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Which? reveals three Best Buy cooker hoods

We’ve just tested 10 cooker hoods from big brands, such as AEG, Bosch, Neff and Samsung, to find out which are the best. Three of them aced our tests, with scores good enough to earn a Best Buy rating; the bottom scorer earned a fairly measly 57%. Prices of cooker hoods vary – you can pay less than GBP50 for the simplest kind of visor hood, or well into the thousands for a statement island hood or a slick downdraft extractor.

But are the more expensive models worth the spend? As with many of our tests, we’ve found that when it comes to cooker hoods, a high price isn’t always indicative of a good performance. To find out how each model fared, head to our cooker hood reviews[1].

Do I really need a cooker hood?

A great cooker hood will banish unwanted steam, smells and airborne grease from your kitchen, quickly and quietly.

The best will be easy to use and a doddle to clean. If you like a regular fry-up and you don’t have a cooker hood, then airborne grease will settle on your kitchen surfaces, leaving you with more cleaning to contend with. And if your kitchen isn’t well ventilated, then steam and cooking smells can quickly build up, leaving a less-than-pleasant cooking environment.

So, while a cooker hood isn’t crucial for all kitchens, most people find that having one is worth the investment. To find out which cooker hoods come with the Which? seal of approval, check out our Best Buy cooker hoods[2].

What type of cooker hood?

Once you’ve decided to buy a cooker hood, you’ll need to choose which type you want. Some will be a focal point in your kitchen, while others are designed to inconspicuously blend in with your kitchen units.

Read on for an explanation of the main types to decide which will suit you best:

  • A canopy hood (top left) sits under a wall cabinet above your hob or cooker. Some, like the one pictured, have a telescopic section that you pull out when the hood is in use.
  • Chimney hoods (top right) consist of a canopy made of stainless steel or glass, with a metal chimney. These are the most popular type of hood among Which? members.
  • Downdraft extractors (bottom left) sit behind your hob.

    When activated, they rise up to extract moisture, smells and grease from the cooking area. They can be expensive, but cheaper options are becoming increasingly available.

  • Island cooker hoods (bottom right) are showy statement pieces designed to hang from the ceiling above an island unit.

Other types of hood include simple visor hoods that stick out horizontally from the wall and integrated hoods, which are tucked inside a kitchen unit and start working when you open it up.

How we test cooker hoods

The cooker hoods at the Which? test lab undergo tough tests, to separate the effective extractors from ones that will leave your kitchen humid and smelly for longer. We put four pans of water on to boil, wait until our test chamber reaches 90% humidity, then record how long it takes each hood to reduce humidity to a more comfortable 60%.

The worst take twice as long as the best. We drip pungent methyl ethyl ketone (which smells like nail polish remover) into a hot pan, then record how effectively each hood removes the pong using a flame ionisation detector. Finally, we drip oil and water onto a hot pan for 30 minutes, creating a greasy atmosphere.

We record just how much of this airborne grease the filters in the hood are able to capture. A great cooker hood will collect most of it, but a poor one will leave grease settling on your kitchen surfaces. Other tests include measuring how much noise each model makes – some are intrusively noisy if you’re trying to listen to the radio or have a chat, while others are barely louder than a refrigerator.

We also test how straightforward the hood is to install, and how easy it is to use and keep clean.

For more information on our in-depth testing, head to how we test cooker hoods[3].

Cooker hoods in our latest tests

These models have just been tested by the Which? test lab.

Prices correct at 12 July 2018.

References

  1. ^ cooker hood reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy cooker hoods (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ how we test cooker hoods (www.which.co.uk)

Which? reveals three Best Buy cooker hoods

We’ve just tested 10 cooker hoods from big brands, such as AEG, Bosch, Neff and Samsung, to find out which are the best. Three of them aced our tests, with scores good enough to earn a Best Buy rating; the bottom scorer earned a fairly measly 57%. Prices of cooker hoods vary – you can pay less than GBP50 for the simplest kind of visor hood, or well into the thousands for a statement island hood or a slick downdraft extractor.

But are the more expensive models worth the spend? As with many of our tests, we’ve found that when it comes to cooker hoods, a high price isn’t always indicative of a good performance. To find out how each model fared, head to our cooker hood reviews[1].

Do I really need a cooker hood?

A great cooker hood will banish unwanted steam, smells and airborne grease from your kitchen, quickly and quietly.

The best will be easy to use and a doddle to clean. If you like a regular fry-up and you don’t have a cooker hood, then airborne grease will settle on your kitchen surfaces, leaving you with more cleaning to contend with. And if your kitchen isn’t well ventilated, then steam and cooking smells can quickly build up, leaving a less-than-pleasant cooking environment.

So, while a cooker hood isn’t crucial for all kitchens, most people find that having one is worth the investment. To find out which cooker hoods come with the Which? seal of approval, check out our Best Buy cooker hoods[2].

What type of cooker hood?

Once you’ve decided to buy a cooker hood, you’ll need to choose which type you want. Some will be a focal point in your kitchen, while others are designed to inconspicuously blend in with your kitchen units.

Read on for an explanation of the main types to decide which will suit you best:

  • A canopy hood (top left) sits under a wall cabinet above your hob or cooker. Some, like the one pictured, have a telescopic section that you pull out when the hood is in use.
  • Chimney hoods (top right) consist of a canopy made of stainless steel or glass, with a metal chimney. These are the most popular type of hood among Which? members.
  • Downdraft extractors (bottom left) sit behind your hob.

    When activated, they rise up to extract moisture, smells and grease from the cooking area. They can be expensive, but cheaper options are becoming increasingly available.

  • Island cooker hoods (bottom right) are showy statement pieces designed to hang from the ceiling above an island unit.

Other types of hood include simple visor hoods that stick out horizontally from the wall and integrated hoods, which are tucked inside a kitchen unit and start working when you open it up.

How we test cooker hoods

The cooker hoods at the Which? test lab undergo tough tests, to separate the effective extractors from ones that will leave your kitchen humid and smelly for longer. We put four pans of water on to boil, wait until our test chamber reaches 90% humidity, then record how long it takes each hood to reduce humidity to a more comfortable 60%.

The worst take twice as long as the best. We drip pungent methyl ethyl ketone (which smells like nail polish remover) into a hot pan, then record how effectively each hood removes the pong using a flame ionisation detector. Finally, we drip oil and water onto a hot pan for 30 minutes, creating a greasy atmosphere.

We record just how much of this airborne grease the filters in the hood are able to capture. A great cooker hood will collect most of it, but a poor one will leave grease settling on your kitchen surfaces. Other tests include measuring how much noise each model makes – some are intrusively noisy if you’re trying to listen to the radio or have a chat, while others are barely louder than a refrigerator.

We also test how straightforward the hood is to install, and how easy it is to use and keep clean.

For more information on our in-depth testing, head to how we test cooker hoods[3].

Cooker hoods in our latest tests

These models have just been tested by the Which? test lab.

Prices correct at 12 July 2018.

References

  1. ^ cooker hood reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy cooker hoods (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ how we test cooker hoods (www.which.co.uk)

Best Buy somehow came up with the best way of charging Xbox game controller batteries

Look, I don’t know how much time you spend in the video game accessories aisle at your local Best Buy. I like games plenty, but I’m not one for browsing fancy surround sound headsets, silicone controller skins, console carrying bags, or any of the other non-critical stuff on those shelves. But charging the batteries in my Xbox One controller can be a hassle, so from time to time I’ll take a look and see whether anyone has come up with a method that’s superior to swapping out rechargeable AA batteries or using Microsoft’s Play & Charge cable.

There are plenty of stands that can hold and charge your gamepad controllers, but I find them to be an eyesore.

So that’s not an option. Plus, most of them have a cord running out the back and require their own power outlet. No thanks.

A few months ago, I came across Insignia’s £20 snap-on battery charging station that’s designed specifically for the Xbox One S.

And it’s pretty much perfect. Microsoft should be making this thing itself. What a good gadget.

You might notice that the white plastic isn’t quite a perfect match for Microsoft’s, but that’s nitpicking a bit. And the camera captures a bigger difference than your eyes see.

You slot the charging station into the console’s USB port, and then it sits flush to the left of the optical drive. There’s a little lock on the back that pushes into the dots on the side of the Xbox for added security.

There’s no badge on the Insignia box indicating that this is a Microsoft-authorized accessory, so I’m almost surprised at how directly it’s designed around the One S hardware. The charger holds two battery packs at once, with lights to indicate charge status. They’re orange when charging and white when the battery is fully topped off.

Two batteries are included right in the box. Microsoft only gives you one battery with the £25 Play & Charge Kit. It uses the console’s USB power to juice up the batteries, so there’s no extra power cord to fuss with.

I really came to like this method while I had the One S.

When playing solo, it allows you to always keep one battery charging while the other is in your wireless controller. Maybe it’d be less convenient if you’re constantly using two gamepads for multiplayer, but I never ran into a situation where Insignia’s charger proved inconvenient. There’s no need to tether your gamepad to the console for a recharge when there’s always a fresh battery waiting.

Plus, there’s still a SM© USB 3 port for external hard drives or whatever else you need to plug in.

The battery packs charge pretty quickly. Some people seem to think Microsoft’s first-party batteries last longer, but these did the job fine for me.

But last month, I upgraded to the Xbox One X… and Best Buy (which owns the Insignia brand) doesn’t seem to be making the same charger for Microsoft’s ultra-powerful console. The USB port on the X is on the right side, so the current model just won’t work.

I wouldn’t mind the color mismatch if it did.

So for now I’m stuck using the Play & Charge kit. To add insult to injury, it doesn’t seem to charge the third-party battery packs — only Microsoft’s own. Hopefully Best Buy decides to put out an updated model sooner than later.

Update: Dave Ryan on Twitter pointed out to me that Amazon also makes its own version of this thing.

But again, only for the One S so far. Amazon’s loads the batteries on the top instead of the front, and it’s a little more bulky as a result. Same concept, though.

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