How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells



It’s exciting to smell your meal as it is cooking. 

As the different ingredients come together and the flavours are allowed to develop, it teases your appetite and makes you look forward to the meal ahead. However, having those same smells linger in the kitchen to greet you the next day is unpleasant. At this point, the same scent molecules that previously whetted your appetite are beginning to degrade, so they suddenly begin to smell rancid and off-putting.

There are many ways to get rid of cooking odours, but as in medicine, prevention is better than cure. Investing in a cooker hood drastically reduces smells because it ventilates right above the stove while you are cooking. The extractor fan within then draws out the scent molecules and airborne grease, along with any smoke or steam produced during cooking. Because the aroma compounds aren’t allowed to disperse too much in the air, they are less likely to attach to the walls, ceiling, and floor. 

Some foods release very strong odours though, especially when frying is involved. As such, make sure to clean up all traces of grease from your stove area, and try these tricks to reduce nasty after-cooking smells.

Keep Windows Open

You can’t have too much ventilation in your kitchen. Opening the windows to let air circulate while you are cooking allows unwanted odours to go out and fresh air to come in. It also helps to keep your kitchen cool and not stuffy. If you forgot to keep windows open while cooking, open them immediately and put a fan next to them to help blow the odours out.

Use a Diluted Vinegar Steam

Vinegar is used for many home cleaning tasks because it's quite potent against smells. If you are frying fish, the oily-fishy odour can permeate your kitchen pretty quickly, so you may want to combat that as it happens. Simply fill a pot with a cup of water and a half cup of vinegar, and let the mixture boil while you finish cooking. It will make the kitchen smell a bit vinegary, but this scent will fade a lot faster than the fishiness.

If you dislike the smell of vinegar, however, and don't want to be exposed to its fumes while you're working the stove, you can put a bowl of vinegar to sit out on the counter overnight. This lessens your exposure to the acidic smell, but it still works to repel the stench of seafood from the kitchen.

Light a Scented Candle

Fight nasty smells with pleasant ones. Light up your favourite scented candle to fill the room with a fragrance you can enjoy. Some scented candles feature gourmand perfumes that would perfectly suit the kitchen. Try lemon for a zesty clean scent, vanilla to add an air of cosiness, or apples and cinnamon to make it seem like you have dessert cooking in the oven.

If you want the fragrances to continue their work while you go to bed, consider using a timed plug-in or air purifier instead. Never leave lit candles unattended.

Boil Some Potpourri

Don't have candles or prefer something more natural? Toss in lemon or orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in boiling water and allow that to steep while you finish your cooking. This homemade potpourri will fill your kitchen with a warm, woody scent. If you prefer a more zesty fragrance, combine citrus peels with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary.

Make Coffee



For many people, even getting a whiff of freshly brewed coffee is enough to get their day to a good start. If you like to jumpstart your mornings with a cuppa, you'll be glad to know that coffee is great for fighting unwanted cooking smells as well. Coffee is rich in nitrogen, which is very effective for neutralising odours. This is also why perfume counters usually have coffee beans on hand, so shoppers can refresh their noses in between smelling different perfumes.

If you aren't a big fan of coffee though, it may be worth getting some cheap coffee grounds and just keeping it in a bowl on your counter as an odour neutraliser.

Salt Some Potatoes

If the cooking smell is stuck on your pots and pans even after they've been washed, no amount of air cleaning will help if you don't treat it at the source. To remove the smell, wash some potatoes and chop them into pieces. Put the chopped potatoes into the stinky pot or pan then salt generously before covering with a lid and allowing it to sit for a few hours. The salt will cause the potatoes to sweat out their juices and release oxalic acid, which will break down the odour molecules. The oxalic acid will also remove stains from the pan, which may be contributing to its smelliness.

Now that you have these proven odour-busting tips, never again worry about having to deal with unwanted cooking smells. Cook whatever you like, enjoy your meal, and leave that food memory untarnished by rancid kitchen odours.



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