

When I cook steaks, I typically sear on a super hot pan over the stove, then finish in the oven.  The entire downstairs is in a smelly fog by the time dinner is ready.  

Is there a drape, canopy, or hood that I can buy to try and salvage my existing setup? I need something to contain the smoke and direct it up to the microwave vent.  This sounds crazy, but I was thinking about taping tin foil to the left and right sides of the cooking area, which would only leave the front open.  

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks, 

Andrew
 
3,295
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Joined May 5, 2010
I'd check out the fan in your ventilator first.

Perhaps the fan simply isn't strong enough or is in need of cleaning.

I have the same issue.

Also check to see that the vent that leads outside is not clogged as that may be inhibiting the air flow.

The charcoal filter that fits over the vent under the microwave could be clogged as well.

Start there.
 
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Joined Feb 12, 2016
Thanks for responding.

So... I figured out what's going on... I think.

When all the appliances were installed last year, I didn't know what to look for. Turns out, the microwave doesn't have either grease filter OR the charcoal filter up top. I got up there and also found a nice film of grease over my upper cabinets, ceiling, etc.

I had no idea the microwave just recirculates the air! It doesn't vent outside. I thought that's what the duct is for that's above the microwave. Apparently that's only for the microwave when it's on/cooking.

I wonder if running the microwave without either filter harmed anything in it.

I ordered the filters immediately.
 
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Joined Nov 22, 2015
I like to cook with a stupid hot sear on steaks too. I've had the idea of super heating a cast iron skillet and then moving it to my grill side burner outside before dropping the steak, then back to the oven after the flip. I think it will work and cut down on the smoke which freaks my roommates out (They start almost everything in cold pans) and give me a good result. That is unless I run into someone from the kitchen to the patio with a 900 degree hot iron skillet, then it'd be a whole different result "COMING AROUND!!! HOT!!!!!!!! No! Don't close the door fool!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/mad.gif" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  
 
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Joined Feb 12, 2016
LOL! I'm playing that out in my head. 900 degree iron skillet running across the room. One wrong move...

I doubt adding filters to the microwave is going to be a fix-all. I mean, the thing is just recirculating the smoke from below the microwave to above the microwave.

For those that have a properly filtered microwave, does it really work?? Does the charcoal filter capture the smoke?
 
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Joined Sep 18, 2015
 
I like to cook with a stupid hot sear on steaks too. I've had the idea of super heating a cast iron skillet and then moving it to my grill side burner outside before dropping the steak, then back to the oven after the flip. I think it will work and cut down on the smoke which freaks my roommates out (They start almost everything in cold pans) and give me a good result. That is unless I run into someone from the kitchen to the patio with a 900 degree hot iron skillet, then it'd be a whole different result "COMING AROUND!!! HOT!!!!!!!! No! Don't close the door fool!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/mad.gif" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  
This is exactly what I do, too.

I have a single electric burner and cast iron pan which are used on the patio.

A ventless exhaust/microwave oven is useless, in my opinion.
 
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Joined Feb 12, 2016
On second thought, this is a really good idea. I hope the burner on my bbq can get the iron skillet hot enough. Then, I'll just run to the kitchen and finish in the oven.

Thanks, both!
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Some over-the-range microwaves can be configured to vent rather than recirculate. The factory configure is recirculate and some installers don't take the time to reconfigure. It is a considerably more difficult installation but well worth the effort. Unfortunately they always seem less powerful than a dedicated hood venting system.
 
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Joined Nov 22, 2015
  I'd still use my range to heat the skillet first because the grill burner is like 1/5th the output anyway. Just get the pan as hot as you can get it and then use the grill as a place to set the skillet before laying the steak down, you could also cover the steak after you flip it (Save you from splattering oil on furniture pets or people) and transport it to the oven. Like I said its a good idea to make sure everyone in the house knows your doing this. I'm used to moving hot and heavy stuff in tight quarters, my roommates tend to be the deer in the headlights whenever I'm doing something dangerous. Never fails.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Use two skillets. One inside in your oven. One outside on your grill, propane burner, whatever. Doing the moving of the steak, from outside to inside, on a room temp plate, leaving the hot skillets where they are. Lot less potential danger this way.
 
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Joined Sep 18, 2015
I use a  portable1300 watt single electric burner (not part of a grill) and a cast iron pan. It gets smoking hot within minutes!
 

cerise

Banned
1,008
33
Joined Jul 5, 2013
Cooking wasn't something I thought about when I purchased my appliances.  Now that I am enjoying it more, and cooking often, I realize the shortcomings. 

One of the main shortcomings being ventilation.  

When I cook steaks, I typically sear on a super hot pan over the stove, then finish in the oven.  The entire downstairs is in a smelly fog by the time dinner is ready.  

Is there a drape, canopy, or hood that I can buy to try and salvage my existing setup? I need something to contain the smoke and direct it up to the microwave vent.  This sounds crazy, but I was thinking about taping tin foil to the left and right sides of the cooking area, which would only leave the front open.  

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks, 
Andrew

I feel your pain. I've had a problem with the smoke detector going off when using the oven. I replaced the over the range microwave, but had additional problems with contractors that don't return/follow through with solving the venting issue. I have some duct tape, if you like. Aaargh. Personally, won't buy another place with an over the range micro. Buy a countertop.
 
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phatch

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
Ventilator fans built into microwaves are weak. Just the nature of the beast. They also are vented back into the kitchen so they don't really accomplish anything with smoke though they can collect some grease with the mesh filters.

There are a few microwave/vent combos I've seen that did duct to the outside but the duct was small and the fan power very low. Proper venting precludes the microwave above the oven really.

Cook outdoors, open windows and run other fans. 
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
I can't say enough bad things about over the range microwaves hood combos. In many cases the hood is designed to be able to vented outside but that option isn't chosen because of the difficulty or just plain cheapness. So all the stupid thing does is blow the smoke back into the kitchen. But my particular concern is with a gas range and the carbon monoxide that it generates. Eliminating CO is an important function of the exhaust hood and as far as I'm concerned, an unvented hood should be illegal because it allows a buildup of CO that can reach toxic levels putting occupants on danger.
 
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Joined Feb 17, 2010
I just replaced my micro hood with a frigadaire. It vents very good, I have a 4"? Duct. They are set up to recirculate, just read the directions, a simple reconfiguration and it vents outside if you have a duct.
 

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