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Getting rid of kitchen odors

yamalam Dec 20, 2007 10:29 PM

How do you get rid of the smell of oil after deep frying or pan frying? I'm not crazy about incense, candles or anything that just masks grease odors. I've heard that boiling a pot of vinegar and water somehow absorbs odors?? Any tips? Thanks, especially now that it's holiday entertaining time.

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  1. k
    KTinNYC Dec 21, 2007 09:06 AM

    The only way to prevent the odors from lingering is to "prevent" them in the first place. This can be done by using a splatter screen, turning on vent fans, and using an air purifier.

    1. Cheese Boy Dec 21, 2007 10:06 PM

      That's a tough odor to eliminate, and it takes forever to dissipate. You can mask it though.
      The best part of my recommendation is that you'll be able to drink it too. Boil some apple cider, whole all spice, whole clove, and a cinnamon stick. Voila, no more odor, and you now have hot apple cider to boot.

      1. p
        Pampatz Dec 22, 2007 12:15 PM

        Dampen a kitchen towel with white vinegar and ring it out completely. Hold the damp towel by one end and swing it around the kitchen and house. Let the damp towel dry on the side of the sink.
        Cheeseboy's suggestion should taste great and work also,

        1. Caroline1 Dec 22, 2007 12:34 PM

          If you own your own home, the best way to eliminate the problem forever is to invest in a really good vent. A 600cfm ventilation system is a good place to start, but if you do much high heat frying or wok cooking, you may want to look at a higher rating.

          Do NOT consider those pop-up or in-counter systems that are supposed to suck the cooking fumes down. They only work with shallow pots and pans but not with stock pots.

          Vents built into the bottom of an over-the-stove microwave are not strong enough to pull away cooking odors, let alone airborne grease and fumes. You need a dedicated hood with a strong fan that is vented to the outside. And it will really cut down on your cleaning too!

          Oh, and spatter shields reduce the amount of grease spatter but don;t totally eliminate it, and they don't do anything for odors. at least none of mine do!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caroline1
            l
            lamaranthe Dec 25, 2007 09:31 AM

            Hi Caroline1 ! I have a kitchen fan that is connected directly to the outside but I cannot cook a steak or even toast a piece of bread without starting the smoke alarm. How strong (powerful) should my fan (ventilator) be? Thanks.

            1. re: lamaranthe
              Caroline1 Dec 25, 2007 12:33 PM

              As I said, a fan capable of moving 600 CFM (cubic feet per minute) is what I consider the minimum for maximum benefit. The CFM rating system is pretty much the industry measuring standard, something like BTUs. But there are also two other factors that will determine how well your system performs.

              One is the ventilation ducting itself. A really long pull, say from a downstairs kitchen through the upstairs and out through the roof of a two story dwelling may require an auxiliary fan. Especially if there are turns in the ductwork. Conversly, a wall mounted hood with a pretty "straight shot" vent through the wall of the house to the outside won't require such extra help at all. Every home is different.

              The second performance factor is the "hood" itself. Most city codes, as well as manufacturer's installation instructions, will state a minimum distance the hood should be above the actual cook surface. I *think* it's something like 29 inches, but I could be wrong. Then the dimensions of the area from which the hood will effectively capture vapors is also critical. You can't expect efficient performance when you mount a hood designed for a 36 inch cooktop over a 42 inch cooktop. However, you CAN expect good performance if you mount a hood designed for a 42 inch cooktop (or larger) over a 36 inch cooktop! I prefer a hood that is somewhat oversize to compensate for drafts, such as when the heating or air conditioning comes on, or someone opens an outside door. It depends on the dynamics of each individual kitchen.

              There are manufacturers that make equipment in excess of 600 CFM. Nothing in the world will keep your house as odor and vapor/grease free as a really good kitchen vent. Well, there is one thing. Do as the colonials did, and put the kitchen in a whole seperate building completely detached from your house! But that can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to serving dinner on a dark and stormy night!

          2. e
            eartha Dec 22, 2007 07:20 PM

            I have this problem in a two story house; the kitchen aromas, especially garlic, seem to congregate upstairs. The best remedy I've found and use regularly is to fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil, then lower the flame and add ground or stick cinnamon to the water. Gently simmer, run the stove fan and the house will quickly smell of cinnamon. Visitors will think you are baking something.

            1. meatn3 Dec 22, 2007 09:21 PM

              I've had good luck simmering water with lemon slices & parsley.

              1. l
                lamaranthe Dec 23, 2007 02:00 PM

                Burning a candle (Febreeze has some new ones now). It also helps with cigarette smoke.

                1. r
                  RobynS Dec 23, 2007 06:44 PM

                  I keep a ramekin of white vinegar near my stove at all times, It does wonders for all sorts of kitchen odors.

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