The holiday season often means you’re hosting guests, visiting with family and friends, and using your kitchen more often to cook for your company. Especially if you’re not used to cooking a lot, this may result in a lot of humidity and smoke in the kitchen that you don’t usually have to deal with.
You can help keep the air clear and free from smoke and unwelcome odors by following a few simple steps.
Use your hood fan
Whether you’re using one of your burners or all of them, it helps to ventilate the steam created by cooking by turning on the fan in your oven’s hood. Sucking that hot and/or damp air up through the fan and having it expelled outside through your ventilation system is a good way to keep your kitchen cooler and keep the moisture from making the room uncomfortable.
Open a window
If you don’t have a hood fan, or if you just want some extra fresh air, open a window to let hot moist air out, and fresh cool dry air in.
Create a draft
It’s best if you can open more than one window. Having a couple of windows open will create a draft that can move the smoke and steam away from your culinary efforts. It’s best if two windows are in the same room, but opening one down the hall will also create a helpful draft.
Use a box fan in the window
Box fans are great – they’re inexpensive and stable. Place one in your window and turn it so the fan is blowing outside the window. This may seem counterintuitive, but you want the smoky or steamy air getting pulled from your kitchen and then blown outside.
Keep the cooking temperatures down
Cooking is often a juggling act, and you might have several things going on your stovetop at once. If you’re boiling something, don’t let it run on high. A full-on boil produces a lot of steam and fogs up everything in the room. If you’re preparing pasta, for example, getting the water to a near-boil then dumping the noodles in, reducing, and covering will not only generate less steam, but will cook your pasta the same using much less energy.
Avoid burning your food
Keeping your cooking temperatures down may also help with another problem: smoke. If you don’t want smoke in your kitchen, don’t burn things – that includes cooking oil as well as your pots and pans.
Contact Jerry Kelly if you’re interested in improving the indoor air in your home. We want you and your family to live cleaner and breathe better.