Reducing Cooking Odors, Bacon Only Smells Good for a Little While

Dear Home Ec 101,
I love having my home grown bacon or sausage on the weekend, but how do I get rid of the horrible grease smell after I have enjoyed breakfast?
Signed,
Bacon Bits

how to reduce cooking odors

Heather says:

The aroma of cooking food is a mixed blessing at best. The odors drift throughout the house as an aerosol or a suspension of solid particles in a gas. Think of it like aerosol hairspray, only with tiny droplets of bacon scented grease. This grease floats around until it bumps into something solid where it enjoys its new role as a scented dust magnet. Yay! Fun.

Running the range hood can help, as some of the grease particles will be trapped by the filter, but if it’s not vented outside, just spits the escapee grease particles back into the kitchen.

To cut down on the number of free floating particles released into the air, use a spatter shield when frying.

Moving as much air outside as possible can help, too. If the kitchen has a window, a fan set to exhaust can help move the air and floating grease outside where it belongs.  This method is very helpful, but not as effective as a properly sized and vented range hood.

Air purifiers are also quite helpful with removing cooking odors. These units typically draw air over a charged plate that attracts particles, once the particles are stuck, they can’t drift around carrying offensive odors.

As a home owner, when it comes time to upgrade the kitchen, don’t underestimate the benefit of installing an exhaust fan that has the appropriate size and power for your cook-top or range. Not only will it keep the kitchen cooler and reduce odors, it will help prevent the annoying buildup of grease on kitchen furniture.

keeping the kitchen clean

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Sometimes I see the suggestion to dampen a kitchen towel with dilute white vinegar and twirl it around the room to gather some of the grease particles. White vinegar is great at removing odors, but I haven’t tried this and my guess is more than anything it gives a person a sense of having done something. Your mileage may vary.

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



6 Comments

  1. TylerW on April 7, 2010 at 12:42 am

    We just recently re-did our kitchen and added an exhaust fan. I would have to say that it probably cuts down on about half of the regular cooking odors…Great tips though, I think air purifiers is a great idea!

  2. Karen Stuteville on April 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Can you bake the thick kind and still get it crunchy?

    • HeatherSolos on April 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      Yes, I only buy thick cut and I can't stand limp bacon. I use the convection setting and bake it at 425. Some people prefer a low and slow method.

    • Tinkerschnitzel on April 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      I only buy Wright's brand bacon, which is really thick, and I bake it all the time. I make sure to put the bacon on a cookie rack in the cookie sheet, so it stays out of the grease. It crisps up much better that way.

  3. angie on April 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Bake your bacon. It's delicious and so much easier to clean up. And the smell doesn't linger because all the grease stays in the oven or as liquid on the cookie sheet.
    My recent post Menu Monday (on Tuesday)

    • HeatherSolos on April 6, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Good tip, but it should be noted that this depends on your oven. Some models vent into the kitchen, my own is one. The amount of grease in the air is definitely reduced, but it isn't eliminated.

      We always bake our bacon, too.

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