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Community and Q&A

Venting an oven in a tight off-grid house

Josh_Sq | Posted in General Questions on

We are in the processes of building our house at the moment and are trying to figure out the best setup for our stove/oven.  We are moving from a small off grid house to a slightly larger much better built off grid house.  We currently only have a wood cook stove an a portable induction cooktop.  In the new place we would like an actual oven.  We were planning on using an induction stove but most if not all seem to come with only electric ovens.

We like the induction for obvious reason of efficiency and lower harmful particles.  I’ve seen plenty of discussion of a good range for cooktops, but I’m a little unsure of how to apply it to a propane standalone oven in a pretty tight house.

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  1. tommay | | #1

    Wall oven.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Your question is confusing. When you wrote, "I’ve seen plenty of discussion of a good range for cooktops, but I’m a little unsure of how to apply it to a propane standalone oven in a pretty tight house," did you mean to write, "I’ve seen plenty of discussion about good range hood exhaust fans for cooktops, but I’m a little unsure of how to apply it to a propane standalone oven in a pretty tight house"?

    1. Josh_Sq | | #8

      Yep sorry for the confusion. Wrote this after a long day and hit send without checking it.
      We are going to use a induction stovetop. We like the little one we have currently and want to move to a 4 burner so we can cook multiple things. I did omit the key word after range and meant range hood.
      My question is about what to do about the oven. We are not super excited about using an electric oven as it would mean our backup generator would have to kick on every time we baked. It is an option but not ideal.

      I haven't found any stand alone ovens that are vented. It seems like at some point in time they were but that has been phased out. We would really like to avoid the gases and fine particles.

      The question I'm trying to answer is would a range hood pull out enough of these if the oven was placed under the stove top? Or do we need another venting mechanism? We would have to size the hood for the propane not the induction which means it would have to be beefier then we originally planned for.

      Thanks for all the replies

      1. GBA Editor
        Martin Holladay | | #10

        Propane-fueled ovens (or natural-gas-fueled ovens) are routinely vented by a range hood exhaust fan mounted above the stove top. This works.

        Of course, some green builders these days don't want a gas range or a gas oven because of concerns about combustion byproducts in the air. But if you can get over those worries, and you faithfully turn on your range hood exhaust fan every time you use the oven, I wouldn't worry too much.

        I agree that you don't want an electric oven in an off-grid house. I live in an off-grid house. For years, I cooked on a wood cookstove. But I eventually transitioned to using a propane range (oven and burners) for almost all of my cooking, supplemented with judicious use of a microwave oven for reheating leftovers. (I only use the microwave during sunny weather.)

  3. charlie_sullivan | | #3

    An induction cooktop is more efficient than a conventional electric cooktop, because it heats the pan directly, and less heat escapes to the surroundings. But the heat generation process itself is no more efficient than an electric heating element.

    In an oven the concept is to heat the surroundings so that hot air surrounds the food being cooked. If you only heated the pan via induction, the cooking process would be more like a range than an oven. And if you heated the oven walls via induction, that would actually be slightly less efficient than using an electric heating element in the space to be heated.

    If you want a more efficient oven, the best option is to use the smallest-size oven that fits the food you want to bake. For example, a good toaster oven can substitute for a lot of the use of a full-size oven.

  4. Trevor_Lambert | | #4

    I think he's asking how to evacuate the combustion gases of a propane powered oven. Lots of mixed up terminology, and perhaps the accidental omission of a word or two have made it confusing.

    For the sake of clarity, let's define some terms.

    Oven: an enclosed box used to cook or heat food
    Stove: an enclosed box where fuel is consumed to provide heat (not necessarily cook food, e.g. it can be for space heating)
    Stovetop/cooktop/rangetop(hob if you're in Britain): that place where you put pans to heat food from below
    Range: an appliance that includes both an oven and a cooktop

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #5

      Excellent list. Here are two more:

      Range hood: A sheet-metal box, open on the bottom, located above the burners of a kitchen range or cooktop.

      Range hood fan: The circulating fan or exhaust fan located in or above a range hood.

      1. Expert Member
        Peter Engle | | #11

        You may just want to say "hood" or "fan." We built a small custom hood over our wall ovens with an exhaust fan. It was very good at grabbing the smoke that pours out when you burn the cookies, and it did a decent job of venting the heat from the ovens in summer.

        Our new range has the lower oven built in. The designers were conscientious enough to include a cooling fan in the oven that blows the circulating air from the cabinet straight out above the oven door. Now all the smoke and heat mix with that airstream and shoot out in your face when you open the door. Not a chance the range hood can capture any of that. But i'm sure that it keeps the pots and pans in the adjacent cabinets much cooler :-)

  5. Expert Member
    Akos | | #6


    One idea might be to mount a bathroom exhaust fan above your propane oven and use a current sensing switch on the oven's power (this should work if the oven has an electric pilot) to trigger it when the oven runs.

  6. tommay | | #7

    I think he is saying, he likes and wants to use induction for burners but also wants an oven, but can't find an model that has induction cook tops and propane oven. Probably because they are not available, since an electric appliance won't have a propane component to it. Separate gas wall oven, which comes in many sizes, is what he needs which shouldn't need a separate vent, just as any other oven.

  7. walta100 | | #9

    You may want to read the spec sheet for your induction cook top my 5 burner required a 240 V 50 amp circuit, while the oven was only 20 amps.

    Something I never hear a cook say “I prefer a gas oven over electric”.


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