Marita Tasse's Blog
For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. It’s where we cook and store our food, but it’s also where we throw away our garbage.
In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.
Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to do just that.
Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.
The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.
One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, you’ll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that you’ll need to purify.
One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.
One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.
When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.
It’s important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you don’t have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.
Dishes and garbage
We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who don’t run their dishwasher frequently.
Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.
When it comes to garbage, it’s often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.
Most breakfast tables are incomplete without bacon in them. When you cook your bacon the right way, what you have is crisp, chewy and tender. Overcooked or undercooked bacon can ruin the taste of your breakfast. Is it possible to ruin bacon? Yes! There are some bacon cooking mistakes that a lot of people make without realizing how it affects the quality of their breakfast bacon.
1. Putting cold bacon in a heated pan
The issue with placing bacon from the fridge into a hot pan is that the fat on the bacon strips does not have enough time to warm up and render out. Once cold bacon gets into a sizzling pan, the fat seizes up and becomes gummy instead of crisp. For the best bacon, place the bacon in the cold pan and turn up the heat to medium-hot. Go low, go slow till the fat comes out and cooks the bacon to perfect crispness.
2. Using the wrong pan
Aluminum pans are the worst to cook bacon in. The best pan is the cast iron skillet when it comes to cooking bacon. The bottom of a skillet is heavy and so conducts heat evenly. This helps to prevent burnt strip edges or your bacon getting cooked too quickly. Iron skillets let the fat sizzle early enough and cook the bacon itself.
3. Not adding water to the pan
A secret to nicely cooked bacon is to add a bit of water to the meat and cover the skillet on high heat. The water will help the bacon to retain its moisture and cook all tender. Once you notice the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook till the bacon has that characteristic brown look. Adding water to bacon also reduces the chances of burning.
4. Poor oven-cooking habits
Stop cramming too many bacon strips into a baking pan and cooking. The best way to cook bacon in an oven is to use a rimmed baking sheet and put the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Line up the bacon strips and bake for about 20 minutes. Take the bacon strips out and drain them on paper towels that will soak up the fat and ensure that you don't have greasy bacon for breakfast.
Use these tips today, and you will see a significant improvement in the quality of your bacon.
Keeping a clean and reasonably organized kitchen is essential for those wanting to prepare food at home quickly. Finding your kitchen comfortable to work in and maintain will help keep you motivated to cook instead of caving to ordering in or going out to eat. It may seem simple, but many people just put things in different cupboards and don't consider how it might affect the flow of their kitchen and their ability to use the space efficiently. Here are some thoughtful ideas to consider when putting kitchen items away in your new home, or when you finally get around to reorganizing your kitchen space.
Consider the location of your large appliances. You can’t rearrange your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher or sink without a kitchen remodel. So, you’ll need to design your kitchen organization around these main appliances that you use frequently. Inspect at the cupboard and drawer space in your kitchen and consider organizing as follows.
- Prep: Put your cutting boards and knives near each other for easy access and consider keeping them near your sink or within close range of your kitchen trash for quick clean up.
- Cooking: Place pots, pans, and bakeware in a cupboard near your stovetop and oven. Put hot pads, trivets, and utensils like spatulas and cooking spoons in a drawer near the stove or hang your tools on hooks by the stovetop.
- Drinking: If possible put your coffee pot near your sink and fridge and place your glasses and mugs in a cupboard easily accessible by both.
- Dining: For the most convenience see if you can place your plates, bowls and serving dishes near your table and also near your sink and dishwasher. This arrangement will help facilitate dining as well as simplify clean up.
- Miscellaneous Appliances: Take inventory of your appliances and be honest with yourself about which ones you use the most. If you bake all the time maybe your mixer needs to be out on the counter or in the front of a lower cupboard. If you’re really into juicing or making smoothies, consider keeping these appliances out or in a place you can easily access. If you rarely use your crockpot or fondue set and are truthfully unlikely to start anytime soon you don’t need to have these items out crowding your space or taking up prime real estate at the front of your cupboards.
Organizing dry foods can also be tricky depending on the size of your kitchen, but there are several ideas you can use to help yourself out.
- Baking: Put all your baking materials in the same cupboard, on the same shelf if possible and keep these near your oven or your mixing equipment.
- Beverages: Keep all your coffees and teas together and near your coffee pot and water kettle.
- Pantry Goods: If you don’t have a pantry, designate one cupboard to house goods that are shelf-stable for a long time. Place canned items, unopened sauces, rice and pasta in this cupboard, or on a particular shelf.
- Daily Use: For items you use daily like bread, cereal and snacks find a quick access location in your kitchen. Maybe this is a cupboard right by your plates and bowls or by your fridge.
Any kitchen, no matter the size can be organized to meet your daily needs. Take inventory of what you have and what you use to help you transform your kitchen into a functional space that works for you.
A lot of people no longer cook with open fires in the world of today with natural gas, electricity, temperature controls, and other kitchen appliances. When you get a new oven for your kitchen with all the latest features and upgrades, there's not a lot you can't use it to do. Are you getting the best out of it though? Here are some tips to make sure that your new oven delivers the most utility to you:
Get rid of that new-oven smell.
New appliances come with that lovely smell that tells you that they are straight out of the production line. After removing all the packaging materials, wash the interior and racks to remove any substances that may remain from the factory like oils or manufacturing liquids. Open up your windows, turn up the oven to the highest temperature and let it run for about an hour. Let it cool down, clean it again. Repeat these steps once or twice more so that your food will not come out with a funny smell when you use your new oven.
Use the bottom drawer to warm food.
Most ovens come with a nice little drawer at the bottom. The drawer isn't a place to keep food while you are waiting to eat it. You should only use this drawer to warm food, not store your racks and baking pans. This warming drawer helps you to keep your food warm until it is ready for serving.
Rotate your cooking pans
After turning on your oven, the way the heat moves may be unpredictable sometimes. After preheating your oven and the heat starts to move around evenly, put your pans in for some time. Halfway through your cooking time, open the oven and turn the cooking pans around. And then swap the top pan with the bottom one if you are cooking with two pans at the same time. Rotating the pans helps to ensure that your food cooks evenly without getting overcooked on the bottom and under-cooked at the top.
Clean your oven regularly.
One way to know that your oven is due for cleaning is when you are unable to see the interior clearly through the glass. Not only does this mean that your oven is dirty, but it also prevents you from seeing how your food is cooking.
If you notice any irregular signs with your oven, contact an electrician for maintenance to get it back to optimal conditions.
You don’t have to be a chef to appreciate a kitchen that is designed with lots of counter space. You don’t even have to enjoy trying out new recipes for two or more hours a week to recognize the value of open kitchen counters. But, simply appreciating kitchen counter space may not keep you from filling your kitchen counters with boxes, jugs, nonperishable food items and kitchen utensils.
Steps to more kitchen counter space
If you’re like many homeowners, you want more kitchen counter space. One of the best ways to gain more counter space is to train yourself to let go of boxes, bags and other kitchen items that you have not used in several months. This single step can help you to get more space in your kitchen and throughout the rest of your home.
It may take patience to become effective at letting things go. But, it’s worth it.Following are additional steps that you can take to gain more kitchen counter space. You may be surprised at how easy it is to implement most of the steps. You also might be surprised at how much more useful your kitchen becomes after you get the extra room. To start, you can:
- Store fruit and vegetables in your kitchen windowsill. Tomatoes, potatoes and onions are good foods to store in the windowsill.
- Buy a dolly to place cereal, rice, grains and other dry goods on
- Install a kitchen pantry. If you already have a kitchen pantry, consider storing dry goods, paper towels and pots and pans in the pantry.
- Add another shelf to your existing kitchen counters
- Toss kitchen utensils that you never use
- Box kitchen items that you only use for large family celebrations or on major holidays and place these items in the basement or attic.
- Place storage bins at the top of your kitchen cabinets. Transfer items from your kitchen counter to these over head bins. Just make sure that you minimize the numbers of items that you store in the bins. It helps to keep the bins from becoming too heavy. It’s also a good way to train yourself to let go of items that you don’t use.
- Install kitchen organizers that attach to the wall.
- Clean out your kitchen cabinets. Get rid of pots and pans that you haven’t used in over two years.
A few extra tips to more kitchen counter space
Another way to get more kitchen counter space is to toss out old can foods at least once a month. It might surprise you how many of your canned vegetables, soups, gravies and broths are outdated. Commit to buying foods that you actually use. Avoid buying and keeping food just so you can feel that you’ll never run out of things to eat.
These steps lead to a cleaner kitchen. They also help you to gain more kitchen counter space. You just might use the extra counter space to prepare healthier meals,the type of meals that require you to pull out a cutting board and measure food that grows right out of the earth, so that you can enjoy a delicious, protein, vitamin and mineral rich diet.