A Series of Unfortunate Vents

Ventless appliances

The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to project the innovative.

It was September 21st, 2018; we were working the night watch on the QSR detail.

My partner is Pitco. Eddy Pitco.

My name’s Fry-Day. Grill Sergeant Joe Fry-Day.

It was 2:06 PM when we got a call from a cook in distress. She needed help with a problem. A cooking problem.

Women’s Foodservice Forum February 2019 728×90

Culinary Brown blurted out, “I need a Griddle.”


“A three foot Griddle.”

3: 58 PM, Eddy and I drove over to the restaurant and we talked to the owner. We intended to grill her over why she wanted a griddle.

“Are your ducts in a row?”

“Ducts?” Inquired Culinary Brown, “What are ducts?”

“They are a series of unfortunate vents.”

“Whenever you cook proteins, you give off grease-laden vapor. How you wipe it out must be executed in the manner prescribed by law.”

Common canopy hoods are designed to remove effluent, grease-laden vapor, heat, odors, carbon monoxide. Their design relies upon moving these undesirable elements to the building’s exterior, an inherently expensive and inefficient system.

Ventless systems which forego the use of outside ducting, mitigate these elements at the source.  By handling the hazards locally, better control can be leveraged over the processes.  Cost savings ensue, and safety is enhanced.

Ventless appliances typically use one or more of several technologies:

  • Hepa-Filters
  • High-speed extraction
  • Catalytic converters
  • Precipitators
  • Carbon Filters

The flexibility and mobility features inherent in ventless appliances make them attractive for both start-ups and renovations.

“You have a right not to waste your money, you have a right not to remain with old systems.  Anything you cook can and will be used against you in computing exhaust fans.”

“I know my rights…”

“That’s right, Culinary, ditch the ducts and go ventless

“Grill Sergeant?”

“Yes, ma’am?”

“What’s the source of the smoky flavor from a griddle?”

“Just the fats, ma’am.”

Joe Ferri
Joe Ferri (aka the Foodiequipper) was conceived in a Greenwich Village speakeasy’s walk-in box, the love child of the hat check girl and bartender. He is in his fifth decade of (somewhat) gainful employment in the foodservice industry. He is past chairman of MAFSI and currently COO of Pecinka Ferri Assoc., a NY area equipment, furnishings and supplies representative.