If you’re looking for the best electric cooktop (opens in new tab) with downdraft, check out the KitchenAid KCED606GBL. This 36-inch cooktop has five cooking elements and a range of smart features to justify its price. Its downdraft element isn't as powerful as a range hood, but it's as powerful as you can expect from a downdraft electric cooktop.
There's also a double ring element which can be adjusted to multiple sizes for a variety of pans, and an intuitive dial layout which you'll become accustomed to quickly.
KitchenAid KCED606GBL: What you need to know
First things first, the downdraft element has a standard 300 CFM (cubic feet moved per minute) fan rating, which means it can tackle most mid-level steam and frying odors. However, it’s not as powerful as the best range hoods (opens in new tab), most of which have at least 400 CFM. The fan does have three speeds, which allows you to adjust based on the size or intensity of the meal you’re cooking.
There are five burners on the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Downdraft Cooktop, which you'd expect of a 36 inch electric cooktop. Two of these are six inches, and the remaining three are eight, ten, and twelve inches. This is a nice range of burner sizes to select from and there’s also an intuitive distribution, with the downdraft sitting in the middle of the cooktop where it can capture as gases and steam from as many burners as possible. The largest 12 inch burner sits to the right side, next to six mechanical knob controls. This also works as a warming zone, to keep food heated until you’re ready to serve. The burner is powered by a double ring element, so you can choose to run this element as a nine inch burner if you don’t want to use it for a large pan.
There’s a total 3200 wattage in this electric cooktop. The six inch element has a power output of up to 1200 watts and also has an Even Heat Melt setting to slowly and carefully melt ingredients. The eight inch burner is powered by 1800 watts, and the ten inch burner has an Even Heat Simmer setting which maintains the temperature at a reliable simmer.
In terms of safety, you’re protected by a hot surface indicator light with this cooktop. That’s even after the heating element itself has been turned off, so you’ll be warned of residual heat. The ceramic cooktop is also easily cleaned, although not as easily as the best induction cooktops (opens in new tab). However, it is coated to prevent scratches, which is often the plague of glass cooktops.
There’s a one year warranty on parts and labor for the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Downdraft Cooktop, with five years’ coverage on most parts. That’s the kind of warranty we’d expect for a high-end cooktop such as this, especially as KitchenAid often covers its kitchen appliances with some of the best warranties out there.
Should you buy the KitchenAid KCED606GBL?
The KitchenAid KCED606GBL may not be the cheapest electric cooktop, but you get downdraft features alongside well designed heat elements to justify the price. There's five burners powered by a collective 3200 wattage, and KitchenAid's Even Heat feature has both melt and simmer settings designed to deliver consistent heat to your burner for any kitchen task. If you want a cooktop with a downdraft element which doesn't shy away from high performing burners, this is the one we'd recommend.