In our first installment of this blog series, we discussed the necessity of a kitchen range hood and the benefits of having a kitchen exhaust. But what if your kitchen was built without one? If a remodel is not in the near future, here are a few tips for counter-balancing not having a hood or exhaust system:
Portable HEPA air filter
If your kitchen has small or few windows, a good way to clean the air is with a portable HEPA filter. These filters are designed to pull odors out of the air through a web combination of filters that trap, filter and cleanse the air.
Get a CO meter if you have a gas stove
Having good ventilation and air flow is not just to stop smells; it also necessary to remove harmful gases from your appliances. Gas stoves release carbon monoxide so if there is bad ventilation; this can cause a buildup of harmful gas. A meter can help alert you to any CO imbalances in your kitchen. You can then rely on fans to help circulate this out of the kitchen area.
Fans are a great way to get air and debris in the air to circulate out of the kitchen, preferably out to a nearby window or outside door. If you are lucky enough to have a sliding window in your kitchen, a window fan is a great way to help remove some of this bad air. Each time you cook, you can change it to exhaust to pull the air from the kitchen and push it outside. Oscillating fans can help to break up the air and channel it to a window to exhaust.
Use other built in fans around the house
Even using your bathroom exhaust fan can help reduce nasty kitchen grease odors. Smells travel; and fast! If you are fortunate enough to have a bathroom close by or in the middle of your home, you can help break up the smell by turning on the exhaust fan. This will help pull those traveling smells out of the house and through the roof exhaust.
Keep your kitchen surfaces clean
This is just something you can’t neglect to do, unfortunately. It is a good idea to keep a mild counter cleanser handy and do a daily wipe down of your counters and cabinets….especially the ones that are closest to your cooking areas. Using diluted dish soap with water either in a spray bottle or just on a damp sponge will help remove any stubborn grease. Dish soap was made to destroy grease. Lysol wipes or vinegar solutions are also great ways to cut grease and deodorize.
Choose the right type of paint
If you plan on painting your kitchen, it is a good idea to use scrub-able paint, semi-gloss finish or satin paint. These make it harder for grease and debris to take hold and easy to clean. Use a neutral color that will help hide potential grease and cooking stains.
Keep the grease under cover
You can pick up splatter guards or screens at most grocery and big box stores. They are relatively inexpensive and help to greatly stop grease and small debris from leaving the pan. It can also help minimize the odor that would be carried by the grease and debris.
Smells: Good vs Evil
There are many ways of combating bad kitchen smells. Citrus fruits are a great way to help reduce smells. Diluted lemon and water are a great way to deodorize cutting boards and counters as well as grinding slices of them in the disposal or by zesting them and letting them breathe in the kitchen. You can use a slow cooker to brew spices and herbs as well.
Discover new ways of cooking
Why should I have to change my award winning fried chicken recipe?!?! You don’t have to change your recipes, but maybe just a few tweaks on HOW you prepare them. For instance: fried foods. If you are using a medium pan to fry – use a larger lid to cover over the pan. The lid will rest on the handle(s) and allow air flow to the pan, but stop the grease from splattering. Need to boil water for a dish? Use a standard or electric tea kettle to get the water going and then pour on or into the dish. Use your crockpot as often as you can. There are a myriad of online groups and websites that offer great crockpot/slow cooker options. Make a few nights – salad or BBQ nights.
Not having a kitchen range hood or exhaust system is not a kitchen death sentence. There are always work arounds. Really take a look at your budget and think about reaching out to MTD for some options. They would love to show you how you can do as little or as much to your kitchen.