How does someone who works with food every day solve simple kitchen cleaning problems? We went to trained chef and food editor of Good Housekeeping Philippines, Roselle Miranda, to ask what she does to keep her kitchen spic and span.
How do you get the smell of frying out of your kitchen? Your best investment is a range hood or an extractor fan. It is more than just another extravagant appliance to add to your kitchen. Not only will it help filter the smoky or stale odor coming from your cooking, it can also help minimize the cleaning you need to do for the kitchen. How? The fan of both appliances suctions out any airborne grease molecules that fly up while cooking.
These greasy particles will eventually coat the cabinets, walls, and ceiling of the surrounding areas of your stove and can be hard to remove without frequent cleaning. With the help of the fans that these two units have, you can save both time and hassle of airing out and wiping down your kitchen every time you cook.
But what if we don't have a range hood or an extractor fan? Use a small electric fan and direct the air towards the kitchen so the smells don't have time to accumulate as you cook. That's actually what I do because I don't have a ceiling fan to circulate the air in the kitchen. I use a desk fan and just let it run. Make sure that you place it away from the stove so it doesn't blow out the flame. I do have a range hood, but it's old so I think it's not as efficient as it should be.
Would scented candles work to get rid of the frying smell? Candles only mask the smell; maybe it will rid the kitchen of stale air. But if you have no choice -- for example, you're in an air-conditioned place -- then it will do. It can also help with insects.
How do you clean your stove and microwave oven? It's never a good idea to let grease and the food particles drip or splatter onto the walls because it will harden. So always wipe down your stove and microwave oven first with a sponge dampened with a little water and dishwashing liquid. Then a dry rag as soon as it cools down and after each use. Even better, wipe it down with a rag dampened with a kitchen degreaser while it's just warm so the particles are still soft and easy to remove without scrubbing.
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For hardened and greasy residue, spray the areas with a kitchen degreaser and let it sit according to the cleaner's directions and scrub away the bits. For a DIY and a more natural option, use a paste of baking soda in vinegar and water.
Have you ever done the lemon trick to clean your microwave? I do not believe it actually works unless you let it steam up the entire oven. And I do not want to waste the lemon that way. I'd still use a kitchen cleaner and clean rag to wipe down the inside of the oven whenever there is a splatter of food.
How do you get the oil and grease out of your pans? Invest in a good dishwashing liquid, and use it undiluted to maximize its tough, grease-fighting abilities. Once the oil and grease have dissolved in the soap, rinse out and repeat as needed until squeaky clean once more.
You just did an article on how to sharpen a knife, a skill you say we must all master especially if we cook every day. Here's a follow-up question: how should we clean a knife? First of all, never leave a knife in the sink. It's an easy way to cut yourself accidentally when you place something else in the sink. When you clean a knife, always hold it by the handle. Use a sponge to wipe clean the sides of the knife blade. If any food particles get stuck on the blade, place the knife down in the sink, point facing away from you. Hold it down and, with the knife blade on its side, use the sponge to rub the food particles from the blade. Remember to hone the blade before each use.