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Vintage Jenn Air Downdraft Cooktops

Vintage Jenn Air Downdraft Cooktops

Jenn Air introduced the electric downdraft cooktop more than 50 years ago and they are still desired and in use in many kitchens throughout the world today.

The Jenn Air cooktop with its downdraft ventilation and interchangeable parts was a must have for any new modern home or kitchen remodel in the 1960’s throughout the 1990’s.  The cooktop could be installed either on the counter top like the old conventional ovens or stoves which left the cook always facing the wall or you could incorporate an island into your home’s kitchen without the bulky and unsightly overhead kitchen vent, all thanks to Jenn Air’s innovative cooktop downdraft system.

Anyone who entertained or had parties and family gatherings on a regular basis either had or wanted a Jenn Air cooktop in their kitchen.  No longer did you have to cook with your back facing your company.  You could entertain or mingle with your family and guests while cooking facing them from your kitchen’s island.

The Jenn Air cooktop made indoor entertaining much more personable and enjoyable for the cook bringing your family and guests to the kitchen opening up the kitchen for more of a gathering hub to intermingle with the cook.  It felt more like a barbeque or outdoor cookout while you were actually grilling from the comforts of your own kitchen on the Jenn Air cooktop grill.

Jenn Air had a two bay downdraft cooktop unit and a very popular three bay downdraft cooktop unit.

The two bay cooktop was usually set up with two ceran cartridges or two coil burner cartridges. Each cartridge had two burners, the ceran cooktops came in either white or black.

Jenn Air Cooktop Cartridge JEA8120ADW

Jenn Air white ceran cooktop JEA8120ADW or the black Jenn Air ceran cooktop cartridge JEA8120ADBA.

Jenn Air Cartridge JEA7000ADW

There were three choices of the Jenn Air coil burner cartridges with four spades on the end, three flat terminals and one round terminal.  The Jenn Air black coil cooktop cartridge JEA7000ADBA, the white coil cooktop cartridge JEA7000ADWA or the Jenn Air stainless steel coil cooktop cartridge JEA7000ADSA.

The two bay cooktop unit had a cartridge on the left side and one on the right side with the ventilation downdraft fan switch and burner selector knobs in the center.  When you wanted to grill you simply lifted one end of the cartridge up and pulled the terminal end out of the receptacles  Put the two lava grates in the drip pan, plug the grilling bake element into the receptacles and place the two grill grates on the cooktop.

The three bay Jenn Air cooktop could be set up with three cooktop cartridges for a total of six burners to be used at the same time, either ceran or cooktop cartridges or coil cooktop cartridges.  The most popular setup was using two cooktop cartridges and the grill in the third spot.

Although these vintage Jenn Air cooktops have been around for more than fifty years they have not lost their prestige or popularity in the cooking world.  As a matter of fact, these versatile cooktop units are finding a new popularity with the younger generation of cooks as well as still being used and enjoyed by many well seasoned cooks.

Many genuine OEM factory parts are still readily available for these Jenn Air cooktops.

If you are thinking about remodeling an older kitchen that has one of these vintage Jenn Air cooktops in it, before you decide to toss it out you might do a bit of research online to see what it will take to get the older Jenn Air unit fully functional.  It might be that it just needs some elbow grease and determination to bring it back to its glory days.