10 Tips for Reducing Cooking Smells in Your Apartment
September 14, 2015
Fish, garlic, spicy vittles—do you avoid home-cooking some of of your favorite foods for fear that their smells will linger too long in your apartment? You’re not alone. Grease and odors can make their way through an apartment faster than you can say deep-fried drumsticks. We say, don’t let worries about odorizing your apartment hold you back from cooking great meals. Good food is important to a good life!
Here are some tried and true ways to reduce the staying power of those powerful smells, so that you can enjoy whatever kind of cooking you like:
- Shut it out. When you’re cooking, close other doors in your apartment to keep the cooking smells contained in and around the kitchen. Remember that bedrooms and bathrooms tend to have lots of linens, and linens readily absorb grease and odors.
- Blow it away. If your stove has a vent, use it when you’re cooking, and not only when there’s smoke. If weather permits, open windows while cooking. Even better, set a fan so that it’s blowing out an open window.
- Clean it up. The less time odors have to sit in your apartment, the less time they have to soak in and travel to other parts of your home, so clean up the cooking area as soon as you can. And don’t forget to take the garbage out before you turn in for the night.
- Vinegarize it. Simmer a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water on the stovetop for an hour, turn off the heat, and leave the pot out overnight.
- Soak it up. Leave out a plate of charcoal briquettes (the sort without mesquite or lighter fluid additives, of course), or sew a few briquettes into pouches you can hang inconspicuously in the kitchen.
- Throw fruit at it. Grind up citrus peels in your garbage disposal, where cooking odors often lurk. Simmer a pot of water with lemon and orange peels for an hour or two. Or bake citrus peels at a low temperature to pull their good smells into your apartment air.
- Replace it. Baking smells are great for counteracting cooking smells, so whip up a batch of cookies, brownies, bread—whatever you love—and let the new smell take over.
- Stew over it. Boil water and add pleasant-smelling herbs, spices, citrus peels, or a combination of these things. Try cloves with jasmine tea. Try cinnamon sticks with orange peels. Many cooks swear by the smell-killing power of clove oil all on its own, too.
- Filter it. A good air sanitizer or HEPA-filtered air purifier can work wonders. Some people swear by the GermGuardian, a plug-in air sanitizer that you can buy for about $40.
- Rethink it. Fish is one of the hardest smells to battle, and you might have to use a combination of the above suggestions—maybe even in repetition—to conquer it. Or, you could try cooking with a less smelly technique, such as poaching or baking with parchment paper.
Do you have any of your own magic tricks for keeping cooking smells under control? Leave us a comment. We’d love to hear about them!